Best All Around Small bike???

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by pianoman, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. I have a friend of a friend moving to Issan in two weeks who wants to try and buy a new or used small bike for basic transportation... He is 67 years old, hasn't riden in maybe 12+ years... He wants something for running around town, but occassionally be able to take it out on the hyway for 1 to 2 hour trips...

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

  2. I have rode all over Thailand on both a Honda 200cc phantom and a Honda 125cc wave and they are both okay, The wave is better in traffic and around town but the phantom is better for longer journeys. I covered 25000 km on the phantom and 19000 on the wave and both were completely reliable
  3. Colin,

    Thank you for the input... I have a Phantom and enjoy it, but he finds it a bit too big and heavy for him... I thought that a smaller bike might be easier for him to handle, but worried that it might not give him enough Top End when taking the occassional longer Hyway rides... But if he can ride at 80 to 90 without pushing the bike too hard, it sounds like that may be the right choice...

  4. Hi,

    I have found the little Honda Sonic an amazing little bike, i have ridden it two up from Samui to Bangkok. It is now in Udon Thani and is a great little bike in town or out in the middle of nowhere. It has also spent a period of time on Koh Tao with the big wheels on and is ideal there as well.

    I have also got an AX1 which is a brilliant compromise as well. Not very good at anything but good enough at everything. Dead easy to ride and completely reliable which if you're going on trips out of town for a few hours is important. My mate does his visa runs on his to Ranong or Malaysia from Samui and have been to Phuket, Khao Lak etc on mine.

    Good luck with whatever he chooses.

    Cheers Duncan
  5. Thanks for the input Duncan... My Thai Lady is pushing for him to buy an Honda with Automatic Transmission, which I really don't know much about, but feel it may be a mistake... I think that she is thinking that it would be easier for her, henceforth easier for him...

  6. Pianoman
    Hi Paul,
    Good to see you back on the board again. I thought you may have gone back to the USA as your name hasn’t appeared for a while.
    Regarding your friend. I have a similar experience. I came to Thailand and started to ride again after almost 40 years. I was going to start small and buy a step-through but my predecessor was going back to the US and offered me his Kawasaki GTO125 at a good price so I took it. I have been grateful to him ever since.
    I agree with all that has been said about the reliability and performance of the small bikes but if he wants to do any time or distance on the bike in safety I would recommend a heavier bike. When I ride a step-through I feel as though I am sitting on the edge of a bench seat and lack the control of the leg-over style. With a tank between your knees you feel much more part of the bike and have much better control. The GTO125 was a great bike and could go like the clappers and you had this sort of control but because it was light it moved a lot with wind and road surface variation.
    The Phantom has a lower sitting position, is heavier and more stable and better balanced. It also has big tyres and excellent braking, and has 6 gears for good speed. It doesn’t move nearly as much with external conditions.
    The only time the weight of the bike can be a problem is when stopped. I have dropped mine a couple of times, the first when I was going to stop and then changed my mind and did a U turn. Unfortunately I was in 4th gear and stalled and fell over damaging the RV mirror. The other time I passed a side track I wanted to go down and stopped and backed up but put my foot down a hole causing the bike to fall over and break the rear indictor light. In both cases I stepped off and damaged only my pride. These incidents hardly bear mentioning compared to the spectacular crashes being mentioned in topic 937 at the moment.
    I have now done over 10 000km on the Phantom since I bought it last Nov and have not had a single fault.
    Good hunting,

    "The Journey is the Destination"
  7. Peter,

    I was back in the States for Aug. & Sept., back in Kalasin for only three weeks then back to the States until Jan. 06... That will end my "Greed Inspired" stint, and I will be home (Kalasin) until whenever...

    Again, my friend of a friend is 69 years old, and after seeing him try my Phantom, I just feel that he will do much better on a smaller bike... Mostly it will be for him to run around town, but might make short (1 hour or 2) road trips to local spots... Plus my lady is pushing for me to buy her an Automatic whatever and then let him ride it while I am away... I will go out today and shop around the local dealers to see what is available and how bad it is going to hurt me...

    Again, I will be back in Jan. and looking to doing some semi-serious Riding...


    Pianoman (Paul)
  8. To Anyone who cares:

    Yesterday purchased a Yamaha Mia 115cc Automatic drive little scooter.. Paid 42,000 baht with them throw in 1st Class Ins., all taxes, fees and registration, plus 2 cheap helmets, 1 jacket, 1 bag and a full tank of gas...

    Have had a chance to run it around a bit, and seems just great for it's intended purpose... I was surprized at how quick it was starting out, and I took it up to 90 on the hyway with no problem...

    It's not a Harley, not even like my Phantom, but a fun little bike that hopefully both my friend and my Lady can get around on and enjoy...

  9. Paul
    That sounds like the way to go - automatic. The other choice might have been the automatic Yamaha Nuovo, which I think might have a slightly bigger frame. The automatic JRDs might have been ok too, but I’m not really familiar with them, & suspect that parts & service could be a problem with the JRDs. Whatever, any of these should be great city bikes for riding in traffic. Cruising out on the highway might be another thing, but you have to think where will the most riding be done & its most likely in the city / village, if I understand correctly. And to be honest Im actually thinking I would not mind one of these for Cnx city next year, as chugging around town in the traffic on the Africa Twin aint a lot of fun anymore.

    Keep The Power On

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