Need Bike buying advice for touring.

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by EdtheTraveler, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. EdtheTraveler

    EdtheTraveler Active Member

    I will keep this brief but I really need some wise expert advice from those here who are experienced.
    Planning a trip to Thailand with a friend, we want to purchase new bikes to tour Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for three months or longer and maybe put them in storage and come back again.
    We want to be able to go wherever of the beaten track as well and I suspect a dual or dirt bike would be best.

    1. What type of bike is ideal for what we want to do?

    2. Where can one buy such a bike and get the paper work to be able go into other surrounding countries, green book etc.? I have a friend in Thailand who will let me use his address to register the bikes.

    3. If the Bike needs to be ordered how long it does usually take and what is the deposit needed?

    4. How long does it take to get paperwork done?

    Thanks for your help, Ed
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  3. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer


    You could do that on a Honda Wave, a Kawasaki KLX, but wouldn’t a BMW G1200GS be the ultimate – but a F800 GS might just do in a pinch. I’m a newbie here, but I think you’ll be asked what your budget is. Was playing on the Samoeng loop yesterday afternoon, tackling a clay hill to get a feel for my D-tracker in soft stuff, and was followed by a young fellow on a Honda Wave who had followed just to ask about my bike. He offroaded like a pro on the Wave.

    A passport, visa, and affidavit from your consulate are all that is required to purchase, and register, a bike. If your paper work is in order (visa not expired) it shouldn't take too long; was half an hour for myself but others here would have more experience.

    Haven't been lucky enough to ride across a border yet, but there is plenty of information of what's required on this very forum.
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    See inline for my views. No guarantees to the current accuracy of the info but should get you started.


  5. herph

    herph Member

    I actually just did what Pikey recommends, purchased a new KLX 250 in Chaing Mai. I was able to pull it off with plates (green book) and insurance all in my name in about 3 days total with only a standard 30 day tourist visa and a note from my hotel saying I was staying there. Here are the steps I took, but others may be able to suggest better.

    1) I started by talking to the lovely, patient and very helpful Note (her name is Note) at Sangchai Turakit Yarnon Kawasaki at 113 Chaglor Road (Near the SW corner on the outside of the moat). She speaks very good english, having studied in Australia. She is the wife of the owner's son. He is also there, as is their baby, and he speaks excellent English as well.

    2) Based on her advice (as well as Marcus', who was really nice to me even though I didn't buy his bike), I got my hotel to write a note simply saying that I was staying there. (Immigration requested a letter, but I found two hotels reluctant to write an actual letter for whatever reason. My hotel owner was willing to write a note on the back of her business card. It was in Thai, so I can only guess that it said I was staying there as I could read the date, my name and my room number. I copied this below the front side of her card and submitted it as my letter, which worked somewhat to my surprise).

    3) I took this "letter", a copy of my passport, a copy of my Thai visa (page in my pasport) and two passport photos (all of which can be had at a copy/photo shop just behind immigration - 2 baht per copy, 100 baht for 4 passport photos) to window #5 at immigration which is on the left side of the road about 1/2 way between the Airport Plaza shopping mall and the Airport. In about a half an hour I had a letter, also written in Thai that seemed to somehow affirm my residence in Thailand.

    4) I took this letter back to Note at the Kawi dealer and gave her about 151k baht. This was Tuesday morning. On Wednesday morning I got a call that everything was ready. Friday (yesterday) I was in Huai Xai, Laos, so everything seems to be in order (so far). I'll try to keep a bit of a trip log on the Laos page for updates.
  6. herph

    herph Member


    You might find the discussion on the thread for Marcus' XR 250 interesting. ... t4632.html

    My understanding is (and I certainly could be wrong) that the KLX 250/DTracker is the only "big bike" that has recently been sold at dealership because it is actually assembled in Thailand. It seems all of the other big bikes have been privately imported and registered. There appear to be many different ways to register a bike to get a green book, many of them rather dodgy. As far as I know, the KLX 250 is the only sure way to get a 100% guaranteed legit big bike. How much of an issue this actually is, I really don't know.

    Marcus, Pikey and certainly others must know how it is done correctly, but I think your issue will be finding bikes that you can trust are legit if you don't go the KLX route.
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Yeah, a GS800 would be a ripper but looking at Ed's original post, he wants to store something for a bunch of time. Maybe he has $$$ ouzing out of his a*se in which case he could stump up the readies for a GS then feel comfortable about leaving it somewhere for a long while. However, if he is a "normal" bloke (subjective term I know, so don't berate me) then he probably wants value for money and at 150K THB the little KLX is a bargain for a brand spankers, fully legit bike in LOS.

    I actually had the pleasure of riding one offroad yesterday for a few KM and thought it was a great bike, a little wheezy but great suspension and very, very manageable. Keep the chassis and dimensions, stick a 400 motor in it and it would be perfect!

    Hope Ed keeps us informed of his decisions and posts a trip report or two - should be good.....


  8. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    IMHO, go for a brand new Kawy 250!

    No hassles about time, money, papers and borders! And just what in need to have some good fun by there!
    You don't want to run the "Paris-Dakar", is it? So go for it and ENJOY!..

    Happy trails!
  9. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Quote ;
    My understanding is (and I certainly could be wrong) that the KLX 250/DTracker is the only "big bike" that has recently been sold at dealership because it is actually assembled in Thailand. It seems all of the other big bikes have been privately imported and registered.

    The above is rather misleading. One can now buy several brands of bigbike in Thailand, of which the majority are manufactured overseas and imported legally by the manufacturers. I have a large Yamaha and a large BMW, both new, full warranty, tax first class insurance and new green book and plates. The Yam was made in Japan and the BMW in Germany. Other makes such as Harley, and Triumph are also available in the same way. The official dealers are mainly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with one or two others, such as Phuket and Khorat.

    If you are ltalking about a stock, new legal bike suitable quickly for the sort of trip being discussed in this post, then maybe the Kawasaki, KLX250 is the one that makes most sense, and it suprises me that someone should think that 150K is expensive for this type of bike.
    In Thailand bike terms it is very good value, compared to what one pays for other new legal bikes.
  10. EdtheTraveler

    EdtheTraveler Active Member

    Thanks everyone for the great advice.
    The D-Tracker looks like a bike that might work for us where can I buy one and what do they cost?
    TIA, Ed
  11. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Sanchai Kawasaki, 113 Changlor Road, 053-201509, 053 201510, Chiang Mai. (Near the Chinese Embassy), The Bangkok dealership is nicely mapped on the Kawasaki big bike website.

    Good choice. Personally love my D-tracker; don’t find the motor ‘wheezy’ cause I like gone slow, my bony butt doesn’t mind the seat 'like a rock' preferring room to move around, nicely surprised by the good mileage, and at six feet tall find it a nice sized ‘small bike’ easy to move in the city.
  12. EdtheTraveler

    EdtheTraveler Active Member

    Fishenough, thanks, do they have a website in english?
  13. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

  14. EdtheTraveler

    EdtheTraveler Active Member

  15. EdtheTraveler

    EdtheTraveler Active Member

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