July 08, 2019 By C! Magazine Staff Words and photos by Maki Aganon

“To Become the Best in the World”: Omar Jumiran of Eastern Bobber Malaysia Inspires Filipino Custom Bike Builders

It was year 2009 when this person started building custom bikes. Not for commercial purposes, but simply for himself. Coming from a fabrication business, his works were translated into bending bars and lathing sheets for ground up built motorbikes.

Omar Jumiran, turning 50, born and raised in Kajang Malaysia, once had a dream – to become the best custom bike builder in the world.

He started riding when he was about 10 years old, by sneaking his father’s moped. It became his mode of transport and his passion for two wheels grew ever since.

The year was 1994 when he developed sheer interest about choppers. He named his garage Eastern Bobber.

‘I taught myself on how to make custom bikes. During my time, choppers were not that popular in our country, so I did a lot of trial and error. But since I have a fabrication background, I was able to experiment metal work on my bikes.’

After that, Omar started competing in Malaysia from 2009.

His improvement and achievements gave him opportunities to complete in other countries. It was in 2017 when he started winning abroad. He got the 2nd place in Ohio, and the grand champion in UAE.

The ultimate dream to reach the AMD Championships in Germany is within reach. It was near yet it seems so far.

‘I thought winning in UAE would bring me to AMD but I’m not getting any invitations.’

It was in December 2017 when his freestyle concept Bone-X won the Motonation. It was also fortunate that this win booked him a sponsored trip to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany.

The design and concept of Bone-X was all in Omar’s mind, ever since he heard about the AMD Championships in 2016. The target was set ever since. The bike was dedicated for the AMD.

But the road to the championships was never a paved road. Despite the sponsorship grant, funding is still needed to set foot in Cologne. Omar had to ask from the riding communities in Malaysia to fund his trip.

‘I had no money because most of my time was dedicated in making Bone-X, and less time for my business. I had to beg for money. My government is not even interested.’

Fortunately, Omar still made it to AMD. He was the last one to roll his bike in. When people saw, it was a show darling. Out of about 95 entries worldwide, Eastern Bobber got 1st Runner Up. The bone-inspired bike became the first Malaysian built winner in AMD history. A 2 year old design that started from a sketch and imagination, is destined to become world champion.

‘I never gave up on my dream to become one of the best in the world. It was unbelievable and I tought it was my destiny, despite all the hardships and trials I had. I have set my goal and I never looked back.’

Omar visited the Philippines through Jerry Formoso, a local bike builder through common friends in UAE. He was also able to attend Moto Builds Pilipinas and meet local builders, shared ideas and made new friends.

‘I’m surprised that the custom culture in the Philippines is growing fast. The skill is definitely there but given the proper tools and research, it has the potential to compete globally. I shared to them that it is really important to dream big. Be willing to improve and practice. It is also important to go outside of the country and attend custom festivals, meet other builders and see their work. You will appreciate builds more rather than just looking at pictures on the internet. Through that, you can prove yourself out.’

Asked about his next plans, ‘I want to be number one in the world. I will compete again in AMD. If i win as world champion, I will retire.’

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