Kibo Africa Boosts Local Motorbike Production Via Technology Sharing, Logistics Partnerships

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L- R Huib van de Grisjparde- KIBO CEO and Gideon Apiyo Oele-Deputy Director Min of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives during the launch of the KIBO K160E- Evolution. The bike is engineered to provide maximum comfort and power while navigating city traffic, remaining fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Motorcycle manufacturer, Kibo Africa has launched a new motorbike for urban dwellers, and the plan is to reduce their commute time. However, the company, which entered the Kenyan market back in 2017, says that it does not seek to resolve to address commute times solely: it has collaborated and will continue partnering with local logistics firms that use motorbikes for their services. To this end, the manufacturer has shared its technology within Kenya, enabling the local production of 38 bike components, with a goal of achieving a 30% production rate.

The said motorbike is named K160E-Evolution and has been created to provide comfort and power for city traffic, and it has a fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly 160cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine. Its load capacity is 200kg, and it has a lower ride height that enhances stability on tarmac roads.

Data

Kenya’s motorcycle industry is expanding due to the increasing demand for convenient transportation. The Motorcycle Assemblers Association of Kenya states that local assembly produces 25,000 to 35,000 motorcycles every month, and the number of newly registered motorbikes grew by 15.6% from 2020 to 2021.

Kibo Africa currently produces 10,000 bikes per year and aims to raise this to 50,000 within three years. They’ve also passed on the technology to make 38 bike parts in Kenya, with a goal of 30% local component production during that time. Kibo intends to collaborate with local manufacturers to make crucial components like mufflers and exhaust by Q1 2024.

Specs

SpecificationKibo K160E
Engine Type4-stroke SOHC ICE
Engine Displacement161.5cc
Maximum Output11.7hp at 6,500rpm
Maximum Torque13.9Nm at 5,400rpm
ChassisHybrid backbone cradle frame
Transmission5-speed constant mesh
Dimensions2150mm x 815mm x 1170mm
Seat Height800mm
Ground Clearance175mm
Fuel Capacity6.8L / 10.4L
Front SuspensionTelescopic front fork
Rear SuspensionTwin coil-over shocks
Front BrakesSingle disc, dual-piston
Rear BrakesSingle disc, dual-piston
Maximum Carrying Load200kg
Kerb Weight145kg

To note, Kibo’s bikes are not electric, although Kenyans who want to purchase electric ones can actually access them from other motor-manufacturing firms operating locally. For instance, the Roam Air has been on sale since 2022 and can be bought for under KES 180K.

It is also not clear whether Kibo Africa will at one time in the future venture into EVs, as the market is slowly transitioning into clean energy.

READ MORE: State of Electric Vehicles in Kenya in 2022

Quotes

Speaking at the launch event, Kibo Africa CEO, Huib van de Grijspaarde, noted the value of motorcycling in improving mobility for urban residents. “We took the K160E as an opportunity to better help young Kenyans do more by saving a lot of time on their commutes and expressing their spirit of adventure through how they move. Our mobility solutions are designed to fit into our customers’ lifestyles while maintaining affordability and allowing them to remain environmentally conscious.”