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2019 KIBO 250

What is a good starter bike?
8 July 2020
Hotsprings in Kwale
13 July 2020

By Morris Njue

"An Unstoppable Force Meets an Immovable Object"

In the days after i encountered the Blue Kibo 150cc (AKA The Adolescent Bull Elephant), i was left with a longing for danger. My humble daily ride felt like a toddler's training bicycle, as dull as cold sugarless porridge. This desire is dangerous.

The powers of attraction began to play into my reality and loh and behold! after doing some modifications to my ride to give it a little bit more flare, i encountered the menacing looking orange demon, quietly minding its business under the shade of a Jacaranda tree, growing on Naivas's parking lot, with an Enduro helmet dangling from its mirror, covered in murk and dirt from realms yonder...for a fleeting 5 seconds, everything else moved in slow motion, everything was eerily silent as i gawked at this monster, feathering my clutch and throttle, nearly hitting a pedestrian...

 

That evening my Wi-Fi found itself sending a message to Kibo Motorcycles The information contained therein was well received and it occurred to me a day later that they had apparently been following my tales with the older model, and would be gracious enough to allow me to abuse their creation. 2 weeks later, His Excellency The President may have also read that same email and decided to lift the domestic travel restrictions.

Soon, The unfortunate orange monster rolled into Kwale County today, piloted by an experienced Kibo queen(whose Facebook alias i did not bother to acquire...unfortunately) who later hailed Steve Marcos my Chairman to come officiate this grand occasion. We all met at Naivas, a few feet from that fleeting moment. The encounter was as brief as my desire to bugger off into the unknown and misbehave with the machine....i was later to learn that Orange is a very appropriate color! I missed the madness of the ranging adolescent blue bull elephant and so i naturally assumed that this beast would be no different. My trauma was greeted by buttery smooth gear shifts, silkier than royal satin, but as satisfying as the crunch of an apple.

The tires kissed the short section of tarmac with their characteristic roar of a thousand wasps but the serenity of suspension based on clouds. I quickly realized that 100 extra CCs meant that the usual anxiety i had of overtaking was briskly whisked away and soon i had arrived at my intersection to start my murderous attempt to destroy this orange aristocratic looking Enduro Styled beast.

Mother nature had conspired wickedly with me and sprinkled some water generously the previous night and early morning, rendering most of the village roads impassable. I hoped the Kibo was worried...hoped.

Soon as i smacked that shifter into 3rd and pulled on the throttle like a crazed baboon, the monster woke up from its slumber and unleashed a short wallop to my inards to sensitize me to what was coming. I immediately backed off the gas and readjusted my ego, woke up my drunk pilot and gave him the controls....this would need Morris B not A... I would hang back and watch. What was the villagers' attempts at rim breaking and suspension shuttering road bumps were cleared by the orange raptor the same way an elephant wafts away the advances of a house fly. The gears were shifting so well and so smooth that the temptation to go give it more was and endless encouragement. I could feel the engine eagerly asking for more as i cleared one hill to the next.

Sand traps were no more spectacular than a wiggle here and a wiggle there and I was gone! This orange hunk of steel had the same thunderous boisterous confidence of the previous Blue elephant, except with smoother, predictable power delivery and one key thing: BRAKES! Once I was into the 70kph range, every corner and bone breaking hazard crept up faster than i expected. The front and rear disk, coupled with those knobly tires would bring that rolling heavy frame to a rather mighty and graceful stop. The fronts felt especially solid, aiding the powerful rear to a controlled deceleration. This dance went on until I realized that it was just asking for more! I had stopped several times to take pictures and admire the scenery but it would just be mocking me...laughing at my feeble attempts to reign it in?

So i decided to go do something stupid and took it to my special place... Where few Kwale bikes dare go. I arrived there in dramatic fashion as the entire stretch to that one spot is none too pleasing. Steve and i had attempted to cross it before and failed and had to go around. Today i decided i was going to go for broke. Luckily and coincidentally, as i was trying to figure out how to film that event, a peculiar bodaboda man emerged from the bushes on his TVS and agreed to film it...(the video speaks for itself)

I later went on and did some small shallow river crossings and another tarmac stint. The previously military seat felt well designed and suitably cushioned making the perch welcoming. The dashboard being militarily minimalist, made it easier to understand than Geometry and helped to keep focus on the obstacles and fun, rather than trying to figure which mode controls what terrain!

My right foot no longer hurt from trying to manhandle the rear brake pegs that were once fiddly and seemingly non existent, but felt suitably rested as they were easy to reach standing or seated.

The power delivery was not menacing but offered predictable bursts of speed and power reliably throughout the revs to the next gear. Maybe i am just lucky or i am disciplined or maybe i didn't push it further, but, i felt like it is the kind of bike that a fairly experienced bloke can upgrade to without fear of being catapulted into tomorrow on the first try.

 

The 2019 KIBO 250 is a major improvement from the previous models! Some would begin a heated debate on pricing and how it compares to the Bavarian legends, the Japanese Warriors and other innumerable new entries into the ever expanding ADV/DualSport Categories.

But, I ask you this; what kind of tool would you use to drive a nail into a piece of wood;
- a Nail Gun
- a hammer
- a sledgehammer or
- a spanner

Your answer is therefore your desired offroader.
I enjoyed a fleeting moment...i met an Immovable object... I want to keep trying to push it...

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