I’ve been riding motorcycles since age 20. For more than 30 yrs, I’ve always depended on my bike to move around. That changed when I started driving taxi 5 yrs ago.
My reliable workhorse Yamaha YBR 125cc was parked at the car park until the battery flat. Since I drove my taxi everyday and I didn’t ride my bike, I had to kick start it. So I decided to sell it at a good price. The COE then was at its peak at more than $8,000! No sooner had I sold it, I bought an old Honda Wave left with only 2 yrs of COE. I renewed it for another 5 yrs @$3,200. Again I sold it as I hardly rode it since I take a direct bus right below my flat to my work place.
Alas, a biker is always a biker. Biker’s maxim, “Live To Ride and Ride To Live!” is so true! I simply can’t resist the temptation to own a bike after suffering for about one year on public transport! When I found out that bike COE is hovering around $3,500 from its peak of more than $8,000 2 yrs ago, I thought it’s good time to get myself a bike for my off days commuting. Link
I’ve got Class 2 which allows me to ride any bike capacity. But then I’m only keen on a good reliable bike with low maintenance to bring me from point A to point B. I’m not interested in those big engine cc bikes which are expensive to buy and maintain. After more than 30 yrs of bike riding experience and having owned more than 10 bikes throughout the years as I kept changing bikes on average after every 2 to 3 yrs, I’ve come to realize the importance of getting a reliable, low cost, easily available spare parts bike.
After some consideration, I’ve decided to either get the latest Honda Wave 125cc or Yamaha Z1 115cc. Why I choose them is that both bikes are with proven track records over the years. Especially Honda Wave 125cc which is one of the most popular legendary bikes having undergone many revisions and upgrades since it was first launched decades ago! Both bikes are considered MOPED, small bikes with petrol tank underneath the seat. Both models do not have radiator or clutch.
I believe in the lesser the better. Without clutch, we do not need to worry about replacing it every now and then. There is also no risk of a snapped clutch cable which will render the bike useless. Without radiator also need not worry about changing the coolant or ensuring that the pipes and tubes are not worn out or loosen not to mention being choked! As such, 2 headaches gone if I get either the Honda Wave or the Yamaha Z1.
Both Honda Wave and Yamaha Z1 also have a built-in kick starter. Just in case the battery is flat, I could still start the engine by kicking it. Most new bikes have done away with this useful feature.
From my ex-Honda Wave which I last owned I know I could change almost every part of the bike except the entire engine in JB for a song. Parts are easily available over there. I blogged about it here.
When I started looking around for either of the 2 bike models I was in for a shock cuz Honda Wave and Yamaha Z1 are withdrawn from the market due to them unable to meet Euro 4 emission standard. If you look around there are no new bikes on the road for both models.
I’ll have to go back to Yamaha YBR 125cc. Like the 2 Mopeds mentioned, this bike is also very reliable, fuel efficient and easy to maintain. But the 3rd generation Yamaha YS 125cc, unlike the previous 2 generations (had kick starter) comes with a clutch cable minus the kick starter which I’ve to accept. When I was riding the 1st generation Yamaha YBR 125 cc, I would change the clutch cable n housing every 2 years as a preventive measure.
The Yamaha YBR 125cc first generation was replaced with an improved version. They look alike on the outside but with some refinements on the engine and looks. But then that also being replaced by the latest Yamaha YS 125cc which is actually the 3rd generation of the YBR series.
The Yamaha YS 125cc is the succeeding model to the popular Yamaha YBR 125cc series. Unlike the earlier 2 versions (carburettor based), this latest model – 3rd generation is completely fuel injection and comply with the latest Euro 4 emission standard. The dash board is completely digital and the appearance a big overhaul!
The Yamaha YS 125cc just arrived at our local shores few months back. As such, it’s still very new and hardly seen on the roads. I took the plunge and bought it.
The bike is still under “running-in” until 1.000 km as I have to ride it between 60 km/h to 70 km/h until the brand new engine is broken in. Thereafter, I’ll gradually bring up the travel speed to 80km/h and so on. It’s a tedious process considering I hardly ride it. Initially, I’ll change the engine oil at intervals of 1,000 km followed by 3.000 km and lastly 5,000 km. Thereafter, it will be every 5,000 km or 6 months ride for every oil change.
When my Yamaha YS 125cc clocked 320 km, I topped up the 14-litre petrol tank to the brim as I did when I first took out the bike almost one month ago. I managed exactly 6 litres of petrol for the 2nd petrol top up. It seems that 6 litres could get more than 300 km of mileage on this bike. It’s one litre for every 50 km! That’s very fuel efficient. As good as the 2 Mopeds mentioned.
So far, the bike is within my expectations. The only complaint about this bike is it didn’t come with a built-in rack unlike the previous versions. Instead a set of useless metal holders (bars) meant for the pillion to hand on.
I wanted to mount a box to keep my helmet, raincoat and other things but I couldn’t get a rack for this bike even after visiting several shops specialising in selling and installing rear boxes. I was told that this bike still new and there’s no specific rack in the local market yet. I went down to a workshop at AMK auto point but was quoted at $350 to custom made a rack so that I could mount a rear box. Too expensive lah.
I then searched on the net and came across a solid beautiful rear rack specially made for this model. I placed an order at AliExpress for less than $50. With shipping and handling, it’s about $77! It’s cheap and solid but I had to wait 20 days before it’s delivered to my place.
Just 3 days ago, I removed the original 2 useless metal bars to install that beautiful rack. When I searched online for a solid rear top box, I was so fortunate to have found one brand new set offering at $50 available near my place at Loyang Lane. I grabbed it and mounted it on the same day. It allows me to keep 2 helmets and a raincoat! If I were to install the combo rack and box in a shop, it will easily set me back by more than $200! Maybe even $300!
Now the bike is ready to serve me for the next 10 years. By then I’ll be in my mid 60s. Not sure if I still want to go on public transport or get another bike? Only time will tell.
Once a biker, always a biker! Gintai, your post made me reminisce about my own situation. Back when I was doing my national service – I am 62 now – without my parents’ knowledge I bought a cheap, used what was then called a (Honda) Monkey Carp. (Hope I got the spelling right.) Had my dad know, he would have disowned me because he always deem motorbikes unsafe. “With cars,” he would thunder, “it’s metal wrapping meat, with a bike, it’s your meat wrapping metal.”
I was in a vocation that did not require me to stay in camp.
My dad, ever so kind, would insist on driving me to camp every morning.
I had to lie to him saying just dropping me off at Newton food Centre will do because “army transport will pick us up.”
Truth was I parked my bike at Newton, and when my dad disappears from sight every morning after dropping me off, I would ride my bike to Tengah Air Base, where my camp was. In the evening, I would ride back to Newton, park my bike and take a bus home.
Later, I would “graduate” to a Honda Carp, a Kawasaki 750 and my last bike was the Honda Goldwing. Several times, I even rode from Singapore to Thailand and back (with different girlfriends of course, one was even a Miss Singapore contestant) and while in the Philippines, I once wrote from Manila to Baguio and back. That was something! Yes, I had a couple accidents, thankfully all minor. Once at Portsdown Road, I heard a noise, turned my head to look, and fell into a “ravine” and my legs were badly scarred.
I have never learned to drive a car, don’t have a license but I love bikes.
The only reason why I stopped riding was since 1986, I have always been doing regional jobs; once I even covered 22 counties. For years, I would leave Singapore on a Sunday, and return home on the following Friday night. Simply no time to ride as each short weekend, young family – and errands- became priority.
Now that I am semi-retired, I may go back to riding. Was eyeing a Harley, but the one Harley rider I know in Singapore is a retarded scumbag of the highest order and I don’t want his image to tarnish mine.