New motorbike has been unveiled in Kenya. The motorbike is suitable for the terrain in Africa and its aim is to make life safer and easier for Kenyans.
Huib van de Grijspaard is the founder of Kibo Africa which is responsible for the Kibo K150 and other bikes suitable for the African terrain. Greenspace, a UK based company came up with the marketing campaign and brand strategy while Ark created the name and designed the new start up’s logo.
The bike was initially being manufactured in Amsterdam with the designer making many trips to Kenya to talk to motorbike users in the 2 year manufacturing time. The manufacturing has been moved to Kenya and it is on demand.
K150 is a hybrid bike doing well in off-road and street terrain. It has a lot of space between the bike and the ground, has suspensions so it can carry a lot of weight and it has large wheels to help it navigate in all terrains.
Safety features for the rider
The upper part of the bike is flat and horizontal which creates space for cargo and passengers. The bike has dual headlights so the rider can use full or dim lights. The braking system at the back and front is efficient and there is a frame to protect the rider against impact.
It is easy to get in or off and to unload or load cargo as the bike has a normal height of other street bikes.
The bike will first be launched in Kenya before in Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Riders will be trained on safety and they will be given helmets and gloves.
Affordable and flexible
It is cheaper buy and to maintain a motorbike compared to cars, trucks, and vans. They can get to any place even the most remote places which another mean of transport cannot access.
One challenge that faces other bikes is safety as regards to the rider and product. K150 designers have therefore concentrated on the design of the bike and training for the rider.
Name inspired by hippo
Kibo is a short form for kiboko (Swahili for hippopotamus) and it is also the highest point in Mt Kilimanjaro. A hippo is strong and tough and this is the image that Kibo hopes to achieve. The company hopes to position Kibo as a social mobility and will be advertised mostly on digital platforms.
Marketing campaigns will include short films on customers riding the bikes, taking part in entrepreneurship and creating a brand community on Facebook.
Deaths related to Motorcycle accidents in Kenya
In 2011, motorcycles were the highest number of newly registered vehicles in Kenya according to a report by WHO. There were 140,000 motorcycles which made 70% of the newly registered vehicles. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of motorcycle related deaths increased by 5 times.
Kibo believes that their motorcycles are a solution to reckless motorcycle riding in Kenya and cheap motorbikes from India and China. The motorcycle startup noticed that people were carrying heavy things such as beds on the bikes and the riders carried even up to five passengers at a go.
The price of the bikes
Kibo bikes launched at a cost of $3,000. The frames are black, red, orange, blue, and white but can also be customized for companies. 15 stores are already running in Kenya to provide parts, equipment, bikes, and maintenance services.