Kwann on my Yamaha SR400

In Thailand Yamaha SR 400 gets more attention than Porsche

Because, it’s a classic dating back to 1978, in Thailand Yamaha SR 400 will get more attention than a Porsche, and probably a Harley to boot.

Thailand Yamaha SR 400 at Silverlake
My Yamaha SR 400 at the Silver Lake Winery

The Thailand Yamaha SR 400   looks the way motorcycles used to look in the 60’s and 70’s  and the way they were meant to be.

 It will weave in and out of Thailand city traffic almost as easily as a small scooter, but you will drive in comfort on the bike’s large diameter tires.  The seat’s long and comfortable like the bikes we had in the 1970’s.  There’s not a lot of power compared to most bikes built today.

The Thailand Yamaha SR 400  has no engine counter balancers or even rubber engine mounts to dampen the vibration.  But until the bike gets close to 60 miles an hour that vibration actually becomes addictive.  You feel it and you know the machine’s alive and so are you.    You can read more about the SR 400 here.  This is all about the video presented here.

I was searching for a temple near Nong Nooch Tropical Garden a few miles South of Pattaya

with my Panasonic LX-7 camera strapped around my neck. This is a super camera.  It’s a Leica with the Panasonic name on it.  Friends of mine have been trying to get me to buy a smart phone or a smaller camera that I could attach to my motorcycle helmet.  But I like the real thing, and shooting pictures with a smart phone just doesn’t get it.  And attaching an inferior video camera to a motorcycle helmet is for sissies.  I’m no sissy which is one of the reasons I drive a Yamaha SR 400.

This video is pretty rough which is about what I expected it to be

considering  I had to hand hold it while opening the bike’s throttle with my right hand and  clutching with my left hand.  As difficult as this was,  by hand holding the camera I was able to move it from a horizontal position. to a slightly downwards angle.  This gave me a good view of the road while as well as the speedometer and tach .  All of this was pure guesswork because there was no way that I could look into the  camera’s viewfinder due to the sun and my having to focus on my driving.  But as rough as the video turned out, I think it gives a pretty good impression of what it’s like driving the Yamaha SR 400 and the kinds of sounds it makes.

Close to Nong Nooch tropical gardens I found a large temple complex, but it never turned out to be the one I was looking for. Then I followed the signs to  the Silver Lake winery.   Here I found a number of Chinese tourists who had just arrived in a tour bus.  But what a huge difference between those Chinese tourists and me.  They were all stuck to each other like glue following the orders of  their fearless leader tour guide.  But  I had my Thailand Yamaha SR 400 which could take me 400 kilometers on a single tank of gas.  And even if the bike’s electrical system would somehow fail me, I had my kick start which would get me on my way every time.

With only 24 horsepower this bike is not fast.

But here’s the bottom line.  Driving it feels so good.  But in Thailand you don’t want to be running a motorcycle very fast.  With the second worst death rate  in the world, it doesn’t matter how fast a man’s reactions are.  Here we have the stupidest drivers in the world.  These people are capable of anything and the police are not  interested in penalizing them for their moronic driving habits.  If I need to be doing a lot of highway driving I’m taking my Honda Civic.  But for driving around town and on two lane roads the Yamaha SR-400 is just about perfect.

I really cannot even begin to describe how this bike drives.  Let’s just say it’s very addictive and it just feels good.  Perhaps this video can do what no mere words can ever do.  I did find several temples by the way.  But there will be another time coming soon when I will be able to find the one I had been looking for when I can feed the fish and forget about all the world’s problems.




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