Motorbike Registration

Sep 4, 2007
As you have already sent the money, I guess you are going down this road anyway, so it will be interesting to hear how it goes.

There has been a well established trade in the sort of practices you mention and it does not seem to have caused problems for those with the right contacts.
However the attitude of the Consung offices that handle the registration changes, is definately tightening up. Here in Kohn Kaen, I have successfully transferred a couple of bikes into my name, I am fairly sure two of them, a CBR400S and a Honda AX1, had restamped frames, they went through the inspection where the guy takes a tracing on masking tape, and checks with the book of the frame and engine numbers.

However I am now having problems, still not resolved after 6 weeks, with a Yamaha 250. I tried the same process as before, completing all the paperwork properly, and going to the Consung office, (Local transport office where the do the driving licenses and tests as well)
The first thing they do is request the province the bike is registered in moves the responsibility to them, if you are in the same province as the bikes current registration then this not needed. This takes one week. All seemed OK. My bike was registered in BKK, where the bike had been bought from a BKK well known shop.
Went back after one week, already stamped move of province in the back of the book. Then the guy inspected the bike, he spent a long time looking at the frame number and went back to check all his records, finally found what he thought was a genuine Yamaha number and then showed me the difference in letter shape and stamping spacing. He said not original number cannot do. He gave me all the paperwork back told me to take to the office they would consult Bangkok.
Before going back to the office, I made contact with the guy who sold me the bike, he put me in contact with the original shop, the shop said send it all to them they will do. So I left the Consung withthe paperwork including the book and sent off. Still waiting, the shop owner now thinks he will have to come to Khon Kaen, my wife tried to politely enquire in the Consung office if a little money was required, but noone picked up on this.
What I should have done apparently is sent all the paperwork back to the shop and never gone to the KK office. The registration would have stayed in BKK, but it would be in my name.
Sorry this is so long, but it appears that you may be OK in some provinces but not in others. The guys who check the numbers see many many bikes, they know what numbers belong to what type and model of bike, A real Platinum number will not be the same as a Honda XR number, so unless you can find someone to turn a blind eye, may be a problem.
Jul 18, 2007
bjtravel wrote:

Anyway just a question to the senior members of the site about registering a bike. After all the different prices quoted to register and the time taken old books etc etc. Is there a reason why someone couldn,t purchase a Platinum trail bike and transfer the numbers onto an XR?
I can think of four such reasons:

1. There are several actions involved in this that are generally classified as crimes, including tax evasion, falsification of vehicle registration, and lying to public officials.

2. You will have one hassle after another in a) getting this done in the first place, b) interacting with authorities who will be suspicious while you own it, and c) trying to get rid of it/them.

3. Uhhh, to put it as gently as possible: If I were intending to do something like this, I'm not sure I'd be advertising it on a public bulletin board.

4. Finally, as others have said, or implied, the days of fiddling registration papers with impunity are numbered. This has been considered as some kind of "entitlement" by the Thai and farang community that wanted to own bikes that are out of the mainstream of what is produced in, or imported legally into, Thailand. The technology and procedures of tightening up are well under way. This will constrain the latitude that both owners and officials have for creativity.

If I were you I'd reconsider doing this. In fact I'm NOT you, but I already reconsidered and decided that whatever "savings" I'd make by trying to run below the radar of the law would be more than offset by the constant knowledge that I'm legally and financially exposed in an environment where I'm already at a linguistic and political disadvantage. I bought a legitimately imported and registered bike, and did the full registration process myself at minimal cost and with extreme courtesy of the Thai functionaries who guided me through the numerous steps involved.



Aug 20, 2003
Yes, a recycled book is illegal.
Yes, restamping a frame is illegal.
Yes, riding a bike with the wrong license plate to avoid getting pulled over is definitely illegal.
I would consider myself a law-abiding citizen, I generally try to not break more than one law at the time (joke). But in TH I've done or am doing all of the above. Why? Not because I disrespect Thai law, not because I think since I'm not at home I can do what I want, since practically peverybody is doing it. The Police here are invoved in major rackets aso.
No, I've bought the bike I wanted and could afford, a small 250cc, and tried everything to get it legal, or as legal as I could (see above). Didn't work; some local shops I simply didn't trust with my money and my original invoice. I finally gave up when even a farang (who is posting on this respectable site) didn't get back to me anymore after it all sounded very positive.
So I'm stuck with a non-registered bike which I paid insurance for which practically is invalid.
What lead to this situation?
I blame the restrictive Thai laws that made owning a "big" (japanese) bike legally practically impossible, while at the same time the police turned a (half) blind eye to the "grey" market. Guess that situation provided enough tea-money and kickbacks for certain people that it was tolerated, like so many other things in this country are ignored if the price is right.
Saying: "This and that is illegal, would you do it at home?" is only half of the story, and the reality is that decent people have to turn into criminals to be able to ride a used bike they wouldn't even be interested at home.
Of course, one argument would be: "Why don't you buy a new BMW or DUCATI or a Harley? They are legal!" - tell that to the thousands of Honda and Yamaha owners out there!
Fortunately we can now choose from a short list of new bikes and buy them with registration; a 250cc Ninja for 150K THB is not bad deal.
There's hope.


Aug 27, 2008
And I will be happy to add trip reports when i do get back also.



Aug 20, 2003
Yeo, you get what you pay for, let's hope the best! This "second generation" Platinum is assembled in a different factory now and things seem to have improved. Hopefully less parts fall off during the break-in period...
There is practically nothing else on the market, and the price is very tempting. But I'd rather buy a new Honda 125 Nova Sonic and kit it out with a long fork and rear-suspension and off-road tires, you can get the whole set at the Honda dealer, and you're not paying much more than for the Platinum. The dirt ability of that bike is limited, but you'd have a reliable bike for years and would even get some money for it if you want to sell it. Trying to sell a used Platinum is difficult, some give it away! (-:
But ley us know how things work out with the Platinum.
A japanese bike with parts made in China is still in a different league than a chinese made bike with an old japanese engine.