Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Riding Big Bike in Cambodia

In the past, at least to what I think, Phnom Penh was full of C110 or C90 motorbike. Not many people would buy any bikes with machine over C230 or maybe there were not too many available for all. However, in the late 2010s, quite many youngsters tend to buy Yamaha R6 which is C600 or CBR C1200. Those bikes are very fast; and who could afford such bikes are not poor. It is unlikely that they might pickpocket or rob; it is only possible to say that they might have their own clan. I actually want one of that if I were physically fitted.


In Cambodia, riding big bikes could be considered as gangsters, robbers, or pickpocket because the truth is many of them have their own gangs. With fast bike, they could escape easily. Thus, it has become a stereotype for people here to judge big bikers; and I am not saying they are wrong, I just want to open up another perspectives to all of the Khmers thatt not all of them are gangsters. There are several other reasons behind owning a big bike.


1. First, I would like to introduce you to a type of big bike - FTR 223 which was made in Japan, model 2002. I bought it two years ago for 2000 USD which is pretty reasonable if you compare it to other smaller bikes which possibly cost up to 3300 USD. I chose this bike for its shape and weight. It has that little gangster look in which I consider charming :D and it is not too heavy for a small guy like me. Furthermore, I am sure that I will not lose a lot of money when it comes to selling since quite many have asked whether I want to sell with their offers. 

2. The bike consumes pretty less petroleum. I normally pay 5 USD for 150 Kilometers which is somehow less than other sorts of smaller bike.

3. With its uncommon manual gear, I feel safe when I get home at night time despite the fact that robbery/crime rate in Phnom Penh is not low. I guess people would not spend time chasing after the big bike and not everyone knows how to use it.

4. I feel the strength and masculinity for those who own such big bikes. As you could read on the Vehicle Ownership Card, you will see that those small bikes are considered as female bike while a bigger ones are considered as male's bike.

5. With such well-made Japanese bike, I could travel short distance to province or to my land nearby Phnom Penh. Others might possibly use small bike on those roads as well, but the thing is, with the stronger forks of FTR, I would feel less rough.

6. With the speed which is just right for city ride, FTR could get me to work or to places faster than others. However, I also bear in mind that safety first and I would not ride over 50 Kilometers per hour inside Phnom Penh; and also, I don't ride that zig-zag like teens do.

7. When it comes to rainy season, I do not have to worry about the flooded street like others do. It is pretty safe for me to travel within the flooded part in the city.

And yeah, these are my reasons for owning a big bike. Will you continue to pre-judge or change your mind regarding big bike owners? Well, remember when you educate younger generations not to judge a book by its cover. I hope you can do the same here. 

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