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I wanted to hear what make and model scooter everyone is riding. I know the Honda Dream and Wave are popular, but what features made you pick the one you ride? What features did you wish it had? What can you do without, auto transmission, EFI, etc.?
 

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Yamaha Fino - was going to buy a Honda but a friend told me about this Fino his neighbour had stored - been bought for his daughter when she came to Thailand for 6mths, 4000km and still under warranty, he was happy to clear space in his garage for half what he paid fpr it. A bargain.
Over 20,000 km since then; longest trip in one day 400km+ from Sa Kaeo-Chanthaburi-Rayong, and numerous trips here-Sa Kaeo (180km) most recently last week. Have averaged approx 1000km per month.
Get it serviced as per book - oil every 3000km @ 150baht up to 500baht.
Has been faultless. Apart from tyres, scheduled maintenance and an upgraded rear shock, never any mechanical breakdown, one headlight bulb last month the first time I've had to replace one.
Comfortable enough, the 'floor' area is handy for carrying large items, and prefer to put a day pack there rather than wear one. Box on the back is handy. Seems indestructible, have loaned it to people many times the auto gearbox makes for easy riding and have given riding lessons to a couple of friends' kids.
Don't think there's necessarily anything 'wrong' with any of the main Japanese brands, we're only talking scooters here, comes down to personal choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad you got such a good deal. What size is it? Is a 150cc scooter large enough for a 250lb driver and 110lb passenger, or is something larger needed?
 

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Finos are 115cc; Yamaha also make the Elegance which is 135cc - I understand that 135 is the limit for scooters tax or duty maybe (?) and being 135 or less keeps the price down.
There are bigger 250, 400, 600cc etc scooters but at huge cost comparatively.
lbs - I'm metric! that's 115 and 50kg; I upgraded the shock to one with a maximum load limit of 150kg (I think the original was rated at 120). We're well under that - and weight is something to consider as Finos have a single-shock rear suspension, whereas their Elegance, most Honda models, have twin shocks.
 

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Suzuki Hayate 125cc.
At the time one of the cheapest scooters with 125cc + injection (THB 52k)
Big plus: the space under the seat.
Big minus: tough driving, means tough consumption.

Otherwise: great bike and runs smoothly.
 

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Yamaha Elegance is a good bike ,two rear suspension legs,electric start,automatic,135 cc. is good for extra acceleration,especially on main highways. Try a local auction first,the above bike goes for a small premium apart from other bikes. If you reside in a hilly area I would go for a chain and sprocket,clutch burnout always a problem,but flat areas automatic is good.
Auctions are good,bought the TGF one from an auction,she wanted a new one,but bought her what she would have regarded as a wrecker earlier @5000 baht,goes like the wind,almost as good as the one above and I got that half price ,one year old. Could start a business,buy them from auctions, then sell them on or rent them out.
 

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Could start a business,buy them from auctions, then sell them on or rent them out.
I'm sure there are plenty doing this; English guy who lived near us in Phuket made a trip to Bangkok auctions every 3-4 weeks and came back with 4-5 each time, often repossessions, and he only bought ones with low kms and still under warranty.
As I found, second-hand prices can be far below new price.

We've got a Honda Sonic as well, 125cc 5-speed gearbox, quicker than the scooter but v uncomfortable for anything but a short trip, am too tall, and seat is i think made of wood!
 

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First let me say how grateful I am to find this forum. I intend to move to Thailand in about 7 years with my wife who is Thai. I visit every year but for only 2 weeks and I love it there.
Now on to the topic.
We will have small 4x4 truck but I also want a scooter. My thoughts are as an american I will be learning to drive on the wrong side of the road. LOL
So I want a scooter with an automatic transmision if possible. 1 less thing to worry about LOL.
Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hear that test drives are unheard of in Thailand, do you have to go by looks/specs alone when buying a scooter?
 

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So I want a scooter with an automatic transmision if possible. 1 less thing to worry about LOL.
Any suggestions?
all the major manufacturers make autos, really comes down to personal choice on what colour scheme you want; the Honda Scoopy and Yamaha Fino are lookalikes, Suzuki's Hayate, when we were in Phuket some expats were going for the Honda PCX - it's a bigger-bodied scooter maybe (politely!) more suited to the build of many expats. More expensive though, think they're approaching 75-85k depending on options, compared to under 50 or so for Scoopy/Fino

This site Motorcycle Thailand has links to bikes available here, to me some of their prices are out of date but does give an indication.
 

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I hear that test drives are unheard of in Thailand, do you have to go by looks/specs alone when buying a scooter?
when I was going to buy a new Honda (I didn't) they would not allow any of the new bikes to be test ridden, on basis people want to buy 'new' bikes, not ones that had been used as demos.
Fair enough, they had a used one maybe a year old I tried out.
 

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all the major manufacturers make autos, really comes down to personal choice on what colour scheme you want; the Honda Scoopy and Yamaha Fino are lookalikes, Suzuki's Hayate, when we were in Phuket some expats were going for the Honda PCX - it's a bigger-bodied scooter maybe (politely!) more suited to the build of many expats. More expensive though, think they're approaching 75-85k depending on options, compared to under 50 or so for Scoopy/Fino

This site Motorcycle Thailand has links to bikes available here, to me some of their prices are out of date but does give an indication.
Im a honda man myself, second choice kawasaki, or yamaha. I was surprised my first trip there 6 years ago to see polaris ATV's. LOL the owner of a new atv park in Hua hin learned something about polaris. Great engines and tranny's. Everything else pretty much sucks LOL. He had 3 down because the swing arms were loose.
We got to talking and I offered my assistance. Polaris swing arms are a pain in the sack. I have polaris scrambler so I got right into the task at hand. we did 2 of them together and he took for a ride that lasted half a day. Now I stop in to see him everytime I am in Thailand.
 

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Whatever bike you choose they are all a pretty much of a muchness. Personally I would go for the largest wheel type as it takes potholes and traffic ramps more easily,and at tyre change put a fat profile on,makes for a smoother ride.

I like auctions,whatever the auction site rates the bike on, mileage and condition A1 to A5 and so on I would go for a 4,as long as the engine sounded OK. Thais like new or nearly new, usually the lower rated goes unsold and removed from auction,the seller will take a far lower offer at that stage. Take the green book,and copy of his ID card,then ride away,no need for name change , unless you want to sell it on ,you can still tax and insure it in whatever name ( 750 baht) Repairs , seating covers etc are cheap as chips anyway.

There are other Thai internet sites you should search out for your more specific questions and answers
 

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^ no need for a name change?

Having lived near the Cambodian border since April 2010, and been stopped at so many army and police checkpoints . . . a known trade in stolen bikes crossing from Thailand . . . I think I'd have been walking on many occasion without proper proof of ownership.

Prior to this I've also encountered a police checkpoint in Phuket where all the info was required, for the small effort in legally changing ownership and getting it in your own name, I'd do it every time. Could potentially spend more time waiting at a checkpoint if they wanted to confirm you had rightful possession despite not being the owner. Who would they call?

I keep a photocopy of the Green Book and my passport on the bike, and carry my Thai licences as ID.
 

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Kiniyeow said:
I wanted to hear what make and model scooter everyone is riding. I know the Honda Dream and Wave are popular, but what features made you pick the one you ride? What features did you wish it had? What can you do without, auto transmission, EFI, etc.?
I have a Honda PCX, had it for a bit over a year, got a five litre tank that does a little over 200 km around town and around 160 - 180 km on the highway, got a big compartment under the seat where you can fit most if not all you basic shopping, I got a 12 pack of 600 ml water in yesterday with a little room to spare, only problem I've had is the tyres, ok on paved roads but puncture easily on dirt roads, called the tyre maker and got a higher quality than what comes standard, otherwise never missed a beat, and it is rev limited to 100 km/h.
 

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I ride a Honda Airblade. Tried a couple of bikes first, by renting, and fell in love with this model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So a 125cc bike is large enough for most riders then i take it? Looking at prices, most 125cc bikes with most features (efi, electric start, etc.) They all seem to be about 50,000baht, unless you go with the honda PCX. Not sure why this one is 20,000baht more when it is the same size (125cc) as the rest,but whatever.

Does anyone have any suggestions for good dealers in Chiang Mai?
 

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one more for the Fino - two rear tyre punctures in last 2 weeks - the advantage of the single-sided swingarm no need to remove the wheel to replace the tube, quick job with tyre levers to pop a new tube in.

and a little Thai hospitality story
Puncture #1 on Highway 317, instant deflation from a 40mm nail; got to a roadside place with truck tyres outside very slowly/carefully; no one there to change the tube but invited into the house to wait, and meet grandma/grandpa who were there with an elderly sister - all evacuated from Nonthaburi floods; grandma spoke some English they had lost everything in floods and unsure if house would ever be habitable again; was there about 40min, chatting away and yes, a free lunch! Nice folk.
 

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some stats from today's news - not saying any brand is 'better' but an indication of the market dominance of Honda
The prolonged flooding that has eroded consumer purchasing power halted the momentum of Thailand's motorcycle market in October.

New motorcycle registrations in October fell 3% year-on-year to 134,811 units, a record low for the year.

Honda retained leadership in the industry with a 71% share followed by 21% for Yamaha, 4% for Suzuki and 2% for Kawasaki.

Family types totalled 69,548 units registered in October, accounting for 52%, automatic transmission models tallied 59,826, or 44%; off-road versions 2,139 or 2%, sports models 1,776 and family-sport types and others 1,522 units.
 
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