I just completed the December 2013 Looking Glass Magazine issue which includes my review on the Yamaha Filano motorbike In a few days I will accompany this review with a You Tube video that will show the little bike bottoming out on a speed bump when I have my girlfriend on the back. It’s a Vespa look a like, it’s cute and it’s well put together but as an all around motorbike for Thailand it will not begin to match a new Yamaha 125 SX or Honda’s PCX 150. The same is true for Yamaha Finos, Honda Scoopy’s and Honda Clicks. Clearly, the best all around bikes for city driving in Pattaya are the Honda PCX and the Yamaha 125 SX. This was a real tossup, until one day my Nouvo Elegance would not start. One hour later, I decided that the Yamaha Nouvo SX is the best Thailand City Motorbike. It would have been the Yamaha Elegance that had edged out the Honda PCX 150 because I was finally able to start it with its kick starter and drive it to a nearby shop to replace its battery. Trouble is, you can’t buy these new anymore, so the Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX will have to do.
As far as much larger motorbikes that are more suitable for highway driving, they won’t compare to a Yamaha Nouvo SX or Honda PCX 150. This interesting statistic will explain why. THe news just got to me via an email from Thaivisa that is reporting that Thailand now ranks number three in the entire world for having the most highway fatalities per 100,000 registered vehicles, per capita, etc. The figure for 100,000 registered vehicles is 118.8 versus just 12.57 for the United States. What this comes down to is because of the way Thais drive and the total lack of police enforcement driving high powered motorcycles with high speed traffic such as is common on expressways and superhighways, the possibility of death becomes even much higher. The way I’m thinking is if you have say a 650 c.c. or 1000 c.c. motorbike you have lots of power on tap and you are going to want to tap into all that power. But you can never predict all the brain dead things all those brain dead people are constantly doing around you, and too often the brain and reflexes simply cannot keep up with that person who just pulled in front of you, the hole that should have been repaired that you suddenly see in the middle of that four lane, or the driver who suddenly decided to drive the wrong way towards you against the flow of traffic.
But now last night with my Yamaha Nouvo Elegance suddenly not being able to start, there is no longer a shadow of doubt in my mind why the Yamaha Nouvo is a better all around bike than Honda’s PCX. My bike had an electrical problem and would not start with the electric starter so the first thing I did is I pulled the plastic cover off the battery compartment, pulled the battery out, and loosed, then tightened the connections. THe problem persisted so because I still could use the horn, etc I figured I had a connection problem somewhere on the bike that I could not get to. I tried to kick start it but it turned out I did not try hard enough. So this morning I got our condo maintenance employee and security guard to help me out. We were able to get the bike going with the kick starter so off I went with the maintenance employee sitting behind me. He took me to a small place one normally would not notice and I bought a battery there for 600 baht. ANd that was it. My battery had gone defective even though it was less than one year old.
The same thing had happened to a friend who was renting a Honda PCX,but he could not kick start it and so he wound up having to walk to the restaurant we were meeting at for lunch. So it really comes down to the fact that the Yamaha Nouvos are more reliable because even if the electric won’t work you can always kick start them and they are more versatile as you can easily use bungee cords to tie all kinds of stuff down across the bike’s rear seat.
So there we have it. Short of doing a lot of expressway superhighway driving the Yamaha Nouvo SX or its predecessor the Nouvo Elegance has enough tire size and engine to easily handle most driving conditions. As for the fast highway cruising much larger bikes excel at, driving in such conditions should be discouraged because it’s so dangerous trying to do it especially at the higher speeds such bikes are capable of. Lastly due to their having kick starters, their overall excellent build quality, relatively large storage area underneath the seat, and a plethora of hooks and bungee cord attachment spots on the Yamaha Nouvos, their reliability and versatility is unmatched