A former art teacher is enthralling customers worldwide with motorcycle helmets modeled after the famed galactic hunter race.
Although Predator riders are known to criss-cross Isaan in full getups, Suriyan Tantemsin is catering to the casual bike rider who wants to only don headgear. Suriyan airbrushes custom motorbike Predator helmets – but with creative fandom-crossing twists.
A red-and-yellow Predator helmet? It’s an Iron Man Predator, of course. Another with the infinity gems painted on? Thanos Predator. Purple-and-green with a creepy smile? Joker Predator.
“Anyone can be the Predator,” he said.
Suriyan, a former art teacher, started making custom bike helmets after flooding in 2011 emptied his hometown of his students. Soon, orders started pouring in – but they weren’t from Thais.
“Mostly I export one-of-a-kind orders to customers in the US, Europe and the Middle East,” Suriyan said. “One customer in Japan wanted a Samurai Predator.”
It’s his full time job now – each helmet sells for between 8,500 to 12,000 baht. All his helmets are US Department of Transportation (DOT) and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) approved.
“Before the economy went south a couple years ago, I would make 30 helmets a month, but it’s halved since then,” Suriyan, 34, said.
Many Thais have an inexplicable love for the Predator. Samai Khammongkul, an avid cosplayer, is known as the Predator of Mukdahan.