Everything You need to know to find, buy, prepare, maintain and then sell your moto in Cambodia :  read on!


Use this information at your own risk!!

prices quoted here were what we paid in 2012.


Where to Buy a Second Hand Scooter in Phnom Penh

There is a large area near the Ouressy Market in Phnom Penh, lined with second hand shops selling Honda Dreams, Waves, SuperCubs, Chalys and Dailems.  You will find something in reasonable condition here.

GPS coordinates for Honda Area : N11.56178 E104.91433
GPS coordinates for Dailem Area : N11.55983 E104.91548

Get a tuk tuk to take you to the Orussey Market ($2 from the river front) and then put these coordinates into your smart phone or GPS and follow the arrow.  Your tuk tuk driver will probably want to take you into the shop and work as an interpreter, this can be helpful, but be aware that he’ll get a kickback for the sale, which may or may not increase the price you pay.


Things to look for When Purchasing a second hand Scooter in Cambodia

The price of older models is solely dependant on appearance, if it’s shiny and nice looking it will cost more, if it’s a little rusty with broken lights or cracked panels it will cost less.

Typical Prices for bikes in reasonable condition.

  • Dailem : $450-$550
  • Honda Supercub 90 : $700-$1200
  • Honda Dream : $600 to $800
  • Honda Chaly : $300 to $400

If it’s much cheaper than this then it might be stolen or have something significantly wrong with it, be suspicious.

Make sure you ride a few different scooters before purchasing one.  For example, the first one you try might not change gears as nicely as it should – but you won’t know until you try one that does!

  1. License Plate and Ownership Card
    1. if it doesn’t have a license plate with matching ownership card don’t buy it.
  2. Starting
    1. look for one that starts easily, and will idle when the motor is cold without needing any choke or too much throttle.
    2. if it smokes from the exhaust look for another one.
  3. Footpeg bolts
    1. 4 bolts attach the pegs (and the stand) to the bottom of the motor are prone to coming loose and then damaging the threads.
    2. get hold of a spanner (12mm or 14mm) and try to make sure they are tight, or will pull up tight.
    3. if the bolt just keeps turning it will need a thread repair called a “helicoil”.
  4. Exhaust flange Bolts
    1. there are 2 nuts that attach the exhaust pipe to the bottom of the motor.
    2. these are prone to damage if you ride off a kerb that’s too high.
    3. make sure the bike has both bolts there.  If one is missing make sure it’s fixed before you buy.
  5. Lights and Instruments
    1. most older bikes will have some or all of the instruments and lights not working.
    2. these can be repaired for very little cost by a repairer so dont worry too much about it when buying


Ownership Documents

When you buy the scooter, they will give you the ownership card, a small laminated business card, with the bikes details and picture of the last registered owner.  they will also give you a receipt for the purchase, and ask you to put your fingerprint and signature on the receipt.

That’s all you need to do.

Keep these with you at all times while riding the bike, and you’ll need them again when it comes time to sell it.


Preparing your Scooter for the Trip

(expect to pay about $60 to get all this done)

Have the following items replaced with new parts:

  • oil change ($4)
  • spark plug ($2)
  • spark plug boot (the black connector that connects a wire to the end of the spark plug) ($2)
  • wheel bearings ($5 front and rear)
  • tyres – fit offroad tyres to the front and rear.  Note that offroad tyres are not available in the correct size for the front wheel,  and local mechanics will tell you not to fit a rear tyre to the front we ignored this and put one on both.  When it gets muddy you’ll understand why. ($26 front and rear)
  • chain and sprockets ($13)
  • have the valve clearances adjusted (if you ride the engine really hard then you should do this once every 3 days during the trip – ask a fellow rider for help, it only takes 5 mins)

Why would you replace all this stuff?? – because it’s all really cheap, and this is the stuff that might leave you stranded.

Check the following Items and Replace if Needed:

  • brake shoes front and rear (if the brakes don’t work well it probably WONT help to change the brake shoes.  The brakes on the Dailems are just not very good.) ($5 for both)
  • throttle tube : prone to UV damage, check the gap between the throttle grip and the actuator cable housing, if you see some cracking or damage on the tube then have it replaced.  If you dont know what this means then ask someone who does. ($2)
  • headlight, tail light and brake lights need to be working VERY IMPORTANT.
  • dashboard – neutral and 4th Gear indicator lights need to be working
  • footpeg bolts and exhaust flange bolts (as described above)



Maintenance Costs

applies to Honda Dream, Honda Wave, Honda SuperCub, Dailem Citi 100 etc.

Note that it’s normal for foreigners to pay more than locals for everything in Cambodia, but we made every effort to close this gap as much as possible.  If you’re asked for significantly more than these prices then you are paying too much.  Always settle on a price first and if it’s too much and they wont budge, then look elsewhere.  There are repairers everywhere in Cambodia, in every little village, and on many street corners in the towns.  If you don’t see one from where you’re standing then find a local and make a sick moto noise while pointing at the bike, they’ll send you in the right direction.

Simple repairs usually take less than 30mins, for something more serious like a piston or valve replacement they’ll need a few hours.  Parts for these bikes are standardised across many models, so most repairers will have everything you need in stock, or they’ll make a call and have it in a few minutes.

It really is that easy.

  • oil change : $4
  • chain and sprockets : $13
  • tyres offroad ea inc tube: $13
  • tyres standard ea inc tube : $8
  • wheel bearings front and rear : $6
  • spark plug : $2
  • spark plug cap : $2
  • bulbs : $1
  • brake shoes front and rear : $5
  • labour : $0.50/hr
  • valve clearances adjusted : $1
  • new battery : $3

Repair Costs

  • valve replacement : $7.50
  • piston Replacement : $18
  • exhaust replacement : $10
  • chain guard : $2
  • seat reupholstered : $3
  • puncture repair : $2

Running Costs

  • fuel : 5c/km  (based on 30km/lt, $1.50/lt)
  • parking cost in a city parking bay : $0.25
  • oil change each 2000km


Spare Parts and Tools to Carry with You.

This is not essential as you’ll find repairers everywhere, but it might save you a little time if you get stuck between towns.

The only spare parts worth carrying would be a spare tube (you might get new tubes fitted at the start of the trip, keep the old ones as spares!)

Tools – You can buy all this at the Russian Markets in Phnom Penh for a few dollars, so don’t bring your tools from home.

  • 8,10, 12, 17mm combination spanners
  • a small adjustable wrench (up to 19mm)
  • tyre levers (or 2 medium flat screwdrivers)
  • phillips head and flat screw drivers
  • spark plug removal tool
  • pliers (or multi tool)
  • small hammer


Selling Your Scooter

Tell your scooter shop that you will want to sell the bike back to them after your trip and agree on a buyback price.  This should be something like $50 to $150 less than you pay for it, depending on the length of the trip and value of the bike (assuming you bring it back in one piece!).

Make sure they write this down on the sales receipt so you will have proof of the agreement.

To sell the scooter they will want the ownership card back and give you cash for the sale.  It shouldn’t take more than 10mins.