Bike or Trike?

Private or public transit? I’ve assumed that once I settled I’d buy an underbone (don’t you dare call it a scooter ) for short-range transit.

I owned two dirt bikes in the states, used them for fun and competition, but never road on the street. I took a 3 day street survival school right before leaving the states. Received a perfect score on my bike skills test but that don’t mean squat when riding in a swarm of underbones at 40 kph down a narrow road with a truck approaching from behind and ahead a cow is standing 6 inches off the shoulder while munching grass, the guy next to me has two passengers on his bike and all three of them are texting.

As planned I have been taking baby steps to learn street skills and relearn bike handling. First rentals were in Kamala Beach, Thailand, where the roads were mostly empty. First rides in the Phils were on roads and during day parts when traffic was light. I think I have a better than average chance of not ending up as an organ donor as a result of a motorcycle accident but I’m light years away from thinking I have the right stuff.

Everyone knows the public vs private transit tradeoffs, so I won’t bother except where it’s different here.

Trikes routinely carry seven adult passengers, though to do so means three of them are in discomfort, two are OK if they’re short and two are comfortable if they’re not fat and the seat isn’t trashed.  It also means the driver is sitting so far forward on the tank that he’s committing an unnatural act with the gas cap.

What happens all too often is the shocks are gone so they compensate by putting on springs that are so stiff it hurts.  The muffler has also long since stopped corresponding to its name.  In short, they’re uncomfortable.

But the riders are in the shade which means the ride is less hot and has less UV exposure.  I road without sunscreen one day and picked up enough sun for everyone to comment on it.  Long pants and sleeves will be necessary, but that’s a small price to pay for the freedom.

Speaking of price, the bike I want is about P 48,000 $ 1015.  It is a 100cc Honda Wave, easily the most popular bike around.  The other Japanese brands are more expensive for a similar bike because only Honda manufactures the parts in Japan and then ships them to the Phils for assembly.  There are cheaper 100cc bikes but they are all Chinese brands with short half lifes.


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