Hello there, welcome back! While we were taking a commercial break… I rode a VW bike and my pal a Benz bike and we were having so much fun testing the bikes abilities. Only for me to wake up in bed!😤 Just hope I was not making Vroom noises 🙈 lest my neighbours must have wondered what was going on, wait they may have thought I was watching a movie🤔… Okay am now overthinking and digressing, let’s circle back. 🙃
During this ‘searching’ period ‘ what is your next bike?‘ and ‘ when are you getting it?‘ has been the bane of my existence!
I get attracted to things because of how they look and I like them because of how they make me feel when I interact with them. unfortunately, this means that we have to have a taste of every thing thrown my way and maybe test it? 😋 I will start by admitting, kuonja onja has never been my thing, but we are on a mission and I need to step out of my comfort zone if we are getting me a second date.☹️
As we go through this journey, please remember that I do not have brand loyalty or country interests. Am simply searching for my second date, hopefully, one that will check all (or 85% of) the boxes we created in Part I.
As I was asking around, some guys started throwing countries at me. Don’t look for Chinese. Japan and Indian are pocket friendly and built to last. If you want to dig a little deeper with pride consider going German. First, I do not have vast knowledge on matters bikes, which means I don’t understand the country arguments thrown at me. Put simply, if you ask me to name 3 brands from each of the countries mentioned, I wouldn’t know (I actually don’t, just the BMW – everyone knows that one).🤷🏾♀️ Actually, not everyone who throws countries around understands what they are saying – some have spent so much time listening to people who don’t understand it, should I say GIGO? 🏃🏿♀️🏃🏿♀️
We quickly establish that countries cannot be my reference point for this search, time to make the filter specific to what am looking for. This time, I go back to my people, tweak the question to what bikes would fit my checklist and request to be shown where I can see the said bikes (eeeh am from a generation that believes what they see – online searches and getting a tape measure to see what the measurements on those sites translate to in real life ain’t my thing – I tried🤦🏿♀️). Bikers are very friendly people and can give some solid guidance. Some owners are so nice they even let me have a feel. 🙏🏿
Any comments read below are purely my opinion and should not be taken as gospel truth.
One of my pals points out that I should aim to get a 400cc or 600cc – according to him a simple jump of 50cc or 100ccs won’t give me discipline. I need power that will keep me grounded and disciplined on the road, that I will hold onto for a couple of years. His explanation made sense to me. Untill I went for my first two tests. 🙆🏿♀️
This particular lunch hour is a bit sunny, yet we are gearing up for July, talk of the weather being weird😏. I head to Karen to see and have a feel of the Duke 390.
Bike arrives and it is parked next to Kadudu. The clearance is the same, so that box doesn’t check. I seat on it and realise Inaisha kabla ianze. As in, it is not long enough. Then I wonder when I go glamping⛺🏕️🗻🏔️, where the luggage will be tied to?
I like the fact that it is largely naked, I think with a change of tyres, I can freely play without worrying that a simple fall could break a fairing. It is a good bike for the streets. I have a quick chat with the seller and head back home to go see another bike later on.
The owner is a super cool person!!! We say hi, a little chitchat then head to the bike. First, the bike is very high. It just showed me how short I am (show off!🙄). Clearance box✅ it is a supermoto, and the owner tells me that on the original offroad tyres its height is enhanced.
So I sit on it (tiptoe-ing with one foot), switch it on and ride around the parking lot. I ride at max 20kph, with my legs dangling off the side the whole time (my rationale was, if for any reason we were to start falling on either side, I’d easily put the foot down so the bike didn’t go all the way down). 🤣🤣🤣 The power left me feeling very tiny, like in biking world I have been doing nothing, I am yet to even crawl, sijui tutaanza kutembea lini!🙆🏿♀️
Both these two bikes are in the same capacity range, so they humble me enough to go back to my comfort zone 150-250 cc bikes.🙈
I like the Kibo, I trained on it, it was super easy to work with and it is all terrain and light weight. But, I have had this long standing fear about the seat – it is so long and I always fear that if am in traffic someone will just kalia the seat and be like ‘ madam twende‘. My fears are valid.😌Additionally, during my recent ride to Kisumu, I was on a naked version of Kadudu that was faster going uphill than the K160. ‘Kibo you are good, we had fun at training, I will always cherish those training moments. It is not you, it is me.’ 😞
Hapa, please allow me to leave out the CC’s and specific models involved so you don’ t start guessing my height and weight. ☹️ I will keep this experience short and hopefully sweet?
My test is with this pal’s bike. Being myselofu, I jump on the bike and try to lift it off the side stand, I could not, tad bit heavy. My pal helps me lift it off the side stand. I refuse to release the side stand as this thing is heavy. I need that extra assurance of knowing if am tired I can release it back to the side stand. 😢
I switch it on and can’t bring myself to ride even for a metre. The whole time he was right next to the bike holding it! 🤣🤣
P. S. This was not the S1000! That one I reserve the story for a coffee date, it needs acting out as I narrate. 🤓
Sym NH 200T
I like how it looks, I rode with it in another ride and figured, why not! I reach out to BM and a test ride time is set. I am given some quick basics on the bike am testing and we hit the road.
First thing I notice is the upright riding posture, it felt weird! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 But it is what I have been looking for, so… ✅
Then I easily accelerate to 80kph on gear 3 and it doesn’t strain. But there is some ffffffff sound am hearing. I am not used to the sound, but figure the bike am testing is not new, maybe it developed issues over time.🤷🏾♀️
It is easy to ride, I am liking it but that ffffffing sound is still there, now am worried and I start to listen to the sound closely. The test ride ends and I tell Raul, the bike had this funny ffffiiing sound. He laughs and says it must be the fan! 🤦🏿♀️
A week later a pal gives me hers so I can get a better feel and I decide to take it to Magadi. By the time we get to Kisamis I have monkey butt. 🙈After Kisamis the road is not even, I notice I can feel the vibrations. 😳 When we get to Magadi, my lower back is hurting, the seat is uncomfortable for me, with my back issues it is beginning to look like this is not the long distance bike I thought it was. I pop a painkiller, take some water, have a snack and we start heading back.
On the hilly stretches it maxed at about 80kph, but this could be because of the break in period (you know how they restrict RPMs during break in, yes that!).
We get back to Nairobi, am too tired and in so much pain with a resolution!🤣🤣🤣🤣
Everything good comes to an end and this onja onjaing story has to stop before I get confused.😜
One thing remains, after market support! All the brands I have tested have local support and parts available. But 2 of the brands I am inclined to have quite some tales on customer service.
I have picked the evils I can live with, it is the foundation of a good relationship, eih? 😌