Japanese stunt rider Hiroyuki Ogawa is back to wow crowds at the Singapore Bike Show 2016
SINGAPORE — The Singapore Bike Show 2016 kicks off tomorrow at Singapore Expo Hall 4, but there’ll be more to see than just two-wheelers standing around.
Instead, if you want to watch what a motorcycle is capable of in skilled hands, Japanese stunt rider Hiroyuki Ogawa will be happy to show you.
It’s his second appearance in Singapore, and this year he’ll be performing his staple of wheelies, stoppies, doughnuts and other tricks on a Triumph Street Triple.
But Oga, as the Mah Pte Ltd-sponsored rider likes to be called, has a steep hill to climb. The Triumph is a different animal altogether from his regular stunt machine, a Kawasaki ZX-6R,
“The ZX-6 R is four-cylinder and 636cc, but the Triumph is 675cc and three-cylinder, so this difference is a very big problem for stunt riding. The feeling is completely different,” he says. “The Triumph’s power is too much for a ZX-6 R rider.”
Oga will be performing his stunt routine four times during the Bike Show. Appearing with another stunt rider, Aaron Twite, he’s scheduled to do his thing at 3pm and 6pm on Saturday, and 3pm and 5pm on Sunday.
His main routine won’t be too different from Twite’s own show, he says, but this time around he’ll be adding a twist: a tandem show with his girlfriend Junko, atop a Adiva AD3 three-wheeler scooter.
Local stunt riders Speedzone will also put in performances at the Singapore Bike Show. Their routine had originally included a tandem performance as well, with biker babe Vaune Phan, but a crash during practice put an end to that plan.
“It was supposed to be a surprise appearance,” says Vaune. Her routine with Speedzone would have been the first two-rider stunt show with a female rider in Singapore.
Instead, Vaune will be at the Singapore Bike Show — with her foot in a cast, thanks to a fracture from her stunt practice crash — to appear at two sharing sessions about her solo ride to Everest Base Camp. Admission to the main bike show and all live shows is free.
“I’ll be talking about the most common topics and questions that people normally ask me,” says Vaune.
As for her fracture, she shrugs it off. “It happens,” she says. “It’s quite common for stunt riders to fall.”
That’s something readily confirmed by Oga, who himself once had a nasty break in his ankle that put him in hospital for two months. He merrily shows off the surgical scar from that crash, along with countless other scars on his arms.
“Stunt riding is very dangerous, and it always has risk. During practice, I always crash. Maybe I crash 20 times in a day,” he laughs.
That’s why, he says, the most important thing for a stunt rider to have is mental resilience. “When you’re learning difficult tricks or new tricks, it’s impossible without crashing. That’s why we need a very strong mind,” he says.
A can-do attitude seems to help, too. Oga essentially taught himself how to do stunts on a bike. He was inspired by watching extreme sports videos and deciding he wanted to take up stunt riding at age 20, so he simply started by watching how-to videos. “I learned a lot from YouTube,” he says.
Would-be stunt riders in Singapore could do the same, but this weekend at least, they can do one better by watching a Japanese master in action.