KUALA LUMPUR, 3 June 2019:
Just mention any motorcycle stunts – wheelies, stoppies, doughnuts, drifts, jet-skis, stopper stands, high chair stoppies or burnouts – this 33-year-old mother of twins can do it all!
Clad in a safety-suit complete with full-faced helmet, Selangor-born Ilia Iryani Shuib recalled that her early involvement began around 2008. As a Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) student, she used to dabble in organising motoring events.
“I put together a ‘beautiful scooter’ competition and was looking for sponsors. It just so happened RK-M, which manufactures motorcycle chains, not only agreed to come on board as a sponsor but also agreed to perform death-defying stunts at the event.
“They also asked me if I’d be interested to be part of the act and was willing to show me the ropes, despite me not having any basic skills in motorcycle stunts. Why not?”
Little did the Aquatic Biology graduate know that something that began ‘for fun’ and as a hobby would turn into a real passion and became her daily routine.
The petite lady, who stands at 155cm, shared that in the first six months of her involvement, she kept it dark from her parents as she did not want them to have anxiety attacks over her safety.
“I only told my sister who accidentally blurted out to our father about having a free ticket to a Grand Prix (GP) racing in Sepang and said that I would be in action too,” said the third of six siblings.
It was tough for her parents to accept it at first but after watching her manoeuvre a motorcycle, they gave her the green light and encouraged her to use that as a platform to showcase her skills, and not put the brakes on her like the ‘mat rempit’.
“They breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the way I went about my business, always in my safety attire and following procedures,” explained the tough cookie who performed stunts in the box-office flick Adnan Sempit 2.
Relieved to have secured her parents’ blessings, Ilia took a professional course for six months on Honda EX5 and Yamaha Lagenda.
Married to former stunt colleague Muhammad Amierul Hasraf, 25, in 2017, Ilia could not have asked for a more supportive husband, who is also her trainer.
The sport is a tall order but with her husband’s guidance and with references available on YouTube, movies and Television, Ilia is confident of improving her skills and talent.
One of her sweetest moments was when she and her husband were asked to perform stunts together in Singapore for a recording of a commercial.
Maintaining her image with a headscarf, Ilia said that has never stopped her from performing dangerous acts as she would put on a full face helmet, safety suit and knee and elbow pads during training or actual performance.
“Training is vital because every single stunt needs to be mastered properly. A single mistake can be costly,” said the lass who trains twice a week.