The Burmese stunt king

Ko Naung is the 2011 champion of the Kawasaki Stunt King biking competition, and at this year’s competition, the Burmese biker ended in fourth place.

Last week, 80 bikers descended on Bangkok all vying to become the Stunt King. Or Queen – there were two women competing this year. The annual event is organised by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Previous Stunt King champions are usually not allowed to compete again, but just a day before the event the organisers invited Ko Naung to join the big bike category.

“Initially I wasn’t allowed to compete this year, but Kawasaki surprised me at the last minute, so I wasn’t really well prepared – I only found out when I got here,” he said.

There are two main categories in the competition – big bikes and small -competing in four classes: wheelie; stoppie; burn; and freestyle. Only a select few experienced stunters compete in the big bike event.

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“Previously, I rode the small size Kawasaki KSR model bike but now I’ve switched to big bikes. Bike stunting has been popular in Thailand for about 10 years but there are only two 600cc riders; me and a friend of mine. I only bought the big bike about six months ago. I’m not very experienced with it so I couldn’t perform my best,” said Ko Naung.

Ko Naung came second in the 2011 pro wheelie class, and he won the Stunt King champion title in the small bike Freestyle class.

He also holds third place in the world for driving up the stairwell of the 85-story Baiyoke Sky Hotel – Bangkok’s tallest building – in record time.

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