March 30, 2014

Big Single on the Beach - SR Meeting

After many months of hard work, I finally got on my bike for a road trip.
This weekend saw the first edition of  'Big Single on the beach', an SR only party, organized by the SR group in Rayong.
My day started well with a nice morning breeze. After half hour I stopped in Bang Prakong to wait for my 3 Thai friends Top, Golf and Jeab, who were coming from Samut Prakan.
Soon many more SR riders joined our group and together we rode down Sukhumvit Road towards Chonburi, Pattaya to eventually arrive in Rayong.

Unfortunately, after just 40 minutes, one SR rider hit a big pothole loosing control of the bike. 
Photo by ท๊อปท๊อป ปากหมาสวด
Photo by ท๊อปท๊อป ปากหมาสวด

Luckily, the rider got away with some minor bruises. His bike though was less fortunate and had to be loaded onto a recovery truck, while the guy was driven to the hospital.

This delayed our trip by at least 1 hour.

Not too long afterwards, a heavily modified SR gave up its life due to a seized engine. Apparently, the Yoshimura piston couldn't handle the searing heat in Thailand.

That delayed the trip for more than 1 hour...
I guess that's what happens when you ride in big groups. Personally, I like groups no bigger than 4 or 5.

Photo by ท๊อปท๊อป ปากหมาสวด

Eventually, about 200km later, we arrived at the SR beach.

Here's one prized specimen of Yamaha SR. Stunning bike!

 But there were other, maybe less flashy, but still interesting specials...

Like this one...interesting tank and ...curious 'fender' solution...

Red tanks always attract attention.

Like they say in Thailand "Old Sa-kool"

Something a bit more classic...

This one I couldn't figure out. What are all those cables attached to the engine?? Anybody knows?

Those beautiful Thai sunsets...

Photo by ท๊อปท๊อป ปากหมาสวด

My friends Jeab, Golf and Top

Breakfast on the beach is always a winner.

Ready for the trip back!

March 24, 2014


Here's only half of today's tank delivery!
Looking good babies...all shiny and in need of someone to take care of them.

Find them all at

March 20, 2014

2014 Yamaha SR400 in Thailand

If you're planning on getting an SR with a 'greenish' book, you might want to hold on to your money for a little longer.
Rumour has it that Yamaha will introduce the mighty SR400 into Thailand as part of their global effort to bring real bikes to the world. :-)

The Bangkok Motor Show will open in a few days and I shall keep you updated about price and available colours. My guess is it will cost around 250.000-300.000Baht.

Hmmm, to buy or not to buy...that is the question....

EDIT: The price is now confirmed at 265.000Baht. My guess was pretty good after all. :-)

March 19, 2014

Importing motorcycle wheels/tires? Know the law!

I've been buying used SR alloy rims from Germany for a year. Never had a problem. Sometimes they got charged with custom fees and tax, other times I didn't have to pay anything.

2 days ago I got a notice from the post stating that my wheels got stopped at customs in Chaeng Wattana, Bangkok. I let my wife call them and deal with it, but she just got stone walled. The customs officer told her first that the declared value seemed too small and second that importing used tires was against the law. They told her that the wheels were impounded and they wouldn't even send them back to the seller in Germany. They implied that if we tried to get them back, lawyers would be necessary. The situation looked pretty darn hopeless.

I did some online research and indeed, there was such a law (November 2013), to prevent the dumping of used tires in Thailand. Apparently, there were containers full of them, which would have landed in some illegal landfill.

Nonetheless, today I called them up myself and after a few minutes, they told me to go to Bangkok and talk to an official. So, off I went on a 2 hours drive, all the way rehearsing what I would say to them and testing my most endearing smile.
None of that mattered.
When I got there, I was given a number, waited in line, paid the custom fee and tax and that was it!

I don't know what really happened. I'm just glad I got the wheels.

So, if you're thinking about importing used wheels, make sure they're without tires and save yourself a big headache.

On 16 August 2013, Ministry of Commerce issued a notification which specified that used tires particularly tires used in cars, motorcycles and bicycles were prohibited for import into Thailand. However, used tires for buses or trucks are still permitted for import with an import permit and only if they are imported for production of retreaded tires for export to other countries.
The rules on prohibition of import of tires or application for import of tires will be effective after 60 days from 6 September 2013.
Source: Notification of Ministry of Commerce re: Used Tires are classified as Prohibited Goods or Goods requiring an Import Licence for Import into Thailand in accordance with the rules for organizing the import into the Kingdom B.E. 2556, 16 August 2013.

March 2, 2014

The Honda C92 and the dignity of an old lady

I have been pretty busy with the shop lately and not very active on this blog. A lot has happened since the last post: new products in the shop, a professional photo shoot and last but not least a temporary adoption of an old lady. The lady in question is an almost original Honda C92 that has been neglected for far too long, being left standing out in the Thai monsoon rain and under the scorching sun of the hot season.

Fortunately, my friend Colm discovered this little gem and not having enough space nor the tools, asked me to give her back some of her dignity.

The main purpose is to get her back on the road as soon as possible, so this is obviously not going to be a full blown restoration project. The work done so far includes cleaning the carb, getting rid of grime and dirt and an oil change.
The tank is currently at the shop being refurbished and painted.