Jesters MC History

Muffy & Son

Rod C., Matt, Paul, Serge, Darren & Muffy

Bones

In the beginning (circa, 1980’s), Harley-Davidsons were a rare breed in Thailand, brought into the country, largely overland from Singapore, by a handful of guys. With few skilled mechanics on hand, maintenance was tenuous then, and parts near impossible to find locally. Consequently, when a bike broke down, the lag time could often be considerable before it was back on the road. The riders of this era were almost exclusively oil field workers that hung and partied together, venturing on the occasional road trip upcountry. In these early days, there was little talk of forming a club.

Bones

In the 90’s, when the number of Harley’s in country started growing significantly, along with a tangible camaraderie among the riders, the desire to start a club became more prevalent. The Immortals in Bangkok were formed in 1992 aiming to get HD riders together for meetings, functions and road trips. With the First Bike Week looming on the horizon of Phuket in the spring of ’95, and the specter of a couple of hundred Harley’s heading south enmasse with police escort, the Pattaya riders decided to join in.

Girls on bike

A couple of ............friends...

bones

As members of the Immortals, everything worked well for the Pattaya guys during the first year. However, maintaining regular contact with fellow members in Bangkok began to become more fragile. First of all, meetings were scheduled on a bimonthly basis. Thus, if a member missed one for whatever reason, it could be 4 months between encounters with Bangkok club members. In addition, with the economy booming, the road between Bangkok and Pattaya was becoming increasingly more arduous. Not only had there been a dramatic rise in the number of vehicles and trailer trucks plying the route, but also rampant road construction was creating a cluster of obstacles. Then, once reaching Bangkok, negotiating an appalling vehicular gridlock was necessary to get to a specific destination. The scorching heat from climate, concrete and cars mixed with suffocating exhaust fumes exacerbated the experience. Eventually, the glamour of the trips to metropolis began to fade and the visits became more infrequent.

bones

Since the Immortals were not yet ready to form chapters, a few members in Pattaya decided it was high time to start a club of their own. They justified that because there was nearly a dozen Harley riders on the beach, who were in frequent contact with each other, that forming a separate club would be a natural transition. A simple ball cap with a nameless skull-faced ‘jester’ bought in an obscure head shop in California planted the seed for the logo and eventual name of the new club.

Moe, Mad Dog & Paul

Moe , (Matts " Mad Dog MC") & Shagnasty.

bones

The Jesters Motorcycle Club (Thailand) was formed in the winter of ’96, largely by a group of expats and local Thai businessmen. They were not just casual Harley-Davidson owners, but those opposed to stock bikes. The outcome has been an obsession with modifying and customizing their motorcycles until they became a far cry from the way they originally emerged from the factory. As a club, they elected officers and now hold weekly meetings regarding policy-making, collective attitudes, events and road trips. The latter includes excursions around Thailand that range from daylong ones to a couple of weeks. These days attending Phuket Bike Week is still the premier trip of the year, which attracts increasingly more motorcyclists each year, not just from Thailand, but all over Southeast Asia, including Europe and North America. In respect to events, the club has focused on organizing those that support local charities. Such benefits, which aim mostly at helping kids (though the aged have not been overlooked) generally involve rallying other Thailand-based motorcycle clubs to come and participate. Thus far, the Jesters have been contributors to institutions located in Banglamung, Pattaya, Rayong and Phuket. Recently, the Fountain of Life Center, particularly the children, has become their target charity in Pattaya. (Please refer to our Care for Kids Link).

Outside The Hogs Breath

Crash , Woody , Soda & Neil 

bones

Harley-Davidson established an official dealership, G-Force, in late 1996 to accommodate a growing local demand for the American motorcycles. However, the very next year, mid-summer of 1997, saw the onset of an economic downturn in Thailand and other Southeastern Asia nations. Consequently, it was the foreigners that benefited, as the prices of new Harley-Davidsons, linked to the suddenly weakened Thai bath, became cheaper than the States for expats living and working here and earning wages paid in their home currencies. During this spate of Harley-buying, a number of ‘old friends’ jumped at the opportunity and purchased the new bikes at the bargain price. Hence, Jesters’ numbers swelled considerably and now reach over 40. Besides the Home Chapter in Pattaya, there is a Southern Thailand chapter that encompasses Songkla, Had Yai and Phuket. Though owning a Harley is a prerequisite to becoming a member of the Jesters, attitude, compatibility and other attributes are deemed more important. When an individual approaches the Jesters seeking membership, a trial period of generally 3-4 months is required to ‘get to know each other’ before considering admittance to the club. Despite appearances, the Jesters shun the label of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Instead they prefer to be regarded merely as a group of guys that enjoy each other’s company, riding and benefiting the community.

bones