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Motorbike recommendation

Greetings all,
     I will be Moving to Thailand around the end of Summer. My first task upon arriving will be to purchase a Motorbike. I am a Large person (184.5 cm, 120 kg; 6', 270 lbs). I will mostly commuting around the city (Chiang Mai), with some highway touring. I am asking for recommendations for a bike that is best suited for my riding style and body size. I am partial to the small displacement cruisers like the Honda Phantom. I will be working with a small budget (60K baht/less). I would also like to know how well a Honda CB150 can handle a larger sized person. I considered a Suzuki Raider, but was dissuaded due to the difficulty in finding parts for that Model in Thailand. I like to travel on the open road and Highway, but I am not a "thread the needle" kind of rider, so I am content to hang back with the four wheeled vehicles. Any input/suggestion would be welcomed. Any constructive input/suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you all in advance.

The following info may be way off-base but I decided to offer it for whatever its worth.

We are a couple that get around on a Yamaha Filano; combined weight around 170kgs. Fantastic shock absorbers, nicely padded seat, biggest under-seat storage of any bike i know of. It's a 125cc but that's all you need around town unless you plan on travelling a lot further afield. If you don't intend on highway touring often then i would stick to something like this and then just hire a bigger bike when you needed it. Hiring is very affordable here. The Filano is a very smooth ride for its class. We took it to Pai from Chiang Mai and it was a great ride. They retail somewhere between 50000 and 55000 from memory. I suggest when you get here you hire one for a short while and see how it feels. We wouldn't ride anything else. But i understand if you would prefer a geared bike over a scooter. We just prefer the comfort the Filano offers. Good luck with the hunt.

kirklea :

The following info may be way off-base but I decided to offer it for whatever its worth.

We are a couple that get around on a Yamaha Filano; combined weight around 170kgs. Fantastic shock absorbers, nicely padded seat, biggest under-seat storage of any bike i know of. It's a 125cc but that's all you need around town unless you plan on travelling a lot further afield. If you don't intend on highway touring often then i would stick to something like this and then just hire a bigger bike when you needed it. Hiring is very affordable here. The Filano is a very smooth ride for its class. We took it to Pai from Chiang Mai and it was a great ride. They retail somewhere between 50000 and 55000 from memory. I suggest when you get here you hire one for a short while and see how it feels. We wouldn't ride anything else. But i understand if you would prefer a geared bike over a scooter. We just prefer the comfort the Filano offers. Good luck with the hunt.

Thank you for your input. As far as scooter's go I would probably go for a PCX 150 (a bit short of my goal for passing power), or save a bit more for a Forza (beyond my immediate budget goal). That was also why I asked about the CB150 (small, but possibly has enough speed for passing, as well as fast enough to handle my size). I am planning on renting those options, or borrowing my GFs click to test for my riding license. I am also considering the Raider 150, or Sonic (Both are good compromises between scooter/geared motorbike, despite the issues of finding parts for the Raider). Once again thank you for your suggestion.

Could try the Phantom range chopper style lots about from 150s I think 200 and 250cc Hondas so reliable

You might take a look at Yamaha Aerox 155.  Its new this year but is automatic not manual.  I'm 6ft and 95kgs and found it fits me.  Low end model sales for slightly over 60k I think.

I currently have PCX 150 and it fills my needs.  I prefer manual trans and foot pegs but auto on PCX is great for around town.  I have car for out of town trips.

You can check out bahtsold.com for resales in Chiang Mai region.

You really need a big bike if you want to travel the roads in NW Thailand.

I can't believe that people make do with 125cc scooters, even with several passengers!

Actually I've got my eye on the Stallions CT400. It looks like a real motorcycle. ;)

Ruffian, the vast majority of people buy for use in town/city environment  where that's all you need.  Another plus is automatic transmission on most of the scooters.

I agree with you when it comes to taking long trips outside the city with small cc scooters.  For trips like that I start the car.

Thanks!
For the OP, perhaps the Honda Forza would be good. It's got nearly 300cc.

I not sure but Yamaha might sell the Xmax 300 in very near future.  If talk is true release might be at the Bangkok International Motor Show starting on March 29.

Salty1 :

Could try the Phantom range chopper style lots about from 150s I think 200 and 250cc Hondas so reliable

Sorry for the Delay in answering. Currently, my choices boil down to a Honda Phantom 200, Yamaha Exciter 150, or a 2nd hand 250cc to 400cc machine, pretty much in that order. My challenge is my limited budget of around 65k baht when I arrive. My big concern is a bike that can handle my size and weight at highway speed. I like the Phantom because that bike can probably handle my size. I am considering the Exciter because it is a High performance underbone Scooter that can handle my weight at highway speed.

There is a lot here. Our friends have a 400cc scooter. it is awesome. Plus you can even buy a 600cc scooter here. Why a scooter? So you can carry a lot of stuff on them. Even a weeks worth of grocery's. A couple cases of beer.
But please , if you have never drove in Asia, or Central or South America before it is a little different. Just remember every one out there is going to kill you, so being a defensive driver is the key. Thailand has been a little bit better then most other places.  I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the foreigner's  that end up hospitalized due to accidents. Be careful and good luck in your search.

Straydog :

You might take a look at Yamaha Aerox 155.  Its new this year but is automatic not manual.  I'm 6ft and 95kgs and found it fits me.  Low end model sales for slightly over 60k I think.

I currently have PCX 150 and it fills my needs.  I prefer manual trans and foot pegs but auto on PCX is great for around town.  I have car for out of town trips.

You can check out bahtsold.com for resales in Chiang Mai region.

You really need a big bike if you want to travel the roads in NW Thailand.

Thx for the Advice. I like the Aerox, but the top speed may be a little lacking. It may be in my best interest to start slow until I adjust to the Thai traffic condition. I was thinking about the Phantom 200 because it may be large enough to fit my girth with some style, then I can graduate to a larger size machine, unless I find a 250cc or < within my budget, and keep the phantom as a back up machine. I like the exciter because the high performance specs may be enough to handle some light touring, but I have issues with the small fuel tank. My go to site for 2nd hand machines is "kaidee.com", but I registered on both baht and sold, and kaidee.

Straydog :

Ruffian, the vast majority of people buy for use in town/city environment  where that's all you need.  Another plus is automatic transmission on most of the scooters.

I agree with you when it comes to taking long trips outside the city with small cc scooters.  For trips like that I start the car.

thank you for your input. The majority of my riding will be in the city, but I would like to do some light touring. My current bike of choice is the Phantom, which can probably handle my girth, but am concerned about the low top speed. my primary alternate choice is the yamaha Exciter 150 because the high performance specs can probably handle my large weight at highway speeds. as well as the purchase price new is within my budget (the downside is the small fuel tank).

I have no plan to drive a car until I am familiar with the roads, considering that I come from a country where the vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.

Ruffian Dick :

Thanks!
For the OP, perhaps the Honda Forza would be good. It's got nearly 300cc.

I like the Forza, but is outside of my budget (around the mid 60k baht)

Straydog :

I not sure but Yamaha might sell the Xmax 300 in very near future.  If talk is true release might be at the Bangkok International Motor Show starting on March 29.

Looks like the X Max will probably be outside of my budget (cost = 210k baht)

sujoge :

There is a lot here. Our friends have a 400cc scooter. it is awesome. Plus you can even buy a 600cc scooter here. Why a scooter? So you can carry a lot of stuff on them. Even a weeks worth of grocery's. A couple cases of beer.
But please , if you have never drove in Asia, or Central or South America before it is a little different. Just remember every one out there is going to kill you, so being a defensive driver is the key. Thailand has been a little bit better then most other places.  I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the foreigner's  that end up hospitalized due to accidents. Be careful and good luck in your search.

Thx for your input.
I have seen some real horrors in the Philippines, with riders using the sidewalks as through ways. That is a major part of why I plan to start slow, and would be content starting with a Phantom, a machine that can probably handle my size and weight. I have been in Thailand in the past (but as a passenger) I did ride a scooter on one occasion many many moons ago.

Apologies, since I don't know the local prices for bikes, or your exact budget.
In California, I once had a 250cc bike that was okay on most streets, but marginal with a passenger, and forget about the freeway.

Even on the city streets, traffic can be pretty competitive, so I imagine having a little extra horsepower would help.

And yes, I agree that driving on the left side is tricky enough without having a car to drive.

i have Kawi er6 2009 yers
i paid 2000€ and its work well here in Thailand,little hot in trafiklight whit watercooled engine fan blow hot
fast and cheapservice its made in Thailand

Ruffian Dick :

Apologies, since I don't know the local prices for bikes, or your exact budget.
In California, I once had a 250cc bike that was okay on most streets, but marginal with a passenger, and forget about the freeway.

Even on the city streets, traffic can be pretty competitive, so I imagine having a little extra horsepower would help.

And yes, I agree that driving on the left side is tricky enough without having a car to drive.

Thx for your reply. Since starting this thread. i have come to discover that i can tour on slower machine, based on some of the blogs from people who toured on scooters (a couple even toured "2 up" on a 125cc machine). Those post gave me a nice boost to my confidence. I don't think I will be doing much 2-up riding. I was also thinking about a high performance underbone bike like the Exciter 150 should be able to handle someone my size (I can also buy one new on my budget of around 65k baht).

piipii :

i have Kawi er6 2009 yers
i paid 2000€ and its work well here in Thailand,little hot in trafiklight whit watercooled engine fan blow hot
fast and cheapservice its made in Thailand

Thx for your suggestion. The Er-6 looks to be out of my immediate price range. i am looking at a budget of around 65k Baht.

Follow up:

I have been giving my options some thought and have expanded my consideration (and budget). I am now adding maxi scooters to my choices. They seem to be able to handle my size/weight, and are capable of touring. My immediate choices are:

Yamaha Majesty 250/400 (250cc is within my immediate initial budget)
SYM GTS300i Evo.
Honda Forza
Silver Wing (extreme edge of my budget).

Serious thoughts and feed back are welcomed and appreciated.

I have a Honda CB400 great bike. I have seen a number of one of the best bikes around and that is a Yamaha SR400 they are fantastic. Has character, size and power and the cool factor.

danmurdoch :

I have a Honda CB400 great bike. I have seen a number of one of the best bikes around and that is a Yamaha SR400 they are fantastic. Has character, size and power and the cool factor.

Both are great choices, and are on my short list, but those choices are hampered buy my budget limit (70k baht). but I am willing to adjust my budget and/or postpone my move to accommodate buying a bike upon my arrival.

danmurdoch :

I have a Honda CB400 great bike. I have seen a number of one of the best bikes around and that is a Yamaha SR400 they are fantastic. Has character, size and power and the cool factor.

Greetings danmurdock,
     I am definitely reconsidering my options, and as such an older 400cc machine is within my budget (seeing that I decided to delay my move to increase my budget limit). A couple more choices that I added to my list of options are the Honda CBR/Kawasaki 250 Naked machines. I am having a hard time imagining a scooter bigger than a 150cc, so a larger displacement scooter/bike is well within my realm of possibility.

Have you seen the Lifan custom V250. They are sort of a chopper that looks good under a heaver man. They are manual so takes a bit of concentration in heavy slow traffic but can ride them all day with comfort. They have a carburetor that is set for low horse power for emissions control that limits them to 18 HP. I read on a thread that you can increase that to around 30 HP by installing a larger jet and better air filter. ;) Also the motor and transition are indestructible from what I have read about them. Last time I was in Thailand I rented one for a month and loved it. They were around 80000 new a few years ago.

Probably the most popular scooter/bike in all Thailand is the Honda 125cc Click.  This bike is auto and is very nippy in traffic which is essential in Thailand's traffic.  Bigger heavier bikes can be dangerous in the often clogged roads.  Nippy handling of these small bikes has saved me on many occasions.  Being on a nippy bike is essential in Thailand.

I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of a 125-cc machine being "nippy".  :/

Ruffian Dick...You are clearly not and Australian.  I suppose being nippy is used to describe often young and very agile people.  We often call young developing children "nippers" or even "ankle bitters".
 
Most English speaking countries may regard this word as meaning being "cold.  It's a bit nippy."  But in the to a "Land of Aus" (LOA) to most people a "nippy little motor bike" is very good in Thailand's clogged road.  It allows you to come to the front of a line of traffic (sometimes can be half a KM long) and move is and like crazy, like Thais do, to take off and be across an intersections before the cars realise they can go, usually park outside of where you want to go and sometimes fall off!! usually once a year... but TIT.

Well, you're clearly not a Yank. ;)
We consider a 150-cc bike to be more of a toy.
Now a 1000-cc hog, well, that's pretty nippy. :D

Ruffian Dick :

Well, you're clearly not a Yank. ;)
We consider a 150-cc bike to be more of a toy.
Now a 1000-cc hog, well, that's pretty nippy. :D

Hello Ruffian Dick, greetings and salutations.  Just as well you have Ruffian in front of your name "Dick".

Ahhhh!  yes! but this is Thailand  (TIT).  Seriously, bikes above 350cc are at a disadvantage when trying to get around in crazy traffic.  I have friends who have  big bikes 1000cc etc.  They use their little 125cc bikes for getting around Chiang Mai anf Cha-am they are "quite Nippy"  the big bikes are great at weekend on the the more open roads.  Yes very much  FUN also.

Hi all,
I enjoyed all the back and forth about which bike etc and budgets but traffic aside it comes down to what you like individually, style etc.
Back in Australia I ride a Sym GT 300 i and it does me for what I need. Prior to that my last  machine was the Suzuki Bandit 1200 cc,now that could really scamper.
Well here I am in the land of smiles and for a week in Hua Hin I hired a 150 Honda something lol which did me just fine.  A dealer there told me that the 300 F scooter was discontinued.  What I did spy was the Honda Rebel, 300 cc , ABS DISCS front and rear. Drop some bags etc and I will be happy.

Well I've been here in Chiang Mai for the past week and very much like the climate/ atmosphere after Pattaya and Hua Hin so will dot some eyes and cross some T's back home in Canberra and start the music to make my home here.
Cheers ... Lee

Bobdog :

Hi all,
I enjoyed all the back and forth about which bike etc and budgets but traffic aside it comes down to what you like individually, style etc.
Back in Australia I ride a Sym GT 300 i and it does me for what I need. Prior to that my last  machine was the Suzuki Bandit 1200 cc,now that could really scamper.
Well here I am in the land of smiles and for a week in Hua Hin I hired a 150 Honda something lol which did me just fine.  A dealer there told me that the 300 F scooter was discontinued.  What I did spy was the Honda Rebel, 300 cc , ABS DISCS front and rear. Drop some bags etc and I will be happy.

Well I've been here in Chiang Mai for the past week and very much like the climate/ atmosphere after Pattaya and Hua Hin so will dot some eyes and cross some T's back home in Canberra and start the music to make my home here.
Cheers ... Lee

Bobdog - Thx for your two cents. I am really interested in the Sym GTS300i/Joymax 400. What's your take on this model? I was informed that that the GTS is very good for long range riding, but is slow off the line. My choices has been narrowed down to the SYM or the Honda CB300f/CBR300r, with the Honda Forza 300 as an alternative. I am mainly looking for a machine that performs double duty as a daily commuter/touring machine. your thoughts?

P.S. - I will be working with a budget of around 100K or less.

I have a CBR300R, I would not place it as a commuter bike. You can only carry  a postage stamp, I use it for border bounces, fast and furious. We have a PCX 150 that is a good fast nippy bike, for house moving ( joke ) 2 new Honda Moves they are nippy and can carry nearly anything, just bought second one today. The PCX is okay but you cannot carry to much, it is not a step through, its a step over. Most Honda bikes are easy to get bits for. Lived here 12 years, bikes Honda Phantom, good but parts now very expensive, CBR 150r good but 150cc, Honda Wave okay, can carry 6 people with a dog  in the basket. Honda Forza big and heavy and will not carry much, nice cruiser with two people but runs out of puff on hills.

Got my eyes on a Honda PCX right now.

Remember first PCX was 125, next was PCX 150 now PCX 150 2017 model, from behind 150 before 2017 has round rear light new 2017 has rectangular rear light, I live on Koh Samui and both PCX s  are very popular but on this island carying things is the first concern so a step through model is the best, tourists do like the PCX as they only have themselves to carry.

Good point. Many step thrus have a little hook for tung pratik. Some have a little bench for a baby.

And you can actually steer with your knees.

sootybrown :

I have a CBR300R, I would not place it as a commuter bike. You can only carry  a postage stamp, I use it for border bounces, fast and furious. We have a PCX 150 that is a good fast nippy bike, for house moving ( joke ) 2 new Honda Moves they are nippy and can carry nearly anything, just bought second one today. The PCX is okay but you cannot carry to much, it is not a step through, its a step over. Most Honda bikes are easy to get bits for. Lived here 12 years, bikes Honda Phantom, good but parts now very expensive, CBR 150r good but 150cc, Honda Wave okay, can carry 6 people with a dog  in the basket. Honda Forza big and heavy and will not carry much, nice cruiser with two people but runs out of puff on hills.

Thx for your input. Not too concerned with storage space, as I plan to add a trunk box to the rear, as well as saddle bags. I'm not a speed demon by any stretch, but would like a little power for escaping tight spots, as well as being able to carry my size and weight (184.5 cm, 120 kg). I narrowed my choices down to the following:

Honda - cbr300r/cb300f (good balance of power/performance, and large fuel tank for touring)

SYM - GTS300i EVO/Joymax 400 (nice maxi scooter for commuting/touring, but slow off the starting line)

Honda Forza 300 - nice all around, but having second thoughts now based on what you shared with me regarding the loss of steam on hills during 2-up riding [I am equivalent to two riders on my own])

I am looking for a larger displacement machine as insurance for my body weight. I have no aversion to bikes with a manual clutch as I enjoy the extra performance control.

Additional alternative choices are as follows:

Honda CB500F (if I can find one under 100k baht)
Kawasaki Z250sl/Ninja
Older Maxi's like a Honda silvering 400/500, or Yamaha Majesty.

I keep my options open (although I'm not much of a Suzuki fan).
Once again thx for your input.

I haven’t seen any Kawasaki bikes in town.

Kawasaki were the first reasonably priced big bikes several years ago and they were everywhere.  Chiang Mai has a dealership where I bought my Ninja 650.  You should be able to find it through a Google search.  Now days there are many more options so you may not see as many.

Hi Back,

Agent in Chiang Mai told me Forza 300 is being discontinued.  My SYM 300i gets up and going ok and is just fine as a long distance ride.  I ordered a taller after market screen to cut back the buffeting on my helmet and I can hold 120 - 130 kph on the highway no problem.  I love the ABS, the SYM behaved really well when a kangaroo jumped out in front of me and I hit the breaks big time!.  After many years on 1 litre plus machines I am very happy with the performance of the SYM 300i,

Lee

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