Friday, 30 March 2018

Buying a CBR500R in Thailand

Found Buddha racked out on Yoh Island one morning. The heat's starting to build in the Hat. Must be getting near Songkran.

Hat Yai City FC

Hat Yai City FC have just formed and play in Thailand's 4th tier. Their home ground is Jaranakon Stadium, where I go jogging most evenings. One of the lads was telling me his son plays for them so off I went. The only Farang at HYCFC's first ever competitive home match. They lost 0-1 to Pattani FC. A place famous for Muslims and bombs. For some reason they kick off at 4pm while it's still hot enough to cook eggs on car roofs.


Wan came to HY for a weekend. Took her to a 33rd floor buffet and the beach. She seemed to enjoy herself.

Still fit.

Is this bloke's selfie stick the world's longest? He could probably solve the flat earth debate from up there.


The next weekend I was on Koh Lanta at a stag do. A handsome young Brummie has inexplicably decided to relinquish his freedom and attach himself to a ball and chain for the rest of his natural. Madness.

Good crack.

I wish them the best of luck.


I don't have many mates and spend a lot of time in introspective solitude. So, to have two visit on the same weekend was crackers.

Armin came from Pattaya and Brendan was down from Chiang Mai. They'd never met before but got on like a house on fire.

There's not much to do in the Hat so Armin drank coffee at an ice rink whereas Brendan hung out in a pub.


I'd been looking for a second hand bike for a while but nowt showed up. So I bit the bullet and went to Honda Big Wing (Hat Yai) and slapped 215,000B on the table. 90 minutes later I rode out on this.

This is the first time in my life I've ever bought a new car/bike. There's no feeling like putting the first kilometer on a virgin bike.

This got me thinking about my other major bike purchases in Thailand:

Phantom 200
Honda CBR500R
First Registered
June 2005
July 2011
Mar 2018
Province bought
Nakhon Si Tammarat
Province sold
Chiang Mai
Date bought/sold
Oct 2009/Jan 2013
Jan 2013/Nov 2016
Mar 2018
Age when bought
4yr 4mth
1yr 6mth
Time owned
3yr 3mth
3yr 11mth
Price paid
Price sold
Seller’s nationality
New Zealand
Buyer’s nationality
Km when bought
Km when sold
Km ridden
Total time
7yr 2mth
Total km
Round the equator
2.95 times

I plan to have this bike for years and aim to ride 100,000km on it. The first 400km were the very next day as I rode from HY - Satun - Trang - Pattalung - HY. I met Stefan in Trang where we had an afternoon sauna next to a Chinese Temple - an excellent way to break up a day's ride.

The bike came with a free jacket (8k), helmet (3k), gloves (2k) and bluetooth headset (10k). The very next day I put another 100km on it going to Sakom Beach in ChaNa District.

There's not a lot here other than a few dozen burka-clad women.

The bike goes like shit off a stick. I've had her up to 175km/h (110mph) but there was a bit left in the tank. I reckon it'll do 185km/h (115mph) top end although there's rarely an opportunity to hit that in Thailand.

It sits at 80-90mph as sweet as a nut. The most fun is just blasting through the gears. There's not much will beat it from the lights. It's also nimble in contrast to the Rebel500 which felt like a tank when I took one for a spin.

A few days later I added another 200km and found a great little run through Khao Nam Kang National Park near the Malay border.

Head 50km south to Sadao. Turn left and enjoy 40km of Chiang Mai-esque twisties. I'm well out of practice but that didn't stop my enjoyment of the scenery between Sadao and NaTawee.

You meet all sorts out in the sticks of Songkla Province. Air conditioned coffee stops are a must in the heat.

After 700km I'm delighted with it.
Owa the moon.
Keep living the dream.


  1. Looks great. I hear Betong is full of natural wonders. How is the school treating you?
    Alex Lapp :)

  2. Was in Betong last weekend after writing this. Nice 270km run.
    School is great mate .... up there with SPIP!!
    Hope China is treating you well.

  3. Nice, to buy a virgin bike with great and amazing specifications.

  4. Hi again. How you getting on Stephen? It's Willie. I'm going for a wee moped soon actually. I'm in hospital at the moment, they're taking charge of treatment for the schizophrenia, lol. The things I could tell you in private you wouldn't believe! Maybe we'll meet again. Take care.

  5. Hey what do you think about NUFC's new triplets? Should be good. Soon we'll get the silver wear...soon.

  6. I remember you and your Dad taking me to see NUFC, and he bought me a pint of Guinness...nice man. My Mam died a few years ago now 2018. Remember that stay over in the spare bedroom? You were gone when I awoke, it was a Sunday wasn't it? Good stuff.

  7. The bike you're riding joyously, costs £6000, you'll need to look after it, marra.


Please be nice.