Bike should be legitimate enough to allow for crossing borders into and ride in Thailand and Laos. My preference is for lower and lighter bikes. Ideal would be Honda Degree with excellent engine, kickstart and Baja headlights.
The Bike Shop (Bernard)
31 Street 302 (just east of Monivong, south of Sihanouk streets)
Vay's Bike Shop (Vay)
On Confederation de la Russia, near str 109; north side of street
Lucky Lucky (Lye)
On Monivong, just south of str 184, west side of street)
Oops...a late edit...as I should have added:
Adventure Moto 16Eo Street 136 (a block from the Tongle Sap River)
New store in town, xlnt mechanics...said they also sell bikes
All owners speak good-fair English. Emphasize you want _legal_ plates and reg. And you'd best get a Khmer driver's license:
Take your existing photo driver's license, $35, 3 photos and a copy of your passport ( photo page and visa page ) to Lucky Lucky on Monivong and 4 weeks later you will have car AND bike license.
See the tread below: http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?t=5693
I too have a Honda Degree it has the Baja headlighs but I don't know of any Degree with a kick start as well as electric start; however it isn't for sale - yet.
As to legitimate enough to cross borders; well I crossed into both Laos and Thailand a couple of times with my fake plates and rego on my Djebel (which has a large headlight electric and kick start and brand new fake plate and now looks Cambodian new again after being rebuilt and could be for sale)
The issue over legitimacy (real vs fake plates) as I see it is not so much the border crossings; they don't care so long as a card matches the rego and serial numbers on the bike; as the issue with the police in Cambo especially Snooky. They can cofiscate a bike withfake plates and it can cost a lot to get the bike back!
Basically if you buy a bike without real rego and tax paid it cost $300 to make it legal - get real plates. So factor that price in if you want peace of mind.
If you are buying a 250cc bike Cambodia new from a dealer then nowadays it should have tax paid and real plates (hence the price of new bikes has gone up over the past two years). If you are buying one second hand from an Expat then it is unlikely to have real plates unless it was purchased within the past couple of years (such as my 650 with real plates) or the vendor has forked over the $300. In which case expect to pay more for a bike with tax paid and legal plates.
LaudJohn, thanks for clarification on import tax, registration and driving license. I did read that in previous posts (most of them yours) already, here and on GT-Rider. So when are you going to sell your Degree, and at what price?
But I can confirm the procedure for getting the license. Well, have not gotten it yet but so far it worked exactly the way described above. I love stuff that works.
Which brings me back to the bike I want to buy. I have been to most respectable dealers (including all those mentioned by cdrw, many thanks for providing addresses) and seen about a dozen bikes in my price range (up to 1600 including tax). Reasonably maintained Bayas, XR, Djebel and so on with electrical starter cost at least 200 more. Not once was I offered a bike without import tax paid.
I am probably going to buy a Degree with the engine in very good condition for 1200$ at Angkor Motorcycles. He gives 6 months warranty on the engine and throws in some tools and spare parts.
If, however, anybody wants to sell his or her well maintained bike at a good price, even after Khmer New Year, I will still consider it. I pay more than you get from the shop.