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chakrayahnyon (จักรยานยนต์)

Thai. ‘Motorbike’ or ‘motorcycle’. The term is a compound made of the words chakra, which is Sanskrit for ‘wheel’, but in Thai also refers to a ‘cogwheel’; yahn, which derives from yahn phaahana (ยานพาหนะ) and is Sanskrit-Thai for ‘vehicle’; and yon, which is an abbreviation of kreuang yon (เครื่องยนต์) and means ‘motor’. Hence, a free literal translations could be ‘motorized wheeled vehicle’, though chakrayahn on its own also means ‘bicycle’ (fig.) whilst yon is also a Thai term relating to, concerned with, or of motor vehicles, sometimes translated as ‘automotive’. In daily life, motorcycles are often referred to by their Thinglish name motersaik (มอเตอร์ไซค์), and if with an engine of 400cc or more, motorbikes are referred to by the English term Big Bike and —though a rather new phenomenon on the roads in Thailand— they are fast becoming an ever more common sight. Since late, also off-road styled bikes, especially the smaller models adapted for road usage, rather than real dirt-bikes, are getting increasingly popular (fig.). Even real motocross (fig.) has gained interest and from 8 to 10 March 2014, Thailand hosted the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Prix, the premier championship of motocross racing, organized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), in Sri Racha.  On the downside: with an infamous track record and Thai traffic being notoriously dangerous, motorbikes are now the number one killer on Thailand's roads. See also QUADCOPTER PICTURE and WATCH VDO.