Saturday, 22 June 2019

Inspiring Individuals From Our Very Own Biking Community

Inspiring Individuals

I personally believe that we’re all here, for a purpose. 

Whether you’ve identified that purpose, and how you want to use it, is entirely up to you.  

To positively impact others around you, or to display your behaviours as a lesson for everyone to learn from, the choice is yours.

While most of my friends who were out drinking and partying their TGIF away, I had the privilege of sipping on some late night coffee (thanks to Nelly for the sync up!) with four inspiring individuals who made my seemingly ordinary Friday night.. extraordinary.

Meet Arissa Chua, 

Kaydence Chin, 

Archie Teo and 

Jason Aw.

Coming from very different walks of life, each have their own personal story that got them to where they are today. Yet, all of them share one common passion for Motorcycling, and all eagerly driven to satisfy that need for two wheels.

Enough with all the crap about somebody being any less of a biker just because he/she does not ride a big sport bike, or one who doesn’t track, or rides a tourer bike but have not done any long distances touring blah blah.

The definition of “real bikers” doesn’t even exist. If it does to you, then sadly it just goes to show how narrow your mind is, and that’s all it’ll ever be. Learn to embrace the wide variety of bikers out there. 

After all, it’s the variety that makes the community vibrant! How boring would it be if we were all the same.

If you ride a motorcycle, big or small, fast or slow, frequent or seldom, to places or just to the market, you’re a motorcyclist. 


Now let these four different motorcycling individuals tell you their own inspiring story, and hopefully it’ll encourage you to pursue your very own passion in anything, not just motorcycles.

Arissa Chua – Petite In Size But Armoured With A Strong Mind

Through the years of riding, I’ve received many messages from aspiring females wanting to jump on a motorcycle and throttle away but yet afraid to do so because of their… height.

I know exactly how it feels to be intimidated, especially by the size of some really huge motorcycles that weigh 5 times more than me. I look at my stick muscular-less tofu arms and I’m like, “forget it, I can’t handle it”. 

But the truth is, you can, as long as you set your mind to it. 

And that’s exactly what Arissa Chua did.

Standing at just 155cm, and weighing just 39KG (wind blow really can fly away kind) this petite girl is armoured with a strong mind. 

Her liking for motorcycles began as young as her primary school days where she witnessed her Dad riding his motorcycle, always in a cool and carefree swag. At times, he would pillion her to breakfast on Sundays! How cool is that?

Like any caring father who wouldn’t encourage their children to ride, let alone their daughter, Arissa’s dad could see that her fondness for motorcycles just kept growing. 

pc: BBDC
When she turned 18, she told her dad how much she really want to learn how to ride a motorcycle like he does, and to her surprise, he sent her over to the riding school one day. 

Before she knew it, she passed her Class 2B license and got her very first motorcycle – a Yamaha R15 before a Honda RS150. She diligently advanced her motorcycle license every year however it was not without any obstacles.

Like every other motorcyclists out there long enough, we would have encountered our fair share of accidents or near-misses.

Before Arissa got her Class 2 license, she was using her trusty Honda RS150 to commute between work and school until one fine day, a careless driver turned out without checking for clear lanes and collided right into her.

The impact sent her flying a few metres away from the point of accident and it left a deep cut on her left leg.

A year has passed since the accident and unfortunately, the insurance claim remains unsettled and there was not much follow up from the insurance company. She had to fork out money to pay for the repair costs of her own motorcycle damages on top of the medical bills. Each time Arissa called into the insurance company, she was speaking to a different claim officer that didn’t have a clear update on her case.

In any accident claim, having a dedicated claim specialist like DirectAsia Insurance does, would definitely help avoid frustrating situations like what Arissa faced. 

Not only are DirectAsia Insurance's dedicated claim specialists well-trained in handling different sorts of accident claims, they’d advise you step by step on what to do, follow up closely with you so you don’t have to constantly call in to check for updates or keep having to re-tell your story to a hundred different claim specialists. They're practically with you all the way until the claims are settled.

With a fuss-free and faster claim process, you can have a peace of mind and better focus on your recovery of any physical injury.

Despite the accident that she still vividly remembers, it did not deter her from enrolling for her Class 2 license. By the young age of 21, she passed the test and got herself an aggressive Yamaha R6, which she’s been riding for 2 years now!

Talk about being brave and saying no to intimidation regardless of her small built, Arissa is already considering a Touring motorcycle next for the near future.

Thumbs up to this girl! Your Dad must be so proud of you!

Kaydence Chin – An Independent Girl With Big Dreams

She didn’t come from a perfect nor wholesome family. But despite just a brief encounter with her, I could tell she’s almost quite the opposite of the environment she grew up in.

Things weren’t perfect, that’s where she learnt to embrace the flaws.

It wasn’t wholesome, and that’s what mould her into a loving and caring person of today (I’m sure her newly-wed husband Errol can vouch for that!)

She didn’t come from a wealthy family, which has taught her to work real hard for what she wants and not settle.

Being the only child from a family of bikers where her Grandfather, Dad, Uncle and cousin who all rode motorcycles, it wasn't surprising Kaydence found interest in two wheels too.

Her first encounter with motorcycles was when her Dad pillioned her on his skipper to kindergarten, before her then-boyfriend-now-Husband Errol did.

In fact, while they were still dating, Errol would adjust his motorcycle’s side mirrors to make sure her pretty face is in view, instead of the surrounding vehicles.

Now that’s something that neither LTA or TP can fault him for, can they! Haha well done mate. 

With a height of just 156CM and prior to getting her motorcycle license, Kaydence was a girl with big dreams. She was already aiming for motorcycles like the Kawasaki H2, MV Agusta, Harley Davidson and all the other beastly machines you can think of.

And I recall myself freaking out with my first KTM200EGS right after I got my Class 2B…. which I failed the test like ten thousand times…..

Big dreams do come with a price tag! 
Kaydence worked relentlessly towards her goal of getting that dream bike of hers, juggling between work and school since a tender age of 14.

Her motorcycles advanced along with her motorcycle license.

From a Honda CBR150, to a Honda CBR400, to a Suzuki DRZ400SM, to a Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP (fuyoh!).

pc: IBTimes
It wasn’t all smooth sailing where her motorcycle journey took a year long hiatus after witnessing two consecutive tragic accidents during a short touring trip where her friends unfortunately passed on.

pc: The Straits Times
We read about traffic accidents on the news that sometimes wouldn’t even cause us to flinch one bit, but you could never imagine how painful the mental trauma endures when witnessing someone you know pass on right before your eyes.

Through the constant encouragement from her husband, she finally plucked the courage to start motorcycling again.

While still keeping her Suzuki DRZ400SM by her side for sentimental reasons, she has a cute economical Vespa that she commutes on daily to work and school. 

Saving the best for last, on top of the other two bikes, she’s also a proud owner of a 2016 Yamaha R1 that satisfies her need for speed on the weekends when out with her friends.

At just a tender age of 25, Kaydence never stopped working hard to build a better future – apart from taking care of her three motorcycles, she and her husband bought a house that they just renovated.

With three different motorcycles under her name and maintaining a good clean record of being a safe rider without any claims made till date, she qualifies to enjoy big savings with DirectAsia Insurance’s NCD25 and 30, which is the highest in the market right now!

If you’ve held your NCD20 for two consecutive years, you’d qualify for that reward too! Only at DirectAsia Insurance where they help us save, so we can spend more on pimping up our rides!

Kaydence hopes to fearlessly go on a motorcycle touring trip again someday without the fear of that awful mental trauma lurking around.

Well I’d say, for a girl with big dreams who can surely overcome anything, I believe she’ll be touring through the mountain valleys one day soon!

From left: Arissa, Kaydence, myself, and Nelly (another strong girl with a Yamaha R1)

In our current day and age where many of us are privileged to live comfortably and have things within our reach, independent hardworking girls like Kaydence and Arissa are a rare occurrence which makes me feel deeply encouraged, and we could definitely learn something valuable from their examples.

Archie Teo – The Man With 10 Motorcycles… And Counting

Archie’s first encounter with a motorcycle was when he mischievously stole his dad’s Vespa out for a spin and got found out. 

Before I introduce further, let me share the wide range of motorcycles that he now single-handedly owns –

1.     Harley Davidson Sportster
2.     Harley Davidson Road King
3.     Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic
4.     Kawasaki KLX250
5.     BMW R1200GSA

(… Let me catch my breath….)

6.     Ducati 1199 Panigale
7.     Ducati 1199 Panigale (Yes you read that right, two of the same bike)
8.     Ducati Monster 796
9.     MV Agusta F3 800
10. Vespa


Impressive collection isn’t it! Whenever I share with someone about Archie’s collection of motorcycles, it NEVER fails to make their jaw drop. In fact, whenever I think about it myself, I shake my head and say “crazy…”.  

Oh and did I mention? He enjoys driving his BMW M3 too.

Not born with a golden spoon, but hell yeah he worked hard for all his big boys toys.

"Work hard, so you can play harder".

At 18 – 19 years of age, Archie got his motorcycle Class 2B/2A license.

But he considers himself a late bloomer as he only started his real two wheel adventure when he got his Class 2 license in his mid 30s. 

But let me tell you, when Archie starts something, he goes ALL IN. Literally. That's something I truly admire and respect him for. 

Motorcycling is a hobby that he is extremely passionate about, which explains the extensive range of motorcycle he has now at just a year past 39 years old!

But when you don’t have enough time to ride your motorcycles often enough, their batteries will run flat! So to solve that issue, Archie has 6 battery tenders that charge the motorcycles that he rides less frequently.

On other days, he will rotate riding his motorcycles between work and home i.e. He will ride his Ducati Monster to work, and ride the MV Agusta home. I’m not sure how many times he needs to rotate the bikes to be able to ride them all but Archie, if you’re reading this, remember, I’m always happy to help! :D

Archie admits he is guilty of being a Hoarder. But hey, who can complain if you are hoarding MOTORCYCLES? Any more two wheelers he owns, he can seriously consider opening a motorcycle shop rental.

There are many aspects of motorcycling; Touring, Racing, Track, Dirt Biking, Street Riding etc. From the wide variety of motorcycles that Archie owns, you can tell he loves exploring the different sides of motorcycling and observe his preferences simply based on which bikes he rides more often.

The great thing about DirectAsia Insurance is that they offer tailor-made motorcycle insurance where you can customise it for each one of your bikes with their variety of Optional Benefits! That way, you only pay for the coverage that you need for every different motorcycle you own. Perfect for people who has multiple motorcycles!

Registered since 1991, Archie takes his Vespa out the least but it has never given any problems. It was passed down from his dad and due to sentimental reasons, he has kept the bike till today!

He seldom rides his three Harley Davidsons, mainly because of their LTA-unfriendly set up but he feels good knowing that they're right therein his garage, ready for a cruise anytime.

The Kawasaki KLX250 dirt biking is for when he wants to rough in out in the jungle with some Enduro fun, flying through sand dunes or river-crossing etc.

This is Archie's previous clean white Ducati Monster 696 before swopping it to a red hot Ducati Monster 796 which is an undeniably fun bike to ride. With a friendly riding posture and yet a slightly more aggressive torque, Archie takes advantage of its agility when zipping through the city and to work on it.

Sport bikes like his MV Agusta and Ducati 1199 Panigale are ideal for track use, and that’s where he usually clears their carbon at Sepang International Circuit. 

Don’t ask me why he has two of the exact same Ducati 1199 Panigale. Good things come in pairs I guess.

Lastly, for long and comfortable touring road trips from Singapore to Malaysia, Thailand or even China, the BMW R1200GSA is perfect for his 1.8M masculine build and baggage is not an issue when it has all the panniers to store everything he needs.

And that’s our charismatic Archie for ya!

Jason – All About Speed & Precision

The eldest among the four individuals, but!

Possibly the fastest and sharpest one especially when it comes to burning those rubbers and slicing through corners on track. 

Age being just a number? You bet it is!

Jason is a proud owner of:

1.     Ducati V4 Panigale
2.     Ducati 959 Panigale
3.     Honda CBR1000RR
4.     Kawasaki ZX10RR
5.     KTM 200 Duke

Amidst the feast of super turbo-charged bikes, the only reason he bought a KTM 200 Duke was solely for his wife to use.

The rest of his motorcycles are used mainly on track at Sepang International Circuit, where he frequents at least once a month.

Pushing the boundaries, maximising the capacity of each superbike, feeling every ounce of that raw power translate into motion on the straights and down to the tight corners is what gives Jason that invigorating sense of satisfaction that drives his intense passion for not just any bike.. but for Superbikes.

Bikers like Jason can enjoy a comprehensive policy that DirectAsia Insurance offers to cover all his expensive bikes with an option to reduce excess to $0, so he does not have to pay a single cent if anything (touch wood!) happens while he is on the roads. 

This modern-day dad has brought his children to the tracks to witness what action, precision and timing is all about. 

It's no surprise his son has started enrolment in his Class 2B motorcycle license!

With all of daddy’s Superbikes there waiting to be unleashed anytime, it’s hard to not want to ride!

Four very different individuals, who owns very different kinds of motorcycles, but each of them so amazing in their very own ways that I can’t help but feel inspired from whatever they do and have done! Hopefully their stories have impacted you positively in some way of another too!

In whatever we do, let’s go all in, do our best and enjoy the greatest ride of our lives! 

Staying sufficiently insured sure goes a long way too. Recommending only what I personally prefer and have experienced, I’d say check out DirectAsia insurance for a wide range of coverage that will suit your two wheel needs.

Ride safe guys!