Motocross: German-born Kuppers has won many titles now nurturing next generation
For Jurgen Kuppers, motorbikes define his life. His passion for adrenaline makes him daring in every sense of the word.
The 46-year-old Düsseldorf native has always been a fan of the outdoors and the bike gave him an easy avenue. Currently a motocross trainer with camps in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the German is now on a mission to share his over three decades experience with bike lovers on a competitive stage.
“I started my career as a nine-year-old back at home and for 37 years of my life, I have been on the off road and motocross space,” says Kuppers, who won his first medallion in 1987 after being declared the Best Talent Rider in a local competition.
However, it has not been smooth-sailing for the speed merchant as he has had his fair share of blows to the body but his resilience gave him the drive to continue.
“It has brought me happiness and I have travelled the world so I would not change it for the world,” adds the multiple award winner.
From 2000-2016, Kuppers competed in high-profile events including World Championship Europe, Africa Championship Zimbabwe and KTM Germany Kontrakt. He also participated in endurance events, recording impressive performances to put his name on the map as one of the most accomplished riders.
The trained mechanical engineer worked briefly at his parents’ firm but quickly realised he was not cut for it, quitting to concentrate on his hobby which later turned into a career.
“I am happy that my parents supported me though they insisted I also focus on education. The outdoor feel and the chemistry with my bike gave me a lease of life, something worth smiling about,” says the second born in a family of of two who was declared World Champion in the over 40 category in 2016.
Most of his practice and championships were held in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Austria where the famed KTM motorbike is developed.
In the past five years, Kuppers has set base in the region through his Off Road School East Africa and is making an impact through training the new breed of riders especially at the Naivasha practice tracks and by his count, at least 200 upcoming riders have gone through his hands.
“Here, we focus on skills and attitude. Motocross is fun but can be dangerous so as an organisation, this is what we try to focus on in our customers,” he says about the institution which has stations in Kampala and Nairobi.
Some of the top bikers who have been nurtured by Kuppers are former national 125cc champion Ivan Guya, now based in Liverpool, UK, and Ugandan star Kylan Wekesa.