By: Morgan (offline) Thursday, 06 December 2007 @ 01:02 PM ICT (Read 6395 times)
Hi, I'm newly returned to motor cycling, and have just taken my big bike test in the UK. Thought I ought to have a licence for riding in Thailand - silly idea - no one else seems to have one! When I rode as a youngster it was possible to ride any size bike indefinitely on a UK Provisional licence, so I never bothered with the test. Then came car and wife and kids and restrictions to L riders, first 250cc and now 125cc. This means I am too old to ride with my bum in the air and my nose on the tank, anyway that's not a good position in Thailand where 360 vision is vital. What to buy? I am 1.7m and 66kgs so I don't want a big heavy bike like a Harley, or one I need to mount by step ladder like the Africa Twin. I've tried the Honda Phantom and agree with the description "like a chubby bar girl built for comfort not speed". I am not too worried about performance but do want decent handling which the Phantom lacks. I am based in Chiang Mai and would prefer a local dealer but no one seems to stock real bikes.
It is true, the Honda Phantom (200cc) is a bit to heavy for its engine power, still with around 80,000 Baht price ticket, it is one of the most popular bikes in Thailand. The Kawasaki Boss (175cc) is a good alternative for the Honda Phantom in the same price level.
If you want more, the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom is an nice bike to ride, the 900cc engine delivers enough power for all situations, and the weight of the Vulcan is not much more then the Honda Phantom. Downside the price of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 is 460,000 Baht (Direct from Kawasaki Bangkok Specialized Store)
Buying a new big direct from a recommended dealer helps to exclude the zigzag and bullshit talk, which some motorcycle sales guys resort to.
Our advice, do not buy any bike without, or with a modified, altered green book. It not takes a rocket scientists to know that Honda never made a Honda Wave 400cc (I once meet a guy who drove a Honda CB400 with a green book saying Honda Wave 400cc)
Getting a Thai motorcycle license is relative easy, cost 50 Baht, it involves a some braking test and vision test...nothing to serious.
By: Anonymous: Ben () Tuesday, 11 December 2007 @ 08:45 AM ICT
Another option is to visit the Triumph motorcycle dealer at Nimmanhaemin Road (in Chiang Mai), they have a good selection of motorcycles.
For example, I belief that, the Bonneville is perfect for driving in Thailand, no impressive fairing, with a engine strong enough to take on any situation and simple enough to do small repairs yourself.
The Bonneville is powered by a 865cc air-cooled, parallel-twin with a relative big bore, which produces the unique classic English engine rumble. Other benefits are that the engine produces much more pony power at the lower rpm, just what you need in the North of Thailand. Where you can clime a hill with no problem, even going uphill is as simple as driving an automatic gear bike.
Some other motorcycles need high engine speeds to produce enough power to drive in mountainous areas, producing heat problems or unsafe driving, as playing on the edge of the powerband means the bike is less controllable and wheelies are more likely.