Did we mention that we bought a semi-automatic bike a few months ago?
Here’s the beast.
The kickstart works every time which is a bonus! There’s usually quite a few bikes, in various conditions, for sale on the island. The simplest way to find one is to join the Koh Tao community FaceBook pages, and see what people have for sale. You do have to be quick though cos if it’s a quality bike, and going for the right price then you’re going to have stiff competition from the many others who are also looking to buy.
We were after a semi-automatic bike that wasn’t too new looking, and was under 10,000 baht. After seeing a few dud bikes, Lionel even met a dude who was selling a bike with a broken, water-logged exhaust pipe, we decided to use a friend’s bike and ride around to ask mechanics if anyone was selling anything. This was pretty fruitless until we stopped by a bar/automatic motorbike rental place where the owner shook his head and said he only had automatic scooters for rent. Then, as we were leaving, he poked his head out again, looked at us, then looked at an old bike to the side of his shop, tilted his head and said, ‘hmm….maybe you want to buy my bike?’ He suddenly decided he could do without his personal bike that he used to get to work! We checked it out, then again the following day, and then bought it. In cash. It doesn’t come with official papers, but it will do for the island. And it’s ours. Despite the small size of the island, everyone rides a motorbike. It can either be a 15 minute walk from Sairee to Mae Haad, or it could be a 3 minute ride. We go with the ride. Every time.