There is a cliche that motorbikes are dangerous and for crazy people. That the biker subculture is for hooligans and daredevils with death wishes. But like so many cliches, these do no justice to the truth.
Yes, bikers love their vroom-vroom machines. They love speed. But that high-octane public image conceals much more. The mental dexterity inherent to the art of biking — as I was told, “you ride with your brain”. The bond a biker forms with his bike, year after year, like a horseman with his trusty steed. The intelligence and humanity of these rugged, well-traveled hobbyists.
I rode 200km to Malaysia and back with VII Diamonds, a brotherhood of Singaporean bikers, to see the truth of them for myself.
Meeting up with some of the Diamonds at Yishun. Bikes pictured are Honda NC750 and Honda CB400 Super Four.
Checking out the KTM 1190 Adventure R.
Diamonds Assemble! The gang getting together in full at B Point Johore Bahru, just past the Singapore border, for a final round of safety checks before the long ride.
Puffin’ it while roughin’ it — one of several roadside smoking breaks along the way.
Crossing the Sungai Johor Bridge
Nothing like the open road, and the wind in your face.
Settling down to a hearty lobster lunch, at the end of a 100km ride.
Chilling out like a boss.
Getting down and dirty with a dessert of off-road biking. Here’s the KTM 1190 Adventure R, running wild and free the way it’s meant to be.
Adventure bikes, Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin and the KTM 1190 Adventure R meet the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R
The gang and their street legal modified bikes. From left: Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, KTM 1190 Adventure R, Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R, Honda CB400 Super Four, (the new) Honda NC750x, Yamaha Tracer 900GT, Honda CB 400 X, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Honda NC750X.
Thank you to VII Diamonds -PolarBear, Anosan, the Boss and the Chicken Dinner crew for letting me tag along on this ride out.
More photos of the trip…
The Ride Out