Wemotobike

"Riding a motorbike gives us the ability to actually see, smell, taste and really connect with our surroundings”

You've probably heard that quote before. Or maybe you even remember saying the same thing. You probably thought about it at some point, and now it's an idea kicking around in the back of your head. In any case, those are familiar words. At least they are to us.

Detlef and Marleen are the founders of Wemotobike, an online platform they’ve created to start sharing their upcoming motorcycle travels.

Driven by a boundless curiosity for the world abroad, they’ve decided to challenge themselves with an off-road trip through far-away countries with a whole new brand of motorbike: Kibo Motorcycles. Have you heard of them? It's a new brand purposely built for Africa.

When we met this Dutch couple and heard about their project, we decided to “follow” them on their future adventures around the world. And we just can't wait to read the stories of their road trip. Please follow them on www.wemotobike.com or join them on the road!

We hope their story inspires you to take that idea kicking around in your head and just go for it. And if you do, please let us know!

“The whole idea of this trip started during our first long journey together through South-East Asia. Back then we travelled by means of public transport from one place to another. At some stops we were able to rent a motorbike where, back then, Detlef sat in front and Marleen on the back (as she didn’t have her license yet). We couldn't get enough of the little things!

When we were riding in north west Thailand, we were dreaming about crossing into Myanmar with the motorbike and just continuing north. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to cross any border with a rental, so we were forced to turn back to our hostel and hand in the motorbike. Instead, that same evening we bought a bus ticket to get us to the next destination. Dreaming about riding a motorbike, really riding a bus. And so it kept going."

“Using public transport was a great way to get around in South-East Asia, but it also felt like we were following the big mass. Our plans and ideas depended on bus and flight schedules, the mood-swings of ticket officers, driver techniques and fixed routes. That moment, sitting on our rental at the Myanmar border, made us decide to travel differently next time. We decided that next time we would be able to stay, leave, cross borders and change our plans at any moment at any time. Riding a motorbike would give us the ability to actually see, smell, taste (dust) and connect with our surroundings instead of sleeping in air-conditioned night busses. Our Wemotobike dream was born!

Our initial Wemotobike plan was to leave for one full year, starting in South-America, buy two light off-road bikes and just go with the flow. Wemotobike existed, but it was just something between the two of us. We didn’t do much planning or research on how we actually would buy these bikes or what gear to take with us. Hakuna matata. Things will be alright and we thought that most likely opportunities would manifest themselves along our trip. Which they did! Although, not during our trip, as we expected. Something peculiar happened a few months before we were supposed to set off."

“Detlef visited Nairobi, Kenya for a weekend and saw a billboard along the highway. It showed a motorcycle with the text, “Kibo motorcycles, made in Kenya, designed in Holland, built for Africa”. In a blink of an eye Detlef realised that this was it. Before we knew it we were having a meeting in Amsterdam with Peter Veldhoven, the COO of Koneksie, the Dutch social enterprise that gave rise to Kibo. At that meeting Peter described the motorcycle as not just a commercial product, but also a solution for social problems such as road accidents, which is the number two cause of death in Africa. For this reason Koneksie did not only develop a reliable motorcycle with African road conditions in mind, but each motorcycle also includes advanced rider training, a warranty, safety accessories (helmets, gloves, protective clothing), and to top it off, regular maintenance service."

“When leaving the office we didn't need a discussion between the two of us. The decision was already made! We must ride these bikes through Africa, and contribute to this great concept! Wemotobike just got a project and a plan!

Our road trip on Kibo's completely new K150 bike, starts in March/April 2017, and will be around 15,000km long. We’ll fly to Nairobi and ride down the east coast of Africa to Cape Town, South Africa. We’ll return back via Namibia, crossing several countries and keeping Congo on our left. But that's not the start of it: before our journey in Africa even begins, we'll fly to Colombia and buy two light bikes (as our original plan was) to drive all the way south to Chili.”

To know more about WeMotobike & follow their adventures:

www.wemotobike.com

www.instagram.com/wemotobike/

www.facebook.com/Wemotobike-1165826166812493/?fref=ts

To know more about the Kibo bike & project:

www.kibo.bike/about.html

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