Changing Bike

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Doug, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. This is nearly my first post. Have been riding bikes for over 30 years, last 2 were a Vmax & Fazer 1000. I've been avidly reading your forum and road reports (awesome).
    Question: 'How much bike do you need?'
    Have been thinking of the BM 650 GS. Any comments will be much appreciated and, oh yes, would it keep up with Dave Unc on the highway?
  2. BMW 650 GS = reliable , good all round performance , easy for spares and service, not an intimidating bike if you are a litlle rusty.

    go for it and enjoy.

  3. A little girl was walking home from school when a guy on a BMW pulled up beside here and followed her down the streeet. "Get on and I'll give you a ride home?"
    "No. Go away."
    "If I give you a lolipop/sucker will you get on and I'll give you a ride home"?
    "No. Go away"
    "If I give you a bag of lolipops?
    "No and if you don't go away I will scream for help"!
    "Ok my last offer a bag of lolipops and $10"
    "Listen dad you bought the BMW just live with it. OK"
  4. HI,

    I maybe quite suitable to answer your question or at least “enlighten”it a little since I have 27 bikes here in Thailand at the moment the range covering anything from Kawasaki KSR 110cc to a Honda Valkyrie 1500cc.

    As a former MC-dealer I also have sold about 20.000 motorcycles during some years som I regard myself competent to address your question even If my advice in the end will be go and buy a bike that you like and forget all others advices….

    Your own experience seems quite rigid so why do you need advice?

    Ok let’s skip the intro.

    The BMW can be a good choice if you would like the service you are used to from your home country. BMW or at least Barcelona Motors in Bangkok have a very good service starting from the sales, to providing the green book in a reasonable time to after sale service. Spare parts can normally be delivered quickly. Their “shop” is super clean, they serve you coffee when you are waiting their mechanics have clean overalls and are trained at BMW Singapore. BMW is also the only manufacturer who has a wide range of new bikes available. Everything is perfect!!! BUT

    You pay for what you get. BMW have an international code of how a BMW shop should look and behave together with an international code for pricing only taking into account differences in taxes and slightly labour cost differences. So spare parts and service costs almost as much in Thailand as they cost back home. That’s is quite OK but when you see how cheap you can buy motorcycle parts and service bikes here in Thailand you get upset. At least I can not stand it but maybe I am “kinioy” and Cheap Charlie. If you want to enjoy the guarantee you pay.

    The German roots of BMW can also bee seen in the lack of flexibility at BMW/Barcelona Motor. For example we have a Finish community here in Pattaya that has bought quite a lot of bikes from Barcelona during the last few years. We have tried in vain to have Barcelona appointing somebody to make the service here in Pattaya. It is not so funny to drive to Bangkok to have your oil changed. One time we had problem with a GS650 Paris Dakar leaking oil heavily. We found quickly out that it was the oil pressure gauge that was leaking and I knew were you can buy them in Pattaya (it is an automotive part) a quick call to Barcelona can we change it here in Pattaya ? No way bring the bike here and we change it. Since the bike had to be taken by truck we didn’t like that idea but a call to Yut (now working for Britbikes) solved everything. Barcelona Motors sent a big van with two mechanics in BMW overalls from Bangkok who arrived in the late afternoon with all tools and the new part and they assembled the bike in the garage of Siam Racing. They even brought their own oil. Perfect service everything on guarantee but somebody pays it….

    Back to your choice of bike. The 650GS is quite a good bike but it is a street enduro not a real enduro. Not even the old model with the flashy name Paris Dakar had anything to do with a Enduro even if that had a 21 inch front wheel at least. On one “high speed” tour to Cambodia my friends almost new Paris Dakar lost most of the parts that can be dismantled from a bike, the rear fender,.the chain cover the head lamp, whinkers etc. He didn’t only loose the parts because of screws getting loose but plastic parts got cracks and fall apart. I am quite convinced that BMW haven’t made any serious dirt track test before launching the bike.

    Another myth around BMW is about the quality. Made in Germany is supposed to stand for Quality. Anyhow being an old BMW dealer and based on my own experience together with my friends here in Pattaya I would say that BMW:s have more guarantee problems than for ex Honda and Yamaha, but BMW must get honour for taking guarantee problems seriously in most cases. We must also remember that BMW is not a German made product, it is a bike assembled from mostly Italian made items by Turkish Guestarbeiter in Berlin. That is globalization.

    The main problem with the GS650 if you go to bad roads is that the suspension both front and rear are under dimensioned causing the loosing of parts etc

    The engine is quite good. The origins of the engine is Rotax, an Austrian based engineering firm owned (if not sold lately) by the Canadian Bombardier or more commonly Skiidoo. I think, even if BMW people don’t confess it, that the engine is still made by Aprilia (now owned by Piaggio or commonly Vespa) but I can be wrong. At least they made it for many years without BMW confessing it.
    I see that the new 650 engine have new heads from BMW m3. I really don”t understand what that means but it must be good. Aprilia have the same engine in their models but they have different heads with 5 valves. I have 650 Aprila Pegaso with the same engine but carb model and the fuel consumption is enormous especially compared to BMW:s injection.

    The gearbox and clutch is very rough but you get used to it. Even the old BMW R60 and R69S had the same problem so BMW haven”t learned everything during passed years It is the same “Klonks” still when you change….My personal BMW experience in Thailand is based on a BMW Carver 650 with the same engine and now 30.000 km in the clock. I have taken the Bike a few times to Cambodia. My advice to others is do not do it.

    Despite all if you like the bike buy it and don’t listen to stupid advices.

    What else can you buy. At the moment you don’t have much choices. It seems like Ducati and Britbikes (same owner?) are still exercising how to get homologation and have problems to deliver plates and books (not personal experience just rumors) so despite nice models maybe it is better to wait and see until you see the bikes in traffic with white plates.

    Otherwise your only chance is to find a suitable bike from some of all these dealers who import second hand mostly from Japan and more or less in Parts. In that case it is not up to you what you want but what they have. You have other topics on this site about shops in CM,Bangkok and Pattaya. Have a look there and phone the shops.

    One possibility is also to order a new or almost new bike from the shops but it will take some time before you are on the road with real plates. But most bikes can be ordered. At the moment Joe’s motorbike shop here in Pattaya seems to have good connections both for ordering (Japanese wife), custom clearing (now the right guys) and registration (know some other guys). I bought recently two bikes from him and he delivered the books almost as promised. Red Baron also have a Japanese wife and he has been in the business long enough to know how to pricing the bikes. But you pay for what you get….X.treme bike also takes orders for any bike and at least some time ago he had new DR400 for direct delivery. Maybe good any how to read the topics on this site about Motozone before. And you can find plenty of others shops more or less reliable.

    So what other bike can I recommend without knowing exactly what you are looking for.

    If you are looking for Harley I don’t know. Not my business…

    If you are looking for Customs…Not my business either but why not buy a brand new 900 Kawasaki Vulcan with fuel injection and everything direct from Kawasaki in Bangkok. I think it was 540.000 Baht .On the other hand since you have experience of transporting 250 kg of metal rubbish between your legs in the shape of a Veemax I don’t think you want a custom…( all veemax lovers don’t misunderstand me but the veemax was a pretty good bike in 1985 but I don’t understand how it became an Icon so that people even bought new ones in 2002 the bike being almost unchanged)

    “Endurobikes”, that is my business:

    Africa Twin. A damned good bike but nowadays a little old fashioned. Hard to find since production ended 2002. But you can still find bikes with low km imported from Japan but the price tags nowadays for a 2002 model will probably start with a 3…
    Africa Twin has a very reliable and longstanding engine probably good for 300.000 km without overhaul. The electrical parts will cause you some problems, the gasoline pump brakes easily down and the regulator is a little under dimensioned for the heat in Thailand causing battery problems and generator problems. Suspension is old fashioned and not very good for very bad roads but on the other hand it doesn’t drop many parts because of it. Front brake disks get easily bended but here in Pattya they have learned how to straighten them up. I have 5 Africa Twins in my garage and I can really recommend it even with many km in the clock. One of my funniest riding experience on a AF was many years ago when the Koh Kong road was still dirt road and maintained by the Thai Army. A broad 140 km dirt road in good condition and no traffic and we were traveling with a Belgian guy on a Africa Twin, Mikethevigo on a Super Tennere and I on a Africa Twin. For some reason the Belgian guy and I started to “race” side by leaving Mike to eat the dirt..We went faster and faster until the power of the AF:s ended up so we had 170 km/h and up in the clock and since the bikes were similar nobody could leave the other and if you braked to early you could easily get stuck in the dust seeing nothing. Some curves went on the edge and we had to put the feets down many times to make it through the curves. And at every ferry we had great smiles especially when seeing Mikes dirty face…Everything turned out fine and nobody went down. Some time later the Belgian guy told me that he has a artificial leg on his right side after loosing it in a Ducati accident so he cannot brake…..What a guy!!! He even put his artificial leg down in the corners!!!!

    Transalp. Also a damned good bike but busy to find low km and full cc size in Thailand. Most bikes are old 400 cc and that bike is not so powerful. I am lucky owner of a 2003 (or something) 650 Transalp made by Honda Italy. Compared to Africa Twin this bike is more “up to date” the suspension and brakes feels better and it has as much power as the Africa Twins ( probably because the AF:s in Thailand are restricted Japanese models) and I am very satisfied now after 20.000 km. One reason why I talk good about this model is maybe because the bike was almost new when I bought it (1000 km) and a new bike always feels better. Ok the bike has been two time to Singapore (almost) and no problem. Highly recommended if you can find one. Alex at Xtreme bike gave me a quote for a new one 540.000 I remember. Too Much but I would even prefer that bike instead of the BMW GS650 if it was for the mess with waiting and uncertainty of the book etc. BMW is easy….

    Suzuki DR650, an old fashioned long timer in the Suzuki range. Despite being an very old model it is a good bike. The engine is working well, it is air and oil cooled so be careful with the oil when the bike get old and consumes oil. Suspension very good much better than BMW. Drops the side covers easily on bad roads but here in Pattaya we have local manufacturing of them. The chain guard will also easily get cracks and fall off. I have two bikes one with 50.000 km in the clock+maybe 10.000 km when waiting for a new cable and the other one 20.000 km. Both were new when I got them. The older one consumes oil but the engine is never opened yet. Check the air filter often (I didn’t do it that’s why it now likes oil) Sometimes you can find them in the Bangkok shops and in Cambodia they have them often for sale. I am not quite sure if the production has ended but I think they still sell them. I saw somebody on this site who had found one.

    Suzuki DR400 my favorite for Cambodia Laos. A modern bike with plenty of power and only 135 kg. Easy to pick up after you have fallen down or to put in a boat to cross a river. The suspension very good and up to date. For Thailand roads maybe a little to light. If windy you have to be on the alert. Anyhow it has power enough for Thailand roads as soon as you get used to rev the engine. The engine is water cooled and has a very limited oil capacity which means that check the oil often even if it is a little difficult the oil being in the frame. The water-cool expansion box made from plastic will fall in pieces by time in the heat in Thailand. Check it regularly. The battery (non seal non liquid) is not available in Thailand or damned expensive. I have found a computer battery same size but different poles which I have used without problems. Otherwise you can modify the battery box to fit another normal battery. The engine is probably quite reliable even If I have had a few engine failures probably “selfmade”. Low oil, and low water level maybe combined with a blocked petrol cap causing low gasoline level in the carburator causes over heating and there goes the piston or crank. The cylinder is chrome coated so you have to buy the whole package. The crank rod can be bought separate with the pin and bearing. The cylinder and piston is also manufactured by a Dutch company at a lower price but I waited three month for delivery before I went for an original…The scenario when the engines brakes down is always the same. Coming back from Cambodia at Aran, dirty and the “Cambodia file” overloaded quickly back home to civilization in Pattaya (if you can find it there) Ok we check oil etc in Pattaya when we service the bikes. Then 5 overweight drivers are leaning on tanks trying to find out who is the fastest. Ok the DR400 can do 150-160 km/h when you really try and everything feels good on the good roads in Thailand. I think everybody who has been in Cambodia for a while know the feeling. Probably we are looking so funny on the bikes that the police don’t even bother to stop us. Then one of the bikes stop, he turns to the reserve and then after a while the bike start again. But why did he have to turn to the reserve because we all have the same bikes and plenty of gasoline left in our huge 10 liter tank. A little later at high speed the engine halts and it is time for a pick up trip…I thought a long time about why the DR400 can run at top speed when going from Pattaya to Had Lek without problem but many time they can not do it from Aran to Pattaya. The reason must be that in Cambodia you get the small red dust into you tank cap blocking the air intake to the tank. Then when driving at high speed (no problem in Cambodia because you drive more slowly) the air intake is smaller than the gasoline need resulting in a stop if lucky and if unlucky a low gasoline level for a long time in the carburator resulting in a lean air/gasoline mixture and a little higher top speed before the engine brake down because of over heating. If you return some times from dust road stop the bike and listen to the “complaining” noises from your tank cap. Anyhow the DR400Z is a lovely bike and highly recommended and easily available in Thailand. I have 5. A yeah another nice DR400Z related anecdote from Cambo. When renovating a valve failure in Batambang and the work in the final stage we wondered how he will get the valve measures right. He had no tools for that. Now I know exhaust is two chang Beer can cut up and intake is one…. I also learn how to use the small valve adjust bricks. If too big one Cambodian keep a rotating milling machine firmly in his hand while another Cambodian keeps the small brick against the milling stone until his fingers can not stand it any more and he throws the brick into oil bucket for hardening, after cooling the same procedure again. The poor boys fingers looked really bad but we made it to Pattaya and checked the valves there. Everything correct. Amazing Cambodia.

    Yamaha TDM850, Super Tennere 750, I think I handle both bikes together since their engines are almost same. The TDM is not an enduro bike but a nice bike for Thailand with an upright sitting position The Super Tennere is a Enduro machine in the same way Africa Twin is it. Both bikes are easily available in Thailand but they start to be old….TDM:s you can find in very good condition and low mileage at about 200.000.
    Super Tenneres are about the same maybe a little lower. The engine is very nice parallel twin with power about same as Africa Twin. Nothing bad to say about either. The Super Tennere:s frame broke down in Cambodia but very efficient Cambodian certificate welders put it together in the dark under supervision of a few Falangs. We even used the same method to compress the frame back to original dimension as constructions workers assembles their bamboo working sites. Very easy and efficient. The Super Tennere is now in the process of a total overhaul. My TDM worked perfectly until I was stupid to rent it to a French guy living close to my home. Normally I do not rent out to anybody but after I practiced my School French a few times at our local bar I made an exemption. When checking his papers he was almost French but Algerian…He rented it for three weeks and brought the bike back with a Klonk Klonk noise. Now the bike has a more powerful TRX engine. But anyhow if you find a clean TDM and only want to ride in Thailand it is a good choice. Super Tennere is a Yamaha version of Africa Twin according to my opinion not so good as AF.

    Aprillia Pegaso was sold a few years ago in Thailand and I am a Lucky owner of one. From factory some strange problem with the carburetor and more than 10 liters per 100 km was a little bad. After several modification I am down in 8 liter after boring holes in the carburetor in accordance with Instructions from the factory, The Thai importer has now disappeared. Avoid the bike if you don’t want some “New Experience” In principle I like to ride the bike and I can afford the gasoline bill but I have to stop more often than my friends on DR400:s and the reserve tank on Aprilia only take you 5.2 km!!!! But that is good for my health to push the bike…. Every trip in Cambodia results in broken front fork seals.

    VTR1000, CBR1100XX

    Nice bikes and easy to find VTR have the same regulator problem as Africa Twin. Personally I don’t like to ride these bikes but I have a few friends from Finland who comes here regularly to take the VTR:s to David”s home roads. Both VTR and CBR1100 are very reliable machines without any born defects. If you look for a CBR1000 which is a little less sporty XX be prepared to change the cam chain tension now and then…

    XR400 supermoto no experience yet but it looks fun and the bike is light. Maybe next week I know more.

    Honda Valkyrie. Why the hell did I buy it… No it is a very nice bike and more suitable for Thailand than the Gold Wings even if I like them also under other circumstances. Valkyrie is more cool….One reason for buying it was also that it is made in US and have more parts made in US than a Harley and that is a good subject for discussions at some bikeweeeks….The engine is so smooth that Rocket Three also looses and the engine is good for 500.000 km which I will not be able to reach. Anyhow here in Pattaya with all potholes and road work you can feel the weight even if the gravity center is very low but when I get to he Malaysian highways…. Only for freaks and at the moment the bike is partly dismantled for more chrome work… Cheap in Thailand.

    Yamaha Nouovo, a superb touring bike. You can easily do 100 km/h and this is actually enough for most roads in Thailand. I have gone with the Nouovo with Harley Gangs (Stonehead in Pattaya) and I always arrive before them partly because they have to stop at pick up dropped parts. Ok no joking it is 100% possible and very enjoyable to tour Thailand and the rest of South East Asia on a scooter. You can drive almost the same distances that you do with a big bike but maybe you have to use a little more time. Even the bad roads in Cambo Laos can be done with a scooter, actually that is the way the locals travel. Try it. I have two Nouovos at the moment and they have almost 20.000 km. One of my friend did 28,000 km the first year.

    Kawasaki KSR a very funny bike to modify. Plenty of kits and funny accessories but not so funny to drive in Pattaya. The police is very keen to stop you if you have a modified exhaust. Not for touring even if I saw plenty of them in Cambodia ridden by Thai Riders.

    Suzuki DR750/800. I only have experience of the 750 but since that is not available any more I put the 800 also because they are very alike. I am not sure either whether Suzuki does the Dr800 anymore for some markets. Anyhow a very good bike for Touring even if not a real Enduro Bike. Very much same as Africa Twin but not so heavy. Air and oil cooled so be very careful when driving in the hot check the oil. I did not check it on my way to Alice Springs and that cost me a cam shaft. Ok to make a long story short I did almost 100.000km with my DR and very few problems. Two trips through Indonesia and Australia and the first falang to go to Cambodia on a bike where maybe the highlights of the bike. If you find a DR800 with low km buy it. You can almost do the Ironbutt test without tanking, the tanks takes 30 liters and under 100 km/h 4 liter 100 km. My DR 750 is now back in my hands. I found it under a policeman’s house here in Pattaya and it Changed owner for three bottles of Black Labels partly consumed together. Now I restore it, anybody know where I can get a complete electrical outfit for it?

    I think that was all, maybe I did not answer your question but I hope you can find something from this long thread and somebody can enjoy the cambo experience. If it is too long I hope the moderator take away it.
  5. what a good run down of whats what in biking in Thailand
    thanks for that
    very useful
  6. I would second Hiko's comments re the Suzuki DRZ400S as a good
    "ALL-ROUND " Cambo Laos bike

    There's a bunch of us over here running these bikes and so far they have proved reliable and low maintenance
    All the bikes here are imported secondhand from Japan(similar to Thailand I suspect) and often have aftermarket exhausts(Yoshimura/FMF) and carbs(Keihin/Mikuni TMR)
    Standard Horsepower is ~33hp but the exhaust/carb upgrades can add up to ~5hp so ~38hp all up, which is not bad for a 133kg bike

    Main downside for long distance highway cruising is the narrow seat and lack of 6th gear.
    I replaced my seat with a custom Corbin(expensive) but if you know a talented upholsterer you can widen the stock seat base and add good quality foam......

    Changing the stock sprocket gearing of 15/44 to 15/41 can make highway cruising (100kph) more comfortable (less revs) but if the bike is mainly for serious offroad use, better keep the stock gearing or go higher.

    If you're not too fussy, a set of Thai Vee Rubber tyres will cost ~$65 and Oring chain and sprocket set ~$70.

    If you want a bike mainly for highway use, then forget it, probably better with a 600/650cc ....
  7. BILL
    POWER 29,4 kW (40 hv) / 7.600 rpm
    TORQUE 39,2 Nm / 6.600 rpm


  8. O Yeah

    I forgot it but I have probably 1000 times been looking for the sixth gear when speeding on the 5th. The bike could really stand one gear more.
  9. About the DRZ seat...
    I got a good advice from Joe(Joe Bike Team), in Chiangmai, and had my seat widened by an upholster. The guy is on Wualai Road. Coming from Chang Lor road take Wualai road on your left. Then, after about 200 meters, start watching the right hand side of Wualai. You 'll see car seats, etc on the footpath.
    The job has been done 6 months ago and the seat is still comfortable for highway cruising.
    I pick up the chance to thanks Joe and wish him good
  10. I would be almost too shy if Hiko hadnt mentionend scooters,
    but now I will dare to mention my beloved Honda Silver Wing, automatic 600cc. Not as pompous as the GoldWing, very easy to handle, compfy, just pure pleasure
  11. Good post. just had a quick look at it..anyone know anything about the Honda XR650R.. Read some good rightups on them..but never riden one.have ridden the earliar 650L..bit heavy.
  12. Bill

    I am not quite sure what version you talk about but the figures I showed were from a 2007 model and I am quite convinced that my old blue 400 bikes have the same specifications. There is neither no reason that the Jap bike have less power because Japan does't have any "power" rules in this segment. But let us check up!

    PICO-PICO sorry for forgeting you but I don't have personal experience of the Silver Wing (name stolen from the dressed GL500 Silver Wing from 1982) OK If you want me to talk about Scooter Experience I can tell you about my JRD but the words I will use will be censored by the Moderator. Sorry to say but there is no civilized words that can be used to give a picture of how bad that bike is. Next time I go to Malaysia I will try to think about what bad I can to to them when I see the factory just before the border (or maybe the insurgents take care of it)

    Your Silverwing is a combination of the 1986 Honda Helix 250 and the 1988 800 cc Honda Pacific Coast. Your bike is very good but you have good competition from Suzuki 650 Skywave Burgman, Yamhaha 500, Piaggio 500, Aprillia 500, Hyosung 500, Kymco Xciting 500 and maybe some of these already have 650 variants. Maybe it is soon time for you to abondon your Honda for something else. Anyhow I have good trust in Honda as the number one manufacturer.

    Ivan I have two friends who have experience from theXR650R which is a watercooled 100% off road racing machine with a kickstart and no electric start. That maybe make it a little unsuitable for normal touring even if my friends love to tell how easy they are to start. You can try to ask Harrythefinn who actually is more Aussi than Finn about i. The XL650L is a aircooled sweet version of the XR650 with electric starter and no aluframe, actually nothing to do with the XR650R. It is actually more a Honda Dominator but anyhow a good bike. I think I read in some american publication that the XR650 R now will come with a electric starter but who knows.

    Good Night

  13. Guys, thanks very much. Hiko, you are almost an encyclopedia!!! Great info. You've given me plenty to look at and think about. Thanks again.
  14. Alex, spoke to our local, very friendly, motorcycle cop, last week. He has an 1150R Police Bike, (believe there are 3 1150R Police Bikes on the island). Anyway I asked him what he does about servicing and he said Singapore BM dealer will be opening a branch on Phuket in about 1 months time. (1 month Thai Time, normally means 3 months Farang time..)
  15. Hiko, what you say about the Suzuki Skywave 650 is interesting.
    The dealer who sold the Silver WIng has actually a Burgmaster 2005 , 5000km for 450.000 b.
    The only reason why I was tempted to change is the difference in transmission. I brought the transmission belt to it limits driving long steep hills up in the North.Doi Ang Khang,I think on 1249.
    It slipped. Later Mike Rust got me a set of differently shaped weights from Dr Pulley plus a Malossi Multivar that made a world of difference. But I have not tested it on long, long steep steep mountains up North. I am worried that a slippage may occur again under extreme circumstances, a situation which I cannot afford = to be stuck between mountains in the middle of nowhere. After all to push my darling even on flat land is not an option ( 270 kg with side car )
    This is the reason, why I looked at the Burgmaster 650. It has an electric gear system combined with an Aluminium amid belt plus Schubglieder( whatever that is )as used in some cars. I did not get a clear answer if this system is guaranteed to perform 100% in extreme situations. All I want is that almost 100% of the engine power reaches the wheel and there will be no slippage.

    Any thoughts on this ??

    Cheers Pico
  16. PICO,

    You probably haven't looked at any Burgmasters but Burgman. I think Burgerking has Burgmasters... The Suzukis are Burgmans in Europe and Skyways in other countries. Same shit o sorry stuff...

    If you look for a Burgman try Joe here in Pattaya He is much cheaper.I bought a Burgman from him for my friend and the price was good and book delivered in time (with a Thai touch) and the last payment was conducted when the book was delivered.

    I did some research just for you and the transmission seems very complicated. After the engine the power goes into a CVT box (don’t ask me what it means) The CVT package which is sold either as a complete package set (approx 2000 USD in US) or as separate spare parts. This indicates that either it brakes down easily and totally or it is so damned difficult for a non expert to assemble correctly.

    Inside the CVT you have a v-rem (cost 110 USD) maybe it has some alu inside. This goes between the primary and secondary pulleys. There is also an electrical motor which activates the gears but I cannot find any gears…Probably the pulleys changes the gear ratios activated by the electrical motor. If I remember right the Burgman can be driven either totally automatically or semi automatically in a Formula 1 way by pushing buttons for next gear.

    The CVT is connected to a cluch which looks complicated but is almost traditional with friction plates etc. I don't know how it is activated but I think that it is a centrifug clutch.

    From the CVT you have a shaft drive ( not the same shaft drive as we think) into another black box or actually silver painted, with 4 idle gear sprockets moving the power towards the rear wheel… Looks technically as very strange solution….

    PICO-PICO I think this is not a bike for you. Probably a good bike as long as it works but when you put your extras beside it and try it at the limits you better have a spare CVT in your sidecar and Stormfuhrer Schubglieder ready to assembly it in the Laos mountains.

    Ok my own experience is limited to a few ten kilometers around Pattaya so if somebody on this Forum has real experience and knows what he is talking about I will be happy to change my mind. Sometimes I am wrong even if it is hard to admit it...I was wrong on the Africa Twin model years and it still hurts....

  17. Thank you for saving me a bundel of money, Hiko. It helps to get outside confirmation that the present bride is rather sexy after all. I just wonder how I can settle my professional fee to Doctor Hiko for his valued opinion ???

    May I ask one more thing =

    Due to Dr Pulley weights the rev went up by about 1000, resulting in more momentum. There is a warning light related to the transmission but it is of no use to tell me the belt is about to slip.
    If I can stay below the slipping point ( kind of stay in first gear ) then I get max power to the wheel. If it starts to slipp, which I dont necessarily feel, the belt will heat up in no time, losing all grip.

    Do you think a sensor could be added to sound alarm in whatever form?
    I hope it is comprehensible what I mean.

    Thanks again, Hiko
  18. I have to agree with HIKO about German high quality often not living up to the Standards one expects. Many of my friends who are avid and fanatical BMW owners will admit that there are often problems especially with rusty exhaust systems made of poor quality stainless steel and also fuel injection problems. Many of the other engine and gearbox problems that occur are often attributed to production engineering cost cutting not poor design. Volkswagwen have really suffered over the last few years from this problem and also Mercedes Benz/
  19. A big thank you to HIKO for adding to this rookie rider's basic knowledge of bikes!!
    I have been taking my bike to Joe's shop in Pattaya...and I think he just shakes his head at the naive questions I sometimes ask [;)]
    Maybe some day we'll meet and I can sit at the feet and learn more from one of the educated bike masters.[:)]
  20. CDRW get yourself to MotoGP Sepang Oct 19-21

    HIKO will be there along with a few more GT-Rider guys, so we can put names to faces. It seems Hiko is such a wealth of infomation, whenever we have a conversation with him, you will need a notebook and pencil, as there is so much technical and interesting info to make a note of.
  21. Well I'm going to "second" Hiko's comments about the TDM 850. Mine has been very reliable and served me well in Thailand and Laos. It is a 1998 and I may be selling it soon due to the addition of my DR650 to my "stable". Not quite ready to post it on the board yet, but if anyone wants to email me and make an offer we can talk.
  22. Hi Hiko
    Your figures re the DRZ400S hp are the manufacturers which is fair enough
    My figures are from non manufacturer dynocharts
    Loads of them avail via google

    Dyno-Suzuki2000-2004DRZ400S. ... RZ400S.htm

    I guess its personal choice which figures one uses
  23. Sometimes less is more, especially in Thailand.
    I'd opt for a SV650, I bike that I hear lots of people are happy with. Never rode one, though. Fast enough for sport/touring, I'm not a racer; light enough for curvy roads in the hills; good for commuting to work. Overall not too expensive. I wouldn't go for a bigger bike in Thailand. Of course in Europe or especially in the States 650cc is considered "beginner's" size, but around here hundreds of people seem to have major problems with 110cc bikes every year. . .
  24. The closest I've been to a MotoGP race is the TV screen. Surely they are exciting. I use to attend many SCCA (car) races, but never bikes.

    However, I know I'll not make it to Sepang...with the US dollar in the toilet, I can now be found at the local PTT gas station. I'm the one wearing dark glasses and hawking pencils from a tin cup...[8D]

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