If you’re planning of staying in the Dominican Republic for an extended “staycation” you will probably in time want to get some sort of Motorcycle or car. After a while it does get a bit tiring walking or getting stuck in a public car with 6 other people. There are a number of different brands of motorcycle in the DR. Many of them you probably haven’t heard of. Of the major brands that are available Yamaha is one of the most popular.
While you can buy larger bikes in the DR, most of the bikes that are sold here fall I the commuter class. Usually between a 70 and a 125 cc. You will also find a lot of smaller 50cc bikes like the Honda Cub. Larger bikes are usually found in the larger cities and are harder to find parts for than the smaller more common motorcycles or “motors”.
Dirt bikes or endures are also sold here but the most common types of bikes are scooters (pasolas) and the commuter street bikes (motors).
There are two styles of scooter found here, the less expensive small tired scooters and the more expensive scooters that use wheel closer to the size of a standard motor cycle. These scooters come in anything from 90cc to about 150cc, with the 90cc to 125cc scooters being the most common.
Of the Small wheeled scooters the Yamaha Jog (Jog100) is the most popular because it is cheaper, more and more of the more expensive Yamaha Cygnus scooters (Cygnus 125) are starting to be sold and you will see them up to 150 cc. You also have the Yamaha Axis which is in many ways a larger version of the Yamaha Jog. For more information check our Yamaha Jog vrs Yamaha Axis post.
One of the newer styles of scooter is the larger wheeled Yamaha Crypton (spelled Cripton in the DR Flyers) like the Crypton T105E. There is also a motor with a medium size tire, not as large as the Crypton but larger than the Jog of Cygnus. This motor, the Yamaha Mio is part of their commercial scooter lineup. Dominican Republic roads are not the best. You will find huge potholes on most of the streets as well as about every other obstacle you can think of. For this reason, if you are planning on buying a scooter, pay the extra money for one of the large wheel version. These have a full suspension and the larger wheel makes it much less likely you are going to go flying if you catch a pothole.
Another danger is the speed bumps (policia acostado or sleeping policeman), most are so high that the small wheel scooters need to go over them at an angle to keep from scraping the bottom of the motor. This is extremely dangerous in heavy traffic. The large wheel bikes are able to rollover the bumps much easier.
Most of the scooters sold now have 4 stroke engines although a few are sold with 2 stroke and you see many of old dilapidated 2 stroke scooters on the road. Most of the scooters come with electric start and automatic transmissions although you will find a Simi Automatic 4 speed transmission on the Cripton. With the automatic transmission the “gears” are switch automatically (actually they are more like locking bands). With the Yamaha Cripton you change gears with your left foot like a standard motorcycle but you do not need a clutch.
Yamaha Commuter Style Motorcycles
There are three common commuter style bikes (small street bikes) sold by Yamaha in the Dominican Republic, the Yamaha Crux-s, the Yamaha YB125ED and the Yam 125M that is also made by Yamaha.
The Yamaha Crux 110cc has a 4 speed transmission and has a 4 stroke engine. The Yamaha Crux-s 110cc is sold as part of Yamaha’s commercial segment along with the Yam 125M by Yamaha. The Yam 125 is a 125cc bike with a 5 speed transmission. The Yam comes with an electric start while the Crux does not.Yamaha’s higher line is the YB 125E and the YB 125 ED. These bikes have a 5 speed transmission a 125cc engine and electric and foot starters. You can also get custom features on the YB 125 ED. These include customs wheels and built in racks to attach equipment bags. This bike is also designed to support up to 441lbs. Part of that ability comes from adjustable rear shocks and springs. These can be easily adjusted by hand when needed by just twisting a locking mechanism. One of the other features of the YB 125ED is front disc brakes. You do a lot of braking here and it’s nice to have the smother more powerful braking of disc brakes.
When you get into the more touristy areas, especially near the beach you will find the Yamaha TW200. This is a little larger bike with a 200cc engine, 5 speed transmission, electric or foot start and front disc brakes. The thing that makes this bike different is the wheels. The use wheels that is considerably wider than standard motor wheels. This makes them ideal for the bad roads in the DR as well as being able to go out on the beach without your bike sinking in. The wider wheels are not quite as good as higher speeds in on the highways though, so you will need to decide if you will only be traveling around town or going in between towns with your bike.
Yes, there are quads available in the DR. In fact many of the tourist beach areas like Las Terrenas rents quads to tourists by the day to put around town with. You will also see some of them in the farming communities.
While Yamaha sells a wide range of quads here, you still see more of the smaller ones, usually under 250cc. The Yamaha Raptor 250 and Yamaha Raptor 350R are the most common although you will find the Yamaha YFM700R SE and the Yamaha YFZ450 in the bike shops at times (usually with a lot of dust on them) There is also a Raptor 90 and Raptor 50 available with a 90 cc engine and 50 cc engine respectively.
While I haven’t yet seen one, there are rumors that 4×4 quads are also available. You find displays showing the Yamaha Grizzly 700FI, the Grizzly 450 and the Yamaha YFM350 (4×4).
Yamaha Dirt Bikes
Last comes the dirt bike like up of Yamaha. These are more often seen in the Compos or outlining towns where there is often little of no roads. Dirt bikes are usually about 50% more expensive than their street bike counter parts and so are a little rarer. Once again, most that you see are 125cc bikes but occasionally you will see one up to a 250cc and I’ve only seen the larger 450cc bikes in the stores never out on the street.
There is the 2 stroke Yamaha DT125s with a 5 speed transmission and the Yamaha XTZ125E with a 125cc 4 stroke engine and a 5 speed transmission, electric start and front disc brakes. Yamaha also offers the YZ250F, which moves you up to a water cooled 4 stroke 250cc engine, 5 speed transmission, aluminum chassis and Titanium valves. Defiantly a rich man’s toy in these parts. If that’s still not good enough maybe the WR250F or WR450F is more your style. Once again, I’ve never actually seen any of these bikes here, there are just rumors of their availability.
Finally the small racing dirt bikes, Once again rumors have it that the PW80 and PW50 are available here. Little small for my taste.
There you have it, the motorcycle line up from Yamaha for the Dominican Republic. A few of the old favorites from back home in California and a few that I have only seen since I got to the DR.