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The Idiot's guide to motorcycles, from the Chief Eedjit.

By: Expat Advisory Posted: January-01-2006 in
Expat Advisory

Okay, with your guide to stupidity ruling the roost, what does the family ride?

Well, like most of Phnom Penh, the Child-bride's first bike was a Daelim Citi 100. But not just any Citi, this was a Chosen Ilbo. Any Korean speakers out there want to tell me what that means? It was bought off a mate so he'd have some cash to return to the UK with and was sold when we needed some cash for the baby's clinic bills (Luckily all of yours truly's bikes were already in varying states of disassembly and therefore unsaleable!) It was a semi-auto 4-speed with a front drum brake and a motodop's oblong seat, like every other Daelim.

Her next bike was a genuine scooter. A 180cc Yamaha Cygnus with a clutchless belt-drive, just keep twisting the throttle. In the '80s it would have looked like it came from Star Trek. By the '90s it would have looked passé. Now it's just kind of sad. It is, however, a four-stroke and it has a flat floor that keeps your feet perfectly dry from incidental puddles. It's also a little heavy and the Child-bride isn't exactly enamoured of it. My biggest complaint is that it's a little uncertain when it comes to batteries. Damn thing needs a new regulator.

For a while the Brother-in-Law was riding my CM250 around. What the Hell, I had a 750 and a 900 to keep me entertained, right? Well I was less than entertained when a Camry came through a red light and refused to stop. BiL brought the baby cruiser home with bent forks, a smashed headlight and missing indicators. Once the bike was repaired and hired out BiL had a serious problem. Eventually he was put on his very own Posemobile (for which he still owes me, I might add), a 150cc Kymco cruiser. It was me who brought this one home bent after two Bong Thom punks took the Child-bride and I out from behind while we made a legal left-hand turn.

While BiL gets to cruise the boulevards, Father-in-Law was given an almost unique, and uniquely appropriate, scooter. FiL is an older man who, in my estimation, doesn't require a 400cc CB1 trackster. He also lives in a rice village and isn't exactly made of money. By lucky accident, or evil design, depending on who you ask, FiL's bike is unique in Phnom Penh. A single-seat, 50cc two-stroke, clutchless belt-drive scooter called a Honda Runaway.

This isn't a scooter, not like you know them, it's a shopper. It has 16/14 inch front/rear wheels (definitely not like you Vespa clones) with proper front forks and a mile of ground clearance that makes it perfect for the rough tracks of the village. Its 50cc engine is so detuned and miserly that it needs a tank a month and its electric/kick start means he's never stranded.

As I write this the Child-bride is eyeing off a SuperCub 100 and talking about passing the Cygnus to BiL's significant other. SiL has never been particularly awed by its higher weight quotient.

Now that I've got the family riding logically chosen bikes, does anyone know where I can get a Triumph Bonneville?

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