I can't think of anything less suitable for Thai roads. There are plenty mid-range motorcycles around which are fine for paved surfaces, but by far the best tools for the job are Enduro style bikes (eg Honda XR 250) which perform perfectly well on the roads, but can also take you to lesser visited waterfalls and hill tribe villages, most of which are only accessible by dirt trails.
Because 1 liter sport bikes are a blast. Northern Thailand has an abundance of roads suited to big sport bikes. That's why I have one. Waterfalls and hill tribe villages are not high on my list of must visit destinations. Done that already. I'll take an exhilarating high speed blast to Nan, dinner at Da'Darios, and a comfy hotel room any day.
That's cool. God knows Northen Thailand offers plenty of that.
I'm just taking issue with your statement that a big sportbike isn't suited to the roads here. There are many many roads here that are a great on a big sportbike. There is little traffic, and no speed cameras as well. You can't say as much for GB. Plus it isn't pissing down rain 11 1/2 months a year!
I agree Wimpy I'v just done the XR250 up and down mountains in the mud and rocks it was a blast. I'm coming back in October again. I'll be based in Chiang Mai I desperately need to be on a R1 or GSXR1000 were the hell can I rent one??
"Horses for courses" There are plenty of great roads for sport bikes around, unfortunatly from Bangkok I have a miniumum of two hours riding to get to anything worth while. But with a nice bike nestled between my legs and some good winding roads, there is no better place to ride a sport bike. For around the city I can barely think of anything worse than a sport bike, so I usually use a small motard, currently a XR 250 Motard or Dtracker. Perfect town bike, light and easy to get around traffic, plenty of pull down low and Bangkoks shitty roads are handled easily with lots of suspension travel and ground clearance.
As for hiring one, no one will hire you one in Bangkok, you can hire in Pattaya but are not supposed to take them out which sort of defeats the purpose of hiring one.
Hi was in Chaing mai in July and couldn't help but notice as i road around searching for my daily adrinalin fix on my Xr250 that a Bike shop on road to airport had 2 tidy R1,s for sale ( SA moto performance shop) ph 053 904239 the guy there at the time spoke little english but both bikes very tidy (no plates though) one bike 1634km(yes correct) 185000 baht the other newer model 17670km 285000 baht cannot remember exact model years but first maybe 99-01 second 02-04? very tempted after doing the little xr thing as well.
I personally think a 600 super motard bike (if i could get one too hold together long enough)with big brakes would be the ultimate northern thailand bike for me
Any way had a great time anyway and ended up with the mrs and daughter in a jeep doing some serious offroad trails heading north east out of Pai (thanks David)
Good luck trying to find the bike of your dreams and catch you all again next June
Sorry forgot to mention that after the jeep thing in the North , went to Koh Somaui in the gulf of Thailand and hired a shitty scooter thing (100baht day) the moment I got their. It was so dangerous wobbling and weaving its way down the side gravel edge of the road you are constantly run off by every other motorist. It managed to get me up the road far enough to spot a shop (OHM cycles ph 077 230701) hiring out ZX900r and R1,s with new sports tyres for 1200 baht a day. The scooters brakes never worked so well and booked one for a week. Don’t know about taking to mainland but could give it a shot.
The down side to the whole deal was I never had my own helmet (thought I was going there to sunbath and chill out for a week but should have known better). Had the choice of old full face road helmet with visor removed, motorcross helmet with peak and no googles or an asian style open face helmet with flip down small peak and visor in good condition. Took the asian style as at first glance it appeared the most suitable for what I knew I was going to get up too , first time out on the open road , open up the ZX9 and the whole flippin front of the helmet peak and all collapsed down over my face and eyes with the bottom of the visor cutting into my neck and my vision completely blacked out. Managed to hold that all together then retired to touring around with the visor and peak up in the air acting like the air brakes on the plane that got me there in the first place. Second choice was the motorcross helmet (funny though and I cant work it out the bar girls still didn,t seam to mind the odd attire )
If you go there have a go on the supercarts very fast 500c air cooled two strokes with direct drive rolling start (no gearbox or clutch) powerfull enough to spin up out of corners and get the big drift thing going lots of fun. Hire an xr as well (400baht?) and tour the hills, coconut farms and the café on top of the mountain for a day
Not for rent, but somewhere else to look for sportbikes in Bangkokis motozonebkk.com Mostly European bikes but a few very tidy late model Jap things there as well. Just picked up a 998 from them and they seem straight forward enough and every bike they sell is registered.