Customisation is expensive, unique art; Qatari biker
January 08 2021 07:26 PM
Abdulaziz H Alhawal al-marri in conversation with Gulf Times Community. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Abdulaziz H Alhawal al-marri in conversation with Gulf Times Community. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.

He is a biker at heart. His motorcycle is a kind of his soulmate. He not only enjoys the soothing effects of riding a bike but also customises his two-wheeler to make it look unique and special.

Abdulaziz H Alhawal al-marri’s inclination towards bikes has taken him to the customisation and improvisation of both bikes and cars. His customised bike last year won first prize at Qatar Custom Show. This year he plans to take part in the show with a unique car.

Gulf Times spoke to Abdulaziz about how he got into bike riding and then into the customisation. Having his education in media, he works with a media organisation in Qatar. He got attracted towards bikes when he was a young man. “It was probably in 1997 when I saw a bike and fell in love with it. I started learning about motorbikes more and more. Initially, people told me that only Honda is manufacturing bikes. I bought one and started learning how to drive it. I got attached with my bike very much.”

Though the Qatari rider customises both bikes and cars but his heart beats with bikes. He calls riding his back a stress buster for him. “Whenever I am not in a good mood, I will take my bike out for a long drive on highways. It takes away all of my stress and worries. I come back home fresh.

“I have advanced a little as a biker. Now I also go to Europe and the US and rent a bike to travel from a city to another. I usually travel in a group but sometime I go alone on my bike.”

It was during one such biking trip that he got attracted towards customisation of two-wheelers. “I was in Minnesota, US in 2014 with some biker friends. They have some garages and they taught me how to customise a bike. They even taught me how to work with my own hands. I got more knowledge about engine and everything else in a bike. It was like studying bikes for one year sitting with them.”

Abdulaziz H Alhawal al-marri with his Arch KRGT-1 (supplied picture).

Abdulaziz also went to Germany and learnt how they do bike customisation there. “In Germany, I got a different kind of experience. I come back to Doha with different concepts of bike customisation. Here, the US style of customisation is more in vogue. I started bike customisation in more luxurious style. I bought a bike and got it changed from A to Z. My bike KRGT-1 from Arch Motorcycle Company in US won me the first prize in the last year’s Qatar Custom Show that featured some 30 bikes. This bike is custom-made only for me by the company on my request. For this year show, I will also take the same bike there along with a customised car.”

The biker follows this hobby because he like unique things and tries to be the best. “If you do something with your heart and hard work, you feel happy that you have completed a project. Second, when everyone takes photos of your bike or car, you will have the best feelings. Some parts of the customisation I do here in Doha and the rest I get it done from US. There are some people in Doha doing such improvisation on bikes and cars.”

Abdulaziz welcomes the fact that there is surge in customised cars and bikes in Qatar. “It is good to see the increasing numbers. This is good that people are getting attracted towards this hobby. It would like to have more and more customisation taking place in Doha. Qatar Custom Show provides a good platform for us. It is promoting the hobby.”

The hobby does not come very cheap to those who want to pursue it. For the biker, it is a kind of art but little expensive. “Customisation is an art, little expensive but worth it. There are always better offers to sell your bike or car. Some people come to me asking to get their bikes or cars customised.”

As the trend of motorcycling gaining moment in Qatar, Abdulaziz lays stress on improvement in the attitude of the car drivers towards bikers. “We need to treat bike as a bike and not as a car. There should be separate and easy to access parking slots for bikes. A bike is a human. The car drivers need to be careful towards bikes. People need to be mindful that not only youngsters ride bikes but mature persons also do.”

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