A Motorcycle in the Philippines

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another article from yours truly about life in the Philippines. Todays article is about the purchase of my motorcycle and the construction of my side-car. This was written a while ago, but thought I would get it posted for your reading pleasure.

I decided, after much thought, that I would buy a motorcycle and have the sidecar made for my personal use. WHY? Well, I bought a van, but it is simply too big for riding around town and parking. This old city I live in is simply NOT designed and laid out for car parking. We use the van to get around to larger cities further away from us, or if it is raining, and I don’t want to get wet.

Survival Cebuano

So, what can I tell you about my purchase? Well, I will tell you. This thing was made for MY specifications. Yes… sometimes bigger IS better. I guess I’ll find out as I ordered a sidecar. But wait!!! I don’t even own a motorcycle!!! Yes, that was the thought running through my mind as I left the sidecar shop with a down-payment/deposit on a new stainless sidecar… kano-sized. So, what to do? Well, we hit motorcycle shops of course.

Ok, I’m making it sound like I didn’t already look at motorcycles, but the truth is I had been looking at them since I arrived. There are SOOOOooooo many makes and models to choose from, which made it hard to decide. I also spoke with as many tricycle drivers as I could and all of them pointed me to the Honda TMX 155. Now, I spoke about these before in an old article I wrote before I came to the Philippines. And since arriving I have seen MANY of them used as tricycles, and some as singles. That’s what they call a motorcycle without a sidecar here. 🙂

So, as I said, we left the sidecar shop and started for the motorcycle shops to buy something. New problem. Since coming here and seeing new 155’s, they have since become “phased out”. Which means that model is no longer being made. Yes… OUT OF STOCK!!! Now I needed to find out about the replacement for the 155, known as the Honda TMX Supremo. I looked into them a little when I was checking out 155’s, but now it seemed if I wanted to have something that was a well known brand with a backing, it would have to be the Supremo. Nobody I talked to liked it, as they were very fond of their 155’s. And, since most people in the world are afraid of change, I was still keeping an open mind. I simply HAD to find someone that was driving a Supremo now and that had a 155 before to give me an honest comparison.

Low and behold, we find just such a person at the Honda dealership. Of all things he was getting it serviced!! Ok… I was scared. I checked out his odometer and there was only 6,000km on it. Is something wrong with the only machine now available to me? Did I just waste a downpayment that I was surely NOT going to get back? I remained calm and had my wife talk to him about his Supremo. We had discussed earlier everything that I wanted to know and she quickly found out that he was only in for an oil change… free from the dealer for THREE YEARS!!! He LOVED his motorcycle. Not only did he not have any problems with it, but it was MUCH more fuel efficent than the 155.

Long story short, I bought the Supremo two days later, at that dealership. Here’s what is so great. Not only is the Supremo more fuel efficient, but it also meets all of the quality standards now required by many countries. It also passes emissions testing required by new laws, AND… it is cheaper to buy!! Yes, cheaper!! When does the new model that is more efficient cost less? When Honda brought out the new Supremo!! But wait, there’s more!! Yes, when I bought my Supremo (Red) they were offering a package deal. Free Cellphone(currently out of stock, but should be available to me in two weeks or so), free jacket(size medium… lol… my brother-in-law loves it), extra shocks for attaching a sidecar(I think they always come with these), free helmet(one-size-fits-all… hey, it actually fit me), free insurance for a year, free registration, free license plate holder(bolts not included – boy did I get pissed. Php68,000 and they can’t throw in two bolts that they wanted to charge me Php40 ($0.80) I don’t think so!), Free tune-ups for three years (ten total), and free oil changes (as long as I bring them the oil).

I think I got a pretty good deal. And the bike is a beautiful red, that is close to color to my van I bought.

The sidecar is being made in Malasiqui. Untalan Sidecars. I am hoping to get some pictures of my sidecar in the making and write an article or two. I will say that I had checked out MANY other sidecar shops, and this is the first one where the prices didn’t go up when I got out of the van. My wife and brother-in-law were the first to check each out and get prices. After they got the prices, I got out of the van and went to tell them exactly what I wanted and get a final price. One shop even had the price go up on me when all I wanted to do was take their “Cadillac” model and REMOVE some of the stainless decorations from it. I thought it was too gaudy and I didn’t want to draw additional attention to myself.

As it is everyone sees me come and watch me go, and I am sure they talk about me long after I am gone. It is the way of life for me here. I’m the big white kano. A myth? A legend? Nope… just the local means of gossip.

Since taking ownership of the motorcycle I have ridden it around and have enjoyed it. I haven’t ridden a motorized two wheel form of transportation since I was 16 years old. And that was a scooter. Well, I’ve ridden motorcycles, but not owned any. To date there is 184.6kms on it, and I need to reach 1,000kms before they say it is good to attach a sidecar. Besides, that is the mileage I need for my first free oil change and overall service check to ensure she is still running sound.

Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless. Oh… and safe riding to all you riders of singles and tricycles. And don’t let me forget Racal drivers… I even considered one of those. But being made in China, I just couldn’t trust it would last long.

NOTE: Since writing this article, I have decided that bigger is not really better. It’s simply bigger. In this case, an extra 2″ width of a sidecar limits what gates I can easily traverse. I am wishing I had gotten the standard sized side-car! 🙁

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Scott Fortune

At the time of this writing, I am 42 years old. I’ve been married to my Filipina wife since December 2009. She is from the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. I’ve worked in many fields throughout my short career, mostly in Architecture, computers, and law enforcement. I’m medically retired from the U.S. Government due to a back injury and look forward to our move to the Philippines. My interests here were yard work, guns, and hanging out with friends. But because of my back injury, I’ve had to shorten what I can do to just hanging out with friends. Not a bad thing when you’re retired, right!? Also, I’m sure I’ll find some new interests when I get to the RP. We don’t yet know where we will be moving to exactly, but I expect it to be on the main island of Luzon. I look forward to moving there, getting healthier, and experiencing island life.

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Anthony Bosetti
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looks like the ones they have in naga city

Scott Fortune
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Scott Fortune

I haven’t been to Naga, but this is like some of the ones I see around here. Except on a much bigger scale. I kano-sized it.

Carl Duell
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Good article ,I have been planning to buy one on my December trip to Iloilo, now I know what to look for. Thanks

Scott Fortune
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Scott Fortune

I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I write solely so people coming here can learn from my mistakes and experiences and avoid them if possible.

Good luck with your purchase.

al luz
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al luz

carl,

check out Abella Manufacturing Industries when your in Iloilo, you might like their sleek trike designs. you
might even have your own customized(kano sized) ride made for you.

Anthony Bosetti
Guest

the ones they use in butuan seat 9 people look good too

Bob Martin
Guest

It is true that there are different tricycle styles in different parts of the Philippines.

Tim
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Tim

Yes! There is indeed a big variety! From the north of Luzon all the way down to Manila you can almost know in what province you are in by looking at the tricycles! As they change in each province lager city. I think it’s due to the different fabricators that all have their own style.

Ed
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Ed

Yes, and I greatly prefer riding in the Mindanao variety vrs Luson. Greater capacity, much more comfortable, and much better for the tricycle driver to earn some ‘bigas’ for his family.

Anthony Bosetti
Guest

if you don’t mind..what is cost of side car

Scott Fortune
Guest
Scott Fortune

31,000 for the sidecar. Motorcycle was/is on sale for 68,000 with some nice freebies. Cellphone, extra shocks, helmet, insurance, free oil changes and tune-ups for three years.

Scott Fortune
Guest
Scott Fortune

I should note, that it was that much because it is MUCH larger than a standard sidecar. You can get this one in a standard size for 27,000.

Bob Martin
Guest

Hi Anthony – I used to have a bunch of tricycles, but that was so many years ago. Firstly, I don’t remember what the cost was, but also in all those years the price would have surely changed a lot. Sorry, I just don’t know the cost these days. Perhaps Scott Fortune knows, he is the writer of this article. Hopefully he will chime in here and give you the information you are looking for.

Anthony Bosetti
Guest

when i get there i’m going to have one like in butuan i like that your head is covered seats 9 and you can haul things on the roof and inside

Anthony Bosetti
Guest

please let us all know how your bike is running after you have had it for awhile

Scott Fortune
Guest
Scott Fortune

I’ll keep everyone posted on the bikes progress. It’s only been a few months at this point. It’s had it’s first maintenance, and it’s working fine so far. I’ll have a follow-up in several months.

James Speight
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James Speight

Welcome to the Big Club of Motorcycles owners.

Looks really good, when you get the side car on post a video.

is there a Echo in here?

Scott Fortune
Guest
Scott Fortune

A video? Wow. I’ve been told I need a sound system in it. Maybe a traveling karaoke?! I’ve seen them around here. LOL

John Miele
Guest

We are buying a tricy assembly in Abulug now. Local mfr. is 15k for very simple small one to 25k for a large size tricked out. Plus the cost of tbe bike, of course

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