Kibo Africa, the Kenyan Motorcycle manufacturer has introduced a new offering aimed at reducing commute times for city dwellers.
Dubbed K160E- Evolution, the bike is engineered to provide maximum comfort and power while navigating city traffic, remaining fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. It has a 160cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, a load weight of 200kg, and a lower ride height for better stability on tarmac roads.
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.”
Kenya’s motorcycle industry continues to grow as more people seek more convenient mobility solutions. The Motorcycle Assemblers Association of Kenya reports that there are between 25,000 and 35,000 motorcycles assembled locally per month and that the number of newly registered motorbikes rose by 15.6% between 2020 and 2021.
“Throughout our journey, we have been committed to uplifting the lives of Kenyans across our value chain. Our customers benefit from the market-leading products, and our employees and partners grow from having local assembly and distribution networks. The K160E is the next step in our growth trajectory to better suit the needs of the Kenyan urban resident,” said van de Grijsparde.
Currently, Kibo Africa has an annual capacity of 10,000 bikes with a plan to increase this capacity to 50,000 bikes per year in the next three years. Besides, the company has successfully transferred technology locally to manufacture 38 components of its bike in Kenya with a target of achieving 30% localisation of components within the same period.
To achieve these, Kibo plans to partner with local manufacturers to transfer the manufacturing of key components such as mufflers and exhaust by Q1 2024.
In his keynote address, delivered by Deputy Director for Industries Gideon Oele, PS, Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry Dr Juma Mukhwana expressed the government’s satisfaction with the milestones made by Kibo Africa in the localisation of motorcycle production in the country.
“This is a significant step towards improving the capacity and quality of local engineering teams and will contribute to the growth of the manufacturing industry in Kenya. Besides, Kibo’s vision to unlock opportunities by providing access to safe and reliable mobility for all people, by challenging the market with an entrepreneurial spirit that delivers trusted quality is commendable,” said Dr Mukhwana.
Kibo Africa entered the Kenyan market in 2017 and has grown to have 82 direct employees and partnerships with multiple logistics firms to improve market linkages while providing employment and economic opportunities for thousands of Kenyans. The company eyes increasing direct employment to 400 and indirect employment to 1000 by the end of 2025.