Buying, Registration and ... Bargirls

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Maarten, May 31, 2004.

  1. Maarten

    Maarten Member

    In Januari I arrived in Bangkok to buy a motorbike. The idea was to drive through Thailand and Laos and sell it back in Bangkok two months later. Since I feel my experience might be useful to others, I decided to post my experience.

    I had found some adresses of motorbike shops on internet and went to look for some of them. Coincidentally I ran across a Thai motorshop. Apart from their large collection of small Thai bikes (Honda Phantoms and the like), they had a great Honda Bros 600 cc. I took a test drive and it drove very well. The price was very reasonable: 50.000 Baht. I knew I was taking a risk, but couldn't resist the temptation of taking the chance (part of the fun of travelling is taking risks) and the sound and looks of the bike. My mistake was to leave the bike at the motorshop for a few days. It took three days to get it registered in my name, which I thought was necesary to take it across the border of Laos. I didn't want to take the bike into the traffic jammed city and thought it would be better to pick up the bike a few days later and drive straight out of Bangkok. When I came back a few days later the bike didn't nearly drive as well and eventually I didn't even make it out of the city before it broke down.
    Lesson 1: Be very careful to deal with a Thai motorshop. Try to resist the temptation of a seemingly good deal
    Lesson 2: If you do business, don't leave the bike with them.

    Now I was facing a problem: I paid 50.000 Baht for this bike and it didn't work. How did I get out of that one? With a bit of luck. The shopowner offered me a Honda Phantom in return. I figured it wasn't worth 50.000, but he had me by the balls. I decided to go to Siam Superbike, the well reputed shop of New Zealander Peter Reid. I offered to hire one of the mechanics to give a professional judgement on the bike I was offered. Since Peter wasn't around, I had a lot of trouble explaining the situation. Two Thai guys eventually came with me for free, which was extremely nice of them. Especially since they didn't really understand what we were going to do. To cut a long story short: once they understood that the defect Honda Bros was mine, they insisted on buying it from me. So I ended up selling it to them for the 50.000 Baht I had paid for it and got out of a tricky situation. The next day I bought a Honda Super Four from Siam Superbike.

    So now that I had a good bike I only needed to fix the registration. I read on internet that you need to have a bike registered in your name to get it into Laos. This seemed easy but turned into a bit of a nightmare. I will not go into details. The important thing is that in the end Siam Superbike provided me with forms that said I had bought the bike at their shop. These forms got me in and out of Laos without problems. So if you buy a bike in Thailand to take it into Laos, you can save yourself the trouble of registering it in your name and instead arrange some forms:
    1. a form that says you bought the bike from that shop
    2. a copy of the green registration book
    Don't lose your temper with the imbeciles at the Laos border. Just smile and be patient.

    What have bargirls got to do with buying a motorbike? When I was doing business with the Thai shop, there was a big language problem. I went to Sukhumvit Road and found myself a bargirl that spoke pretty good English. Paid her 100 Baht per hour to come with me to the shop and translate. That worked really well for me. So my advice is: if you are dealing or having trouble with Thai people, hire a bar girl to help out. A good place is in or around Gulliver's Travellers Tavern on Sukhumvit Soi 5. It's a big pool cafe where many Thai girls hang out to pick up western men. Just ask some of them which of their friends speaks the best English. Their translation services can be invaluable in tricky situations. For those who are wondering: no, I didn't make use of any other of her services -:)

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  3. john

    john Ol'Timer

    Hi Maarten, Great post. When are you comming back? Or will it be off on other adventures? JOHN
  4. Maarten

    Maarten Member

    Hi Joe,

    I think I'll take a four week trip to South America next Januari. Haven't decided yet. I'd like to come back sometime though. I had a great trip. Wouldn't mind staying on a permanent basis but it's not easy to land a job over there.

    I hope everyone of the 'Lisu New Year Riders' is doing alright.

  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer


    Good to hear you are still out and about and doing well. I stay in contact with Marcus, as I understand you do, and the other Thailand regular "Lisu New Year Rider's". All is well except for Robert's crash as you saw. Been doing a lot of trips with David doing GPS tracks, etc. It is the etc. that gets you in trouble. Stay in touch.

    TDM 850

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  6. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    Hey guys! So how long does it usually take after your first visit to Thailand before you plan your second? I was looking at the Fearless Leader's map the other day and got all nostalgic for the rides we took around Pai, MHS, etc. The frequent flyer miles are burning a hole in my pocket. The only thing holding me back is the "real" job that I started when I came back to the U.S. in Feb.


  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Turkish Andy
    Ah yes you're still alive & want to come & ride back here eh?
    But methinks that you need to first recover some brownie points with a road & trip report for what you did in North Thailand.
    We know that you had an excellent time, courtesy of the GT Riders, but you neglected to contribute something to the GT Rider board in return. What did we do wrong?

    Keep the power on
  8. SiFuh

    SiFuh Active Member


    Maarten I was wondering what had happened to you. I remember your posts from a while back. So your trip was as good as your luck then?

    If you make it to South America, do tell us how it was there too.

    Take it easy
  9. Maarten

    Maarten Member

    Yeah, it was a great trip. Did 8.000 km (5.000 miles) in 40 days. A bit hard on my behind, but I've seen great things and met great people. Only negative thing is driving in Bangkok, I hated it!

    I'll keep you posted on any new trips. If anybody has any useful info on riding in south america (hiring, road conditions, crossing borders and so on), please let me know.

  10. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    Uh oh. Looks like I'm in the doghouse.

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