Plateless Bike in Khon Kaen

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by rustynail, May 29, 2004.

  1. Hi

    I use my placeless CBR 400 around Chiang Mai and have never had any problems with the local boys in blue. I will be off to Khon Kaen for a few months with the bike. Am I likely to experience problems there? Any advice on this topic gratefully received.


  2. Sorry for the late reply, I am in malaysia at the moment. Spent last week in Yala touring the poorer schools.

    In Khon Kaen, no you should not have too many problems. Khon Kaen is not to large and the police are only around really during the rush hour time of day. Just to play it safe stay away from the city at the busy time, but usually there is no problems at all. They tend to look for the guys wearing no helmets.

    have fun
  3. What is the worst that could happen if you get stopped or involved in an accident with no plates? Will it be impounded or can you get away with a fine?
  4. Depends on the police man. If you take it to the station the bike will be impounded for sure and if you pay for all the damages then you can get the bike back but you will have to register it before you are allowed to ride it again. If you find a corrupt police man your fate is in his hands.

    When will you be in Khon Kaen?

  5. Not true, at least in Chiang Mai. Early this year, I was involved in an accident with a motorbike. I was on a bike with no plate - it was in the works, but very slow. I did have an old MC plate from the USA on the bike.

    Both parties had to report to the police station the next day. I rode the bike to the station. The police report from the accident made no mention of the USA plate, just said that the bike had no Thai plate.

    I was asked about not having a plate, and told the police that I was waiting for it, and Bangkok was very slow. End of questions about the registration.

  6. Well, Bob, that's not really "having no plates"... thanks for writing but I meant the huge amount of bikes which are for sale ( with no papers at all. There are okay looking bikes out there for not that much money, especially the older models, and it's difficult to get a decent price if you want to sell your bike with papers. I'm telling people that it's a big risk to buy a bike with no papers, you can't go to bigger towns out of your area, especially not to touristy places, and if you're out of luck, the bike is gone... Just wondered how true this is, or if you can get away with a little fine...
  7. Hi Klaus

    My post was in response to a post that stated that a plateless bike would be confiscated if involved in an accident. At the time of the incident, all I had was a handwritten sales receipt for the bike. All the rest of the papers, including the import papers for the "parts" had stayed with the importer in Bangkok who was doing the registration.

    I agree with you about getting a bike with papers, but at the time, mine was truly a paperless, plateless motorcycle. And the police essentially ignored the fact.

  8. I guess the fact that your bike had US plates and that you had some kind of paperwork like a sales contract made the difference. Did you buy it here or did you bring it over?
    The bikes imported from Japan as parts and then bolted together in small shops with absolutely no paperwork besides maybe a sales contract from that shop are the ones the police wants to get off the streets, because they get around the import tax.
    Guess it's also always up to the individual policeman how he handles the case...

    Anyway, sounds like you were lucky not to get into a bad accident if you could ride the bike the next day...
  9. I bought the bike in Chiang Mai, and it is exactly what you describe. It was brought in by a Bangkok importer who aquired it in Japan, took it apart, and imported it as a pile of parts. The parts were sent up to Chiang Mai and bolted together by my mechanic.

    While the parts were legally imported, you are correct - a motorcycle was not. I believe that the import duties on parts are about 30%, while a bike would be 80% or 90%.

    That is why you have to pay these high fees to get a plate. I paid 60,000 baht for my plate, and I know the fees can go higher. It takes a long time, and gets done at an office outside of Bangkok on the weekend. Mine took almost 1 year to get.

    As I said, all I had at the time was a handwritten bill of sale from my mechanic - in English. The import papers for the parts existed, but were in Bangkok with the registration paperwork. The US plate was an expired one from my bike in the US. I had no US papers - the plate was decoration while I was waiting for the Thai plate. The police report just said that the bike had no plate.

    But this is Thailand, and in Chiang Mai. There are countless big bikes for rent here, and 99% have no plates. No doubt that other areas of the country might do things differently.

    I would not believe any rumors that bikes get confiscated, until I hear a first hand report. Anyone out there that has had a bike confiscated for lack of plate?

  10. Hi Bob, you're shedding some interesting light into the situation - I made the mistake to jump to the conclusion that since you're from the US and the bike had US plates that you imported it. Usually the "decorative" plates are local ones to blend in better...
    I've heard it several times from different people that you may be in serious trouble (big fine, confiscation) if you're caught without paperwork. And I repeated it. Maybe things are not as people say... Then again I know that there are strict traffic controls in Phuket. Maybe things are different depending on where you live (or ride...) -
    This site seems to be frequented mainly by "northerners" from the Chiang Mai area, or is this another wrong conclusion of mine? So things up there may be very different from let's say Bangkok or Ko Samui.
    I think this topic is worth a serious discussion and would like to hear more opinions and experiences fom riders all over the country! So I repeat Bob's question, which is exactly to the point:
    Anybody had his/her bike confiscated under any circumstances because of no paperwork?
  11. By the way, what kind of bike did you buy, and did you have any trouble with it?
  12. This site is probably frequented by northerners because it is "The GOLDEN TRIANGLE Riders" (sheesh!).

    I also bought a bike in Bangkok,a 1998 Yamaha TDM850. It has the pieced together import papers but the dealer (Red Baron) guaranteed the reg book and plate and he has a good reputation (but perhaps a little more expensive). It has taken about 7 months to complete the process. When I finally received the book it was in the importers name, which is normal I am told, and is now being transferred to my name. No problems except for patience, patience, patience. I took it to Xuay Sai, Laos with the existing papers and had no problem on either side. I have never been stopped or checked any where else even though there are numerous times the CM police set up check points and stop Thai vehicles. According to David the bike rental shops in CM were warned that they should get plates for all their bikes as they would soon be checked, but this occured 2-3 months ago and nothing has happened.

    I also have a so called "decorative plate" that is a Michigan, USA plate bought from Tesco Lotus ;>) but valid insurance and road tax stickers.

    From reading other sites and message boards Phuket seems to be much more strict on some of their enforcement polices and also tend to make up their own interpretation of many existing laws and policies (re info).

    Bottom line, find a good bike and enjoy the riding, don't be paranoid.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  13. Hi Klaus

    The new bike is a 2002 Yamaha TDM. The supposed history was that the bike was a demonstrator bike at a shop in Japan. In any case, it only had 4700km on the clock, and a couple small tank scratches. Up to 22,000km now, and no problems.

    My registration book actually lists me as the first owner, as opposed to haveing the importer as the first owner. It was registered near Bangkok, and I am now getting it switched to Chiang Mai - a minor job.

    About the plate. I believe that part of the delay was the fact that Thailand changed the size on the motorcycle plate. The new ones are much larger than the old ones, large enough to really slow down a Honda Dream.
  14. The TDM was always on my list of bikes to get... I had a couple of old XS 650's... Four-cylinder in-line bikes leave me cold, I like singles, twins of all configurations, triples, even a V4 would be okay, I like the sound. Is yours a 900 where they changed the ignition to make it sound like a Ducati? Which bike would you compare it to, and what are the ++ and - - ? Ever rode a Suzuki SV 650?
  15. Hi Klaus

    My first bike in Thailand was a 92 TDM 850. I like the upright riding position, low seat height (short legs), and the off road suspension. Great bike for the roads in Northern Thailand and Laos.

    Bought the 900 because the 850 was getting a bit old. Yamaha went to fuel injection, an aluminum frame, and a 6 speed gearbox for the major changes. Still a great bike for the area. It is a bit quicker than the TDM 850. But I can't really say that it sounds like a Ducati.

    Never ridden any Suzukis. My bikes in the US are older BMWs - an 84R bike and an 88K bike.


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