Big Bikes are a Pain in the Butt

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by NDSinBKK, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. NDSinBKK

    NDSinBKK Ol'Timer

    Not literally, of course, unless you happen to be unlucky.

    As a new owner of an SUV-sized bike (BMW R1150GS with bags) in Bangkok, however, I'm somewhat mindful of the down sides. (Those don't include pains in the butt, actually...).

    I don't mind the fuel consumption, and I don't mind driving in BKK traffic, other than the fact that I'm generally unable to derive the advantages of being on a bike because I take up as much space as the average econocar. That's OK, I like a lot of room around me, and one thing a huge black BMW does is command respect from other motorists. (It seems to command some from the police as well, but that's a different story...).

    While I cannot imagine a better bike than the GS out on the open road in Thailand, there are two issues that a prospective big bike buyer in BKK should consider, with thanks to Franz for bringing this up:

    1. Getting OUT of, or INTO BKK is a nightmare. You are forced to fight scooters, tuk-tuks, buses, trucks, hand carts, bicyclists, pedestrians, and animals over in the slow lanes. Now that is true of ALL motorcycles, but it is especially galling on a big bike because it is less nimble, and because it can actually run faster than all the rest of the traffic mixing it up in the high-speed lanes. I've been near tears (no, I'm not an emo kind of guy) trying to get legally out of Bangkok, and I still haven't figured out how to get to Chonburi effectively.

    2. Parking is another nightmare. I am very willing and ready to pay automobile rates to park this behemoth in the usual mall/shopping centre auto park zones. No dice. I've had so many exchanges on that topic--all futile--that it's not even funny. Sometimes I leave, because it is just about impossible to get the beast between the pillars, around the randomly parked scooters, up on the stand...and then out again.

    Of course the end result of all this is that if you buy a big bike for use in Bangkok....in pretty short order you are going to have to buy a second (smaller) one for use in town. (Not that having multiple bikes is inherently a bad thing...).

    So when you are doing your calculations for your big bike, make sure there's enough left over for little sister...
     
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  3. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    NDSinBKK, thanks for the credit !!!! :lol: I'm living in the middle of nowhere between Sriracha and Pluak Daeng and traffic's a nightmare out here. Considering the weight of the FJR, you start sweating even on a 2x15 km daily trip once slaloming trough the heavies (buses-trucks-trailers). You get some realm adrenaline rushes once closing in on some battered pick-up which is driving at a 28 km/hr in the middle of the road indicating he is turning left but actually turns right somwhere on the next 20 kms. Here the smaller ones come in very handy, single cylinder thumpers are perfect as the engines are slim like Sparks & Waves and they offer enough torque to get in front of the a.m. ones. Trough their simplicity they are also quite low in kerb weight which makes them easy maneuverable wherever you are, low gravity keeps the tires on the tarmac. I did it only 3 times to take the FJR to a 7/11 for cigarettes, now I take the Step125 and later on the rebuilt SRX4. The FJR brings me to CNX in no time but the SRX will commute me to work everyday even quicker than the FJR as it perfectly fits inbetween two busses, you should just see my sidecases on the FJR; lots of points and stripes from bumpers......Anyway it's also about fuel economy as stated in the 'wanted F650' thread. Still there's one more hindrance for the 'in between' slalom at traffic lights, but this one I have to get rid of with bicycling-sit ups & jogging............ :? Cheers, Franz
     
  4. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Hi Guys

    Thanx for both nice input,,and it got grinn to my face when Franz mentioned that he start to sweat when taking his FJR out,,well my "Flying Brick" with Full Tank. 378.5 Kg / 833 lb. Dry Weight. 345 Kg / 759 lb

    I found out that every longer touring i loose about 1-2Kg per day...im my weight,its nice way to loose weight :lol:
     
  5. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Hmmmm... what do you think why I ride a VTR250? I split lanes with it like I'm on a Honda Wave while the big boys with over 100 hp are stuck in traffic...
     
  6. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    KZ

    That is smart, for guys who are living in the towns,,,but like us,, we are right in the middle of nothing and traveling around when the weather permits, so haveing heavy "Brick" is ideal for us.

    Also it is have to say quite ppls magnet, im not a person who is looking for attention,but since having LT i found out that lot of people coming and start to talk to us.But that is other topic,,back to original

    Next week im gonna get in to that nightmare and coming to BKK,,,i have driven in BKK numerous times with car and that is pieace of cake,, not with the bike,,,,well have to wait and see and keep it cool
     
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Oh To True!!! I rode my Yamaha Raid everyday until i Sold it and now i have to Use the Triumph Tiger, Hopeless, it is a Once a Week thing only to give it a Run :cry: I am Waiting for the New Kawasaki KLX250 to be delivered and hopefully that will put a Smile on My Face again :D The Tiger is Fantastic for Fast Blasts over Distance but a Complete Pain to use around Town when you have to put all the Gear on. Hot work in Traffic stuck at lights. The 250 is the best size for Zapping around i found and you don't have to Wear all the Gear because it is Less Likely to Chuck you off :roll: Big Bikes might be good for Posers but you can't Beat a Small one for local use :D
     
  8. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    NDS welcome to the joys of navigating the Bavarian Barge around BKK!
    Especially with panniers.
    I gave up riding the Beamer in BKK unless I time it for after the rush hour - and certainly without the panniers attached.
    The other joys of which flyover you can & cannot use,
    the BiB pouncing on you if you happen to be in the wrong lane,
    and not being able to use the tollways all make for a highly unpleasant experience.
    BTW RHeikel has a novel approach with dealing with these pesky policemen.

    As for the logic of bike parking bays & trying to manouvre the panzer between scores of scooters
    with a whistle-blowing guards only adds to the mounting frustration, that has the TGF saying "I think we take the truck".

    Having experienced all the above, I ended up getting a Triumph for city use.
    But truth be told, even this is too cumbersome for BKK's bumper-to-bumper traffic.
    Maybe the forthcoming Kwacker D-Tracker will be the perfect urban run-around?

    In the meantime enjoy the rides outa town.
    I tend to leave no later than 0630 to beat the traffic if I have panniers mounted.
     
  9. Muzz

    Muzz Ol'Timer

    I hate Bangkok for riding. I have a three bike trailer and along with my BMW and HD a Honda wave if I need to use in town which is rare. I can use the tollways with the trailer and with the bikes on the back, I do occasionally get stopped by captain Brown, but the trailer is registered, legal, only costs me a few extra baht as I am a six wheerer, and tat aircon, blows really cold..... :D
     
  10. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    Light enduro/trails bikes are good in downtown Bangkok. Higher handlebars pass over most (sedan) cars side mirrors (SUV are still a pain). Light, agile to get around cars at low speed. Park in any small bikes parking lots etc...
     
  11. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    riding in BKK is unpleasant , i try to avoid it if possible ,or get thru by ther fastes routes.
     
  12. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    HELLO, MY NAME IS BOB AND I WRITE THIS TODAY BECAUSE I AM ADDICTED TO BIG BIKES...
    BUT I'VE BEEN RIDING A 250 FOR THREE WEEKS NOW AND I HOPE I'LL BE STRONG FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH...

    (big applause from the BB group) (-:
     

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