I have two motorbikes as of now: a Honda Click and a big blue one. Yeah, that’s cause I like to be stuntin when I roll out. Ok, while that is partly true, here is the real story:
I am lucky to have moved to Chiang Mai already knowing a few people. The previous Fellow was still in the city when I arrived, so I bought her automatic motorbike for $600 (around 18.000THB). After driving it around for a couple days, I realized I am short and lacking in upper body muscles, which translated into me not being able to maneuver this big blue bike and in need of a smaller one for fear of falling on my badonky everytime I stopped at a red light. I decided to sell this one and get a new one.
I traversed the land of Chiang Mai searching for the perfect, badass bike to fit my personality. While I was hoping to buy a used black, matte semi-automatic with a large seat trunk (hey, even badasses have to grocery shop) for under 14.000THB, I soon found my dreams crushed. Ok, so bikes are more expensive than I thought. Well, lucky once again, my co-worker knew a guy who knew a guy who was selling his bike. I took a look at it and though it didn’t fit any of my above bullet points, except for being black (actually dual-colored), it still looked slick enough. He gave me a good price and had already registered it, so I said “Kha.”
Unfortunately, I still need to sell my blue one – it’s in the works.
Try to ask around and buy a bike from a friend/friend-of-a-friend before you go to the shops or dealerships. They are likely to rip you off, especially as a Farang. If you do happen to find yourself in a shop, you can get a good used scooter-type automatic for 15-19.000THB.
If you are renting, bikes will be about 250THB per day at shops in the Old City. If you go north, just outside the moat, into the Chang Phuak area, you can rent bikes for 150THB/day.
Make sure you get your bike registered or you’ll go through a ton of legal hassle if/when you get in an accident.