Today I bought a CBR 150, a proper little sports bike. The cost was 44,000B, just over $1450USD, not too shabby considering it only has 6800km. The bike was also modified with a larger carburetor, modified intake, full exhaust and a remapped ECU. I haven’t ever ridden a stock CBR 150, but apparently the modifications made quite a difference from the stock form. However, compared to my super mega ballin’ Volvo back home the acceleration is a joke.
By any American sports bike standard, a CBR 150 is a joke – nothing more than a child’s bike, something that would never be imported into the US. However, on the crowded and chaotic roads of Thailand it is a perfect fit. I had originally hoped for a 400, 500 or even a 650cc, but I’m glad I could only afford a 150cc. Anything larger would be a recipe for disaster, I can imagine myself quickly getting too ballsy and going way faster then I should. The import duties in most Asian countries are extreme for any bike larger than 250cc; the price of a 650cc is almost double what it would be in the states.
To make the bike fully street legal I had to purchase insurance and make current the registration. I imagined it would be a difficult process, considering I speak next to no Thai and I doubted that the bureaucratic offices would be very accommodating to a farang(thai:dumb white person). Could you imagine how hard it would be registering and insuring a bike in the US without speaking English or being a citizen? I was pleasantly surprised by the Thai experience. I simply handed my green book, the Thai equivalent of a US title, to the state insurance agent and within 2 minutes and 400B I had insurance. I went to the tax office next door and 100B made my tags current. So incredibly painless.
Now I’m off to race the streets of Thailand!