S o, today i took out the KIBO 150 we were rescuing through its paces on some sketchy roads, for 1hr of what was supposed to be a "test drive" 😀here are my thoughts;
Imagine releasing a heard of elephants into a maize field...
The Kibo 150 seems to bulldoze through any and all kinds of terrain with impressive brutish swagger. It is not entirely a case of engine power (that is coming up below) but a cocktail of the way its weight and suspension, plus the large knobly rear and those 19 inch spoked wheels all merge together to form a testosterone charge adolescent bull elephant!
This machine is designed like Bear Grylls; it will get you where you need to go, but in the most simplistic and militant way possible. The seat is semi-plush and feels like a high school desk. It looks and feels indestructible, but not 5 star.
The seat makes you stand... It encourages you to adopt the adventurer stance and poise and removes you from your comfort zone. Coupled with the confident suspension, weight and stability, plus the adventure styled high handle bars, you will find yourself toying with the machine all the way. Since the suspension soaks up most of the road, the stiff seat falls into the ethers of memory, offering only temporary respite for when the road smoothens out.
A bee stings you and dies, but a wasp keeps stinging until you die. The bee is this 150cc. It does not deliver power in a hurry... There is a momentary delay while the CCs hold a brief stakeholders meeting, while they discuss what quality of oil you are using, before kicking in last minute, only to fizzle out and demand the next gear before the previous one lays a foundation of torque. The next gear has to therefore work harder.
I also feel that a 150cc should not be burdened with military grade frames, tires and suspension. It kinda sucks up all the umph! I found myself feverishly working on the gear changes and timing to get all the juice out until a rhythm was achieved.
This 150cc is not exuberant. It is like churning butter. Eventually, once you work up a rhythm, you will get some butter, but your hands will end up feeling numb.
Try stopping and mudslide with an umbrella... That is how this thing brakes. By the end of 1hr, my right foot was in pain. The rear should be disk like the front. The latter responds well, aiding the freight train behind to come to a graceful stop. On one slope, i came in rather hot and nearly went into the river below, skirting the rail-less edge of the bridge by inches. Eventually though, after understanding that even a rolling stone can be stopped, one manages to balance throttle, engine brakes and the braking system without necessary loosing rhythm and speed.
A hippo is lazy on land, but deadly in water. The Kibo is in its element off road. The weight does not allow you to flick it about like a mad man, but once it picks up momentum, it becomes the embodiment of the phrase, "sting like a bee, float like a butterfly". On tarmac, it is planted; Only the buzzing knobly tires will tell you that you are supposed to be on dirt!
You can commute on it for short distances. It rides well on gear 3 and 4 comfortably upto 5. The latter will feel weak especially if enough momentum wasn't built in before hand. It does not have a diabetes inducing peak in speed/torque, but, once it gets rolling, on tarmac or dirt, you best be ready to calculate and wrestle it to a stop.
For long distances, if you are used to wider more comfortable seats, then this will hurt you... Your body may adjust after weeks of bonding, but that's the price you pay.
For random mobbing of dirt roads and fun silliness, it will make you happy, especially if you appreciate the process of bonding and man handling an adolescent elephant to yield to your will.