Simple things that will bring back the vroom to our lives

Last week I may have waxed lyrical about my sad but enjoyable adventures behind the wheel of a pint-sized open-wheel racer, and this got me thinking: I have never discussed motorsport on these two pages. In Kenya, car-based sporting events are few and far between, and our once-strong rallying culture is slowly dying out. Let […]

Behind the wheel… in a very uncomfortable, rigid go-kart

Up until I landed in the RSA, I had borne some prejudices about go-karts. They are mostly driven by nine-year-olds, rarely crack 60 km/h, have no gears, and lack power assistance: no power steering, no brake boosters, no power windows (in fact, no windows at all), they use tiny tracks for their races, and their […]

Want more vroom? Force extra air into your engine

Anybody who has watched Top Gear, the popular British motoring show, must know of Jeremy Clarkson, a belligerent but charming chap known for screaming “Poweeeeer!” when driving something expensive very fast on a runway. So, how do the makers of the power machines he spins squeeze more power out of their engines? The easiest (and […]

Is your ‘mtumba’ in the right Kenyan form?

Last year I advised you on how to buy a second-hand car. The article covered all used vehicles, be they reconditioned or otherwise. When the economy was liberalised back in 1992, it opened the floodgates for reconditioned ex-Japan, ex-UK, ex-Singapore, and ex-Dubai cars to make their way into new hands for a lot less money […]

How to buy a second-hand car

Investment! Investment! Investment! Our parents drummed the importance of this monster into our heads so much that we almost ran out of brain. I, for one, was weaned on the line: “A fool and his money are soon parted (or audited)”. Well, the more aspirational among us sometimes dream of playing the fool and parting […]

The need for speed: Debunking the myths

We are told repeatedly that speed kills, but speed does not kill. Hard acceleration might, and so will losing that speed instantaneously, but speed itself will not. Those who disagree, please account for the existence of supersonic aircraft and the 430 km/h Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Couple that wrongful notion with the fact that Kenya […]

Try a tiptronic before you die

You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Says who? In the world of motor vehicle transmissions lately, there have been several attempts at both possessing and munching one’s gateau by having the lazy convenience of a full automatic and the option of performance-enhancing, DIY gearshifts when the need arises. This type of transmission […]

How to drive a 4WD monster

Given that you now know how your 4WD works, how, then, do you drive it? A typical SUV should drive just like any other car on the road. But what happens when the going gets sticky, quite literally, and the unbeaten path you chose to follow becomes intractable — and you are forced to use […]

Under the big 4WD’s bonnet

Once upon a time, off-road driving was a favourite and much respected pastime for Kenyans. Lovingly referred to as “bundu-bashing” by pundits, a good number dismissed it as the preserve of the well-to-do — which it was — but that did not make it any less fascinating. Over time, economic complications and crowded lifestyles have […]