So you want to buy a Big Bike in Thailand? Having now gone through the process twice while I have been in Thailand I am going to reflect on some points that are extremely import to take into consideration when you are buying your big bike.
Taking you back, I bought my first bike, a Kawasaki Versys from a 1 owner since new. It was advertised on a popular Facebook Versys group so I made the journey to check it out. Being a 1 owner, it had log books, which had been filled out and stamped by a dealer.
The books showed that the last service was done at 15’000km, and the bike had 19’000km on it. The time between when the last service was done and the current odometer reading was appropriate so knowing this was a genuine low kilometer bike was solid.
Fast forward some 20’000km; if you have been following my stories, you will know that I have ridden the Versys heaps, going from one end of Thailand to the other, and also venturing into neighboring countries.
I put all those kilometer’s on the bike, and keep it serviced. I personally did the servicing myself, so the log book was not filled in. Given the kilometer’s were now edging into the mid 30’s, I decided it was time to change the bike over for a newer model with less on the clock.
Having found a new replacement, I asked the small business I was buying the new bike off if they would trade the Versys in to make my life easier. They were a bit reluctant because of the kilometer’s but after some negotiation we came to an agreement.
Now due to my buying a bike through this small business, I liked their business on Facebook, so a week later it was no shock to see my cleaned up Versys for sale. What did shock me was the price he had on it. He had listed it at more than I bought it for in the first instance. So I read on, how could he justify selling it for such a high price?
Simple!! He had wound the digital odometer back on the bike, to reflect the price he was asking. So now some poor Farang or Thai is going to shell out top dollar for a bike that actually has 20’000km more on it than they think.
I have been speaking to people I trust here, and it seems this is more common then we think.
Back in Australia doing this underhanded illegal process can be easily caught out, due to the fact that every time a vehicle changes hands, the Department of Transport in Australia record the odometer, whereas in Thailand there is no record kept.
So my advice to anyone buying second hand, only buy a vehicle that has a log book, and that log book has official dealer stamps, and reflects the bikes current odometer reading. Anything else and you are opening yourself up to being a victim of an illegal practice.