Covered­drift trike track a first for New Zealand

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

A new busi­ness ap­peal­ing to any­one who likes speed and noise has sprung up in a Porirua ware­house.

Justin Leely and Raw­inia Rimene launched Drift Trikes New Zealand last week­end in Mo­huia Cres, Els­don. They said it was a first for New Zealand.

‘‘There’s no other cov­ered drift track in the country,’’ said Leely. ‘‘It’s awe­some for Porirua to be the first.’’

The trikes can reach up to 80kmh, but have been slowed down for safety’s sake.

‘‘They still go fast enough for a thrill,’’ Leely said.

Drift trikes are il­le­gal to drive on pub­lic roads so en­thu­si­asts have long looked for al­ter­na­tive race tracks.

The sport orig­i­nated in New Zealand, where its pop­u­lar­ity was fu­elled by boy rac­ers and car en­thu­si­asts.

It quickly spread over­seas, prov­ing es­pe­cially pop­u­lar in the United States.

The trikes can be mo­torised or pedal-pow­ered and slick rear wheels al­low the rider to lose trac­tion and counter steer or ‘‘drift’’ to get around the cor­ners.

Leely, an elec­tri­cian, makes the bikes and orig­i­nally planned to build them for sale.

‘‘I thought open­ing the cen­tre sounded much more fun,’’ he said.

Rimene said com­ply­ing with health and safety reg­u­la­tions was eas­ier than she ex­pected.

When the pair were told the trikes needed to have safety rims, Justin made them him­self and then patented the de­sign.

Leely said drift trikes dif­fered from tra­di­tional go-karts, where the aim is to go as fast as pos­si­ble.

‘‘This is all about con­trolled drifts. It’s a tech­nique, a skill.’’

Rimene stud­ied busi­ness man­age­ment at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and said she was look- ing for­ward to ap­ply­ing her skills to the real thing.

‘‘It’s been a long jour­ney to get here,’’ she said.

‘‘Be­ing young and brown has meant that peo­ple haven’t wanted to help us.’’

Sup­port had come from fam­ily and Leely’s mother put up her home as col­lat­eral for the busi­ness loan.

The pair have spent the last month work­ing day and night on their new premises, but say it was worth it to see the smil­ing faces on their open­ing day.

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Justin Leely and Raw­inia Rimene are the own­ers of a new un­der­cover drift trike track in Porirua.

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