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Thailand forum

Buying Motorbike Thailand

Posted by guernseydan on 1/1/2011 at 19:18

Im wanting to buy a 2nd hand motorbike to travel around northern thailand,

i was thinking of looking around chiang mai, but im not sure if its possible as im only entering on 2 x 60day visa's

any info much appreciated!

#1 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by MADMAC on 1/1/2011 at 20:25

Sorry, no joy. You need a one year visa with a residence to buy a bike here.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by guava_girl on 2/1/2011 at 07:48

As madmac said, you need to have a one-year visa and a work permit or residence to buy a bike. Best to just rent one for the time you need it. You can get a good deal if you rent by the month.

#3 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 2/1/2011 at 10:25

You can buy and trade 2nd hand bikes off the books. Someone offered me a 2nd hand scooter for about 10,000thb.

I declined of course. I wouldn't want to break the rules in ...Thailand

#4 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 2/1/2011 at 11:10

For sure you can get a black bike bike here. But there is some risk in that, because if you have an accident, the outcome might be negative. And if the police check your papers at a checkpoint, they will probably confiscate the bike. Not high risk, but not negligeable either.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 2/1/2011 at 15:28

Actually, I'd say it's a high risk in places like Patong where the BIB are itching to find some reason to fine you.

That aside, I was involved in an accident in Krabi where they neither checked bike papers or my license. That was on a rental though, with the other party (a couple of speeding 14 year olds on a souped up bike) was completely at fault.

I don't know if I'd want to chance the loss of a 10,000thb investment. Would they seize the bike permanently or just fine you 300thb or something?

#6 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by guernseydan on 2/1/2011 at 18:59

thanks guys, i was planning on coming and going a few times in the next year, also doing some bike travel perhaps into vietnam also,

i read somewhere that its sometimes possible to register a bike on a short term visa if you have a thai address which you can use!

i have also considered renting a bike as it is probably cheaper in the long run as im sure the re-sale value for a farang is low!

however i would feel much more confident travelling on a bike that was my own responsibility and belonged to me!

i was hoping to do much of my travel on a bike something small, perhaps a 125cc but nothing to flash, defiantly something 2nd hand which is easily fixable!

im keen to do the Mae Hong Son loop but im sure this is possible on a rented bike especially as it begins and ends in Chiang Mai!

I have a Thai friend who would be willing to put the bike in their name but obviously this is risky i got stopped for any reason, however in my experience of renting bikes in the past in Asia anytime i've been stopped i've only ever had to show a driving license and act polite!

decisions decisions! Fortunately im sure whatever i decide the result will be good times!

#7 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 2/1/2011 at 19:50

Go Honda Click! ...or for a little extra room under the seat, Yamaha Nouvo. Or, if you want to embrace your feminine side, I hear the Fino is pretty popular...

#8 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by neosho on 3/1/2011 at 08:10

Hey Crank.....Honda has the Scoopy now. Myself I wouldn't be caught dead on anything called a Scoopy.

#9 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by MADMAC on 3/1/2011 at 10:19

"I have a Thai friend who would be willing to put the bike in their name but obviously this is risky i got stopped for any reason,"

Actually this is the best approach and not risky at all. Using the bike registered in a friends name is completely legal. So unless your friend intends to cheat you when you resell it, there is no legal risk to this course at all. If you get stopped, you'd be 100% legal. Once a bike is legally registered, anyone can ride it. And it can be insured for you as well. My wife owns my sons bike.

As for what kind of bike - if you plan on touring from province to province, I recommend the Honda Phantom. Still small and light (200cc), it's got a comfortable saddle and rides well. The little 125cc bikes get a lot of vibration at higher speeds, the saddles are not very comfortable and they are often topping out at 80 or 90 - which on the highway isn't adequate to keep up with the pace of traffic. Even in rural Thailand, a pace of around 100 kph minimizes the number of vehicles passing you (which is where accidents are most prevelent). I do a lot of biking in rural Thailand, and I always drive between 90-100 (or more) unless the road conditions don't support it.

#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by guernseydan on 3/1/2011 at 17:02

Thanks heaps for the good info! Registering in someones name seems like the way to go for me!

A Phantom would be great, apart from perhaps being a bit costly, around 50,000bhat would be the absolute maximum i would wanna spend!
something cheaper around 30,000 would be ideal, i guess ill just have a look around when i arrive!

Suppose its an investment though if i take care of it!

#11 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by guernseydan on 3/1/2011 at 18:00

Any thoughts on Honda Dream 125cc

You think i can get away with 1 of these, maybe i could pimp 1 out to get it upto the magical 100kph mark!

#12 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 3/1/2011 at 18:39

@Neo - Yeah, I've seen the Scoopy around. It sort of looks like a Fino for guys... guys who occasionally like other guys maybe. The name is pretty funny. Makes me think of Snoopy, or a scoop for picking up dog waste (ha, maybe Snoopy's dog waste). I'm sure that's what the marketing people had in mind.

#13 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by CrankyCarrot on 3/1/2011 at 21:20

@guernseydan - "Thanks heaps" There's a nice bit of Aussie lingo.


"maybe i could pimp 1 out to get it upto the magical 100kph mark!"


I think Madmac's underselling the scooters a bit. I've rented my share of Clicks, Nouvos and Air Blades and I've never had one that couldn't hit 100km. That said, I'd usually only go at that speed for a minute or two in places like Phuket (where I've done most of my driving) because long flat out stretches of road are so rare there.) Only the real crappy older bikes with something like 40,000+ km's on the clock had the shudder prob at high speed... and also at low and medium speeds.


@Neo again - Come to think of it, I DID rent a Scoopy in Phuket Town. It looked okay, but had some real girlie mats stuck to it. That's what you call those decorative things were you put your feet, right? These ones said something like "Cowgirl" and had Tiny Toon bunnies with guns and lipstick on it. It was pretty undignified. At least it was red.




#14 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 4/1/2011 at 00:31

Ceanky
I own a Honda wave - which my wife drives. And I would drive that thing at 100 kph anywhere. The killer for me is the small tire width - brutal.

#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 4/1/2011 at 11:34

Tire width, oh yeah... I've seen some ridiculously fat tires on the more eccentric looking bikes. Some of them are practically tank treads. Be good for a lil off road racing though.

#16 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by CrankyCarrot on 4/1/2011 at 12:14

Another reason to wear shoes like you always say MadMac would have to be for gear changing on the manual bikes, right? If it's anything like kick starting, it'd be a real pain with thongs/flip flops on.

#17 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 4/1/2011 at 17:14

A friend of mine does it. He says his feet got used to it. But from a safety perspective, it's just not a good idea.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by guernseydan on 4/1/2011 at 19:29

@CrankyCarrot 2 years in Aus has taught me HEAPS of slang words hah, im pom though and my visa finished so getting kicked out!


those scoopys are pretty naff i reckon, best for me to stick with a Dream or a cheap phantom!

#19 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 4/1/2011 at 21:07

I know "naff" - that means bad.

Did you see a Scoopy? They look sort of elegant. Like a swan on wheels.

I drove a manual bike today for the first time - a Honda Wave in fact, just like Madmac's missus. It was pretty easy after a few runs around the block. And I tried driving it with thongs on. It wasn't so bad, except the part near the foot rests gets pretty hot and can burn you, although not as bad or as unexpectedly as the unshielded exhaust pipe.

The kick-starting I was talking about is dif to kickstarting the manual. With the autos, when they won't fire up you have to pop this extra little stand, then stomp right down on the kick starter. And it's way harder to do than on the manual. You practically have to jump on it to get it going. Beats pushing the thing to a mechanic though.

#20 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 5/1/2011 at 01:14

Cranky
On the Wave the gears shift down, but on normal bikes it goes upward...

#21 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by neosho on 5/1/2011 at 08:14

I bought a Ryuka made by the Zongshen group from China. It's more of a western style bike. Reminds me a lot of a Harley Sportster. It's only a 125, but like you MM I usually cruise at 100. Took it up to 130 one time then remembered I was riding on Chinese tires so I backed off. It's got a large gas tank also. I love the way it handles. Definitely not a rice paddy bike like the scooters though. But it only set me back 41,000 baht.

#22 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by MADMAC on 5/1/2011 at 11:03

Neosho
I test drove a Ryuka, but found it a bit too light. I much prefer the Phantom in just about all respects. But the Ryuka is cheap and has a decent layout with a reasonable saddle. Still, not a bad bike if you want to go on the cheap end. Much preferable to a Honda wave and like bikes.

#23 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 5/1/2011 at 12:00

MM - other manuals shift up? As in you have to click the gears with your heel instead of the front ball of the foot?

I didn't have too much trouble shifting down on the Wave in thongs either... it's just the heat from the gearbox or whatever that thing is next to the foot rests.

#24 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by guernseydan on 5/1/2011 at 16:45

Carrot
Seen the Scoopy ie the Swan on wheels, sure you could impress a few ladies with that bike, showing your femine side haha

I remember renting something similar that was only 100cc, forget the name but it was flat as a pancake and pretty embarrassing getting blown away by old grannies on the main roads!

I tried riding up the big hill to Doi Suthep temple in Chiang Mai and only just made it!

Then on the way down i was overtaken by some crazy cyclers!

#25 guernseydan has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 49

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 5/1/2011 at 18:01

That's it. I'm going cruising for babes on a Scoopy (and not the kid you have to pay either) next chance I get. I'll take that challenge.

#26 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 5/1/2011 at 22:28

A scoopy? You're kidding right?

And Cranky, you shift up with your toe... it rests under the gear shift. Which is why bare foot it isn't much fun.

#27 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by neosho on 6/1/2011 at 07:58

Madmac.....I agree that the Phantom is a better bike if you want to spend the money. Especially for longer trips and cruising. But for the money I'm happy with the performance of the Ryuka so far. Plus I still get the same reaction from the locals as I would on a Phantom.

#28 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 6/1/2011 at 12:15

Mac - I would only drive barefoot on an auto. Minimum for the manual is a bit of rubber thong.

I was thinking of your pro-shoe stance yesterday when I got stuck halfway up monkey mountain (in the Historical park on the militaly base at PKK) with no shoes whatsoever. I'd ditched the thongs because I didn't want to break them, and then the route became tougher and tougher with jagged rocks and everything. Try hiking up a 65 degree inclined slope with sharp rocks and barefeet some time. It'll make you re-think your whole life.

#29 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by nedz on 12/1/2011 at 19:13

Someone, last year got an old dog honda dream, with electric start, for 7000bt spent 3000bt fixin it up dirt tyres n all. but because they spend years goin there, a friend put in in their name and no worries its looked after. another 2000bt for a motor rebore, n rebuild, and shell do the mountains, no worries.

#30 nedz has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 26

Posted by khunwilko on 12/1/2011 at 23:47

To buy a bike you need proof of ID - your passport and a "residence" cert from the police (immigration). That' just a bit of paper with an address on it - not that hard to get.
You may well get this without a non-immigrant visa - certainly 90 days not a year and some have bought on tourist visas.
I'd give it a try and see what happens - it is the proof of address that is important and a passport not so much the visa.

you might try to get a driving licence too - a bike one.
If you're "coming and going" you might as well get a multiple entry "O" visa anyway.

#31 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560


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