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Sonic is back

GXT Helmet: 17,000kms down the road
27 June 2020
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8 July 2020

By Wakili Timam

So the following story happened yesterday:

I leave court at a few minutes to midday after which I rush to do some quick work for another biker client. I exit the Nairobi metrocovidtan checkpoint enroute Malindi at around half past two. Shortly after passing the Konza Junction, I ride over a huge nail which punctures and deflates my rear tyre completely in under 5 seconds.

Luckily, I wasn't speeding at this point. I stop by the roadside to weigh my options. Malili is the nearest town but it's several kilometers ahead. There's no turning back so I ride the bike slowly to Malili. The first petrol station is about a kilometer before Malili town but they neither have a repair guy or a compressed air outlet.

Richard pale Malili proving that he knows his stuff... His base is approximately 20 meters past the Malili shell petrol station towards Salama.

After a grueling 15 minutes ride on a flat tyre, I get to the Shell Petrol Station at Malili. They've got compressed air but no one to fix punctures.

I refill my air only for it to get flat immediately. Turns out that the hole on my tyre is effin huge. The solution is to remove the tyre from the Rim and patch it with two heavy duty patches of different sizes from inside. Being in Kamba land, I am at the heart of the professional tyre fixers and I ooze confidence throughout the 30 minute repair process. A bike passes headed towards Salama. I will later find out that it's Dennis Wambua doing a random ride.

They had to remove the tyre from the Rim to fix it

It took about a half an hour to fix it but the job was done well. Two seals, a smaller one on the inside and a larger one on top of it


I resume the journey at a quarter past three. I pass Wambua a few minutes later as he takes a break on the roadside...I obviously wave as I am running low on daylight.

As I pass Kibwezi, I notice that my bike has got less than 30kms of fuel left. I reduce my cruising speed to 115kph all the way to Mtito Andei. I have a close shave with a bodaboda rider who crossed the road abruptly with a pillion somewhere near Machinery town. I refuel the bike at Mtito Andei at 4:41pm via M-Pesa. I but a couple of drinks from a kiosk which I was introduced to on my way back from Mombasa on Friday. Then I resume the ride.

I am now flying... Sonic is back. The top end isn't perfect but I could easily hit and maintain 175kph. Barely 10kms after Mtito Andei, I smell something burning. I have fucked up.

Some loose chippings at Salama had been forced through my loosely strapped front fender and broken part of the mountings. The road after Mtito Andei is quite rough. The bumpy road at high speeds causes the remaining mounting to break off completely and in a matter of seconds, the friction from the contact with the front tyre melts sections of the fender. I stop, break of part the badly damaged fender, use wires to secure the remaining bit and after ten minutes, I hit the road again.


I have a very smooth nonstop ride to Mariakani where I arrive at 6:49pm according to my fueling log. It's getting dark. My headlights are sagging hindering my visibility. Malindi is quite a long way. I hit the road again. It takes an hour and a half to get there. I thank God for providing the capacity to do this and for keeping me safe on tye roads.

Special thanks to George Mbugua of Infinity Moto Garage for reviving Sonic with a fantastic job on the engine. Kazi na starehe kidogo ziendelee. Ni hayo tu kwa sasa.

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