KOTA KINABALU: The organisers of the 12th Borneo Island International Big Bike Festival (BIIBBF) are happy with the response given to the three-day event which started last Friday.
“The response was so good that we broke our record set in 2006,” organizing chairman Angus Wong said.
Wong when met at a high tea hosted by Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir yesterday, said more than 500 big biker enthusiasts took part in the event hosted by Sabah this year.
“The total number doubled the number of participants we had when Sabah hosted the event in 2006 and we broke our own record,” he said, adding that there were more than 100 hundred participants from Sabah in the event this year.
He also disclosed that the city of Pontianak in Kalimantan, Indonesia will host the 13th edition of BIIBBF next year since the host country is rotated among Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan, Brunei Darussalam and Labuan.
“We also have participants from as far as the United States who in fact had their bikes shipped to Sabah,” he said.
Meanwhile, the founder of Sabah Big Bikers Club (SBBC), Saludin Abd Salam who was present at the event, said that since the festival was first launched, the number of participants to the BIIBBF have been very encouraging as it now involved clubs from all over the world.
According to Saludin, the first event was held in 2000 and it was known as the Borneo Island Big Bike Festival as the participants comprised those only from Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam.
The event gained popularity over the years and now has participants from other countries, including The Philippines and Indonesia.
“The five main organisers are SBBC, Pemoda Bersepadu Brunei, Victoria’s Arm Big Bikers Sarawak (VABB), LA Riders Labuan and Ikatan Motor Besar Indonesia (Imbi) Pontianak,” Saludin, who rides a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, said.
He was of the opinion that the festival not only provided the venue for big bike enthusiasts to get together, but also indirectly promotes tourism in the host country.
The representative of Kelab Pemoda Bersepadu Brunei Darussalan, Mohd Yamin Damit, said his club members had never missed the opportunity to participate in the event.
“Today, there are about 100 participants from Brunei Darussalam,” he said, adding that his interest in motorcycles started when he was young.
Women enthusiasts also made sure that they were not left out of the annual event and one ‘regular’ was Latifah Omar from Labuan.
Latifah, a member of the LA Riders Labuan Club, said it was her fifth BIIBBF and that her husband, children and family members all share the same interest.
Latifah who rode a Yamaha Royal Star in the event, said she had ever travelled on a motorcycle to Kalimantan.