Bikes > Motor

The Yamaha PG-1 has just been revealed in Thailand, and we want one so bad

Lightweight, retro, and ready for action

Small bikes tend to be droll, workaday affairs. And then Yamaha brings out the PG-1. PHOTO FROM RANGER KORAT

“Familiarity breeds contempt.”

The problem with having such a diverse lineup of popular bikes ranging from scooters to sport bikes is that, over time, you’ll tend to get bored with the same old same old. The NMax is a great scooter, but it’s still just another scooter in a sea of millions, for example.

Never underestimate how much fun you can have on a small bike. PHOTO FROM YAMAHA SOCIETY THAILAND

And then something different pops up—in this case, in Thailand—and now, I’m very intrigued.

First seen on the page of a Thai custom builder, Ranger Korat (follow him because he makes great bikes), the PG-1 appears to be a ruggedized, underbone similar to the Honda CT125 (which you can only find in the gray market here, if at all) and the probinsya-favorite Suzuki Raider Crossover.

Interesting colors. The author will take one in Humming Brown. PHOTOS FROM YAMAHA SOCIETY THAILAND

Details are sparse as the bike is only going to be launched at the 2023 Thai Motor Expo, but based on the pictures, it looks to be powered by a small single-cylinder motor.

The engine is probably the 114cc air-cooled unit also found on the Yamaha Finn, which is also sold in Thailand. It looks like it has a fairly long travel suspension for additional ground clearance, and the fork has rubber boots to keep out dirt.

It has a flat bench seat with raised handlebars and a round, halogen headlight for that retro, mini-ADV look.

An off-road underbone would be a fun and practical bike for light trails and rough roads. PHOTO FROM YAMAHA SOCIETY THAILAND

From the Thailand press preview photos, it appears they also showcased a few customized bikes to highlight the versatility and the appeal of the PG-1.

I’m particularly smitten with the scrambler version with its knobby tires and thigh-burning raised exhaust (not that I’d actually want to ride it for an extended period of time).

On the other hand, the surfboard carrier-equipped build would look right at home in Siargao.

This definitely looks beach-ready. PHOTO FROM RANGER KORAT
Scrambler version looks mean and not that comfortable…but very cool. PHOTO FROM RANGER KORAT
A tracker build. Raised suspension also makes it look not-so-tiny for taller guys. PHOTO FROM YAMAHA SOCIETY THAILAND

Yamaha Society Thailand (Yamaha Thailand’s official Facebook page) also appears to be taking preorders for the bike.

And though a Google Translate of their site isn’t fantastic, we can glean that they’re also offering discounts on some cool upgrade kits such as a Wanderlust Camper set with heavy-duty carriers and engine guards, and a Naughty Tracker kit with a muffler protector, side number plate kit, and some other items.

Kitted up with a Wanderlust Camper set. PHOTO FROM RANGER KORAT
Yamaha Thailand has done its homework when it comes to upselling. PHOTO FROM RANGER KORAT

Will Yamaha Philippines bring this in? There’s no official word yet, but if they can keep the price down to reasonable levels, there’s no reason to think a gritty little underbone wouldn’t sell like hotcakes. Personally, I’ve never been an underbone fan, but the PG-1 looks like it has just the right amount of grit appeal and fun factor to make me a convert.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.