Set Me Straight

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Buy & Sell - S.E. Asia' started by bahtbike, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Gentlemen,

    Set me straight. After about 8 hrs of pulling my hair out trying to learn what bikes are available (for purchase) in Thailand, cc rules and limits, importing nightmares, etc...... I think I just need to ask those that are over there a direct question.

    1. Are there any cc limitations or extra taxes on big cc bikes?

    2. have decided on a BMW G650GS or Kawasaki KLR 650. Are both or either of those bikes available (new) in Thailand?

    3. If not, can you go to the dealer and order ANY bike you want, or are the Thai limitations on this?

    4. Can some of these problems be circumnavigated by buying in Laos or Vietnam?

    5. Any other info you deem worthy now that you see where i am trying to get.


    Scott T (about to retire U.S. airline pilot)
  2. hi, this subject is a nightmare, dont worry about what bike you would like, decide what bike is easiest, cheapest and fully legal in thailand, also easy/cheap to maintain, so on that basis as of today buy a versys 650cc get some 60/40 tyres on it and enjoy every km!!!
    dont complicate this decision, forget all you know about choosing/buying a bike in you homeland!
    safe riding!

    remember this life is not a rehearsal!!
  3. I agree with Big Al, get yourself a Versys and be done with it. Great bike for Thailand and with some Pirelli MT60 or Scorpion Trail on them you can do some light off-roading too so can explore more. The G650GS is 580,000baht while the Versys is 285,000baht so a no-brainer really...unless money is no object, if it isn't just get a Multistrada :)
  4. gentlemen, plz! enough with the Versus. Seat ht, suspension travel, frame, gearing, general looks and style.... do i need to go on? NOT interested in Versys! Would love answer to questions. i guess by quoting the Bimmer price it is a defacto answer.
  5. what about Yamaha XT660? is that available in LOS?
  6. Just trying to be helpful old bean! The XT660 and KLR650 seat height, suspension travel and style are OK but the Versys isn't?! The XT660 isn't available from Yamaha Thailand, best bet would be to google Red Baron Bangkok and contact them, they can often import specific bikes. A lot of people who thought they wouldn't like the Versys were actually very surprised, great price and great bike too which can be bought and serviced at a wide range of Kawasaki dealers throughout Thailand with readily available parts.
  7. the versys is WAY too much street bike. if i was going that direction i would go FJ. not what i am after.... I want a true enduro.
  8. Well apart from the BMW you don't have many options. Try Red Baron or maybe these guys Link removed who can import bikes, heard good things about them too and everything in English.
  9. thanks. i will check them out.
  10. I think you would be better off with a Honda click, or even a bicycle.

    What is it about coming to Thailand that turns people into thinking that they are kids again? Infact don't answer that question....
    If you browse thro the manufactures above you will find out which bikes are available and supported by the OEM's.
    This list grows every year and Honda is the latest to offer new models here. The Versys is often recommended because it is one of the largest capacity bikes made here and so avoids punitive import taxes. These taxes are lower for ASEAN manufacturers so Japanese bikes enjoy lower taxes than such as BMW. kTM or Harley. However big bikes are still viewed as a luxury item and so prices for the high end bikes are often inflated by their importers even higher than they need to be. Red Baron can bring in most models at favorable prices and offer service, but it is getting more difficult for them to offer legal registration documents. This is a changing situation, but if you browse new posts here regularly it is usually well reported. The KLR650 or XT660 are not available OEM, but probably still can get from Red Baron
  12. i guess it is the same as thing as people taking the time to make asinine comments and judgements of someone they've never met.
  13. thanks John, awesome answer
  14. have you considered Triumph, They do a mean looking Tiger 800 enduro and I think its made in Thailand, maybe expensive tho!.

    ps. I rode a GS 850 back in the Uk but just love my new light weight Honda CRF 250, perfect for Thailand and dare I suggest Laos
  15. Buy the bike YOU want.

    It's your money after all, but do keep in mind the extra expense and headaches that can come with buying an imported bike that has no parts supply or dealer support in Thailand.

    Steer clear of "invoice only" unplated bikes or dealers that want to sell you an unplated bike and make vague promises about getting you a plate and book after the sale- too many horror stories of guys stuck with illegal bikes they can't register!

    The KLR650 is a great bike and it's actually manufactured in Thailand, but due to Thailand's ridiculous emissions rules for motorcycles it can not be sold in Thailand as it's carb'd and can't pass the Thai emissions test. I keep hoping that Kawasaki will add FI to the KLR650 so that we can buy it here, but seems it's not going to happen in 2013 so wait we must.

    Plenty of info on this forum so that you can determine what bikes are available here in Thailand- you can get any BMW you like from the official BMW network here, but be prepared to pay about double what you would back in the US and be aware that not everyone is happy with the service they've received from BMW here in Thailand.

    Triumph and KTM sell some fantastic bikes here, again at outrageous prices, but at least they are fully legal, come with a warranty and some dealer support.

    Importing a bike on your own is a huge undertaking and you should really make sure you understand the time, expense and headaches involved to import and register a vehicle in Thailand. It can be done, but if you value your time and money and sanity I really think you would be better off looking at bikes that are already in the country or speaking to one of the big importers like Red Baron that can import and register a bike for you.

    Best of luck- let us know how it goes!
  16. Other enduro/adventure bikes to consider which are available from proper dealers in Thailand are the Triumph Tiger XC, KTM Enduro and the KTM Adventure. Apart from that you have the BMW's, Kawaski Versys, Ducati Multistrada and the Honda NC700x, or grey imports from places like Red Barron. The Versys is the only one which is well priced, for the others expect to pay double the USA price.
  17. I'll set you straight! Don't make a decision while you're still in the US. Get over here, relax, get a feel for the place. See what's around, talk to people who live here, see what bikes they ride. Thailand is different and there are lots of things to consider.
    I've ridden big bikes in the US but don't feel the need to do that here. A 250 is already a "big bike" here; in the US it's a joke!
    Years ago a friend of mine wanted to bring his Range Rover; I told him to leave that thing at home, save a lot of money, and get himself something after he'd settled in. Later he told me: "To think that I wanted to ship my Range Rover...!"
  18. hi
    keep your hair on old chap!!!!!
    the versys with good 60-40 tyres will take you on every track and dirt road that any of the others will, believe me and many others on here, we are doing it daily!! the price is right, it is fully legal, the service is as good as you can get, parts are no issue at all, your versys will never be sitting in the garage waiting for parts and if you really want to do some serious single track riding get yourself something that will do that too, crf250L is very capable! and so is the klx250 with a few mods, all the bikes mentioned are most probably more capable than you, me and many of the riders in the world (except the competitors amongst us), it surely is about all the things you have raised as questions!! have you actually ridden the versys? and have you ridden it off the bitumen with the correct tyres? possibly not? or else i think your mind may have been made up already!
    please keep us posted!

    this is not a rehearsal!
  19. I was just at the Isaan Motorshow in Udon Thani and yes KTM and Triumph make some really nice bikes .... but hell the price are more as ridiculous added TAX but also ridiculous added dealer profits.

    And not to highjack the thread .... but I do not understand why an carb bike like the KLR650 would not be sold legally here. It can not be the carb itself as there many carb bikes legally sold here. Maybe it is just dealer stupidity, like Honda who did not even show their CRF250 on the Isaan Motorshow.

    Chang Noi
  20. I have to vouch for that.. No way I was getting a Versys.. But after having one.. Great.. Over the ugly look and easy to ride and plenty of power, suspension etc etc.

    To answer your questions.. I am no authority.. Others with a lot more knowledge on this subject, but here you go....:-

    1. Are there any cc limitations or extra taxes on big cc bikes?
    Not that I am aware of.. Main limitation is TAX for imported bikes.. Insurance etc is all very reasonable at least for my Versys / Ninja and KLX.

    2. have decided on a BMW G650GS or Kawasaki KLR 650. Are both or either of those bikes available (new) in Thailand?
    Check with the Manufacturers.. Kawa and BMW.. Or go to Redbaron.

    3. If not, can you go to the dealer and order ANY bike you want, or are the Thai limitations on this?
    Redbaron. He can answer all your questions.
    You will probably ended up with some witches hot pot of opinions here.. Redbaron does it all the time and knows what he is talking about.

    4. Can some of these problems be circumnavigated by buying in Laos or Vietnam?
    No! Don't even think about it..

    5. Any other info you deem worthy now that you see where i am trying to get.
    Don't try and do it yourself.. Waste of time and effort.. Go to Redbaron if you don't buy a local manufactured bike or 2nd hand legite imported bike with Green Book

    I know someone that may be interested in selling his Multistrada.
    May be out of your price league based on your comment above about BMW and defacto answer?

  21. I think this is probably the best reply and advice thus far. Don't try to make a decision based on your perceptions from afar. I have tried many times to explain to people what it is actually like riding here, but you never really understand until you get experience by doing it. Rent some bikes and get out to the areas where you expect (realistically) to do most of your riding. Also, see first hand the limited selection of bikes available, unless you really want to jump through some hoops. Then sit down and think about it.
  22. A friend of mine who spends several months here every year rides an Electra Glide at home. Here he's quite happy with a black 200 Phantom!

    Once I asked him if he wished he'd had his Harley over here he said: "Not really, that would be overkill. But I wonder if I could import the Phantom to the US..."
  23. Just wanted to close out this thread; first, thanks for all the responses.... Even the relentless Versys crowd. For those who read this string with the same questions I had, here's what I've learned and where got info...

    1. Still not a versys fan. It is a street bike. period. Even the Versys says as much and Versys owners chastise Kawasaki for even suggesting its an off road bike. I have seen a few that have modified for light off road and the price for crash bars, skid plate, new tires, new fairing, and fender extenders will run about $1,000 u.s. Given the low entry cost of the bike and the limited selection in LOS, I do now understand why the Versys crowd was so pushy. you still have a minimal suspension travel, small front wheel, and exhaust begging to be ripped out from under bike, but with the mods you could do some light off roading. I have moved from the "hell NO" category to the maybe category on this bike.

    2. To answer the questions of what bikes are available and at what price, I highly recommend ...... it only took a week of surfer before I stumbled on that page.

    3. As for the advice of "wait til I get there." I know you gents were well meaning but- no duh! (I wasn't sure if I could say no shit here) Of course I or anyone else doing their research is not buying til they get there (principally cuz you never know what the used market will be like) but the whole purpose of research is to learn. To that end, I've learned that:

    A. Even though my fav bike (the KLR) is made in Thailand, you can't buy one there! Insane? Yes, absolutely.
    B. You can get just about anything you want if cash is no question, but be prepaired for tarriffs, waiting periods, and thai gov b.s.
    C. Yes you can buy several good bikes like the KTM 990, BMW G650GS, Triumph Tiger 800 in thailand without fear of registration problems or anything else.... but they are all twice as much as they are in U.S. and Europe and my understanding is because the thai gov considers these a luxury items and the x2 price is inclusive of a luxury tax.

    4. Finally, it seems that over the past 3 or 4 years things have gotten easier to get a "real bike" and if this trend continues, maybe I will even be able to get my KLR someday!

  24. What I meant was not buying when you get here but deciding what to buy when you are here.

    You may realize after a couple of weeks that another bike may have been a better idea.

    Like my buddy with his Range Rover. He bought a Toyota 3L Turbo Diesel pick up and was happy with that.
  25. Thanks for the link to ThaiMC but at least their page of Ducati prices is not correct as I am missing at least 1 bike that is make in Thailand and is priced at 399k.
    And on the Honda list I am missing the CRF250.

    As of the KLR I assume it is not made in Thailand but only assembled here in an BOI-duty-free-zone with imported parts. So technically it is still an import bike = expensive = not sold here.

    I would advice you to buy an KTM Duke 200 ..... and when you are bored of it after 3 months I will be happy to buy it from you for the half of the price .... that is why Pattaya has a big secondhand market of big motorbikes.

    Chang Noi

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