Biker Boy: Veteran rider eager to be racing on home ground
Riders, get ready to start your engines.
Take it from Biker Boy - 2019 will be an exciting year for local motorcycle racing as four rounds of racing will be held at KF1 Karting Circuit in Kranji, with the first one being scheduled for March 30.
One rider eager to suit up is Mr Ken Yeow, 64, who began taking part in motorcycle races and trackdays some 31 years ago.
The motorcycle bodywork painter has even bought a 2019 Husqvarna FS 450 supermoto bike, also called a supermotard, in anticipation of the coming races.
Mr Yeow said in Hokkien: "It's about time we have races back in Singapore. Since my wife died two years ago, motorsports is the only thing that keeps me occupied and focused."
The race series, organised by KP Motorsports, will include categories like supermotard (a dirtbike with road-going wheels), scooter, pit bike and underbone, said KP frontman Peter Tan.
It is Mr Tan's hope that more people will participate in local motorcycle races.
He said: "There are many trackdays in Malaysia, which see a majority of Singaporeans taking part. But the standard of riding will remain the same if these riders are not educated on how to get to the next level."
The idea behind local races is to groom novices and talent-spot riders with great potential and discipline.
Mr Tan added: "By having regular local races, it will be easier for riders to make a commitment rather than having to travel to Malaysia every time to compete. They need to grow their skills at home before competing overseas."
The four-round race series is being supported by Dirt Wheel, Eni, Wing Yap Motor and MKA Motorparts Asia, among others.
In the past, motorcycle racing has always been a privateer affair.
A rider had to spend time, effort and his own money to go racing.
Mr Yeow said: "Back then, I did not have a team. I used to ride my bike to circuits in Malaysia and did all repairs and tuning myself. But I received help from other racers too."
Another rider, Mr Mohd Hafiz, who also rides an FS 450, hopes to make his mark on the grid.
The 30-year-old, who has been riding in road-racing trackdays and races in Pasir Gudang and Sepang, said he was first bitten by the supermoto bug after watching his brother-in-law race in Kallang roughly a decade ago.
In the last six years, Mr Hafiz has spent "tens of thousands" participating in trackdays and races in Malaysia.
But the draw to participating in local motorcycle races is the "home ground" factor.
He said: "There is no better morale booster than racing in front of your family and friends. It makes you want to ride as best as you can."