Cost factor may turn off racers, say biking enthusiasts

Raymond Yap, who used to race in the city in the 80s, says the authorities should instead construct a designated race track for the ‘mat rempits’ to race. ― Bernama pic
Raymond Yap, who used to race in the city in the 80s, says the authorities should instead construct a designated race track for the ‘mat rempits’ to race. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The proposed street race for motorcyclists has received mixed reaction from former Mat Rempit and biking enthusiasts.

The races, if given the green light, would see riders having to register and screened for drugs and alcohol before they race. They are also required to suit up from head to toe — which could cost a rider between RM1,250 and RM4,700.

Despatch rider Farid Idrus, 28, said the Mat Rempit would want to show off their riding skills but such a race would not entice them due to the cost factor.

“Many Mat Rempit are students or undergraduates who rely on their parents or family for financial support. Those who work are in the lower-income group and will not be able to join (the races) as it will be an expensive affair,” he said.

Farid said it would be better for such races to be held on a proper race track as it will be safer for the riders and spectators, and it would not disrupt traffic.

Raymond Yap, 47, who used to race in the city in the 80s, was against the proposal which was made public by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on Sunday.

“The cost of suiting up and the strict rules and regulations will turn them off. Racing requires commitment, dedication and discipline... traits that most Mat Rempit lack. The only safety gear they have when riding in the streets are their helmets,” said Yap, a mechanic.

He said the authorities should instead construct a designated race track for speedsters to race.

Zaim Zamani, 26, said the authorities should look at Litar Rakyat in Kuala Selangor as the best way to curb motorcyclists from turning the streets into a race track.

“The Litar Rakyat is a good example. Many race there as there is little cost involved and this would be a good way to encourage more people to use a proper circuit instead of racing in the heart of town.”

Savin Gill, 36, who actively raced on the streets in the past, welcomed the proposal.

“It’s a good idea and I would like to take part. I see it as a move to discourage Mat Moto from racing on the streets as there is now a proper place for them to race,” said the businessman.

“Racing is not cheap and I doubt they can afford to take part unless they are sponsored by motorcycle workshops.”

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