Why did you opt for this bike?
I had been considering getting a bike for a while. Traffic had been getting worse and worse in Nairobi and every time I found myself stuck in traffic, I was growing increasingly envious of motorcyclists. They get to whizz past motorists, use little fuel and seem to be having more fun.
I decided to get myself a bike, but I needed it to be simple and affordable, since I’d never ridden before. I also wanted something that was practical for Kenya. When it came down to it, I decided to settle for a Japanese Dual Sport bike.
There are dealers here for the three main brands, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, so I wouldn’t worry about parts. I stumbled upon this bike lying against a wall, it had been neglected for over a year and I got a good deal. It only needed a bit of repair, which was done in a day and the rest, as they say, is history.
What do you love about it?
Because it’s an off road bike, I can literally go anywhere I fancy, and unlike those huge Dakar Rally bikes, its manoeuvrable and practical. I like riding out into the forest and go sit by a stream to clear my head and it’s perfect for that. I also like it’s style.
At first, I wanted it to look like an endurance bike, but when I started taking it apart to rebuild, I found it looked much better as a café racer. And of course I no longer have to wait in traffic.
What are some of the downsides?
Well, there’s the anxiety every time you ride. You are always aware that anything can bring you down and you have to be alert all the time, especially with the matatus and reckless boda bodas on our roads.
Secondly, because it’s an old bike that was exposed to the elements for a long time, it could break down any time anywhere, and unlike a car, you can’t really call a breakdown. So, I’m trying to learn more about fixing it myself and how to improve my riding skills.