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Old 03-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #241
RDT953 OP
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Leaving Chiang Mai

First, thanks for the encouragement to keep posting it helps.

The absolutely worst part of going to Chiang Mai is that it's a hard place to leave, one day rolls into the next and before you know it another week has slipped by.

So I resolved myself to get moving. I was reasonably happy with the way the bike was running but had some concerns about the air fuel mixture. The air box had been modified to accept the high flow K&N filter to give the FinBro more air and this was the only thing I couldn't put back to standard. I hunted high and low for jets to fit the old Keihin carb but couldn't find any the right size they were all 90 or over and I needed an 80 or 82.

So without a clear picture of a route I decided to head towards Uttaradit and then to make a decision one way or the other about heading to Laos or not.

Had a scary moment along the way when the motor seized momentarily from running lean and hot. I stopped to let it cool down, checked the oil level and then after adjusting the mixture screw to make it as rich as I could get it and still have it running I rode very slowly for the next few hours to Uttaradit.

Looked around in vain for a cheap guesthouse before deciding I needed coffee to collect my thoughts and make a plan.

Saw a sign for this place.

 photo R_WP_20140215_001.jpg

Ordered a coffee and got chatting to the owner who directed me to a nice new hotel close by where I secured a room for two nights at 500 baht a night. Also spoke to the coffee shop bloke about the motor problems and he took me to a workshop but still no luck finding a jet.

The next day I did some tuning and test rides and by the spark plug colour I could see improvement but it's still running lean.

With these problems I decided to kill the idea of heading to Laos and to just take a leisurely trip south to see the bits of Thailand I'd bypassed on my rushed trip north several weeks previous.

The highlight of my stay here was this massive serve of mango and sticky rice for 20 baht.

 photo R_WP_20140215_005.jpg

Next day I took back roads south and made it to Nakhon Sawan. For most of the day I was riding in a smokey haze so no pictures.

Arrived quiet late, tired and hungry so booked into an overpriced dump of a hotel right in the heart of the city. Had a shower and went looking for food. How lucky am I? I've arrived right at the time there's a food and produce fair on just around the corner from the hotel.

 photo R_WP_20140217_001.jpg

I'm worried about the motor and riding at 60 kph or less so I made the decision to leave early in the morning to give me more riding hours at lower speeds to achieve some distance.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:08 AM   #242
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Did u consider raising the needle in the carb if possible or surely u could find a carb off one of the 110 suzuki or hondas that seem to be everywhere. I 've got a feeling you will regret missing Laos it's well worth it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:17 AM   #243
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To the sea

Took back roads as much as possible and just kept going with short breaks to rest myself and the motor.
Made it all the way to Prachuap Khirikhan and checked into a cheap guesthouse with the intention of staying for 4 or 5 days.

It's not a bad spot and not too many tourists or bars.

 photo R_WP_20140218_002.jpg

I'd seen a few bike shops on the way in so went off in the morning with a downloaded picture of carburetor jets on my phone and some sizes written down. Got sent all over the place but finally managed to get a size 75, marginally bigger than the standard 72 and with the thought that every little bit helps I took it.

Found this nice looking bike and the proud owner outside a leather work shop.

 photo R_WP_20140219_003.jpg

Fitted the new jet the next day and did some more tuning and testing and as expected it's an improvement but still not right.

I had intended to stay here to rest up a bit but the guesthouse had a guest with a bit of a personality disorder; no not me, another one. Anyway he was being a PITA so I decided to look for more peaceful surroundings and checked out the next morning to head for Bang Saphan, an easy couple of hours ride away. Went by some lovely looking beaches along the way.

 photo R_WP_20140222_004.jpg

Checked into a bungalow for 250 baht a night.

 photo R_WP_20140222_005.jpg

And stayed for three nights. Not much in the way of a town here so no use looking for jets. Did take the time to do some exploring though. And found that you can rent one of these places for around 9000 baht a month.

 photo R_WP_20140221_008.jpg

With this at the end of the street.

 photo R_WP_20140221_009.jpg

Where you can sit with your loved one and watch the sun setting. It's at places like this that I really miss my dear wife who loves her job so much that she refuses to retire.

 photo R_WP_20140222_003.jpg

Is it any wonder so many people from Europe and Canada are spending the winters here?

It was lovely here but decided to keep heading south after my allotted time and again just a couple of hours south found another lovely beach and a great bungalow for just 400 baht a night.

 photo R_WP_20140224_001.jpg

This is just 15 km north of Chumphon and has plenty of restaurants and a good sized market nearby.

Chumphon is a relatively major city center and I fancied my chances of finding more jets here. It has a nice looking train station with a collection of old steamers out the front.

 photo R_WP_20140224_002.jpg

Looked high and low all over town and eventually found a machine shop specialising in modifying bike engines with a nice big tub of jets of all sizes; EXCEPT THE BLOODY SIZES I NEED.

So I gave up, went shopping for food and returned to the beach for a swim.

Stopped to have a chat with this bloke and for a look at his mobile home. Really nice older Thai with very limited English skills. But enough to offer me a coffee and for a limited conversation.

 photo R_WP_20140225_002.jpg

Nice to meet like minded souls who are happy to just be on the move with whatever means they can afford and nice to enjoy that company in a setting like this.

 photo R_WP_20140225_009.jpg
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:32 AM   #244
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Been before

Quote:
Originally Posted by gavo View Post
Did u consider raising the needle in the carb if possible or surely u could find a carb off one of the 110 suzuki or hondas that seem to be everywhere. I 've got a feeling you will regret missing Laos it's well worth it.
Thanks Gavo I have the needle up a bit, I put a new needle and seat in back in Chiang Mai, the old one broke where the circlip goes. I've been to Laos before when a mate and I rented 250 XR Honda's to ride some of the back roads. So I'm not that concerned about missing it on this trip; and I can easily come back and next time buy a bike here to do it with. Much less hassle than bringing your own bike. I had originally considered doing just that but then I had a brainwave and took the Postie. I blame/thank Nathan for that.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #245
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Lazy Days

Really enjoying the beach near Chumphon and kept extending by a day at a time. Spent a small fortune on some nice tropical fruit; about AU$3 for this lot.

 photo R_WP_20140225_010.jpg

Did some leisurely rides to local attractions like this cave.

 photo R_WP_20140225_016.jpg

I like that the statue has been furnished with sun/rain protection.

 photo R_WP_20140225_014.jpg
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:25 PM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDT953 View Post
First, thanks for the encouragement to keep posting it helps.

The absolutely worst part of going to Chiang Mai is that it's a hard place to leave, one day rolls into the next and before you know it another week has slipped by.

So I resolved myself to get moving. I was reasonably happy with the way the bike was running but had some concerns about the air fuel mixture. The air box had been modified to accept the high flow K&N filter to give the FinBro more air and this was the only thing I couldn't put back to standard. I hunted high and low for jets to fit the old Keihin carb but couldn't find any the right size they were all 90 or over and I needed an 80 or 82.
How about putting one or two of those copper thread from stranded wire to make it smaller? We always do that here.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #247
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And at some point the oil cooler was removed?
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:27 PM   #248
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Yes the oil cooler was for the FinBro motor and was removed at the same time as the original motor was reinstated.


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Old 03-11-2014, 09:56 PM   #249
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Excellent thread young man!!! Enjoyed the back to basics ride...wish it was me. I too own an F650GS Dakar but would really love to do a long ride on maybe an Ag 200 or something like that.

Do you find the Postie cramped given you are so tall? or is everyone else in the photos short?

And yes Chiang Mai is hard to leave , I've been back there about 6 times in the last 7 years
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:07 PM   #250
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10q

Quote:
Originally Posted by mettalique View Post
Excellent thread young man!!! Enjoyed the back to basics ride...wish it was me. I too own an F650GS Dakar but would really love to do a long ride on maybe an Ag 200 or something like that.

Do you find the Postie cramped given you are so tall? or is everyone else in the photos short?

And yes Chiang Mai is hard to leave , I've been back there about 6 times in the last 7 years
Thanks for reading, I have maybe one or two more posts to write to finish this RR and promise to get to it in the next day or so.
Do I fin'd the Postie cramped. Only a lot. But it is better since putting a set of bar risers on and wider bars. When I had the FinBro motor fitted it required a new set of foot-peg mountings as well and I had the pegs lowered a bit at the same time and that made a world of difference. Had to put the standard mounts and pegs back on when I put the old motor back in and noticed the difference immediately. BTW lowering the pegs caused no cornering problems, there was still plenty of height.

I think the Ag 200 would be a better bike in terms of power and comfort and it is still old school enough to draw plenty of admirers. Absolutely the highlight of my trip has been the reaction from locals to PB, I can't stop for fuel without getting into a conversation about it either with the attendant or other customers.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:04 PM   #251
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The case of the missing post

I've just realised that a whole post has gone missing. Bugger, I'll do it again but this has me perplexed.

OK so I left the east coast and headed across the Isthmus of Kra to the west. I took backroads as much as possible and passed through the ancient ruins of Sukhothai. I'had visited here previously and it's a massive site. Unfortunately the smoke haze was very thick and made photography pointless for most of the day.

Saw another fatality involving a bike rider along the way with severe head trauma evident. The locals for the most part refuse to wear helmets preferring fashion over function and safety. It saddens me to see very young children on bikes with no protection at all but what really bugs me are the western tourists riding the cities and highways sans helmets. Yes I know it's their right to express their freedom of choice, it just tests my belief in the capacity of people to make smart choices when they are given that freedom.

Passed through some dramatic landscape near the west coast.

 photo R_P1110288.jpg

And experienced my very first puncture of the entire trip. Not fixing this with a patch.

 photo R_P1110289.jpg

So the tools and spare tube came out, a shady spot found and the back tyre removed with help from the bloke who's house I managed to stop near.

 photo R_P1110290.jpg

 photo R_P1110291.jpg

The trouble with not getting punctures is that I'm out of practice and stupidly managed to pinch my new tube while putting the tyre back on the rim. Never mind I have patches and glue....except the glue tube has been pierced and the glue is like a rock.

Then this angel comes along and offers to go and fetch a new tube from her house.

 photo R_WP_20140226_002.jpg

The bloke helping is her uncle. No problems on the second attempt and soon ready to roll but first a quick stop at the restaurant of the Angel's mother for lunch and to pay for the tube.

 photo R_WP_20140226_003.jpg

Once near the coast I start regretting coming this way at all as the roadworks are extensive and the driving frantic.

 photo R_P1110292.jpg

 photo R_P1110293.jpg

Found a nondescript hotel for the night and called it a day.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #252
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So many tourists

The closer I got to Phuket and Krabbi the less I was liking it so I detoured around them. Back through the hills for awhile and some more dramatic scenery.

 photo R_WP_20140227_005.jpg

Previous pic taken from the top of this tower.

 photo R_WP_20140227_009.jpg

Kept going until I found a nice beach area west of Trang and booked into here for a few nights.

 photo R_WP_20140228_004.jpg

Mine's the nice pink place.

 photo R_WP_20140228_002.jpg
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:56 PM   #253
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Lazy Days

Once the bike was unpacked I grabbed a nice cold coconut juice and got comfortable on the beach waiting for the sunset. This is why I came west after all.

 photo R_WP_20140301_002.jpg

Well it's not up to the standard I'm used to back in Darwin but it'll do for now.

 photo R_WP_20140228_013.jpg

Over the course of the next few days I explored the road and beaches within an hour's riding and discovered that this area is largely empty of people with lots of opportunity for wild camping and plenty of deserted beaches. Be advised however that this is an area that has experienced the devastation of a tsunami in the not so distant past.

 photo R_WP_20140301_009.jpg

 photo R_WP_20140301_007.jpg

I saw very few western tourists here, it seems to be predominately domestic tourists and as such you should not expect to find much in the way of western food etc.
Every little inlet accommodates a small fishing village with relatively safe anchorages for the boats.

 photo R_WP_20140301_010.jpg

 photo R_WP_20140301_011.jpg

This area would be great for families with small children as the water is very shallow when the tide is in and when it's out it provides hours of exploring the sand flats for clams and other aquartc creatures as well as millions of shells.

 photo R_WP_20140301_012.jpg

 photo R_WP_20140301_018.jpg
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:57 AM   #254
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I am with you re the helmets. A year ago I was on a dirt bike tour west of Chiang Mai and rode up from Mai Sariang in the morning to stop at the servo at Khum Yuan? Wasn't there long and two westerners on a scooter came in wearing their helmets.....on the pillions arm!!! The Mae Hong Son loop is fairly good but quite often corners are covered in gravel....we were wearing all the armour and gear so I felt relatively safe. I assume most of the tourists don't ride bikes at home and therefore don't really understand the dangers. But who am I to say?

Rant over


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Old 03-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #255
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On Page 5, but reading


Enjoying the RR, thanks for sharing will be up with you soon.
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