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My road companion

WHO: JOSEPH WAMBUA AKA JEMEDARI

OCCUPATION: VOICE OVER ARTIST AND MUSICIAN

BIKE: SHINERAY CAFÉ RACER 2014 XY250 CC

Why did you go for this particular machine?

Dual capability. I wanted something that was adaptable for day-to-day go-anywhere ability and this is a perfect compromise. It’s biased 50 per cent for the tarmac and 50 per cent for off road riding.

Most bikes are skewed in favour of the road, compromising on dirt abilities or in favour of dirt, compromising road-riding quality. It’s not too heavy either, weighing in at 138kgs tare weight and at 128kgs moving weight.

I also like that it’s easier to lean in when turning as the steering clearance is not too much, making it harder to have an accident because of counter steer.

What do you love about it?

Well it’s my first street legal bike. Before this, I was riding unregistered machines in the off-road bundus, so it is special in that sense. Maintenance is also easy and I do about 40 per cent of it on my own.

Anything from tyres, wheel change, oil-change, basic wiring, cleaning and such manner of things. But the best thing about it is efficiency; time and fuel wise. I can be anywhere in Nairobi in a short time. I used to drive and not only did I spend a lot of time in traffic, I burnt a hole in my pocket every time I refueled.

My most memorable experience thus far was when I rode along with a group called 99ers Motorcycle Club from Nairobi to Kilifi. It took us 10 hours as we had several stopovers, but the bike was reliable all the way.

Any drawbacks?

The main thing is that most Kenyan drivers, from one who has just joined driving school to vastly experienced ones, are not motorcycle aware. You can be the best and safest rider out there, but the driver on the highway is not trained to see you and they don’t think of you as another vehicle on the road. They can’t understand why you would ride in the middle of the lane and want to squeeze you through.

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