Women in Wheels | It’s never too late to start riding superbikes - Nomcebo Siboza

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Nomcebo Siboza riding her Honda superbike on track.
Nomcebo Siboza riding her Honda superbike on track.
Lawrence Paiken

 • Nomcebo Siboza is one of the few female superbike racers in South Africa.

 • She started collecting bike gear long before she even thought of buying a motorbike. 

 • Siboza shares her story how she became a bike racer.

 • For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.

Female riders are already a rare breed in the biking fraternity, but they become unicorns when you narrow it down to track racing. The beauty in this is that they stand out, and one such person caught our attention.

Meet Nomcebo Siboza, warm and beaming with a friendly smile; she looks reserved and not like someone whose interests revolve around risky activities. Don't be fooled by the introverted vibe; she's been known to ride some of the meanest two-wheeled machines on the streets, and on the racetrack. 

The big question is, what would make you want to dive into a world where you would be the minority as a black female? Her response is simple.

"After I finished school and began working, I needed some excitement in my life. One day, I saw a group of riders passing by and hearing the sound of the bikes; I thought, wow, this is what I want to do. With a big brother who had earned his stripes on the saddle, naturally, she turned to him for counsel.

As a wise woman does, Nomcebo began purchasing and collecting all the appropriate riding gear long before she even considered buying her bike. Riding gear and safety are crucial parts of being on a motorcycle, so she had begun on the right note. With the gear part sorted and a helmet that was a size too large (she didn't know it at the time), it was time to purchase her first steed. A cruiser was the best place to start from the advice received, and a Honda Shadow 750cc was soon delivered to her front door. 

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Nomcebo Siboza

Nomcebo may have done things the correct way initially when she purchased her gear, but the cart may have been placed before the horse this time around.  

"The bike was delivered, but I didn't know how to ride, so it sat in the garage for some time", she recalls. Despite this, it's important to note that she was pursuing this adrenaline-packed hobby at the age of 36. Women like Nomcebo are a true example that it's never too late to follow your dreams.

Eventually, she would enrol into a riding school and began learning the art of riding a motorcycle. Once the classes were in full swing and with half a cup of confidence in hand, it was time to wipe the dust off her new bike and begin the bonding process. 

"I started riding the bike to the gym and around the block every now and then," she says. At this point, she had no clue that within the next five years, she would be one of the very few black females tearing it up on a superbike around South Africa's racetracks.

As is the case with many bikers, once one gets into the entire flow of things, the next part of the riding journey is attending all the breakfast runs and rallies on the calendar, a step Nomcebo wasn't prepared to miss. Biking is always more rewarding when shared with others. The more riding adventures she undertook, she gained more insight into the biking culture, and of course, her cup of experience was slowly filling up. 

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Nomcebo Siboza

With a yearning to further explore her new obsession, she stumbled upon Bridgestone Superbike Series racer Sfiso Temba on social media. After exchanging pleasantries, she was invited to a track day event as a spectator.

Following that initial track visit, the next move for Nomcebo would be to enrol in Sfiso's track academy, a course that seeks to equip ordinary riders with track riding skills. Like with most things in life, this didn't go according to plan. "I got cold feet, and I kept on postponing it. I think I might have cancelled numerous times," she recalls with laughter.

Eventually, she found the courage to attend an initial track lesson, and she committed to follow through. 

"I remember it very well; I couldn't sleep the previous night; I even had an upset stomach. It was so intimidating, as though I was going to write an exam," she says. "Funny as it may sound, but these are typical feelings to go through when staring at your first track experience head-on." 

Nomcebo's first track ride was on a cruiser in January 2019; by then, the petite woman had upgraded herself to the brawny muscle bike that is the Harley Davidson V-Rod.

The rest was history, really. In the space of eight months, this brave woman, who showed grit and dedication, was approached to join the Bridgestone Challenge - a racing series that she now races in on her full-track Honda CBR 600 bike. It's been a little over a year since she began clipping apexes on her superbike, and as one of two females in her racing series, she has inspired many others along the way.  

"It's very encouraging when women reach out with interest in the sport. I would like to see more ladies getting involved, but I understand that it's very intimidating for women. So I always try my best to encourage women to join and get into racing."

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