Kibo Bike

Kibo Bike

Designed in Holland. Made in Kenya. Built for Africa.

By Sofia Kvarnstrom on 10th November 2015

Kibo K150 is the motorcycle especially produced for the African market. The motorcycle is developed by the Dutch company Koneksie, founded in 2011 by Huib van de Grijspaarde. Huib van de Grijspaarde is a development economist as well as a motorcycle enthusiast who saw a need for a motorcycle that is developed particularly with the African market in mind.
“He saw a documentary about using motorcycles in Mali and he saw that motorcycles
in Africa were actually used in a different way than they are in Europe – as a tool to
transport people and goods”, explains COO Peter Veldhoven

One year after Koneksie was founded Peter Veldhoven begun to work for the company, where he and his team of designers developed a motorcycle that was suitable for this use. Peter Veldhoven is an industrial design engineer who studied at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and then worked with several projects in his own design firm before he joined Koneksie.
“My specialty as a designer is user centered design, so I have a design process that
focuses on the needs of the user and use that as a starting point to design a product.”


Koneksie has offices both in Amsterdam and in Nairobi. Everything is prepared by the office in Amsterdam, while it is then implemented and executed in Nairobi. The design of the Kibo motorcycle has been developed in Europe, but the manufacturing is done in Nairobi.
“What we did is that we combined knowledge and experience and we used that
to create a product for a market that has a lot of potential”

Kibo is the motorcycle brand and the first model, the K150, was recently launched in Kenya. The bike has been displayed at Nairobi Motor Show and at Naivasha Agricultural Trade Fair. During Nairobi Design Week you will have the chance to see Kibo at the GoDown Arts Centre. Currently the sales are mainly focused on companies and organisations that use motorbikes in their work, such as security companies and career services.
“When we started this project we did not have a lot of knowledge about
our Kenyan user. Now we do and now we can really help them with a better
product that will also improve the business side of their daily operations”

 


The design of the motorcycle is more robust than most motorbikes that are mainly used in Kenya today. The vehicles that mainly are being used are motorbikes from China and India, which are not developed based on the African market and way of using it. Kibo’s motorcycle is built with an external frame in order to protect the components and people who are sitting on it, but also in order to carry a heavier load. The design is built with the user in mind, and the features make it a sturdier motorbike that has the capacity to transport people and goods.
“We get a lot of comments that it looks like an off-road bike, because it is
higher, longer and has bigger wheels than normal motorcycles”

Apart for being optimized to transport goods, another important part of the design is driver safety. Each Kibo motorcycle includes a package of rider training and road safety awareness training, as well as a maintenance program. Road safety is a big concern for motorcycle riders and much of the accidents happen because the riders aren’t trained. Kibo has worked together with several organisations in order to improve road safety and have developed a training curriculum in order to improve driver’s knowledge.
“We are not only in this business to sell as many motorcycles as possible.
We also want to create impact on a social level. Improving road safety is
a very important part of our operation and our message”

The next step for Kibo is the development of a taxi service, similar to the boda-boda concept, where the passenger can hire a rider to go from one place to another. The difference between Kibo’s taxi service and boda-boda is that Kibo’s drivers are trained and experienced, and that they will only be using the Kibo motorcycle for this service.

 

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