Many people wonder what it is like to ride on a monster bike that does not look like they guarantee safety. The feeling is something that can’t be explained until you have actually experienced it.
With a deafening throttling sound of a super bike, a young rider is simultaneously accelerating his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R 750, with calmness, attracting attention from pedestrians and dozens of motorists.
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R 750 Japanese ‘beast’ is one of the fastest superbikes with a top speed of 262 km/h.
Riding this monster bike is 24 year- old Gildas Nsanzubukire ‘Nsanzu’ who I recently met during the inaugural edition of the automobile show last month that attracted owners of vintage, pimped, and luxurious customised cars and superbikes.
Out of curiosity, I ended up in a small chat with him about his life and the speeding motor vehicle. I caught up with him again this week at his home in Muhima.
“My dad influenced my love for super bikes because I started riding a motorbike at the age of nine. He bought me my first one when I was ten and so the connection started that way,” Nsanzu reveals.
His father, Jean Marie Nsanzubukire, is a renowned biker in the country and is the founder of the Kigali Free Bikers association. He is also an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry.
“I prefer not to use my car, I just ride my bike. I can even wake up in the middle of the night at 1or 2am in the morning and ride for an hour and then come back to bed,” Nsanzu continues.
Through hard work, Nsanzu says he has managed to buy three superbikes that cost him around $ 16,000.
“I have three bikes and they do not really consume as much fuel as most people think. I manage to ‘feed’ them from the money I earn from work and I spend approximately Rwf 10,000 per day when I ride on a regular basis,” he says.
A fan of Valentino Rossi, an Italian professional motorcycle road racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion, Nsanzu’s childhood dream was to attend regional superbikes shows and international motorcycle racing grand prix.
He has since achieved his dream and travelled all over the world to watch international motor cycling races.
The Kigali Free Bikers
Kigali Free Bikers is composed of both locals and foreigners who travel and visit neighboring countries, riding their monster bikes to sow partnerships.
“Not only have we developed love for these specific bikes but we also visit different charity events, and have different projects like sharing skills to support one another with the help of specialized mechanics. We are currently looking for partners because we cannot do it alone,” Nsazu says.
Locally, the association is mainly known for helping with security in the annual Tour du Rwanda cycling race.
But that’s not all. The bikers also meet twice a week to explore ways
how they can be of help to society.
“We meet regularly and organize small meetings, go on trips and do charity events. During the commemoration week we visit memorials, riding on our bikes, and share different messages to fight against Genocide ideology, and provide support to vulnerable citizens,” he says.
Having fun with limited costs
Nsanzu reveals that he has been knocked by cars several times, although he has only suffered four injuries during his life as a biker.
His mother worries whenever he is riding his bikes but Nsazu says that she has come terms with it knowing that they get the love for biking from their father.
“Sometimes my mother’s friends tell her that they saw me speeding on the streets which worries her a lot but I never violate traffic rules. We argue on certain points but she understands my choices,” he says.
He adds that contrary to what many would speculate, he has never been arrested by police for over speeding, he is sometimes waved down by the police who get curious over his superbike.
“When we meet as an association, we talk about safety on the road. We ensure that we maintain discipline and as far as I know, none of us has ever been arrested by police for over speeding. We don’t really get in trouble with the police. These are very expensive bikes, for one to risk losing theirs in accidents.” he says adding that there has only been one recorded accident of a person riding a super bike.
Both Nsanzu and his father are also involved in the Super bike business, buying them on their travels and selling them to locals for profit. They also import spare parts from Uganda, Japan or order online, depending on the need and the connections they have built with other international bikers.
Nsanzu also says that they do not ride these deafening motor bikes to show off but rather ‘practice what they love’. Like him, other bikers enjoy it when people approach them to marvel at their machines.