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Best small bike for commute


kurthnase

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Hey there,

 

my Phantom is slowly but surely approaching its final destination, and it's burning through new parts like crazy. (Side note: Anyone ever had a problem like this? I changed the carb 4 months ago, original part from Honda, and already it seems to be messed up again. Fuel starvation symptoms, runs unreliably without choke, dies after about 20 minutes at 90 km per hour) I still love the thing and won't sell it yet, but it's just not reliable enough for my commute. 

 

So I am looking for a small motorbike to drive to work in the morning (about 20 minutes down a Sukhumvit sized road, but outside of BKK, so not too much traffic). 

 

Anyone have any experience with the Legend and Stallion? They look fun and price wise they are in the right area, but are they reliable? Are there any bikes from more reputable vendors in the same price range you can recommend? Obviously, quality has a price, but I would like to stay below 80k. If all else fails I'd also consider a scooter, but I don't like riding them so much.

 

Cheers

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The Honda should be fixable , IF you can find a good mechanic. Maybe not at the Honda mom&pop dealer , but an independent garage. Is it a rust/debris from a rusty fuel tank causing starvation ?. If the Honda is beyond economic repair i would look at Stallion models  from 50K , as well as the Lifan KP / KPR 150 , about 50K , the Zongshen Ryuka Zone 200 , about 62K and the Suzuki GD 110 , which might not be any faster than your Honda , but is about 42K. All of these bikes are basic air cooled , carb bikes , but should have no problems going the distance if maintained. My above point of finding a good dealer to correctly set up the new bike for you , with a good mechanic , is most important.

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1 hour ago, kurthnase said:

If all else fails I'd also consider a scooter, but I don't like riding them so much.

 

Lifan also do 250cc custom / cruiser style bikes too , and Zongshen do the RAI 200 for about 65K.

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Cheers for the suggestions guys!

 

19 hours ago, ktm jeff said:

The Honda should be fixable , IF you can find a good mechanic. Maybe not at the Honda mom&pop dealer , but an independent garage. Is it a rust/debris from a rusty fuel tank causing starvation ?. If the Honda is beyond economic repair i would look at Stallion models  from 50K , as well as the Lifan KP / KPR 150 , about 50K , the Zongshen Ryuka Zone 200 , about 62K and the Suzuki GD 110 , which might not be any faster than your Honda , but is about 42K. All of these bikes are basic air cooled , carb bikes , but should have no problems going the distance if maintained. My above point of finding a good dealer to correctly set up the new bike for you , with a good mechanic , is most important.

Good advice, thanks for the write-up. You wouldn't have any pointers in the Chonburi/Pattaya area for a good shop that knows Honda? I went to the local Big Wing and they sent me away lol. Usally I go to one of the repair shacks to to regular maintenance, oil changes etc., but they never checked inside my fuels tank afaik. I'll have a look at that.

 

The Zone 200 looks nice, I think I'll try to find a shop to ride that and see if I fit on it.

 

19 hours ago, ktm jeff said:

Lifan also do 250cc custom / cruiser style bikes too , and Zongshen do the RAI 200 for about 65K.

I thought about the Lifan when I first bought the Honda, but I decided against that, cos I thought the Japanese would make a more reliable bike. Have you ever ridden a Lifan? They would be right up my alley, but a little bit out of my budget atm (I saw used ones for ~60k, so new maybe around 100k?). The Ra1 however seems a viable option, a cool little bike that.

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Hi , i can only advise of a very good Lifan / Zongshen / Stallion shop in Chiang Mai - sorry. Ive hired a Lifan x-cross 200 dual sport and a Lifan PK110 step-through bikes in the past , both superb for the month i had them.  Cruiser / chopper type ive not ridden. Zongshen Ryuka do 3 cruiser styles , 125 @49K , and two 200,s @ 55K and 65K. Lifan do a custom 250 , but i dont know the price. Google these two companies to see what they have - not all of the Lifan bikes ( there are about 30 ! ) will be available in Thailand. Ra1 is 60K.  Lifan and "ZR" also do faired and non-faired road bikes and scooters.  Most important to find a good shop with a VERY GOOD mechanic . Who wont send you away , lol.

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For a daily commute you ideally want ultra reliable, cheap to run, easy to fix, some weather protection (floods/mud etc).

 

As you're out of the worst traffic you go for a semi-auto (Wave) or a full auto (NMax) for the ABS.

 

(I commute on a semi-auto Supercub with terrible brakes in the centre of Bangkok - but I'm stupid)

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11 hours ago, Kinnock said:

For a daily commute you ideally want ultra reliable, cheap to run, easy to fix, some weather protection (floods/mud etc).

 

As you're out of the worst traffic you go for a semi-auto (Wave) or a full auto (NMax) for the ABS.

 

(I commute on a semi-auto Supercub with terrible brakes in the centre of Bangkok - but I'm stupid)

All that sounds nice but how about having some fun? Personally I like some power and I like to change gears and drive on a real bike with clutch and all that. And does it really matter if it uses 3l or 4l per 100km? It's still cheap.

I would hate it if I knew I would have to ride 20km everyday on a boring bike. But I would look forward to ride a fun bike especially after work.

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I did my daily commute to Rayong and back on my super cub for 2 years! Comfortably doable and cheap as chips on fuel. Over 35k km on her now and still going strong. Worth considering?

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1 hour ago, NormanW said:

I did my daily commute to Rayong and back on my super cub for 2 years! Comfortably doable and cheap as chips on fuel. Over 35k km on her now and still going strong. Worth considering?

In 1981, a C70 Cub set a record of 198 miles per US gallon (1.19 L/100 km) on a 105 km road course.

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Personally, I would wait until they iron out some the bugs, ( thats a mind boggling number)

 

Image result for honda cub 100 million

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On 8/29/2018 at 5:26 PM, johng said:

Honda Wave 125i

When I wanted a second bike I asked around the repairers and they were positive, the Honda Wave is the most reliable and easiest to maitain.

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I would go for the Suzuki GD. It even has a carburetor, which can be cleaned easily in case one collects some condensed water from the tank. An electronic fuel injection makes the engine always run at its hottest point, and cannot be maintained without consulting a workshop. A replacement is about 8000THB. I would not touch the Chinese crap.

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On 8/30/2018 at 12:52 PM, kurthnase said:

Cheers for the suggestions guys!

 

Good advice, thanks for the write-up. You wouldn't have any pointers in the Chonburi/Pattaya area for a good shop that knows Honda? I went to the local Big Wing and they sent me away lol. Usally I go to one of the repair shacks to to regular maintenance, oil changes etc., but they never checked inside my fuels tank afaik. I'll have a look at that.

 

The Zone 200 looks nice, I think I'll try to find a shop to ride that and see if I fit on it.

 

I thought about the Lifan when I first bought the Honda, but I decided against that, cos I thought the Japanese would make a more reliable bike. Have you ever ridden a Lifan? They would be right up my alley, but a little bit out of my budget atm (I saw used ones for ~60k, so new maybe around 100k?). The Ra1 however seems a viable option, a cool little bike that.

The first of the 197cc four stroke Phantoms are approaching 20 years of age by now ,but age is not an issue with these sturdily built, well engineered devices ,and they are good for well over 100k mileages ...(my own 118k).The problem is that replacement spare parts have been produced in Indonesia for several years (need I elaborate ?) .

I too have had carburettor problems of late ,but would not even dream of taking my machine to the local Honda slaughterhouse in Suphanburi/Saam Chuk. I take the bus to Chiang Mai and purchase my parts at Prachamit, ,beyond Nawarat Bridge ,and return home to either administer to the ailment myself , or entrust remedial action to my local big bike shop , and only  to one mechanic in particular . Like the Phantom brakes, piston ,camshaft , clutch  assy and other components the carburettor is not peculiar to the Phantom ,and a new one may be sourced by any good Thai mechanic (an oxymoron I concede ).For serious fettling I take the bike to Tor the superbike  mechanic whose premises are  down a r/h soi about 100 metres over the crest of Nawarat Bridge going in the direction of Arcade .

He rejected the first replacement of camshaft , chain , chain tensioner et al, in 2014 as they had come from Indonesia and the hardening on the camshaft dwell was sub standard .Consequently I was required to wait several weeks until pukka Honda replacements were sourced .

There is a bike dismantler somewhere in the CM area who specialises in the dismantling (as opposed to breaking ) of Phantoms but as my visits are perforce of limited duration I have not yet found him. 

If you wish to sell your Phantom, be sure to let me know ... I am commissioning a Phantom trike here in Suphan, as I am now late 70's ...and would welcome the added security of a well constructed three wheeler .to augment my agile heavily modified Suzuki GP 125 ...39 years young ...

Old age is no preclusion to mechanical integrity and reliability .....my 85 yr Bentley and 88 yr old Benz in Europe will tetsefly to that !!!!!!!!!!!

In response to your query have you considered a Suuzuki Van Van ?

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On 8/29/2018 at 5:02 PM, kurthnase said:

So I am looking for a small motorbike to drive to work in the morning (about 20 minutes down a Sukhumvit sized road, but outside of BKK, so not too much traffic). 

A second hand 5-7 year old Honda Wave 100.

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26 minutes ago, fxe1200 said:

I would go for the Suzuki GD. It even has a carburetor, which can be cleaned easily in case one collects some condensed water from the tank. An electronic fuel injection makes the engine always run at its hottest point, and cannot be maintained without consulting a workshop. A replacement is about 8000THB. I would not touch the Chinese crap.

I like the idea about a carburetor. I have a new bike with computerized fuel injection according to the newest emission regulations. Most of the time that is ok but sometimes the bike just runs too lean. With a carburetor that could be easily changed with a screw or maybe a different jet. With the injection it's impossible to change it - even for a computer expert. The only option to change anything is to install a piggyback ECU for a couple of hundred dollars - crazy!

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1 hour ago, Vacuum said:

A second hand 5-7 year old Honda Wave 100.

Or a Click - should be able to pick one up for around 10-15k Bt, with 20-25k km, and should easily manage 100,000 km provided you keep up the oil changes.

 

OK, so it's not "fun" but they're easy.

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8 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

All that sounds nice but how about having some fun? Personally I like some power and I like to change gears and drive on a real bike with clutch and all that. And does it really matter if it uses 3l or 4l per 100km? It's still cheap.

I would hate it if I knew I would have to ride 20km everyday on a boring bike. But I would look forward to ride a fun bike especially after work.

True - if as in the OP you live out of the CBD of Bangkok.  But my daily commute is a hot, gridlocked grind that is 99% filtering between cars with drivers on their phones.  A small, light bike is the most practical way to commute, and a clutch would be a pain.

 

I have a bigger bike for the weekends.

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2 minutes ago, Kinnock said:

True - if as in the OP you live out of the CBD of Bangkok.  But my daily commute is a hot, gridlocked grind that is 99% filtering between cars with drivers on their phones.  A small, light bike is the most practical way to commute, and a clutch would be a pain.

 

I have a bigger bike for the weekends.

I have the Suzuki Raider 150 (2014 model with carburetor) and I have a bigger bike. I live in lower Sukhumvit and there is basically bad traffic or very bad traffic. If I know there is very bad traffic I take the Raider. I don't think there is any bike which is more nimble than that one and it's still pretty powerful (16hp, acceleration to 100km/h very fast, after that it takes longer).

The clutch is easy to pull and even after doing it hundreds of time it's no problem. Basically I don't notice that I am doing it.

If I would buy a new bike I would buy it again.

Raider150.jpg.2bdca701ace1b26c15531878680dbb3f.jpg

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I’ve a Lengend  200 cc for two years now and it’s good and fun to ride...... be careful in corners seems to sag a lirrle which is annoying if trying to go through the corner. It’s a shock adjustment I think....

 

- had problems with front fork seals leaking .......replaced for no charge 

- Speedo went out they fixed it NC

- Ignition switch faulty and fixed

- I keep it under patio or in garage most the time

-  The newer model thy changed to different type of tire which articles say is a plus

- Good enough speed .... had it to 130 and cruised along

 

 

- All and All it’s OK. A bit of a heavier ride 

 

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