Famous action star Coco Martin rose atop the entertainment industry with his exemplary talent for acting, stunning looks, and a golden heart which most people he has interacted with can attest to. But Martin’s charismatic appeal goes beyond being an actor as male and female riders alike can relate to his passion for the open road and big bikes. Fun fact: he personally cleans, maintains, and keeps his big bikes in their best possible shape ever—an activity that he performs at all times, even during the pandemic when he had to halt his bike trips temporarily for safety reasons.
Martin recalled when his love affair with bikes started: “Bata pa lang po ako, mahilig na ako mag-motor. Galing ako sa hirap. Noong bata ako, mayroon kaming tricycle. Doon ako nagsimula matuto mag-motor. Dati po, habang nag-aaral ako, bumabiyahe ako ng tricycle, para makakuha ako ng pambaon ko sa school. [My passion for big bikes began during my younger years. I was a teen when I learned how to drive using our family’s tricycle. Since I did not come from a well-off family, I would support my allowance by driving our tricycle to fetch and drop passengers to their destinations].”
The 39-year-old actor traces back his interest in motorcycles, engines, and maintenance to the elders in his life. His grandfather financially supported their family through jeepney-driving which was passed on to his father. The tricycle he drove was owned by Martin’s grandmother, who he credits for raising him.
Martin witnessed how his elders were very thorough in cleaning the engine of the vehicle as well as the entire jeep. He inherited that trait from them and later became very picky when it comes to using engine oils for his jaw-dropping collection of motorcycles – and he chooses only Shell Advance.
On his Instagram profile, Martin generously shares photos of his impressive collection of SUVs, muscle cars, sports cars, and big bikes such as Italian brand Ducati. All were acquired through his hard-earned money from several acting projects for TV and cinema, as well as brand endorsements for more than a decade and a half now.
His commitments fill most of his busy schedule, yet the FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano star made time to ride out to nearby towns whenever his schedule permitted before the restrictions of the pandemic were imposed. After all, another thing he believes in is responsibly following safety guidelines over enjoyment and leisure.
“Maraming magagandang lugar sa buong Pilipinas at pwede nating maipagmalaki ito. Ang madalas kong puntahan kung mayroon akong maikling oras na wala kaming trabaho ay ang Treasure Mountain sa Tanay. Makikita mo ang mga tanawin doon at napapaligiran ka ng matataas na bundok. Ang ulap akala mo nasa tabi mo lamang at nahahawakan mo,” [There are beautiful places in the Philippines that we must be immensely proud of. What I frequently visit when I just have a short amount of travel time is the Treasure Mountain in Tanay, Rizal. It is surrounded by high mountains and you would think that the clouds are right beside you due to the high elevation.]” said Martin.
In the North, he used to ride out with his friends to Bulacan. “Pupunta kami roon, tatambay, magtatampisaw sa ilog, tapos mag-pi-picnic kami roon [We let time pass by chilling in the river and setting up a picnic on the grass fields].”
Martin, along with his friends, also enjoyed long bike rides to Balete, Batangas, or to the Quezon province. “Minsan naroon kami, mag-i-i-stay kami ng isang araw, magpi-picnic, mag-shooting practice. Pupunta kami sa Taal Lake, mag-bo-boat kami roon. Mag-swi-swimming kami. [We would normally stay there for a day where we’d have a picnic or do shooting practice. Then we would go straight to Taal Lake to swim and go boating.]”
This type of long rides, when done frequently, may quickly wear out a motorcycle’s engine since it is exposed to high temperatures causing oil levels to drop. The loss of oil is critical as it may cause lubrication failure which leads to engine breakdown. To address this, Martin uses Shell Advance Long Ride, a fully synthetic engine oil that helps maintain effective lubrication performance for long rides up to 6,000 kilometers. With the use of Shell Advance Long Ride, a trip from Batanes to Jolo can be done six times without abusing the motorcycle engine.
Martin also has a thing for retro-styled motorcycles. His vintage two-wheels has lasted throughout the years as he makes sure that these are maintained exclusively by Shell Advance Power. One recent virtual event where Martin joined Pilipinas Shell’s Technical Advisor Bobby Capistrano revealed that degeneration of motorcycles happens when users don’t use high quality oil; the oxidation and deposit formation inside the engine are bound to occur. Shell Advance Power combats this process to maintain the bike’s superior performance. Previously conducted field trials have proven that the engine remains strong with no power drop even up to 20,000 kilometers.
The actor also gave other reasons why it is important for him to take good care of his motorcycles. “Marami po sa atin ang hindi naiintindihan ang mga lalaki kung nag-momotor sila. Iba ang pakiramdam kapag nagmomotor ka. Iba ang pakiramdam mo. Pakiramdam mo ang laya-laya mo. Ang buong kapaligiran. Ang ingay nito. Ang hangin na humahampas sa katawan mo. Nakikita ng mata mo ang ang bagay sa malapitan. [Some people do not understand the high we guys get from bike-riding. You feel this wonderful indescribable feeling of freedom. You feel the wind hitting on your body, and when you hear the natural sound of the environment. Your own eyes see the destination spots up close and personal,]” shared Martin.
While a segment of riders goes out just for the leisure of riding, there are those whose bread and butter rely heavily on using motorcycles daily. Martin feels empathy for those who hustle hard during this time of the pandemic and understands that people are tight on their budget during these challenging times. In relation to this, Capistrano said that some riders prioritize fuel economy over power and motorcycle endurance. He remarked, “Ito ‘yung mga riders na buong araw gamit ang motor sa kanilang trabaho. [These are the riders who use their bikes going to work or the office everyday]. Shell Advance Fuel Save is perfect for them. They would enjoy lower running costs and would run longer without having the need to refuel].”
Shell Advance Fuel Save is composed of uniformly-sized molecules that flow smoothly inside the engine, thus creating lesser friction and smoother engine components movement. When this is used, according to Martin, engine durability isn’t affected, and the loaded fuel gives an extra five kilometers beyond the normal. This was shown during a field test of a fleet of bikes which ran for 12,000 kilometers under normal conditions.
Martin reminded his fellow riders that regardless of their preferences—be it for long rides, for power, or for fuel economy—selecting high-quality oil for motorcycles is one important way to be a safe and responsible rider.
“Bilang responsableng rider, bago ka umalis dapat i-check mo ang brake at ang kundisyon ng mga gulong mo para masigurado ang iyong kaligtasan. Mangyari po lamang na irespeto natin ang bawat isa habang nasa daan at lagi po tayong mag-ingat,” [As a responsible driver, you should always check the condition of the bike’s brakes and wheels to ensure your safety. We should always show respect to our neighbors on the road and put safety first.], Martin said.