Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harley Davidson Biker Culture in Costa Rica

When I first moved to Costa Rica, my boyfriend was considering buying a Harley Davidson and riding with a small local Costa Rican Harley riders club known as the "Tiburones" ("Sharks" in English).  The leader of this group, Ying Cheng, is a young local Chinese-Tico who is about 26 years of age, and makes his living as a nutritionist.  He and a couple of his buddies split off from a larger Harley biker club to form the Sharks, which at this time only has about 5 members.  Attempting to woo my boyfriend to join his new group, Ying invited Cris to a couple of the Shark's biker meetings, one of which was at a bar where a local rock band played (see pic below).

There is an actual Harley Davidson outlet in the prosperous Escazu neighborhood of Costa Rica, and a local Harley Owners Groups (HOG) that sponsors year round rallies in the country.  Besides that, there are quite a few different Harley rider clubs to fit just about anyone's tastes.  Ying's club is all about being with friends and taking long road trips.

There is a very popular Costa Rican Harley rider club known as Los de Xibalba Motorcycle club, that describe themselves as "a group of tight friends who ride Harley Davidson’s together, party together and stick together no matter what happens."  They organize events, go on national and international rides, support other club’s events, and help promote motorcycle riding in Costa Rica.  Anyone can join these clubs, Tico or foreigner (if you actually live in the country).

Unfortunately, there are even sinister "gang" type biker clubs in Costa Rica, such as the The Bandidos Motorcycle Club, also known as the Bandido Nation.  It's an organized crime syndicate with a worldwide membership.  My boyfriend also mentioned another Costa Rican gang rider's club known as #1, whose initiations involves robbing or breaking the law in some way.

It was surprising to me to see thriving biker groups here in Costa Rica, the last time being at the Virgin of the SeaFestival just two weeks ago (pics below).  So far my boyfriend's budget hasn't allowed him to buy his Harley, which in a way, I'm somewhat thankful for.  Riding a Harley or other motorbike in Costa Rica seems a little scary to me.  Roads are often narrow, winding, and full of large potholes.  They are also usually just 2 lanes on even major highways, which makes for  a lot of congestion and accidents.  And let's not forget that it rains for months on end here during the rainy season.  Wet roads, of course, make riding even more dangerous.  And then there's all the bikini and wet t-shirt contests I'd have to endure.

Still, the idea of getting to know Costa Rica on a motorcycle with a group of friends does sound somewhat appealing to me.   There are so many amazing places to visit in Costa Rica - beaches, volcanoes, mountains, lakes, and more.  If you've thought about exploring Costa Rica on a Harley, you might want to check out B & C Costa Rica Adventures, which will even rent you a bike if you need one.
My boyfriend attending one of the Shark's Harley Biker meetings at a local bar

Trying on one of the Shark member's bike

Harley Davidson Biker Club at Virgin of the Sea Festival Puntarenas Costa Rica

More Harley Riders at Virgin of the Sea Festival

3 comments:

Erik Lucien said...

Have a good one on your bf’s bike hunting! I hope you find one that suits your style and budget. Motorcycles come in many different styles, and it is important to match the Harley you’ll be riding with your style and expectations

- Erik Lucien -

Clare Westby said...

This simply proves how many people love the Harley so much! See? They even conduct biker’s meetings and get-togethers. Through these simple events, they can meet a lot of different people who also have the passion for motorcycles. It’s a good opportunity for everyone since they can learn more about it and satisfy their burning hunger for knowledge about motorcycles.

Clare Westby

Claudio Mccarty said...

Well, by meeting up with the local biker k, you get to share your knowledge and experience when it comes to bikes. You can even share your own thought or maybe even your own secrets and tips, mods and just some of the unique things that you do with your bike, that will practically helps others to motivate themselves even more, especially those who are just getting started.

Claudio Mccarty

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