Wednesday 1 March 2006

A decade of Motorbikes in Thailand

For you?

Speed, skill and danger. What more could a man want?

Do you thrive on adventure, adrenalin and freedom? Then Northern Thailand could be for you.

This mountainous area is overlaid with high-quality ribbons of tarmac. A million miles from the hellish dirt roads of Laos and Cambodia. Northern Thailand’s roads have been engineered to perfection – both encapsulating the sublime scenery and offering the rider an exhilarating experience. I often wonder if a biker designed these roads? How else did these smooth asphalt surfaces end up undulating and twisting through remote regions of rainforest as elegantly as they do?

I moved to Chiang Mai in November 2013 and six months later put this map together.

These are all fantastic routes but if I had to choose the best stretches: The 1148 going west from Song Khwae. The 120 just west of Phayao. The 1081 south of Pua to Bo Gluea. The 1149 near Mae Sai. The 108 just south of Mae Hong Son. The 1009 north of Chom Thong.  This is not to take anything away from the rest. They’re all good.

What kind of bike? Phantom

I like Honda's reliability. I had a Phantom (200cc) from Oct 2009 to Dec 2012 (3yrs) and rode 44,000km all over Thailand on it. A Phantom provides armchair comfort and is a perfect cruiser for beginners.

It was quite emotional selling this as I'd had many fantastic adventures on it. We saw parts of Thailand few foreigners get to lay their eyes on.


Next was a CBR250 from Dec 2012 to Dec 2016 (4yrs). With good
 fuel economy and nimble handling it’s a great choice. I rode a hugely enjoyable 74,000km on this legend.

There are bigger bikes out there but prices rise exponentially after this for diminishing marginal utility.


I splashed out on a brand new CBR500 in 2018 and rode an incredible 38,000km in only 1.5yrs.


In 2012 I rode 7,500km from Phuket to Pattaya on the Phantom. <<<

In 2013 I rode 11,000km from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the CBR250. >>>

In 2018 I rode 7,000km around the edge of Thailand on the CBR500. <<<


Honda Phantom TA200Honda CBR 250Honda CBR 500
First RegisteredJune 2005July 2011Mar 2017
Province boughtNakhon Si TammaratPetchaburiSongkla
Province soldBangkokChiang MaiChiang Mai
Date bought/soldOct 2009
Jan 2013
Jan 2013
Nov 2016
Mar 2018
Sept 2019
Age when bought4yr 4mth1yr 6mthNEW
Time owned3yr 3mth3yr 11mth1yr 6mth
Price paid57,000B70,000B215,000B
Price sold30,000B45,000B105,000B
SellerAmericanNew ZealandN/A
Km when bought3,2004,0000
Km when sold47,30078,30038,000
Km ridden44,10074,30038,000

Total time8yr 8mth

Total km156,400

Round the equator3.83 times


  1. Thanks, bud. Great info. Definitely will be doing those once i get around the north one more time.
    You know that south is quite good too. Roads that lead from Surathani, highway 401 to Kao Sok is mesmerising, driving from Phuket to Krabi, with all those karst formation is a must. Also, deep in the jungle, once you leave Naknom Si Thammarat, a few local roads that lead to a few waterfalls and long stretches of untouched wilderness. I've driven it in car, though. Still one can feel the nature, even from the back of the windshields.

  2. The South is good - I agree. I rode it all during three years in Trang and Phuket. Chumpon to Ranong to Phuket is good. Khao Sok is worth a trip. I used to love the 60km from Trang to Phattalung. Surat Thani to Don Sak is quality as well as the Trang to Phang Nga stretch. However, the North is better IMO. Keep striving!!