Hi All, Ive just moved to Thailand and will be buying a new 1000cc sports bike. Ive been riding 30+ years and love taking them on road trips and tracks. Ive had GSXR's or R1's for the bast 6 bikes Ive owned but I'm happy to try a different bike. I'm liking the 2017 Honda and it may be about time I tried the BMW.
List of questions that would really help me out.
1- Which is the best supported dealers and or manufacturers in Thailand. This would sway the bike I buy for obvious reasons I guess.
2- Any track/ride forums or clubs that I could join. Would love to ride Buriram if they hold track days. What other circuits I should look at that hold track days. I will also go down to KL to Sepang.
3- And planned trips within Thailand or neighbouring countries where bike enthusiasts meet and plan trips? Would be happy to tag along if I would be accepted.
Any thoughts or advise on my new adventures out here would be great. Look forward to exchanging dialogue with you all.
I will start with the question about dealer support. In Thailand it is sad but true that the more popular a motorcycle brand becomes the less you can expect from the after service department. Currently, I recommend Suzuki as the best service for Asian motorcycles, we have a Suzuki big bike and I always feel welcome when I bring the bike in for service.
The downside is that Suzuki ‘big bike’ has not that much service centers throughout Thailand.
For European brands the situation is not much different, the best service is probably from MV Agusta – you really feel special when you bring in your bike for service. Ducati was for years one of the best but with popularity growing in Thailand the service quality also did the Thai traditional dip.
From the most popular big bike brands (Kawasaki and Honda), Honda has the best service, but not expect anything special. If you go to a Honda Big Wing dealership for a service that takes only 30 minutes to an hour take your own drinks and snacks… Kawasaki is apparently working on reviving its service quality… but they have some steps to go.
Yamaha is the weird duck in the field, not much complains about the service department, but it seem that the mechanics favor some models. The maxi-scooter line is not really on that favorite model list.
Most advanced riders from western countries that come to Thailand have the idea of buying the same or similar motorcycle in Thailand. But they would be better of with an other motorcycle. Imagine an English, experienced 1000cc sportbike rider in Bangkok, he would be familiar with riding on the left side… but he will also be the most likely be the person to get into trouble within days.
Motorcycles under the current Thai Road Vehicle Act, are by law seen as slow traffic and sow traffic vehicles need to stay at all times in the left lane. Yes, if you ride a Kawasaki Ninja H2R in the ride lane you get a ticket… and not only for speed. God forbid if you are accused of being the cause of an accident…
I like track days myself, but I never (oops lie) take my ‘road legal’ sportbike onto a track. Recently some laws changed in Thailand that used foreign motorcycles could not be registered as road legal vehicles without a valid import permit. You can now buy a 1000cc sportbike for a good price. Some time ago I bought myself a Ducati 1098S. First I used most parts for repairing my g/f’s 1098 who T-boned a Toyota… but after some time in the workshop I started to think to make some fork legs myself. Long story short, after a few mounts in the workshop and 12 mechanics that have sometimes nothing to do other to annoy me… the Ducati was fully restored … Of course still not road legal…
Maybe shocking for some, but in Thailand buying a more expensive motorcycle will not automatically give you superior service.
Probably the motorcycle brand highest on the foreigner living in Thailand complain list is BMW, it seems that BMW dealers can never get it right. My g/f has a ancient BMW G650 single-cylinder that she still ride very often. The bike is now about 7 years old and since we bought it new I never had any complains about the service of BMW.
While we do simple service chores yourselves, why have so many mechanics around doing nothing, for some repairs or maintenance jobs its cheaper to let BMW do it… And we never have to double check them… what we normally do with any other motorcycle brand serviced in Thailand.
I have a Kawasaki motorcycle (many brand services have this problem) for example, and we have the service manuals for all motorcycles from them, if my bike comes back from a service job done by a authorized Kawasaki dealer the bolts and nuts involved in the service manual never correspond to the torque specification of the Kawasaki Service Manual. We complained once, and the dealer contributed our findings to none-professional tools. This is remarkably as we are the engine parts fabrication company that companies like VW, Volvo and a lot more we cannot disclose come to if it comes to winning a sporting event as the Dakar Race…
For any motorcyclist in Thailand I advice one thing, regardless of brand name of motorcycle style. Buy a very good torque wrench which you can check your service appointments...
Thanks for the information. It seams that Honda Suzuki or BMW are the ones to short list. I had a Kawasaki about 15 years ago, ZX9. Was a great bike and had a really unusual feel to the other 1000 cc class bikes in its competition. A little fat but I think they fixed it when they updated it to the ZX10.
I'm not in Bangkok often but I'm expecting that its probably the place to go if I want to view the bikes in the showroom? Do most showrooms also offer a test drive? Ive seen a couple Kawasaki dealers around Thailand but I'm yet to find a Honda, Suzuki and BMW showroom.
Any advice on which insurance company I should look at?
Any mechanic tool-shop will have them, but a good torque wrench can be expensive so I not think that you find them in the a DIY shop. The last one we bought one (around 20,000 THB) was in a automotive parts and tool shop in the neighborhood behind the MBK center in Bangkok. The area is now under heavy construction so not sure the shop still there.
By: Anonymous: me () Wednesday, 28 June 2017 @ 01:44 PM ICT
Found a torque wrench 40-210 Nm in Maesai. Made in Taiwan, price 3900 baht. Half inch drive. Has tone control so i assume this means it will click when it reaches the pre-dialled load.
Will let you know how it goes. Now i need nuts to check if you'll pardon the expression.
Dam, its a worry that you need to be concerned with the condition snd settings that a manufacture dealer will hand over the serviced bike. Getting on any motorbike requires commitment and focus from the rider and confidence in your machine. Everyplace Ive lived Ive always purchased a big bike and it always takes a few services before you find the right experts you trust.
My mechanical skills suck if I'm honest. Ive managed a few basic road side puncture repair kits that will get you to the next shop for the emergency new set of tyres after a puncture. The idea of riding away from a shop thats put the wrong settings on such a specialist equipment scares the crap out of me.
Would you guys recommend sticking with Bangkok to buy a bike or any other city that I should asses? Phuket or Pattaya?
Also any thoughts on a good insurance company would be cool.
By: Anonymous: me () Wednesday, 28 June 2017 @ 04:40 PM ICT
Hi the read,
i looked for a torque wrench for my own peace of mind. I'm not calling into question the abilities of dealers here in Thailand. Yes, you should be able to rely on dealers to conform to manufacturers specs.
I wanted a torque wrench so that i could adjust the chain on my Honda CBR650F. The swing arm is made of cast aluminium so it could be overtightened or undertightened. Both options could end with disastrous results.
By: Anonymous: TheRead () Sunday, 23 July 2017 @ 01:02 AM ICT
Quote by: RoRo
The new Kawasaki Z900 ABS is the perfect bike for Thailand. if has the power of a 900cc inline-four and the price of made in Thailand.
Funny I was looking at them today with the wife. They have a shop in a mall that Ikea is attached too.
The ride position is too upright for me. Been riding sports bikes for 20 years so Ive got used to the the nose first position.
They didn't have the Ninja 1000 rr which I'm interested in.