I'll be moving to Thailand next year to retire. Can someone tell me if the Honda Phantom or the Ka Boss are worth considering as transportation? I'm want to get around in town and make some trips with the bike. any advise would be helpful.[8D]
Both these bikes are popular with the Thais & quite a few farang riders in town (Chiang Mai.)
To make the right decision, your best bet is to rent one for a few weeks & test it out around town & see if you feel that it is good enough and suitable for what you want to do.
Mr Mechanic on Moon Muang Road is a hire shop where you can rent a Phantom. Give it a try.
Thanks for the info, David. Mike R sent me an Email with some good advise also. I've been reading about the trip out of CM and am looking forward to trying them out. I also bought the book by David U. I'll try to send out an Email when I head that way. I would like to meet all you guys at a watering hole.
My wife and I just returned to the U.S. from Thailand. We rented Phantoms for a 3 day ride to Golden Triangle. We have Harleys (v-rod, heritage classic and sportster) and were surprised when they called 250 cc phantoms "big bikes." At any rate, I am a big boy and I loaded my Phantom with my luggage and we took off. I was very impressed with the Phantom. We put our bikes through quite a workout in the hills, taking some of the routes and staying some of the places that David recommends in his book. The Phantoms had enough power and speed to get us where we wanted to go, and were nimble enought to deal with the crazy city traffic, and getting in and out of tight places. I told my wife that if I lived in a city in the U.S., I would buy one!
After two years on Honda Waves my Kawa Boss 175 feels like a real bike! Everything is massive and has a big bike feel to it. The engine revs to what seems like 8000rpm, top speed is between 110 and 120km/h, and it's easy on gas. I've had lots of bikes over 750cc, including a 1400 Intruder, but for Thailand I'd say that's overkill (even though if I'd win the lotterie I'd buy one!). The 200cc Phantom is all you need around here, from puttering around town to visa runs to the border. I can recommend those things - never thought they'd be so much fun!
P.S.: If you're tall, try the "smaller" Kawa - the footpegs are more forward, it feels roomier.
I am also in the market for a Phantom and have been quoted around Baht 85000.00 in Ubon and Sisaket, don't know what they are in Bangkok.
They have just introduced a new model with different badging,front forks, keylock and a couple of other cosmetic items.
It's pretty hard here to get a test ride or any useful info on performance.
I know this Thai produced model is also sold in Australia as a Honda Shadow for around Aud 6000.00 so Baht 85000.00 sounds pretty good.
That also means that they should produce an owners manual in English which I will try to get when I order mine, although that might be a trick. I will be placing my order as sooon as I sell my Kawasaki GTO 125.
Sold my Kawasaki Boss a while back and got me a clean 2 year old Phantom 200 with 9000km on the clock for 55.000 Baht. These bikes look almost the same but feel surprisingly different. Kawasaki put a little smooth high-revving engine in it; even though it has less cc, the bore is bigger than that of the Honda. The Honda is the better bike in my opinion, you pay about 10 grand more for a new one, but it's worth it. It vibrates a little and the little engine is fun, "lots" of power down low and midrange. They tried to build a little chopper. Also the sixth gear, the disc in the back and the easy to clean rims are a plus. But: no trip meter, no oil level window, which the Kawasaki has. - Other changes on the new Phantom model is a slightly lower and wider handle bar and a different exhaust - mine is quite loud for a stock bike. Also the keylock is not located below the tank anymore.