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115cc -125cc Motorcycles Vs Scooters


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#1 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-02 19:07:01

Hi,

I am hoping you can help and advise me

Whilst waiting for my Spanish house to sell, I am needing transport beyond Tuk tuks and minis buses (no good at night and restrictive). I am NOT in a position to buy a car (my much greater preference for many reasons) until my house is sold SO I a looking toward getting a 115cc or 125cc cc scooter or motorcycle.

I last drove a Vespa some 35 years ago. I am NOT a bike lover for safety and handling reasons compared to cars). At that time the wheels were tiny and fat and were a nightmare for stability in heavy rain, frost and not great at holding on corners.

I am sure things have moved on a lot since then for both motorcycles and scooters and I am asking those with knowledge for some much needed help and guidance.


Basic facts

1) I am 134 kilos and expect to be carrying my wife most times, total around 180 kilos hence why I am looking at around 115 or 125 cc engines (and not 100cc or less).

2) We live in Khon Kaen city not really any hills of consequence.

3) I have NO bias for either a scooter or bike.

4) I am essentially interested in road holding & handling, braking, cornering and basis safety in both dry and heavy rain. High speeds fantastic acceleration are NOT important to me expect having the necessary pulling power in times of need (e.g. overtaking or misjudgement)

5) I am more interested in a quiet safe machine with adequate power, than a roaring, fast accelerating beast beneath me. I am not a bike enthusiast, JUST a potential user who wants to get from A to B safely.

6) I hold a full UK Motorcycle & car licence and am waiting for my International Drivers Permit so I can apply for a Thai driving licence (or drive on the Permit if I can get insurance on a UK license and IDP)

Some questions that come to mind (you may consider there are other I have missed)

1) Is there much difference between 115 and 125 in real day use.

2) Are there any main differences between scooter and bikes regarding 1) to 5) above

3) What are peoples recommendations that I should take into consideration

4) I have looked at the Honda Wave 125s & 125i, Yamaha Nouva MX motorcycles and the Yamaha Mio scooters.

Please can anybody give me any opinions on these, and ALSO whether I should definitely be looking at other specific makes and models that would compete favourably (or better) with these. If so what do you suggest I also look at please?

5) I know the Honda Wave is very highly used and thought machine for its class, but given my personal facts what are members opinions.

6) My instinct is that a 115cc or 125cc motor cycle would have safety, handling, braking, cornering benefits over scooters but are my instincts well founded or based on old fashioned technology views and incorrect?

I really could do with any advice members are able to give. I will be honest I do not like bikes and feel they are very vulnerable compared to cars (even if more manoeuvrable). Having seen how people drive in cars/bikes in Thailand my fears are not reassured.

PRIMARY CONSIDERATION is safety for my wife and myself

Kind regards, Dave

#2 PeaceBlondie

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Posted 2007-02-02 19:16:36

You apparently want a safe bike with large wheel diameters, proper controls, etc. With your weight, there's no big difference between 115cc and 125cc; they're all hopelessly underpowered for you (esp. with a passenger onboard). The obvious choices are:

Honda CBR150, a real sportbike with 15 max horsepower (which ain't much) - 66,000 baht.
Honda Phantom 200, a Harley imitation with more torque/punch at low end - about 80 to 98,000 baht.

We have both bikes at our house, and the fatter one of us (me) weighs a mere 91kg. Neither bike is overpowered, or loud. Neither comes equipped with a storage box, but you can add one on back.

Your distinction between scooter and motobike is not clear. I don't think Vespas are sold new, but its clone, the new Yamaha Fino, is. The two bikes I'm recommending are not scooters.

Just one man's opinion. Hope that helps.

#3 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-02 21:29:46

Many thanks PeaceBlondie and yes it does help,

Sorry about not being clear regarding Vespa and scooters. I had a Vespa 35 years ago. At the time they had very smaller diameter wheels and twice as wide as the Yamaha Fino or Yamaha Mio MX scooters I saw today.

35 years ago MOST motorcycle people regarded the Lambretta and Vespas of the time less able to take corners and grip the road ( especially in adverse weather conditions) than motor cycles with their larger diameter and less wide types. The shape and design was also felt to less stable and less easy to handle than motorcycles. Vespas were a nightmare on frosty or very wet roads and definitely not great on cornering at moderate speeds in my opinion (they seemed to have less flexibility for driver error than motorcycles)

What I was trying to ask is: are the Finos and Mios scooters etc. as roadworthy, stable and as good at handling and cornering as today’s 125cc motorcycles, or are motorcycles STILL a better bet. Essentially, “Are today's scooter as controllable and stable as motorcycles or do they still have a few disadvantages in comparison to motorcycles?”

My wife feels scooters are more clothes friendly and comfortable than motorcycles (such as the Honda Wave), and have better leg protection for the driver than and the various 125cc motorcycles. I feel that MAY be the case, but not worth worrying about IF stability and ease of riding and control are reduced by opting for a scooter.

I searched the Internet to try and find opinions of Scooter Versus 125 cc type Motorcycle and the Pros and Cons of each, but was unable to track down any sites of info.

I will look into the Honda CBR150- 66,000 baht but your other suggestion is well outside my price range. As far as I am concerned the bike/scooter is a "stop gap" until I can sell my house and get a car.

Normally there is not a "cat in hells chance I would look at or consider a bike". I have driven cars for 32 years and rightly or wrongly, feel safe in them and unsafe on a bike. There are not many bikes or scooters that win arguments with cars or anything solid. I have lost several friends to cars, bollards and lamp posts. OK 70% of the incidents were their own fault BUT in a car they mostly would have survived their errors.

PeaceBlondie, are you saying a 125cc would not cope with our combined weight. I ask coz I was given a lift by a waitress once and I feel sure she only had around a 100cc bike and it seemed OK but I was 12 Kilos lighter.

We really are only seeking being able to get from A to be at moderate speeds, and Khon Kaen is in the North-Eastern Plateau of Thailand with very few hills of any consequence. However, I am not trying to lead you. Its just I wish to be sure that we are talking about the same criteria. OK speed, acceleration and OK on reasonable hills is fine for me. I will never use the bike off street nor over long distances. (mainly in the city and local surrounding area.

I would prefer to pay under 55,000 baht if it’s a viable option.

Regards, Dave

#4 Briggsy

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Posted 2007-02-02 21:39:14

Yamaha Nuovo 52000 Baht. Fully automatic. Big seat, low centre of gravity, good power and stable ride in your price range.

#5 PeaceBlondie

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Posted 2007-02-02 23:58:45

gdhm, the factory lists the dry weight of the CBR150 at 115 kilos; with fluids it's more likely 126. Add your 134 kilos, and the weight to power ratio is 16.7 kilos per hoursepower - very slow, unless driven agressively, which I do (and I'm 91 kg, and drive like a teenager). Less powerful machines, even worse. Look, bikes under 500cc are considered jokes and safety hazards in most developed countries. But - if you and the missus are just going to drive at 40 kph to and from the grocery store one kilometer away, it hardly matters. But safe? No, not safe. Everybody has a serious, scar-producing accident sooner or later. Maybe you should rethink your options if you want safety. Lion taming is slightly more dangerous.

#6 gummy

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Posted 2007-02-03 00:07:25

After taking the technical details supplied by yourself, running a computer simulation based upon downloads of the typography in your area and then factoring in the minimalisation of the risks factor that you highlighted ,it appears from the output data a vehicle best suited to your needs, having the ability to provide maximimum mobilty with minimum risk whilst having consideration of your body mass's would be JCB.

Only kidding

#7 besth

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Posted 2007-02-03 01:33:55

Get something automatic. It will be safer.

For you, motorcycle/scooter/... elephant? makes no difference, so better go for the safety/economy route.

Out of the suggestions you've got in the thread, the CBR is a decent motorcycle, but the Nuovo will serve you better, from what you have mentioned in your posts.

If you are going to be able to buy yourself a car in the near future and that is what you really would want, have you considered renting a small car for a few months? It may be safer and more comfortable for you.

#8 pianoman

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Posted 2007-02-03 07:33:48

Dave,

I own and ride / drive a Honda Phantom (mini chopper) a Yamaha Mio (small automatic scooter) as well as a Toyota Pick Up truck... I actually purchased the Mio for my wife to learn to ride on, but she just does not have the temperment for driving...

Although I really enjoy riding my Phantom most of the time, the little Mio is Great for the short runs around town both with and without the wife on the back... I think that you will find that it is not just transportation, but can be fun just going for a short ride from time to time...

The Fino's came out after I purchased my Mio, but I much prefer the looks of the Fino and wish that I had waited long enough to buy one of them... Riding it I find virtually no difference between the Mio and the Fino...

Pianoman

#9 Smokin Joe

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Posted 2007-02-03 09:52:14

Kawaski has a 130cc scooter that would work for you. I have one and it is just enough bigger than the 100-125cc bikes to suit me, slighter larger size, seat etc. Only thing I don't like is the headlight prevents putting on a front basket although there is faily roomy underseat storage. Might be a little slow going uphill with a passenger.

#10 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-03 09:58:30

:D

After taking the technical details supplied by yourself, running a computer simulation based upon downloads of the typography in your area and then factoring in the minimalisation of the risks factor that you highlighted ,it appears from the output data a vehicle best suited to your needs, having the ability to provide maximimum mobilty with minimum risk whilst having consideration of your body mass's would be JCB.

Only kidding


:D Good one LOL.

Didn't think of that, but regretfully not in my current price range.

However, when I have sold my Spanish home and can buy a house here Maybe I can "kill 2 birds with one stone". My wife is keen to investigate buying land and building a house THEN a JCB would be VERY useful :D

Seriously, I have been obese most of my life.

My friends used to joke when they saw me and my brother (even more obese) on our scooters. They said FROM BEHIND it looked like two balls balanced on a couple of bricks. My only regret is that I know they were essentailly correct (inverted triangle scenario and definitely Top HEAVY) :o

Regards, Dave

#11 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-03 10:11:51

Get something automatic. It will be safer.

For you, motorcycle/scooter/... elephant? makes no difference, so better go for the safety/economy route.

Out of the suggestions you've got in the thread, the CBR is a decent motorcycle, but the Nuovo will serve you better, from what you have mentioned in your posts.

If you are going to be able to buy yourself a car in the near future and that is what you really would want, have you considered renting a small car for a few months? It may be safer and more comfortable for you.


Thanks for you input.

You suggest the Nuovo will serve me better. I assume therefore you believe the 115cc Nouvo has adequate power for my type of needs (or do they do higher cc ratings?)

Yes, we did consider renting (and looked into it) but my Spanish house has been on the market 10 months without sale. The Spanish mortgage rates have gone up 3 or 4 time in 7 months and the house sales market has bottomed. House at the moment are not moving even when seriously discounted. Sale Agencies are going out of business (I do not feel sorry a tall for them charging 5% to 10% and not doing anything other than windo displays (they do not do mail shots - talk about robbery for doing next to nothing).

CONSEQUENTLY, my house could be on the market for months even a year plus, so regretfully, I feel I need look in another direction ALSO I live in my wife's Aunts house, the road is VERY narrow and there are n parking places anywhere near and our House has no land except that which the house stands on.

Kind regards, Dave

#12 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-03 10:29:03

gdhm, the factory lists the dry weight of the CBR150 at 115 kilos; with fluids it's more likely 126. Add your 134 kilos, and the weight to power ratio is 16.7 kilos per hoursepower - very slow, unless driven agressively, which I do (and I'm 91 kg, and drive like a teenager). Less powerful machines, even worse. Look, bikes under 500cc are considered jokes and safety hazards in most developed countries. But - if you and the missus are just going to drive at 40 kph to and from the grocery store one kilometer away, it hardly matters. But safe? No, not safe. Everybody has a serious, scar-producing accident sooner or later. Maybe you should rethink your options if you want safety. Lion taming is slightly more dangerous.



Yes PeaceBlondie, I agree with you about low powered bikes and scooters here in Thailand.

Even my Vespa 35 years ago was 150cc and my brother's Lambretta was 250cc (or was it 200cc). Neither were considered decent power but were OK for commuting and beat mopeds.

If I was honest, I would like a Scooter with 200cc or 250 cc (if as stable as a Nuovo or Wave etc.) or a Nuovo or Wave sized and style bike with at least that 200cc. I am not seeking a "real motorbike" just a runaround with adequate power and acceleration when occasionally needed, but so far I have not identified such or, the prices have increased dramatically with the increase in cc ratings.

I also agree with you about the scar-producing accident (especially here when nobody wears thick clothing, leathers OR HELMETS (must be suicidal and mental not wearing helmets - how strong do they thick their heads are?). I have told my wife that in NO circumstance will my 3.5 year old stepson be allowed to accompany us or even one of us. I will NOT take the responsibility

Kind regards, Dave

#13 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-03 11:01:09

Hi Smokin Joe, Pianoman and Briggsy and other contributors,

Thank for your info. I will look into EVERYBODY'S suggestions.

One thing that is not clear to me (sorry) is what we are each talking about when we say slow up hills or slow or underpowered in REAL TERMS.

Some are suggesting as low as 115cc, 125cc, 130cc, 150cc may be OK and others that I will need
higher power.

My wife and my combined weight will be 180kilos approx. What I am not able to identify is: "Will a 115cc to 125cc move, or what max speed I could expect from it on flat, up a moderate lengthy hill, would it actually go up a hill -(even slowly) with both of us on the bike/scooter?.

Speed, power acceleration is considered differently by different people. I am not a technician so I am unable to easily understand horse power etc. when trying to know what that means in layman's terms.

If anybody can translate what they mean by underpowered, slow etc. into kpms etc. It would be helpful. As I said our weights (MAINLY mine) are a significant factor. I also know acceleration and speed does not necessarily equate with power or engine strength (for instance most diesel cars are slower off the blocks and with less acceleration and top speeds than their petrol (gasoline) brothers, but often they have more power for hills or (in my opinion overtaking when once moving).

I really want to thank everybody who is helping educate and advise me. I have not followed scooter or motorcycle technology for 35 years at all and really appreciate all your advice and suggestions as it helps me make the best choice for my wife and I.

For the real bike enthusiast, I appreciate my area of interest are not dissimilar to asking a sports car enthusiast about the merits of buying a Tuk tuk and I appreciate members recognition of my lesser needs from a bike and are answering with that in mind.


Kindest regards to all, Dave

#14 Sam Drucker

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Posted 2007-02-04 22:58:33

I really want to thank everybody who is helping educate and advise me. I have not followed scooter or motorcycle technology for 35 years at all and really appreciate all your advice and suggestions as it helps me make the best choice for my wife and I.

For the real bike enthusiast, I appreciate my area of interest are not dissimilar to asking a sports car enthusiast about the merits of buying a Tuk tuk and I appreciate members recognition of my lesser needs from a bike and are answering with that in mind.


Kindest regards to all, Dave


Hi Dave,

I am about 115 kilos, was higher before, and have had combined loads (with a lady) approaching yours. I have ridden these bikes such as Waves, Nouvos, etc. around Phuket for years when on holiday. As you may or may not know, Phuket has some steep hills in places. From a performance standpoint, any of these bikes were acceptable. Power did not become a serious issue for me. Your riding in Khon Kaen would be much less stressing on the bike.

When the Nouvos' came out, I was skeptical of their ability to handle a large load with the automatic, but on a visit where a friend had a Wave and I had a Nouvo, I was able to keep up with him, no problem. Thus, the Nouvo is more desirable to me from the stand point that there is no shifting involved, which can be annoying and distracting at times.

My personal preference is a small "maxi scooter" of about 250cc, something that is virtually non-existant in Thailand. I like the greater weight, bigger, wider tires, and additional power. I think they could be more durable in the long run.

My concerns over the Nouvo and others are that they may not have the durability over the long haul, because they were not designed for us big farang. The tires appear too small and narrow, and we are probably exceeding their load limits. I also wonder how the automatic tranny would hold up to our loads over time? For these reasons, I would stay away from the Mio, which appears to be a smaller, lighter, cheaper version of the Nouvo. I also disliked the strength and quality of a Kawasaki automatic that appeared to be a rival of the Mio. To me, the construction of the newer bikes appears to have placed a real emphasis on reducing production costs.

I must close in saying that with any of these bikes I've ridden, safety did not seem to be an issue if you ride them in a conservative manner, which it sounds like you would. To me , it's more a concern of durability.

#15 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-05 10:18:33

I really want to thank everybody who is helping educate and advise me. I have not followed scooter or motorcycle technology for 35 years at all and really appreciate all your advice and suggestions as it helps me make the best choice for my wife and I.

For the real bike enthusiast, I appreciate my area of interest are not dissimilar to asking a sports car enthusiast about the merits of buying a Tuk tuk and I appreciate members recognition of my lesser needs from a bike and are answering with that in mind.


Kindest regards to all, Dave


Hi Dave,

I am about 115 kilos, was higher before, and have had combined loads (with a lady) approaching yours. I have ridden these bikes such as Waves, Nouvos, etc. around Phuket for years when on holiday. As you may or may not know, Phuket has some steep hills in places. From a performance standpoint, any of these bikes were acceptable. Power did not become a serious issue for me. Your riding in Khon Kaen would be much less stressing on the bike.

When the Nouvos' came out, I was skeptical of their ability to handle a large load with the automatic, but on a visit where a friend had a Wave and I had a Nouvo, I was able to keep up with him, no problem. Thus, the Nouvo is more desirable to me from the stand point that there is no shifting involved, which can be annoying and distracting at times.

My personal preference is a small "maxi scooter" of about 250cc, something that is virtually non-existant in Thailand. I like the greater weight, bigger, wider tires, and additional power. I think they could be more durable in the long run.

My concerns over the Nouvo and others are that they may not have the durability over the long haul, because they were not designed for us big farang. The tires appear too small and narrow, and we are probably exceeding their load limits. I also wonder how the automatic tranny would hold up to our loads over time? For these reasons, I would stay away from the Mio, which appears to be a smaller, lighter, cheaper version of the Nouvo. I also disliked the strength and quality of a Kawasaki automatic that appeared to be a rival of the Mio. To me, the construction of the newer bikes appears to have placed a real emphasis on reducing production costs.

I must close in saying that with any of these bikes I've ridden, safety did not seem to be an issue if you ride them in a conservative manner, which it sounds like you would. To me , it's more a concern of durability.


Many thanks for this information Sam. Nothing like real life experience. Yes I have holidayed twice in Phuket with my first and second wives and I know the hills and how long, steep and winding they are in many places. So what you say about bike capability with weight is VERY interesting. Khon Kaen has virtually no hills and none of any consequence for miles (giving away my UK heritage -should say kilometres).


I have been informed that tyres supplied with all the bikes are low quality a only a few hundred baht to replace and should I decide to go with a bike was recommended to change them for ones 3 times expensive (that would still make them cheap by car standards in the UK and Spain where I come from. I also recognise spoke wheels should be replaced with the alloy 3-4 strut types for greater strength

I suppose for me durability is not a huge matter, as cost of the bikes in not high AND repair charges in Thailand cheap. I would finish with bike completely as soon as I can get a car anyway. I do not like the safety (from other drivers mainly) issues especially the way people drive in Thailand).

I have been given conflicting and supporting information on several important aspects. Now must do a serious think and analysis before I decide what bike or indeed whether we should stick to walking, mini buses and Tuk Tuks as been recommended strongly by one advisor who is thinking about safety aspects for my wife and myself re top heavy weight ratio, braking ability due to needing to stop extra weight on the move, other drivers etc. and 250cc and above (not obtainable here or barely) being much more desirable.

I appreciate your comments especially on the weight issue Sam. Very helpful

I greatly appreciate everbody's time and effort and the input in helping.

Kindest Regards, Dave

#16 Vegemite

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Posted 2007-02-05 12:52:42

Hi,

I am hoping you can help and advise me

Whilst waiting for my Spanish house to sell, I am needing transport beyond Tuk tuks and minis buses (no good at night and restrictive). I am NOT in a position to buy a car (my much greater preference for many reasons) until my house is sold SO I a looking toward getting a 115cc or 125cc cc scooter or motorcycle.

I last drove a Vespa some 35 years ago. I am NOT a bike lover for safety and handling reasons compared to cars). At that time the wheels were tiny and fat and were a nightmare for stability in heavy rain, frost and not great at holding on corners.

I am sure things have moved on a lot since then for both motorcycles and scooters and I am asking those with knowledge for some much needed help and guidance.


Basic facts

1) I am 134 kilos and expect to be carrying my wife most times, total around 180 kilos hence why I am looking at around 115 or 125 cc engines (and not 100cc or less).

2) We live in Khon Kaen city not really any hills of consequence.

3) I have NO bias for either a scooter or bike.

4) I am essentially interested in road holding & handling, braking, cornering and basis safety in both dry and heavy rain. High speeds fantastic acceleration are NOT important to me expect having the necessary pulling power in times of need (e.g. overtaking or misjudgement)

5) I am more interested in a quiet safe machine with adequate power, than a roaring, fast accelerating beast beneath me. I am not a bike enthusiast, JUST a potential user who wants to get from A to B safely.

6) I hold a full UK Motorcycle & car licence and am waiting for my International Drivers Permit so I can apply for a Thai driving licence (or drive on the Permit if I can get insurance on a UK license and IDP)

Some questions that come to mind (you may consider there are other I have missed)

1) Is there much difference between 115 and 125 in real day use.

2) Are there any main differences between scooter and bikes regarding 1) to 5) above

3) What are peoples recommendations that I should take into consideration

4) I have looked at the Honda Wave 125s & 125i, Yamaha Nouva MX motorcycles and the Yamaha Mio scooters.

Please can anybody give me any opinions on these, and ALSO whether I should definitely be looking at other specific makes and models that would compete favourably (or better) with these. If so what do you suggest I also look at please?

5) I know the Honda Wave is very highly used and thought machine for its class, but given my personal facts what are members opinions.

6) My instinct is that a 115cc or 125cc motor cycle would have safety, handling, braking, cornering benefits over scooters but are my instincts well founded or based on old fashioned technology views and incorrect?

I really could do with any advice members are able to give. I will be honest I do not like bikes and feel they are very vulnerable compared to cars (even if more manoeuvrable). Having seen how people drive in cars/bikes in Thailand my fears are not reassured.

PRIMARY CONSIDERATION is safety for my wife and myself

Kind regards, Dave



Hello Dave,
I rode one of those dastardly Vespas for a few years about the same time as you.
My parents wouldnt let me get a " real " motorbike.
I was forever coming off the bloody thing. I remember, as a teenager, trying to show off in front of a cluster of teenage girls sweeping around an easy corner in the wet and ending up on my ass right in front of them.
It was SO embarassing. The seat was flopped up and I was hurting, red in the face and trying to be cool.
It didnt work.
I ended up owning " real " bikes after this and I did get squashed badly one time.

I really think that a motorbike with a petrol tank between the legs is a good thing for control.
I have ridden Honda Waves and similar and I dont think that you have much control if you have to change direstion fast.
With a tank to clamp your legs to, the bike becomes part of your body and as such is much more controlable. I personally prefer a hand clutch as well.
Hope it helps.

#17 calibanjr.

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Posted 2007-02-05 13:42:36

Okay, I'm a cheap bast*rd, so factor that in. I drive a Honda Wave R 125. I weigh 110 kg., wife weighs 45, shocking huh? I drive around Chiang Mai, Handong, Baan Tawai, etc. single or double with her, never a problem in a fairly busy traffic zone. I've been up Doi Suthep double and rode to Pai/Mai Hong Song, pretty steep hills twice, all fine. I think for your area, it would do you fine. Bought it used 13 months ago at Niyom Panich, a dealer in CM with a full service dept. Got it with 17k miles on it 27k THB, no problems at all yet.

Okay, I had a life-threatening accident on 11/29, not the bike's fault really (as far as I remember, a 4 day coma will make you question the story that the little voices upstairs tell you). I got forced off the road by two trucks (one overtaking the other in my lane) coming in the opposite direction going down a hilly incline curve in the hills near Doi Inthanon at a reasonable speed. That's my story and I'm sticking with it! Anyway, the bike actually came out O.K. Broken me: 85k THB , broken bike: 3k

#18 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-05 15:18:45

Thanks Vegemite and Caliban,

Caliban, Hope you recovered 100% from your unhappy incident (and your bank account :o ).


Vegemate please may I ask you why you prefer hand clutch as against automatic clutch. I can understand why many would prefer the better control of manual gears over automatic, but I do not understand the manual advantage over the automatic clutch. I would have thought an auto clutch would allow concentration on other things and not affected speed of gear change (but I have never used an automatic clutch on bike or scooter not an automatic gear.

Vegemite, with regard to
"I really think that a motorbike with a petrol tank between the legs is a good thing for control.
I have ridden Honda Waves and similar and I don't think that you have much control if you have to change direction fast"
.

I suppose it depends on the type of accident. I actually can see what you are saying and the logic regarding control. Of course, if you are hit from one side only then there is no chance of your leg moving across to the other side and it will get crushed between oncoming vehicle and the tank. I suppose in this type of accident a scooter would be best, a wave type machine second and one with a tank between your legs third. But then there are pros and cons to everything. In rare occasions a car seat belt can be dangerous but not in most scenarios.

I am surprised to see MOST passengers on bikes, sitting sideways, not holding on to anything or only the back handle bar (better than nothing). Maybe things have changed over the years but I was taught that th passenger should (TRY in my case :D ) wrap their arms around the drivers waist.

I assume the same logic as what you are saying Vegemite about making the bike and passengers as much as one unit as possible for control and not being thrown off so easily. I look at how nearly all passengers sit and I can only say if hard braking is necessary there can only be ONE outcome the passenger will immediately be thrown from the bike. Not only that but most do not wear helmets - MUST HAVE DEATH WISHES - CRAZY people. Farangs are guilty of no helmet too. They seem to forget their own countries higher standards and education on the matter (in most cases). -

I know when in Rome .... but that is daft in this case and inexcusable for certainly UK citizens who have seen countless TV programs and literature on the merits of crash helmets and who have had to obey the law of the UK where Police will stop and book anybody seen without a helmet immediately (hence why so few flout the law). If the Thai police did the same then helmets would be worn especially as most Thais can ill afford the fines if they kept getting them. How many lives would be saved, hospital bills reduced, families saved from grieving and Bike riders alive or not maimed. COUNTLESS


Kind regards, Dave

#19 bino

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Posted 2007-02-05 16:59:47

I'll contribute my 2 satang on manual versus automatic clutches....

When I first came to Thailand, I rented a motorcycle in Pattaya that had an automatic clutch, and a "four down" shifting pattern. All of the motorcycles I had owned at home had a "one down and four (or five) up" shifting pattern, with a manual clutch.

Being unfamiliar with the shifting pattern on the Thai motorcycle- I would instictively lift the shifter with my toe whenever I wanted to shift up. In reality, this caused the opposite, a downshift.

Whenever I did this, the motorcycle would scream out to the redline in the lower gear, and create a "compression braking" effect. There was no way out of this until the motorcycle had slowed enough to allow the RPM to drop into the range for the automatic clutch to allow me to correct my mistake and shift up again.

I was almost hit a few times by cars behind me, as the compression braking didn't activate the brake light and warn them of my sudden de-celeration.

With a manual clutch, my error would have been more obvious as I would have felt it right away while releasing the clutch after shifting incorrectly. It would have been a simple matter of pulling the clutch again, allowing the motorcycle to "coast" at the current speed while the engine returned to idle speed, and shifting to my desired gear.

As a result- I always look for the manual clutch when renting motorcycles. As a benefit, they usually have the shifting pattern that I am familiar with. Your mileage may vary in this regard.... if you are riding the same motorcycle constantly, you will become used to its shifting pattern and capabilities / quirks.

#20 Far Angst

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Posted 2007-02-06 10:14:40

,
The clutch on step-through bikes such as Waves is on the gear-level itself.
If you do not release the gear-level after kicking in the gear, the centrifugal
clutch won’t grab, no matter the engine revolutions. There’s quite much control, there.
Please, try this at home.

Small wheels are less safe in that they feel and react to road surface holes and ripples
that a larger wheel just rides over. Another thing several of my friends have noticed
about scooters and other small-wheeled runabouts such as Yamaha Nouvos
and Mios is that small wheels wear out much sooner and are much more
apt to puncture than the large wheel on a step-through.
If you get a puncture outside of the city, chances are that the local rubber-smith
won’t be able to repair the puncture and that you’ll cart the scooter back to
city with Somchai’s pick-up.

I’d never use a small-wheel scooter out in the countryside.

Edited by Far Angst, 2007-02-06 10:16:33.


#21 CHdiver

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Posted 2007-02-06 11:59:43

I would go for a automatic one. Have a look at the Suzuki Step. It looks like a Mio, but has a 125ccm engine; witch makes it a little bit more powerful as the 115ccm Scooters. Best brakes I experienced on all Scooters I drove in Thailand. I drive a 1000ccm Bike back home, but would not go for a Semi Automatic here. Much more comfortable with a automatic to drive around. If you drive outside of bigger Towns and are afraid about Punctures; just take a replacement tube with you. Have a Topcase in the back, so you can store little purchases. Don't use a front Basket, as it will cover your Frontlight, witch can make driving more dangerous.

If you go for a Nouvo; have a look at the Honda's too. The Honda Airblade is much more nice and Honda in general builds better Quality. I drive a Nouvo, it's a good Scooter, but today I would go for a Airblade.

#22 YaiJung

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Posted 2007-02-06 12:05:20

The Honda Dream has been the standard throughout southeast asia for many yrs now. Reliabilty, cost, strength, ease of repair are all reasons for this. I have noticed that the models lately look a bit lower quality as the makers try to keep costs competitive. Since u are on a budget I would recommend looking for a 2-4 yr old honda dream.

I am 103 kilos, my girlfriend 50ish, so with one kid riding with us we are about the same as u and your wife. We ride a 2001 honda wave 110cc and I love it. Goes everywhere in phuket without a problem. I had a 2004 honda wave 125 and didnt care for it much at all. The gearing was all wrong and at slow "cruising" speed the 110 was alot better. i think u will find that most of the bikes will do u just fine, except for the mio, which is built for small girls IMHO, and the honda click, which is comparable to the mio.

I agree with the poster who said that there is much control with the wave/dream style "foot clutch". once u get used to it that is...u just learn to hold it down a little longer and it works just like a hand clutch.

The autos are fine too and I really liked the nouvo that I rented for a weekend once. It felt stable and the seat was nice and big (seat comfort being a big factor for me). The nouvo uses a bit more fuel than the waves or dreams, but its still not sucking it down like a car or anything.

The older hondas can be a great value if u can find one in decent shape. They cost peanuts to repair as well.

#23 gdhm

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Posted 2007-02-06 12:38:29

Thanks everybody,

The foot gear/clutch has taken me TOTALLY by surprise. Shows how long ago I used a Vespa. On that machine the clutch AND gears were in the rotary handle. I have never experienced Or (until yesterday's messages) thought it would be located on the floor.

No idea how that works. I am thinking that maybe I should look towards totally automatic clutch and gears otherwise there is a totally new learning curve.

I assume autos use a little more fuel than manuals (as with cars) but cannot think that is an issue. Only problem is I am not sure the 125cc or 135cc machines do fully automatic versions.

I agree with Yaijung that seat comfort and posture are important I being "big bummed" :o and I prefer a sitting upright posture rather than a leaning forward mainly coz of the already weight load on my back from my stomach where most of my weight settles on my body :D .

Are Suzuki's as good as Hondas and Yamahas?. I note most sales easily go to Honda (and Yamaha 2nd).

Plenty to think about thanks for all the input.
Regards, Dave

#24 Far Angst

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Posted 2007-02-06 13:47:35

...
If you drive outside of bigger Towns and are afraid about Punctures; just take a replacement tube with you.

I can just see a big falang changing the inner tube on Nouvo,,,, Yaiks!
,

Edited by Far Angst, 2007-02-06 13:50:17.


#25 PeaceBlondie

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Posted 2007-02-06 14:48:49

On the subject of the different gearchange methods: it's common if you jump off one type onto another, you'll shift wrong. Bino's post #19 is a good example. When I lend my CBR150 (manual clutch, one down and five up) to anybody that's used to a backward-shifting four-speed, they often shift wrong. And vice versa, when I jump on a smaller bike.

Not to be arguing, but if your passengers weigh more than the motorcycle, there's hardly any difference between a 100, 110, and 125cc. Two more possibilities are the new Yamaha Spark 135, or the Suzuki Raider 150, both of them step-throughs. The Spark is liquid cooled, and the Raider is air/oil cooled - another factor to consider in very hot riding conditions.

One more factor that hasn't been mentioned: if you are a lazy shifter and only run the engine at its low speeds, it's not putting out much power or torque. Many riders in Thailand aren't generating 8 horsepower from the engine, and they're in too high a gear, meaning the torque isn't being multiplied.





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