Pattaya City Expats Club – How Burapa Bike Week came to be

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Richard Rhodes speaks about the beginnings of the Burapa Bike Week festivities in Pattaya, how it began, how it grew, and the upcoming festival in February.

At the January 11 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club, a longtime resident and one of the original organizers of the famous Burapa Bike Week was the guest speaker. Richard Rhodes, originally from England, spoke to the Club about the Burapa Bike Week festival returning after its suspension during the Covid Pandemic and how this charity event originated.



First, Richard provided a bit of background about his being involved in the fashion business; leather garments for the rich and famous. This led him to his first visit to Thailand in 1978. He visited Pattaya, which was “not much” in those days, but enough that he bought property with the intent of retiring here. He is currently the owner-operator of Nirvana Resort on Koh Chang.



Richard said he got his first motorcycle in 1996 and joined the Burapa motorcycle club, not as a full member as that takes time to get your “colors”, which he did receive in 1998. Richard noted that for many in other countries, motorcycle clubs (gangs) have a bad reputation, but that is not the case with Thailand. In Thailand, a motorcycle club is made up of cycle enthusiasts who enjoy the riding together. They are not a gang and should not be viewed as such.

With a picture from a past “Ride for Peace” parade through the city during Burapa Bike Week, Richard Rhodes explains how motorcycle clubs in Thailand are organizations for motorcycle enthusiasts, not the often portrayed “gang” as in some other countries.

He mentioned his first involvement with the Jesters motorcycle club’s charitable Children’s Day activities. Several years ago, he had an idea to bring the motorcycle clubs in Pattaya together in sort of a union. This he accomplished and it eventually led to the Burapa Bike Week, a festival of music, food, and entertainment. This has grown and now features two stages. He took over management of the entertainment for the event. He then explained how the event is organized and entertainment, both Thai and foreign, is arranged. He also noted that in the many past events, there has been no problems, except for one minor event quickly taken care of, and it is enjoyed by Thais, expats, and tourist visitors. A time for fun and merriment.



Richard emphasized that the Burapa Bike Week is free to all. It takes place at the Pattaya Stadium on Chaiyapruek 2 Road. After being on hiatus due to the Covid Pandemic, it will be returning this year on February 9, 10, and 11, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It is a huge event that is enjoyed not just by bikers but tourists, Expats, and local Thais. The event runs well into the evening and showcases some of the best show bikes from choppers to Harley Davidson’s in Thailand whilst there is great live music usually beginning around 4pm, but there are many things to see and do throughout the day. And of course, what is a festival event without plenty of food and drink available.

MC Ren Lexander presents Richard Rhodes with the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation for his informative talk about the Burapa Bike Week’s organization and festivities.

MC Ren Lexander than mentioned some upcoming events before calling on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum portion of the meeting where the audience comment and ask questions about Expat living in Thailand.



To view Richard’s presentation, visit the PCEC’s YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dPH-WOWsPE. You can also visit the Burapa Bike Week’s Face Book page at: https://www.facebook.com/Burapa-Bike-Week-594470550727639/. For Pattaya Mail article on the upcoming event, visit https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/news/burapa-bike-week-returns-to-pattaya-feb-9-11-422121. For previous Burapa Bike Week articles, visit https://www.pattayamail.com/?s=burapa+bike+week.

To learn more about the PCEC, visit their website at: https://pcec.club.