Which bike?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Thomiott, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Thomiott

    Thomiott New Member

    G'day to all

    I have been living in Thailand for two years riding a little Scoopi around town which I enjoy.

    I would like to invest in something to do a little touring on or just getting out on the weekend around the neighboring countryside.

    I come from Australia and rode bikes there for about 20 years, my greatest treasure being a Norton Commando 850 Mark 2A. I rode Ducatis, Laverdas, Moto Guzzis and jap bikes but the Norton was something that made me feel special. A truly superb machine which had a 2 year rebuild with only improvements and no major changes made. It had so much torque, superb handling and excellent presence on the road. So easy and a joy to ride.

    I have not been riding for quite a few years (I am now in my mid 50's) but would enjoy getting around Thailand on something enjoyable to ride. I am not near major cities so it is not easy to go for test rides although obviously this will have to happen once I make some initial decisions about what to ride.

    I have made enquiries about the new Norton 961 but the sales service is abysmal from Norton in England and their agent in Bangkok. Extremely frustrating. They do not even bother to answer emails in Bangkok. (They did once after I finally got Norton in England to request them to do so but that was their only attempt at generosity in customer service).

    Does anyone have suggestions about bikes to try?

    I am not interested in bikes that can only impress with straight line acceleration. The Norton felt better in corners than in a straight line and the motor and gearbox were a joy to use. It was at home on the extremely winding roads of Tasmania, on straight roads in the outback or a treat on the dirt. I am not interested in Harleys and Triumphs did not do much for me back in the days of Tridents etc.

    I would like to stay within a reasonable budget. At a wild guess the new Norton would probably have been around one million but this is the only bike I would pay this much for. Something used in good condition for 250,000 would be good. Are Yamahas a better feeling bike than a Kwaka? (I do not want to sound picky but those old SR 500 singles were so tinny they felt like they came out of a cornflakes packet). I understand Yammies are more expensive. Are they worth it?

    Thanks for your interest
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  3. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Suggest you try a new Honda 500. There are 3 models to choose from & they are all about 215,000+/- baht brand new.
    I have a 500X & am very pleased with it. Had a Triumph Bonneville before that for 7 years & 55,000 miles, was pleased with that as well but cost of parts is ridiculous & cost to replace with new bike is in cloud cuckoo land.
  4. Thomiott

    Thomiott New Member

    Thanks David. It is good to hear from a former classic English bike owner who made the switch to new Jap bikes.
  5. jimbobs

    jimbobs Ol'Timer

    I have just looked on Bahtsold, there is a Yamaha 650 special, with a green book for 50,000b.
    Looks ok i would look at it myself if i was home its in Hui Hin, cheep and cheerful, i can not put the pic up
    Good luck with your search
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    There's a black and gold Norton Commando for sale in Chiang Mai for about 300k Baht. It was restored by Pikey and looks superb to me. No green book, but you may be OK with that, if you are out in the country.
  7. Thomiott

    Thomiott New Member

    I have tried the Kawasaki ER6f today and the vibration is somewhat unpleasant. Also the handling is not as generous as the Norton and strangely 40 years later the 650 Kwaka is 20 kg heavier than the Norton. I would definitely be interested in having a look at the Norton. Who is Pikey? Does he have much experience with Nortons? How do I contact him as I am probably going to Chiang Mai this weekend.
    How can I get a green book if the bike does not have one?
    Your a gem Ian. Thanks mate.
  8. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Hi,Pikey is Jeff Pike, one of the owners of Tony's Bike hire business. This Norton is quite old and Jeff has not seen it for a long time. He is not aware it is for sale. These days it is very very difficult to get legal green books for such old bikes. Even a grey one if possible is going to cost over 50,000 baht. The ER6 when properly set up should not suffer vibration at normal cruising speed
  9. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    Selling my Yamaha FZ1 Fazer 1000 carbed, must see to believe for 175,000 baht.....if interested ring Ken 08 605 466 70 or [email protected]
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know where you are living, but I'd recommend a visit to Pop Motorcycle hire in Chiang mai & trying out some of his bikes to get an idea of how they go.
    I reckon you could pay to rent a Vstrom 650 for the day (2,500 baht) but swap between bikes & see how you feel.
    Pop's bikes

    Honda CBR 250c
    Honda CRF 250cc
    Honda CB500F
    Honda CB500R
    Honda CB650F
    Kawasaki Ninja 650
    Kawasaki Versys 650cc
    Kawasaki ER 6n 2012
    Suzuki V-Strom 650cc
    Yamaha FZ09 900cc
    Yamaha Bolt 950cc

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