Riding motorbike chance for baller LA Tenorio to experience scenery change

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2021 05:56 AM | Updated as of Mar 06 2021 09:02 AM

LA Tenorio on his BMW R nineT. Courtesy of LA Tenorio

Barangay Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio loves motorcycling so much that he maintains three bikes -- a BMW GS 1200, a Vespa Primavera 150 retro scooter, and a sporty BMW R nineT Option 719.

"Kaya ko nagustuhan 'yung tatlong bikes ko, they have different uses," said Tenorio. " 'Yung GS ko pang-long drive ko talaga 'yun. Nag La Union na ko two times. Nag-Baguio na ko iyon ang gamit because of the comfort.

"Pero pag short ride pa-Tagaytay or Clark, I use my 'tambike' my RnineT.

" 'Yung Vespa naman, pang city riding talaga kapag kailangan ko ng b'yaheng mabilisan. Perfect example is going to practice, o may bibilhin sa labas, grocery. P'wede ring tambike. Different use e."

The pride of Nasugbu town, Batangas, said he started riding motorcycles when he was growing up in his hometown.

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He experimented riding on two wheels with the help of his friends and tried out just about anything available: underbones, enduro and even a tricycle.

But he never imagined himself getting seriously hooked with motorcycling until about 2 years ago.

"I never thought na kakahiligan ko talaga ang pagmomotor that I dress up my motorbikes, na I have to buy this, buy that . . . Actually I have 11 helmets na ata," confessed the 6-time PBA champion.

Tenorio said the first real bike he owned is a BMW GS 1200, an adventure bike designed for long-distance touring. 

Later he tried out other bikes. He rode a Ducati Scrambler Sport, a cruiser bike in Harley Davidson Sportster, and modern retro BMW R nineT cafe racer.

Eventually he settled using the three bikes he has now. Different bikes, for different rides.

LA Tenorio and his Ginebra/Ironman themed bike. Courtesy of LA Tenorio

"Sinabi ko talaga na for keeps na itong tatlong ito . . . Walang redundancy," he said.

But why does he have this affection for motorbikes?

"Kasi you go places na hindi mo masyadong napupuntahan, pero mas madaling puntahan ng nakamotor. Iba ang feeling ng nasa motor ka . . . 'Pag kotse kasi nandyan 'yung traffic," said Tenorio. 

"Sometimes I go to Baguio. Breakfast lang sa Manor then back to Manila by 5 p.m. Nandoon na'ko sa bahay."

Motorcycling is a world much different from basketball, he said.

"Especially me, my whole career I've been playing basketball, parang gusto ng ibang feeling naman. Go to places na di ko pa napupuntahan na di kaya ng kotse pero kaya ng motorbike," the former Blue Eagles player said.

But safety is paramount for Tenorio, which is why he makes sure he wears the proper gear and follow traffic rules when riding out.

He also plans to undergo formal training on how to properly handle bikes.

LA Tenorio has 3 bikes: a BMW GS 1200, a Vespa Primavera 150 retro scooter, and a sporty BMW R nineT Option 719. Courtesy of LA Tenorio

"I'm still playing for the PBA so s'yempre ang priority ko pa rin ang safety, kung paanong magiging disiplinado sa daanan," he said.

"Tayong mga bikers kasi displinado man tayo, di natin alam 'yung nasa paligid natin kung gaano kadisiplinado. So I want to attend the HPG (Highway Patrol Group) training. Proper way kasi 'yun and in that way mas magkakaroon ng disiplina sa pagdrive ng motorbike."

Part of staying safe is joining motorcycle groups when going out of town, he said. He is currently part of Club9T, a rider group of BMW users. 

"It's good to have a group. You get to meet a lot of people outside your profession. It's a different atmosphere . . . Also I rarely ride alone because you'll never know what's going to happen. It's better to have someone with you," said Tenorio. 

He added that aside from doing out of town rides, his group also engages in charity work.

LA Tenorio and his BMW GS 1200. Courtesy of LA Tenorio

"Maganda rin kasing magkaroon ka ng group na may plano, may purpose, na tumulong sa kapwa riders. We do charity stuff also. And we promote tourism sa Pilipinas," Tenorio said

There's a downside in joining such groups, too, he said.

"Parati kang mag-uupgrade ng motor 'pag may nakita kang bago sa kanila," he said in jest.

"Pero it's really fun. Para bang nagbibihis ka. Di pa 'pag tinignan natin ang sarili sa salamin, 'O, ayos 'to, ah, di ba?' Parang ganu'n din ang bike kapag tinitignan mo sa umaga. 'Ano kayang kulang dito?'"

When asked about tips to riders who love to drive their way to the countryside, he said it's best to avoid racing and instead enjoy the fresh air.

"Ang mindset ko when riding a bike: You don't have anything to prove when you're riding. At the end of the day, we'll meet each other kung saang destination kayo magpupunta," said the 4-time Finals MVP.

"Just chill. Tingnan mo ang environment, lasapin ang hangin, and don't forget to pray."