If you look through the topic a little you will see that BertyBKK has a Yamaha TDM850 for sale. Link removed. This is a great all purpose bike IMHO. I have ridden mine all over Thailand and Laos and in all types of terrain with little problem.
A question though. You say you will ride "mainly in town and occasionally on the highway". Why do you want such a large MC? In town, Chiang Mai, I find myself riding my Suzuki DR250 much more than the big bike. Traffic is horrendous and parking is sparse. A smaller, more manueverable bike is much more practical and enjoyable in town. In fact, when things are really busy I ride a 120cc step through. I would consider exactly what you will be doing before deciding.
Agree 100% with Dave above. When i first relocated here just over a year ago, my mentality was "gotta get a bike, gotta get a bike" without much thought as to the ultimate purpose. Now I'm not young, am fairly experienced (but maybe still stupid!) and ended up with a very nice Yamaha XJR1200. Lovely bike, great power, good looking - BUT where could you use it? Answer - fast sweeping roads or "boulevard posing" neither of which are really applicable to the location myself and Dave ride in (Chiang Mai). Now it's been sold and I have an XR400 which I have ridden more in the 3 weeks I've had it than I rode the XJR1200 in a year. Moral: take your time like Dave says and consider it's main functionality.
Haven't checked your profile but if you are mainly in town with an occassional highway trip, then something like Dave's DR250 or an XR250 or Yam TTR250 would probably be ideal. Just my opinion...
No apologies necessary Dave. You know me, I like to take the p*ss out of people so if you can't take it, don't give it (hey BarryBBQ & Dr.G, don't take that the wrong way!).
Here's a pic showing my total incompetence on steep downhill single track (funny how no-one else crashed though!).This one is dedicated to you BIG & TALL - hope you are proud of me and doing OK back in the U.S!
Hey snakey one! read the post about collins dream ride, mate thats the stead to own, a real chick magnet so they say.
An they say you can loft the front wheel, so snakey, part with the Bart. Asia watch out,dads lock up your daughters.
Scott....land of Oz.( if we only had dreams in Australia)
Thanks for your adviceDave and Pikey.
I use to ride my BMW FS 400 in the Netherlands and use it mainly to commute home/work. It's a great bike but importing it to Thailand is too much of a hassle and finding the same bike here is too expensive.
So I might consider to buy a 250 bike. It's the horsepower that interest me more though.
It will be my first bike in Thailand, but I ride (motor)bikes like the shadow 850, Triumph Roadstar and BMW FS 400 for the past 6 years.
Live in Bangkok now, so know any reliable shops for second hand bikes?
Glad to help. Here's a tip for you: one way to quickly piss people off is to ask a dumb question without having used the board's search facility. I already answered your question about bike shops in this thread! and if you check that link then search the board with the shop names, you will find different people's opinions of the various shops. Good luck and happy hunting!
Guys, Why are you taking it out on the XJR? Ok I admit I have had mine 3 months and decided to sell but not beacause it;s not a suitable bike. Sure, it is a bit of an animal on some stretches but in 3 months I've covered over 4000 kms and I love every minute of it. The one thing I am not looking forward to though is the wet season and considering I live on top a mountain and have 500 meters of off road to get to my house this could become a problem. When I bought it I was looking to buy 2 bikes but the XJR took up my total budget but, She sat there just eying me up like a Bangkok Ping Pong girl and I just couldn't resist her! I'm easily lead like that!
So now I am going back to my original plan if I can sell it! If I cant all well and good I love it to pieces and happy to keep it, it just means I need to save up harder which is bloody difficult in this country!
Ping Pong girl for sale: Able to take on anything you throw at her and eats most people for breakfast. Never moans when you jump on and goes like a F**ing rocket! Unusually low maintanence just happy with a drop of 95, a hot wet rub down now and then.
No disrespect to the XJR - great bike but personally just didn't find it suitable for around here. I remember talking with you at Jonadda's a couple of days before you picked yours up and said much the same then. Glad you are enjoying yours though and yep, they do go some don't they! 
Absolutely goes like a cut cat! The only problem I find is steep down hill bends with severe left/right handers such as on the MHS loop, she does make may balls tighten a little[:0]! But you need to change your riding style to suit the bike not the other way round.
If you're ever out on another of your rides pop up and see me in Soppong. I will point you in the direction of some superb off road trails and may even join you (not with the XJR). Maybe you can return home with some more pictures of you bundled in the bush with an XR stuck in your groin to post on the site!
Don't rush too much to Red Baron. They are closed.They will open again on the 11th January... But then maybe it worth rushing a bit because they are having a "sale" until the 15th january.
Wednesday is their day-off.
Happy New Year mate. VTRMAN2 has posted an interesting trip from around Soppong with about 100km of dirt so when Silverhawk is back in town and we get time to chat and make plans for a few days away, I'll get your number from Jonadda (or PM me it) and we can hook up and then you can watch me crash first hand rather than just in pics.  (I'm even worse off road than on tarmac!)
BTW, XJR1200 - big power, but a heavy f*cker if you try to crack on a bit!
John will give you all my details although I think he will be struggling with my hat size but he definately has my number and direction to get to us...
I am going to take this opportunity to open an invite to all GT riders so some heavy plugging coming up...
We own a lodge where we will be soon changing from a backpackers lodge into a motorcycle information point. Basically a place dedicated to bikers riding the MHS loop. At the moment we are way behind schedule with this! We have also just opened a small bar/coffe shop and info point in Soppong (the only bar open after 7pm). Details can be found on Davids new MHS Loop map.
All this should have happened in 2005 but due to our old guest house our 4x4, my GPS and all my trail maps (that took 2 years to write) and my favourite Homer Simpson undies were all washed through Tham Lod cave June 2004 in a freak lash flood. A little bit of a set back! We are back on our feet now in a place nowhere near a river but, I have years of work to catch up on.
Our offer is if anyone wants to ride Soppong or looking for a cheap place to lay their head please visit us. I am happy to offer all my knowledge of this area which in my view is one of the best places to ride off road with trails for novices up to experienced. We also have loads of Local riders and army guys that would be happy to guide for you (for a beer or two). Although I do not recommend drinking with them too much! I ended up shooting M16's and threw a hand grenade with them one afternoon close to the border of Burma. It was only after I realised what a bloody stupid thing for a westerner to be doing in the jungle near a border patrolled by 14 militant armies the other side. I could have started a bloody war? Any way I digress!
As I said you can find our places on the new MHS map 'Border Bar' coffee shop and 'Lisu Mountain'. Sit foward on the bike and ride up to the guest house, it is very steep and keep well in to the outside of the road! It is Lisu Hilltribe area and their driving skills is much to be admired. Rooms are from 150 -250 baht for basic teak bungalows with grass roof, we have the only hot shower on the mountain and some of the best views in Soppong!
Providing I am around I will of course join anyone wanting to ride providing my Xr is back from the mechanics in Chiang Mai if not I will find a bike from somewhere.
I'm going to ramble on a bit here...It's a bit of a shame that many people ride (dirt bikes) around the loop but ride straight through soppong to MHS or Pai. Both have good riding available but both places are also full of people and tourists especially in the Peak season. Soppong is virtually devoid of tourism and the trails are much less inhabited. I know when we get out on the trails we feel as if the trail is ours BUT we must consider that the trail we are riding is a superhighway to the army and the hilltribes coming off the mountains. Considering the AMA incident in Laos, dirt riding needs to be kept to the less inhabited regions to avoid help prevent a similar incident. I have taken bends too fast at times and missed Army Unimogs, buffalo and hilltribe trucks by centimeters but thankfully never hitting anything.
As some may know we also run M/C tours road and off road, and due to the AMA incident we have decided to move all our off road tours from MHS province to Tak province for safety reasons. Just passed Mae Sariang there are still people although much less than MHS province but, most importantly much less car/truck traffic off road. When there are hilltribes walking the trails they generally hear you coming before they see you so they move onto the banks giving you free movement to pass them safely.
Soppong also has a few (sometimes) busier places off road such as the (easy) trail to Muang Paem karen village and up towards the turning to get to Baan eko then vearing of the the left to get down to Mae Lana often has convoys of isreali tourists in jeeps (between 2-3pm) bit apart from that traffic both foot and vehicular is much less than some areas in pai and MHS.
Stuff Coming up!.... For 2 years we have also been connected with assisting in building a practice off road track on 16 rai of land in soppong. As yet we are not finished (does anything actually get finished in Thailand ?) But we are trying to arrange an Enduro games day (or 2) just after or before the Pai Enduro in February. The plan is to practice with a few spins around the track then out to the jungle for some fun and games. Tomorrow I will be speaking with the team who are planning it. If it comes off I will post details! It would be good to have a few GT riders join in!
To cap it all guys (and Girls) Check out Soppong for trail riding and I will e pleased to offer you all the help you need to get some good riding in!
First apologies to Chinosnake for starting a thread looking for a bike that has turned into dirt riding in soppong. Forums are like chinese whispers!
the Route VTRman2 put on Soppong to Pai off road thread...Do not attempt to do this route 2-3 days either side of 15th January 2007! The Kings daughter (cant spell her name but the one everyone loves)is visiting Baan Eko. During this time virtually everywhere within 20kms of Eko will be off limits!
On 21,and 22 of January and I think 23rd, our village is having their annual 'Miss Lisu Hilltribe' festival, which usually involves lots of hill tribe boozing, lots of pretty 15 year old girls in full dress costume (usually married 3 years already), beer tents, and in the day football matches between inter Lisu hilltribe villages (Beckham eat your heart out). Last year I tried to arrange a football team of felang to take on the hill billies but due to bad management the whole festival was cancelled.
This year I am promised it wont be cancelled and they have double the budget to spend. If anyone wants to come up I guarantee only Gt riders will be there if any white face at all (bar me)! It is not advertised anywhere as it;s a lisu thing only (their like that) but I am part of the villages so our friends and guests are all welcome and it would be a good if we can get together a footy team. If we do we will be called Arsenal as the Lisu love Arsenal and will relish telling their mates the kicked Arsenal ass!
Depending on the amount of people that come we can arrange accommodation for you all before you arrive in either our place (Lisu Mountain), Soppong River inn, or Lemon Hill guest house.
Should be great fun. the kings daughter will sadly not be visiting this event!
All this wonderful off road bits and pieces surfacing now that I've flown back across the pond. MBT I'll be ringing your bell for a kip at your wonderful establishment when I'm back over in a few months. Pity I'm not there for the Lisu beauty fest, sounds a laugh.
Pikey and Silverhawk you doing these routes is making me green with envy. You buggers.
Hi Chinosnake, if you haven't bought a bike yet, I got just what you need: a low mileage, clean Yamaha Africa Triple 550, with green book. Let me know if you're interested! Also, if you think that bike's too big for you, my buddy has a Honda DR350Z Enduro, he wants to get a bigger one, like a Suzuki Super Tenere 950 or even a BMW M1300.
Better hurry, let me know soon, I've had a few offers already!