Satisfied Bikers at Yamaha Rider’s Club Chiang Mai
Yamaha is Thailand’s go-to bike brand; whether it’s a small scooter to get you from A to B or a big bike that will take you all the way to Z and beyond, one of the best places to check out in Chiang Mai if you are searching for your two-wheeled steed, is the Yamaha Rider’s Club on Huay Kaew Road. This month we talk to a couple of the club’s most valued members who fell in love with the big biking world after moving to Thailand and buying their first Yamaha bike.
Tobias Crane, 27
Tobias is from the UK, and moved to Thailand almost a decade ago. Since then, he has settled down, married and is now pursuing a career online – being the local in-the-know guy producing motorcycle reviews, bike adventure videos and much more.
“It was the Yamaha Rider’s Club that really got me into bikes after I moved to Thailand all those years ago,” said Crane. “I used to rent a scooter but soon got my first proper bike after my new biker friends encouraged me to get involved in big biking. It wasn’t long before I sold that for my first Yamaha, which I brought at the Yamaha Rider’s Club in Chiang Mai – a MT-07.”
From then on, Crane was hooked. Biking became his life and he soon became a well-loved and active member of the Yamaha Rider’s Club and a regular on their monthly excursions. “I love riding in the mountains as it reminds me of the cool summers of the UK. The best times out on the roads is when I am riding with the Yamaha Club, but I soon found that my 700cc MT-07 just couldn’t keep up with the pack. The only logical answer to that was to upgrade!”
Now Crane is the proud owner of the MT-09, a punchy 847cc bike with top of the range parts and equipment such as an inline three crossplane engine, a lightweight and highly customisable cast alloy frame, traction control, slide control computers and upside-down forks. “If I could upgrade to the MT-10 I probably would,” said Crane when asked about his favourite bike in the Yamaha showroom. “But it is not that much different so I think I have to say the MT-09 is just the bike for me.”
Today, Crane reviews bikes, routes and all things Big Bike on his YouTube page MotoMan. “Motor biking has become my life, and I only have the guys at Yamaha to blame, if I can’t blame myself that is!”
Johnathon Hiscock, 58
Hailing from New Zealand, Hiscock only got into Big Bikes when he moved to Thailand roughly eight years ago. Starting with a big heavy BMW, he quickly moved to KTM before settling down with Yamaha – a brand he swears by. “Yamahas are perfect for a place like Thailand,” he explains. “Bikes can get hot in Thailand, and the sun can take a lot of brands over the edge. After all the bikes I’ve owned, I swear by Yamaha as they are not only high performance machines, but cope incredibly well in the heat of Southeast Asia.”
Hiscock jumped in at the deep end when he brought his first Yamaha, the YZF-R1; an open class superbike with a monster 1000cc liquid cooled 4-stroke engine, with an all-new Deltabox-style aluminium frame. Its real world power sits at an impressive 167 horsepower and it has a great number of computer settings that can be changed on the fly.
“Sure, it’s a huge bike and I know that I would never be able to take it up to top speed unless on a track, but I love its acceleration and performance,” said Hiscock. “Once you get out of town, onto some of Southeast Asia’s best roads, you can really let it go and these big bikes really get into their own.”
Hiscock also joins the Yamaha Rider’s Club bike trips around northern Thailand and jumps at the chance to just take the bike out for a drive any day he can. Chiang Mai and the surrounding provinces are famed for their great roads and amazing views along the way – which is one of the main reasons Hiscock fell in love with biking in the first place.
“The danger with big biking is starting too small,” he continued. “When you go out with people with more powerful bikes than yourself, you do see a difference and you can struggle to keep up at times. That’s why I just went for the big one to begin with.”
His son, George Hiscock, who is 25 has also joined the biking club with his father after being lucky enough to pick up a MT-10 the same day his father brought his R1. “Although I love the MT-10, I can see why the R1 is something that people dream of,” he explained as he sat laughing about bikes with his father. “The electronics of the R1 are second to none, and although the engines are similar in capacity, the R1 has more bite and is far better tuned than any other bike of similar stature.”
“The service is amazing, and whatever you need the Yamaha staff are here to help,” both Crane and Hiscock said in unison. “The activities and bike rides that they arrange are second to none, and are so exciting. It is not like any other dealership we have dealt with in the past. And most importantly, they are ready to help at a moment’s notice and are incredibly trustworthy.”
The Yamaha Rider’s Club organises riding trips, days out at race tracks, training sessions and much more for both their customers and their friends. Although their customers will be invited first, any interested big bike rider can get involved and meet the club members around Chiang Mai too.
For anyone interested in learning more about what Yamaha has to offer, from service to bikes, apparel to adventures, please feel free to contact the Yamaha Rider’s Club and take that first step into a world you’ll most certainly find hard to leave.
Yamaha Rider’s Club
Charoen Motor Chiang Mai Co., Ltd. 9 Huay Kaew Road
053 218 555