Every year, Burapha Bike Week draws motorcycle clubs from around Thailand to “drive for peace” in Pattaya. For some bikers, the road here can be a bumpy one.
Akarapol Yaram, head of the Buriram Bike Club, is one of those. He has led his “Life Appreciation Club” group to every province in the kingdom. Along the way, members have been struck in traffic, broken down and faced a public that sees only noisy motorcycles and scruffy bikers instead of the goals behind their journey.
Some members of the “Life Appreciation Club”, led by club president Akarapol Yaram, pose for a photo with some members of the Burapha Motorbike Club.
Akarapol said this month’s road trip to Pattaya was aimed at raising funds for charity. That goal, however, is not apparent to many, who complain about old, loud engines. Sometimes, however, people are open to learning about the gang’s vehicles and logos. Sometimes showing off their insignias even gets them through traffic faster, he said.
The Buriram “Life Appreciation Club” has about 65 members and about 45 customized motorcycles. Akarapol urges his members – and all drivers – to not drink and drive. In the case of his club, he reminds the bikers they have to set a good example. Doing otherwise would only damage the reputation of bike clubs and events such as Burapha Bike Week, he said.