When I moved to Nicaragua in 2004 I bought a small motorcycle. A “Brand X” 150cc one that was really a Chinese clone of a Honda 125 with a motor with a bit more displacement. It was a decent bike. As I remember, it cost $1900. It was from the influx of cheap junk motorcycles.
Moving forward, I decided to look at what exists in Panajachel. So, I took some time and looked around. This is the basic look at what you can find.
What I wanted to do was compare the basics so I tended to stick with the 125cc units but will offer a few more data points. First, the name brand units:
- Suzuki: Q12,000 from Tropigas of Q12,200 from the real dealer.
- Honda: Q13,345 from the Honda dealer and a bit less from Tropigas.
- Yamaha: Q11,500 from the dealer.
- Mahindra: Q10,000 or Q11,000 (two different models) from the dealer
For the “off-brand” stuff, there was a bit of variability:
- Lifan 125: Q8500 (It might be OK for a local but it had the smallest frame I have ever seen on a 125cc bike.
- Lifan 150: Q9600 (apparently the same frame)
- Freedom 200 (dirt bike): Q12,000
- Other “Brand X” dirt bike: 150cc for Q12,000; 200cc for Q14,000; 250cc for Q15,000
That’ s the research part of the article. Now for the feelings part.
- None of the Brand X stuff looked like a good answer. Particularly the small lize of the Lifan.
- Suzuki claims it is made in Japan. When pressed, that just meant the motor. Allegedly, Honda and Yamaha are made in China.
- Mahindra is from India. They have been importing pickups to Nicaragua and Guatemala for a few years. Everyone I have talked to give them great reviews.
- The Mahindra motorcycles look like a clear winner. The Q10k one is pretty basic but includes crash bars and rather than rear pegs, has more like a rack for feet. It looks good and makes sense. The Q11k unit had a digital instrument panel and electronic lock. It is also physically larger. If I was to buy a bike today, I would buy the Q11,000 Mahindra. Unlike the other bikes, it also comes with a two year warranty.
I am sure I missed a few bikes but that gives you the general idea what is here and what it costs.