Meet Sultan Mustafa, a Kenyan biker. He shares his wonderful biking journey with us:
When did you start riding and what made you embrace biking as a lifestyle?
I started biking around the first week of March 2016. It first began as a mode of transportation for convenience after I realized that I was using an average of KES 3000 per week on Bodaboda. Safety was also a motivation towards this. I would literally hold my heart in my hand whenever the rider would maneuver dangerously on the road. It was therefore high time I got my own bike and became my own rider in addition to reducing daily commuting costs.
Which is your current and first bike and dream Bike ?
My first bike was a Hero hunk. I procurred it with the help of my friend called Dean who also introduced me to the biking community. I loved that bike with all my heart and called it “Hilwa” meaning ‘sweet’. After three months of riding and at least three group rides, I realized I could not keep up with the other riders and the upgrade bug bit me hard. That’s when I bought my second bike, Bajaj Pulsar RS200. I believe that it was my ultimate bike. It was more of a race bike than an adventure bike. I used it for six months and realized that I was more into adventure than speed and the bike was not exactly fit for my future adventures. I then bought a Kawasaki KLE 500. However, I only used it for 3 weeks and sold it due to some financial issues. I spent a year thinking about my upgrade. I now have a bike that I believe it fits my needs, the KTM 990 Adventure. I have christened it ‘Saida II ‘. I think it is a dream bike but you know there is always room to dream about the KTM 1290 Adventure!
What do you love most about your Bike ?
Well, there is a lot to love about her. She stands out from the rest though this puts me at risk of being spotted by ‘Keyboard’ riders. My bike has the capacity to go anywhere as long as I have a full tank. The power it has is also so humbling and the feeling of having to tame all that power is so satisfying.
Did you have to train or are you a self-taught Biker?
Well, I was pushed to go for training after my first incidence one month after buying Hilwa. I had always imagined that biking is all about pulling the throttle and stepping on the brakes. However, this changed when I started riding had a near death experience.
I learnt about InkedBiker Rider Training from a friend as I was desperate to get more skills. I started classes with Malibu, the head trainer at InkedBiker and that’s when I realized how green I was in regards to biking. The trainer was very friendly and took me through the theory classes and several drills on the field before the road drill. I am grateful to have found InkedBiker as I learnt how to ride safely. The flexibility of the trainers also was a plus as it enabled me cope with my crazy work schedule.
I remember Malibu taking me to Jogoo road for my road drill which is considered a hell road for many riders but I felt safe through his guidance.
Inkedbiker also played a role in helping me make a decision regarding my second bike upgrade.
How has biking impacted your life / lifestyle?
Biking has humbled me. The feeling of getting out of the house with over 15 litres of fuel between your legs and returning home in one piece is just beyond explanation. Not to mention the fact that there isn’t metal protection around you except your gear and God’s protection on these crazy Kenyan roads.
I have also been able to meet a lot of friends who are are now family in the biking community. Starting from Inkedbikers group to my Nyumba kumi along Limuru road and Leafy burbs to my club and the entire Kenya bikers community.
Biking has made me a better driver. I am now on the lookout for bicycles, pedestrians and even fellow bikers while driving. If only every driver could be trained to be a rider and have to ride for at least a week before they are allowed to drive on the roads.
Word of advice to aspiring bikers?
Training is very important before you hit the road. Most falls are as a result of survival reaction and with proper training you are able to avoid most of these falls.
Secondly, gear up as that’s the difference between getting dirt or getting bloody after a fall. Get proper riding gear and not the free helmets that come with the bikes.
Get a bike that you can handle. Begin small and grow with the first bike before you get your dream bike. With a small bike you get to practise without worrying about fairings and costs of spares while at the same time you can easily handle the small capacity as a novice. As it is said it is easier to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow.
Lastly, always say a prayer before you leave home and avoid road rage at all costs as you have more to lose.
Thank you Mustafa for sharing with us your Biking journey!