Kota Kinabalu: Numerous big biker events held in the State over the past years shows Sabah has become a preferred destination for bikers.
The latest being the Kota Kinabalu International Bike Week 2017 which will be held for the first time in Sabah from Sept 29 to Oct 1 at the Tanjung Aru rugby field.
The three-day event organised by Bikers Garage, in collaboration with Harley Owners Group North Borneo, estimates an attendance of between 2,000 and 3,000 bikers of all categories, not only from Sabah but also from across Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, China, Japan, Thailand and Europe.
They also estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors to show up at the event which is open to the public with no entrance fee.
This was announced during a media conference with Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai as invited guest of honour, here, Saturday.
Bangkuai, who represented Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, applauded the event as one of the new attractions for Sabah, adding to the many varieties of tourism activities that have brought the name of Sabah to the eyes of the world.
“This is the kind of initiatives that we are looking for from our local communities, not only it brings in international participants but also introduces the bike ride activity as one of the possible tour packages that our local travel agencies could look into.
“Our terrains in Sabah are not only adventurous and fun but also safe at the same time for any type of bikes, especially the big bikes like Harley Davidson,” Bangkuai added.
He said the State Government is also very supportive of the event and has agreed to put it in the annual event in the Sabah Tourism calendar starting this year. “As support, Sabah Tourism Board also contributed RM10,000 to the event. It is a small amount but shows we are with them and we will continue to support the event because we see the potential.”
He went on to say that big bikers is an elite group, because not many people can afford to buy big bikes that cost some more than RM200,000.
“We view them as high-end tourists who will come together with their family and will spend about a couple of days in a week, and this will contribute to our economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Yakub Khan, patron for the unfolding of yet another exciting Bike Week in the region, said the event will begin on Friday morning with more than 60 booths selling motorcycle accessories and apparels, parts and merchandise from local and international vendors. There will also be 20 food and beverage booths.
He said there will also be stunts performed by a professional motorcycle stuntman from Indonesia, Wawan Tembong, as well as live entertainment by artistes like Ramli Sarip and up and coming Sabahan artistes.
Custom Bike Contest for hardcore enthusiasts, logo creating competition and fun traditional games will also be held during the event.
As part of the promotional drive for the event, they will also working with Kupi Kupi FM96.3, a local radio station, as their official radio station.
“During the event, Kupi Kupi FM is also celebrating our International Coffee Day for the first time on Oct 1.
There will be a lot of activities lined up, we will also bring in our local coffee brands, it will be a day to celebrate not only Bike Week but also Coffee Day,” said its Programme Manager, Lester Calvin Miol.
Borneo International Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally, organised by Harley Owners Group Kuala Lumpur Chapter, has also confirmed participation by more than 100 bikers across the nation.
Its Chapter Director T.J. Rolan, from Kundasang, said it is great to be back and to support the local scene.
“The fresh air, local community, local dishes, culture and tradition are enough to further promote the State to the world,” he said.
Those wanting more information may visit the event’s Facebook page at 1stKotaKinabaluInternationalBikeWeekSabahBorneo or call its Project Co-Director Azmi Aziz at 016-8318082 or Project Co-Director Ibnu Robi Ahmad at 016-8212223. – Sherell Ann Jeffrey
Source: Daily Express