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Old 07-02-2007, 05:59 AM   #1
team ftb OP
Befuddled Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Lost in the jungles of Thailand
Oddometer: 1,759
Travelling SEA (Thailand, Laos,) withgusto on a KLX250

Greetings gents.

i recently resigned from corporate life in California and been bumming around southeast asia. Key component is I love motorbikes and been enjoying them over here as well.

I've been riding around for a couple months but have not posted anything as I've been selfishly enjoying myself a bit too much....apologies to you.

I'm packing for a month long off road oriented trip into Laos. I started thinking, man these were the trips i loved to read about on ADV. So I scratched my chin, and decided to put up a thread to drag you peeps along on the ride. I'm typing this the night before i leave so forgive the lack of eloquence and expert story telling. I'm just winging it!!!


So I landed in Thailand with all my goodies for the KLX 250 w/300 jug (Big Gun exhaust, Bill Blues 34mm Mikuni Pumper carb, Hot Cams 101 grind cam) and got through customs with my 200 lbs of baggage (MX helmet, chest protector, sprockets, spares, etc by claiming I had an injury so could not walk well. They greeted me with a wheelchair and rushed me through immigration and customs in 5 minutes instead of the usual 45 minutes .

I arrived in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) and got to work installing the carb and working on the jetting. I started with the stock exhaust header and Thai aftermarket muffler, Twin air filter and no airbox lid.. I Spent 1 days and was still not happy. This is my first four stroke dirt bike so did not have much relevant comparisons (ridden KTM 450,520, 525 excs XR 250,600s) however the bike was responding lazily with no snap. I went from 38 pilot all the way to 55 and nothing to write home about in terms of throttle snap. Better than the CVK but not what I expect from a pumper. The main I went all the way from 128 to 155 and it was revving but made no power.

I pulled the plug and it was showing lean. Im in 80-90 degree temps, 80% humidity currently and ride from 1500-5000 feet. Bottom line I was out of jets to go any richer. I really wanted to get it dialed without the lid but to no avail. I even rode up to 5000 feet to see how close we were and it never woke up.

One of the things I brought over was some Dirt Bagz soft saddle bags. Since at the time they had no brackets for the KLX I had some fabbed up over here in Thailand along with a small luggage rack. I am running the bags far enough forward and level with the top of the seat. By doing it this way I was able to tuck the rack in quite tightly round the number plates and keep them aesthetically decent.

Fabbing the brackets up.



Right side. Tabs were welded for the dirt Bagz to clip themselves to. I added the middle leg of the bracket to guarentee the pipe does not melt the side panel.



Left side. with room for the Chase Harper tool pouch to go behind the seat.



Bike loaded and on a 5 day Super motard (nothing but twisties) run.



Returning from a trip the head gasket blew and the motor sucked in water. I checked oil and water before the last 500 KM leg and all was fine. Got home and checked the oil and noticed the telltale white window and filler cap symptoms. Uh oh!! No idea if it took on water the last 2 KMs or 500 kms. The one way starter clutch was also not engaging well and making horrible sounds.

Tore the cylinder off and checked the rod. It seemed fine. I then yanked the side cases and removed the clutch pack to check the crank. It rotated fine with no apparent binding. At this point I could just bolt it back together after flushing the water out and prey for good luck and that hope I did no damage. For once in my life I played it safe though and thought since I planned to put some serious mileso n the KLX and cross through a few countries I better play it safe and dive into the motor if I could get spare parts.

The KLX is assembled in Thailand so originally thought spares should be no problem. Wrong. I originally tried to order hubs and rims but no go. They would have to be ordered from Japan and could take two months to get them here. Off to the dealer to see about their stock of bearings for the KLX. They only had a couple so I had to cross reference the rest. Turns out the bearings for the KLX are come from 3 countries: Taiwan, Malaysia and France. I got them at two different bearing supply houses. When I got all the bearings the cases got split.


Typical Thai shop reeking of German quality control and cleanliness. KLX with her innards regurgitated.

Turns out it was a good thing as two bearings were suspect. While I was looking over the crank I noticed the kick start gear was already installed. There is no kick start on the bike an no kick start parts at the dealer so its just extra weight for me sitting on the crank. We all know extra weight is no good if you are looking for snap right? So I removed the offending item in the hopes of quicker response. I had some casting flaws on the ports touched up to smooth the ports out a bit, installed a new timing chain while I was in there and luckily bought over a spare one way starter clutch ( aspring was broken in the starter clutch). Im going through my spares pretty quickly at this rate. Hope I last through the next six months and dont break anything else. I then broke out my lumpy Hot Cams

and bolted in them in, yummy. The motor was bolted back together with the Big Gun exhaust.

Im guessing the head gasket failed due to the Thais not so stellar standards. When the valves clearances were last checked I bet the previous owner just reused the same head gasket. **** rolled downhill and I managed to be on the receiving end when I picked up the bike used.

The freshened motor fired up no problems and burbled away cleanly.

However I could not figure out the horrid lack of throttle snap. The carb was torn apart and the culprit was a bound accelerator pumper piston. The fuel stream resembles a 70 year prostate cancer victims urine stream. Stripped apart, bored out, cleaned, readjusted and put together to resemble a 20 year Irish man urine stream after a pub crawl. There we go, better throttle response. Still not yanking the front end off the ground but getting better. The carb was new from Bill Blue who is a stand up gent and reflects nothing on him. Im sure I could of sent it back for him to correct however now Im out of country Im on my own.

I hurriedly got dressed for a break in dirt bike ride. How did the bike and ride go you ask??? Stay tuned for the next thread as it was not at all pretty.

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Old 07-02-2007, 06:05 AM   #2
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Here's a trip report I put together for another motorbike site based in Thailand. Forgive me if its a bit speific with roads etc here in Thailand. if nothing else it will give you some fodder to read while i'm getting ready for the Laos trip.

Well I just spent 40 minutes writing a post updating you all on my Thailand KLX mods and experiences with cam, carb, 300 jug, engine build, etc and lost it due to the Thai intenret service crashing.

So while I go have a beer and cool off I will post a trip report I put on another southeast asian motorcycling site.

I will rewrite the KLX specific stuff again for you all later.

Here's the first trip ride I wnet on:

Hmmmm after reading the post on GT riders about avoiding riding the motorbikes over Songkran the Muppet brigade had a dilemma. I had just landed back to Thailand and was itching to ride and Luke had been off bikes for a few weeks after trading in his nancy GSXR 1000 for a manly Honda 125 Sonic that tossed him on the ground and covered him in abrasions on his knees and forearms quicker than a 17 year old Catholic school girl at her first fraternity party. So we were both a bit like sailors pulling into Pattaya on a two week furlough, itching to have a go.

Avoiding the sage advice of the GT Rider community we muppets put our heads firmly in the sand and buggered off for a couple of days, in search of twisty tarmac and writhing mountain girls, willing to suffer the watery consequences of traveling this time of year.


Sunrise over Doi Sutthep

Route: 107 to Chiang Dao- 1178 to Mae Ja then left on the fantastic 1322 to Chong, then right on a dirt road to Muang Noa and onto Doi Ang Khang and into Fang for the night. Next day 107 from Fang down to Si Dong Yen then east on 1346 is a bit twisty into the 1150 and Phrao then home on the 1001 into Chiang Mai.


Bikes: Luke on his XR 280 with street tires and me on a KLX 300 with Motard rims and tires. Name of the game this trip was super motard terrain.

Length: 512 KM
Riding time: 9 hours 18 minutes

The 107 seems to have regressed since I was last over a few months ago. Sections that were previously paved are now back to packed dirt. While dirty is a great description for your Gal it not so pleasant on a crowded thoroughfare. Especially since my front tire on the KLX is a racing slick (no tread) meant for racing on pavement circuits and not slick dirt roads. A bit of a plod up the 107 and 1178 but at least the scenery was improving.

Luke going through withdrawls plodding along the 107 with no decent turns in sight.

However once we got onto the 1322 the Gods smiled on us. This road is simply the most fun you can have on light bikes. The road is fairly recent and in fantastic condition. Not a lot of traffic up and down the road so relatively little in the way of gravel, diesel, etc. This road has more twist and turns than a bargirl telling you where she was last night. It makes the MHS loop look like a freeway plod. Now it would not be my first choice of roads on a barge like a touring Beemer however if you like flicking your bike from left to right for over 65 KMs this is the bees knees. Luke and I played Rossi and Hayden all along it, stuffing each other into and out of corners, laughing and hollering the whole way. The best way to feel 20 years younger is to ride this road on a motard bike, forget the gal in hot pants on Loi Kroh. Even caning our bikes for all they were worth our average speed along this section was only 54 kph, its that tight.


A fantastic road for light bikes.


Luke enjoying his street tired XR

Twas not all roses however, Luke got a wake up call hed like to forget. Going into a left hander a tree had fallen into the oncoming lane blocking it. This caused oncoming traffic to swerve into our lane to avoid the tree mid corner. Loads of fun for people like us caning up the road. So as Luke sets up for the corner a truck appears not just two wheels, but fully in his lane. He yanks the bike inside to miss the truck only to hear the roar of the GT rider board yell a warning too late. See in the back of the pickup were songkran revelers armed with a 55 gallon drum of water and a host of bucket throwers. They were on their game as they caught Luke dead center with a bucket. The poor bugger was hard on the brakes, yanking the bike, threading it between the truck and the side of the road only to be hit with water as he squeaked by the truck. It was sensory overload so we stopped to count our blessings. It was only the third vehicle wed seen in probably 15 kms but it was a doozey.


The tree that caused Luke to age a few years.

The road continued on with nothing but turns and tire sidewall scrubbing fun for us all the way to Chong. This is what motorbiking is about, we both had grins like the cat that ate the canary. Towards Chong we started to pass through a few villages that were joyed to have the opportunity to douse the farangs on their motorbikes for Songkran. Great vibe passing through the mountain tribe villages in their local dress celebrating. A lot more subtle than the chaos in Chiang Mai.


Luke saving wear on his front tire. Note the scenery in the background. Fantastic views.

Me realizing why I never had children


We devised a trick to confuse the local water throwers by slowing down then wheelying pass the throwers. The kids loved it and it allowed us to pass though unsoaked the majority of the time. Trouble is our clutch plates would not be able to handle all the throwers we would pass on the trip so we had to take our fair share of dousing.


Enjoying the Songkran festivities.


The beginning of the dirt road. Can some tell me what these grass structures are? Are they hollow inside? Storage?

We turned off the 1322 onto dirt to get to Doi Ahn Khan at Piang Luang (N19 38.642 E98 38.296) . The front racing slick I had mounted on the KLX was a joy on the twisting tarmac but was now to show the other side of her personality and become a royal pain in the ass showing little love or compassion for my well being on the dirt road. The normal street tire I had on the rear gripped relatively well. The front lived up to its slick name and slithered around the roads like an oiled lady in a lesbian bar show. In a straight line the bars would only shake and shimmy so it was bearable. Turns and downhills however had me sweating like a hooker in a Catholic confession as the tire refused to hold at all. Bottom line those treads on street tires are good for something, Try not to go off road riding with a road racing slick. The dirt road is mostly smooth and hardpack with a few sections of bulldust. Any decent rider on most any bike should be able to handle the dirt section in the dry. If you are tentative and on a heavy street bike a couple bull dust holes will have you sweating.

The front slick out of its element.

The dirt road went on for about 15kms then back to pavement for a couple more KMs of dirt before leading out into more twisty pavement. The scenery on the road getting to Doi Ahn Khan the back way is the most stunning I have been on in Thailand. Running along the ridgeline with steep (for Thailand) mountain vistas the views are simply amazing. The slash and burn farming sadly kept a haze across the vistas but once it clears it should be absolutely stunning. The bikes even began running rough at the 6000 foot elevation level of Doi Ahn Khan.

Villiage along the way.


End of the dirt road. Luke looking forward to more battles with the KLX around the tarmac twisties.


The KLX applauding the fantastic scenery.

We came to a fork in the road approacjing the summit to Doi Ahn Khang. Left said to the summit and right went to Fang. We chose the way to Fang since wed be doing this road again due to the fun and it gives us something to explore. The drop down to fang was steep with a lot of tight downhill hairpins. Silverhawk tells me if we would of made a left to the summit the other route down to Fang is the steepest road in Thailand losing all the elevation in a few KMs. Something for next time.

We landed into the town of Fang and secured a little hotel with separate bungalows next to a rice field thanks to a couple kids on bicycles directing us there. Luke felt secure as the bungalows had snake netting to keep the Cobras and Krate snakes at bay for us to sleep soundly.

It was then off to vittles at Ritzy, a place David Unk reported as the place to soak in the sights of estrogen pumped Fang females. Sadly it look like the Christian right had transformed the Ritzy into a family restaurant instead of a place for sanuk. Luke and I were ready to stick pins in a David Unk voodoo doll for leading us astray so bad. An absolute fantastic sight was watching Luke trying to ask the homely young waitress if the Ritzy somehow transformed later in the evening to a venue your mother warned you about. A quick call to Unk for some redirection was needed. Luke and I had packed clean undies this trip and were smelling our best so we needed to sample some Fang goods. Unk laughed at our mistake and guided us to another club in town that was indeed adorned with every young Thai celebrating Songkan in Fang. Over 1 bottles of Thailands finest rice whiskey was polished off in the course of celebrating Songkran in Fang.




1346 to Phrao

A not so early rising the next day had us loaded up and plodding down the 107 to the 1346. Rains had made the roads a little slimy so we pottered along the 107 sedately. The 1346 has some very nice flowing and fun turns for the motard style bikes. Not only that it had a surprise along the road in the form of a 5 foot long banded Krate snake. One of the most poisonous found in our beloved Thailand. You dont get to see them often as they are shy and nocturnal. This poor bugger apparently keeps the field workers on their guard. The local villager told us great yarns of how the Krate bites you and you live normally for a week with no symptoms then fall over dead as a doornail. Typical Thai village myths.


Luke puffing out his chest displaying his comfort with the reptiles.

Overall the section going from the 1322 over to Doi Ahn Khan then down to Fang is some of the best scenery Ive seen in this country combined with roads in excellent shape, little traffic, and above all loads of fun twisties to give your sidewalls a workout. Not even loads of dreaded decreasing radius turns to upset you.

What are you waiting for get on it.




Post #: 1
RE: Checking in from Thailand with a KLX - 5/17/2007 4:12:39 AM
Team FTB
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A couple more pics:
riding on ahead of justin in the dirt section i had identified this slippery little downhill section as a potential whoopsy from justin with his slick on the front, the dust was inches thick and the road was badly rutted underneath, i felt sure i would see blood splilt, in preparation for this i parked my bike in the bushes and took position with the camera. seconds passed and then minutes, i then heard the burble of justin klx, my heart raced at the thought of the photo i was about to get... however it wasnt to be as captain fantastic sailed down the hill with the bow of his klx kicking up an almighty wave of dust before it, it was a spectacular moment much like a cruise liner parting the ocean before it.




as justin has already mentioned the views in this area are stunning and a large majority of the time we were riding along the tops of ridgelines







My first few trips were motard oriented while I was waiting to get 18" and 21" rims hooked up to the KLX.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:19 AM   #3
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I've done buggered up and posted this in Thumpers instead of RR's. Apologies to the mods. Can one of the mods please move this to Road Reports.

Thanks in advance .
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
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He there guys. here's a ride I posted on another Thai motorcycle website. Some comments are inside jokes with members but hopefully you'll enjoy coming along for the ride and photos.

I'm packing now for a month long ride in northewrn Laos with as much dirt as possible.
----------------------------------------

myself and my fellow muppet, took of from the south side of the samoeng loop up to doi pui on our klx300 and xr280 recently " upped" by ball from the motorcycle shop near the bridge.
the acsent began with some sandy rutted uphills, this is where our californian friend excelled and was soon showing us the " sallows shuffle" up the ruts...



soon took its toll though




a quick call to mae taeng had this rider back in good spirits





the rest of the trip up to doi pui is relatively boring as it turns into the 2 lanes of concrete for the pick-ups, however the start is good fun enough to make it worthwhile and a good alternative to heading up from huay tung tao, of which about half the acsent to doi pui is now tarmac...
we did stumble across this fella on his dream with 30 kilograms of lychees on his back, thats like half the weight of the fish justin caught the previous evening on loi kroh...



accepting the forbidden fruits as gratitude






on this track about 800meters from doi pui, which has a great hump for wheelies by the way, dave FL maybe a one -handed one on the AT!




the single track can be found as a 180 degree left hand turn up a hill, it is immediately single track







and is relatively easy to find although a few side trips to peoples gardens are par for the course on a first time attempt at this track..if you are coming from doi pui the turning will be on the right hand side.
the track then snakes up the hill before reaching its highest point



the sudden sunlight had a adverse impact on justin however and he soon morphed into



TURTLEMAN!!






after no more than about 3 kms, the track then makes a nasty downhill ,we naturally spent the customary 45mins surverying the scene



before bailing out and paddling down



with varying success






which we timed perfectly with an downpour, it was here that dr. sallows discovered an incredible malayan sun-band turtle that he explained was at such a high altitude, about 5000feet at this point, because of its acute need for the strongest rays of sunlight, pretty amazing stuff, email the doctor for more details on this creature..

the trail here then becomes a bit of a hack and a paddle














and we were glad that mr.BBQ had debriefed us thourougly on the art of the paddle before we even thought about trying this trail. see how we have learnt...




the trail follows the side of the moutnain here and the views across to the south are stunning, the single track lasts for maybe anohter 3kms, if it has been heavily raing then people should attempt with caution as a lot of the trail is either steep




and littered with rocks or is right on the edge of a cliff, howver if us muppets can do it then most people prob could aswell,

at the end of the single track




no honda dreams here by the way or even any signs of them. it then joins up with a wider SLIPPERY path, thankgod that sign was there as we were just about to send for slicks..




the trail then takes you back down to mae rim main road with a couple of possible exits, we chose right and it turned out to be not the one we looking for, if you are still clamouring for dirt here keep going left and it will lead you down " barrys trail" back to the main road through a village, if anyone needs a better decription please email me or justin for some gps co-ordinates. at one certain fork on this track down the hill it possible to make a right that will take you over to the huay tung tao area of the sutthep mountain.

THE MUPPETS.

Enjoy and I'll check in from Laos
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
I'm glad you got GypsyRider out of the house and on the trail, err, in the river.

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Old 07-03-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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As some of you know Gaspipe came over to Thailand for some riding with Gypsyrider.

Yep GP got him out of the house and on the bikes a few times. He's still got a hell of a lot on his plate and not getting in near enough riding. We had a motorcycle trip to India planned this month but it had to be cancelled. So now I'm off to ride some off road in Laos for a month. A couple pairs of shots, t-shirts, socks and a bivy sack and we're off .

I named a rock ledge he took me up the belgium Step after Gypsyrider. here's a couple more photos of a ride i did with him.
The famed wall of rock was introduced to the Muppets by the esteemed enduro race veteran, Gypsyrider who hails from the land of dark chocolate (Belgium). We (Luke, Gypsrider and myself) were out for a fun day of singletrack race simulation out the back of Gypsyriders house on the North Thailand enduro track around Hang Dong way. the race came down the trail and river. Being the experienced team we were we decided to go up the damn trail instead. The frantic pace soon resembled cold molasses as it trickled to a halt when faced with the "sheer" rock wall face.

It then earned its belgium moniker when the Belgian ace scrutinized the lay of the land on the approach and deemed it needed modifying before attempting such a daring climb. We watched intently as Gypsyrider professionally prepared the surface to be conquered by laying out rocks and pebbles for the approach in addition to tying up life threatening, throat throttling moss covered vines.


Being the youngest rider with the slowest bike it was not difficult to choose Luke as the sacrificial lamb to protect the orange Queen should the prepared surface dare to throw the KTM on its side. He was positioned off the trail to act as a barrier to protect the expensive KTM from becoming impaled on the Pungi bammboo stakes laying in wait at the base of the climb. Once prepped, Gypsyrider breathed life into his Enduro race prepped behemoth that I myself had ridden and deemed too hairy chested for my average frame. The KTM roared into life and had the rock bit dutifully between its teeth. Gypsyrider gunned the engine and dumped the clutch on the approach to the wall of Eiger like proportions. However all was not to plan as the KTM somehow hiccuped

on the approach to the tailor made launch ramp and threw the Belgiun rider a curve as it bucked him off the back of the saddle. Luckily Gypsyrider got the nose of the KTM over the crest and deposited against a tree. Thereby throwing a gesture of kindness towards Luke and not utilizing his chest as a protective measure against the bamboo for the beloved KTM.



The rock stair climb is now referred to as the "Belgian Step" in tribute to our own Belgian Member (Gypsyrider) that desires trails of difficulty and feels that gearboxes harboring more than three gears are a waste of time. Here's to you Jan Marc!!!

Just to prove that youth and excuberance don't get away scot free the variation that Luke attempted to skirt the belgian Step was Hang Dongs very own Danube river to the right of the Belgian step. Unbeleivable boat muppeteering ability had Luke at the Helm of the XR wading through the bog of the Danube.




The next installment shall include another member of our crew. As of yet unpubliushed pictures of our friendly resident giant doing his own deforestation techniques.
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:39 PM   #7
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The first ride with Gypsyrider i got up the thing with no problem. The second time did not fare as well . No pictures of the successful climb but more importantly according to my friends is a video of me trying to drive my head through a tree trunk on the the second ride going up it.

Evidence that there is a lot to learn for this boy: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...46217136694280
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:42 PM   #8
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So different than 85mph on a 950 or racing across Baja....Can't wait to go back to Thailand and do it again.

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Old 07-03-2007, 10:55 PM   #9
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Looks like a hell of a good time. What's the weather like this time of year?
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:10 AM   #10
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Poke: Weather over here is starting rainy season. Which means either gorgeous sunshine or rain in biblical proportions. The laos forecast is for 330 of rain in July. Not the best dirt bike riding weather as some of the intended routes may/will be impassable.

My father never claimed to have raised the brightest . But we're off anyway. One day later than scheduled so here's another Super motard report to tide you over until the fun starts tomorrow.

GP: Yep come on over. I figure you've got to be sick of running WFO on the KTM's across the deserts and need to burble along some singletrack over here with us. Whatcha say???

Here's another motard report:
So the Chiang mai Kawasaki dealer gave me the crummy news that my dirt bike rims would be backordered. Causing me to put the much anticipated dirt bike riding on the back burner until rims are procured. So what do we do to ease our pain???? Well Luke and I had an absolute blast hooning around the tight twisty tarmac in an earlier report to Doi ahn Khan and fang that we thought a longer route of the same conditions should ease our pain a bit and not end up with hangover and wallet crushing effect if we choose the alternative of bottles of Black label in some posh karaoke club.

Maps were poured over and Luke painstakingly tried to suss out every tight corner in northern Thailand for some tire scrubbing fun. We ended up with a five day trip of nothing but horizon tilting fun and irresponsible riding that mum would not approve of. If you are over on vacation renting a Honda Baja I believe this could be the ideal loop for the combination of great scenery and fun on the bike, with as little boring straight roads as can be put together. If you abhor corners stay away from this route!!

Ill break the ride report up in a couple parts as Im too lazy to pen it all at once.

Day 1 route: 107 from Chiang mai to 1178 up to Doi Ahn Khan then the summit to the 1340 down the 3015 into Fang. I recommend however instead of taking the 1178 to the summit skirt around and take the gorgeous 1322 instead to the summit. A much better road in fantastic conditions and filled with fun corners. Full report in this earlier thread (http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2419)

Bikes: Luke on his XR 280 with street tires and me on a KLX 300 with Motard rims and tires. Name of the game this trip was super motard terrain. For day one we also had Chris with us on his Yamaha WR 200 until his libido caused him to want to rub up against the Armco.


The gruesome threesome

For most of day one reread the above linked report for a description of the roads. There are two ways to descend from the summit of Doi Ahn Khan. I prefer the 1249 as its a nicer road however you then have to plod north on the 107 a few kmS into Fang. The 1340 deposits you directly into Fang which is nice and provides the steepest descent on a road in Thailand. It is comprised of loose gravel on top of pavement so watch your braking into the tight downhill hairpins.

After driving dirt roads with the slick last trip, lets see how the race slick does in the wet.

Our conditions were a bit sloppy on day one with rain and drizzle descending upon us as we hit Doi Ahyn khan causing some slick conditions. How slick you say??? Lets just say that excessive speed, poor corner entry line, knobbies and wet tarmac make for an exciting ride for our sweet smelling cohort Chris on the WR200. I rode ahead of Luke and Chris and pulled over at the Army camp near the summit of Doi Ahn Khan. Normally Luke would be sniffing up my muffler, looking to stuff me on a corner. As I was unmolested along this stretch I pulled over and the mulled the Muppets fate. Minutes passed and I knew something was amiss. I circled back only to find Chriss bike left a dent and some paint on the Armco as he was attempting to fend off Luke in the corners, knobbies and all. Piss and vinegar do not guarantee pole position in this crew as the knobbies threw in the towel right before throwing Chris into the Armco. End result twisty wet roads 1 muppets 0. The WR200 sacrificed a few spokes, straight handlebars, a rim, and a front rotor to the Armco Gods. We wiped Chriss tears from his face, handed him some spanners and got to work getting the bike sorted for his descent down from the summit of Doi Ahn khan. Zip tied the broken spokes and removed the offending disk that was bent with 1 inch of runout and not going through the caliper. The rim made the rotor look precision aligned instrument as it wobbled like a drunken Londoner in Pattaya during the FA cup final. No problem its only the steepest decent in Thailandwho needs brakes we muttered as we pulled the front rotor and put it in the rucksack. We gave Chris a hug and kiss as we pushed him off the summit wishing him luck on his rear brake only decent. He did fine and only garnered a few additional grey hairs. Onto Fang for the night.


Chris's rotor showing evidence its in need of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon after the mating with the Armco


As good friends we GT riders make sure to catch our friends enjoying the ride. Chris dreaming about a 2 hour massage to help his shoulder.


Posting this just to prove Chris owes me a pint.


Luke deserving a pint and desperately trying to escape the mechanical ineptness label. He's improving with age like fine wine. He can offer you a discourse in CRF top ends now just ask him.


Towards the summit of Doi Ahn Khan the KLX proves it can stay out of the Armco if Muppet numner 2 refrains from riding it.

The night was spent in the Cheers pub discussing effects of residing in Pattaya for eight years and its effects on your future relationships. Wonder why our crew is either single or in dysfunctional relationships?? Come on a ride with us to reap sage advice your mother never discussed over brekkie.


Coming down from the summit a small army post atop this hilltop.


Luke enjoying the views. One of many reasons why we all enjoy riding.


descending from the summit.


KLX cooling its front brake from the steept descent.

The next morning Chris wobbled off down the 107 for Chiang mai while Luke and I licked our chops for the coming days buffet of roads. As I am writing this I realize I have not hosted Lukes photos on a hosting website to post in this report. You nobbers will just have to suffer through pics of me until I can get Lukes loaded. Luke if you have them downloaded put 'em up here. We got some great great shots of our resident handsome lad.

Day 2 route:107 1314 to Tha Ton- 1089 -1234 to mae Salong, 1338-1149 into mai sae for the night.

Ride length about 100 miles.

Woke up late as today was a short but enjoyable day to mae Sai. The roads once we hit the 1314 were absolutely gorgeous weaving through interesting topography and providing ever-changing conditions and surfaces. Never boring. Once you make the left on the 1314 this is racetrack quality, freshly paved bitumen leading up into the surrounding hills. You are traversing along the Myanmar/Thailand border here and the GPS states you even duck across the border at times on the road. Make sure you look back over your shoulder as you head up to take in the view. Also take the time for a stop in the temple up on the hill about 1 mile north of Tha Ton after the 1314 joins the 1089 (N20 04.109 E99 21.870) Supposedly this area is one frequented by the Queen mother of Thailand.


View as you go up the 1314


Affordable housing available once you've paid for too many sick buffaloes in Isaan.


Temple near Tha Ton

When the road turns from the 1089 to the left onto the 1234 onto a ridgeline heading towards mae Salolng you will be rewarded once again with freshly paved curves for a bit. Lovely to get on the main jet through here. The handlebars in one corner actually touch the Armco with the handguards on the motard. Loadsa fun. I have ridden this road on a GSXR 400 before and honestly had more fun on the lightweight motard flicking it through the turns. The motard bikes really come into their own when the road quality deteoriates as it does a few KMs before Mae Salong. Slipping and sliding on the motard is a laugh, on bigger bikes not quite so much fun.

Luke was enjoying the curves as usual and had his XR 280 at full song. It was singing so well that going into one particular left hander it had shall we sayjust a wee bit too much entrance speed. A Lahu hill tribe woman was on the outside of the corner in her palm frawn stand selling forest mushrooms and roots as she has been doing for the last decade or so. Her typical tranquil afternoon of watching Honda Dreams commute up and down the hill at 20 KPH was ripped to shreds by a howling Honda XR 250. She looked up only to see Lukes 62 frame strangling the handlebars, eyes as big as ping pong balls, realizing this corner was not going as planned, come straight across his lane, across the opposing traffics lane and heading straight for her and her tranquil palm frawn refuge. As it was, whilst Luke was looking demented and possessed by the devil himself bouncing across the road out of control he was actually eyeing his get out of jail free card in the form of a slip road next to the palm hut. He managed to steer the careening XR up the road bouncing through ruts and bumps and frightening the poor Lahu woman with his hysterical laughter upon realizing he had pulled off yet another of Mr. Toads wild rides.


Lukes admirer emulating Lukes save of the day.


We took a break with Lukes new friend and had a laugh as she re-enacted Lukes wild out of control style through the corner and up the slip road with wild gesticulating hand motions and cackling laughter. We did our best to foster farang/Thai relationships and desperately tried to convince her that farangs were not all prats and she just got unlucky with our meeting.

We had her demonstrate the cocktail of joy that makes up the local hill tribe beetlnut chew. The beetlenut, a little tobacco, lime juice, and a leaf wraps up the mixture that Southeast Asian countries are determined to put Wrigleys chewing gum out of business with. Im open minded when it comes to a lasses beauty (Luke says I just lack normal standards) but the blood red stains the beetlenut does to the gals gums and teeth just fails to ignite my loins.


Farang displaying his view of the beetlenut culinary ratings

A quick lunch in mae Salong then it was up to the 1338. The road leading down the road from mae Salong is lovely twisty turny pavement in good condition. Or so I was thinking flicking it back and forth. In Thailand Im getting used to losing the front or rear tire on diesel in the corners. On one particular corner however I hit the brakes and had the front tire lock up and slide on some fuel. The pucker factor went up as I passed the turn in point of the corner with the front tire on fire. I let off the brakes and heeled the thing over. The mind is an amazing piece of machinery. My brain fails to comprehend the Issan ladies magical comment of I miss you translates to I need money however when brakes are skidding on fuel, blowing through an apex and bending a bike into a corner 3 feet late I can instantly recognize a bad situation will be escalating rather shortly into a worse one. On the racetrack you simply pick up the bike and run wide off the track, then wobble and tankslap your way back onto the track. The street sadly offers me no such luxuries and instead gives me the middle finger with an Armco barrier. About as inviting as a bargirl with a herpes sore. I leant the bike over with the peg dragging and almost made it, however the tire slipped on the grass next to the Armco and the ride was over, my bike shoved into the Armco just like Luke into a certain gal in Nan. Luckily slow enough (like our caring Luke with his Nan gal) only to damage the ego and a few scrapes on bike and rider. Twisty fun road with fuel 1, muppet number two, 0.


Me jealous of the fact the KLX is getting into more tight things than its owner.


Hillside farms

Once the Muppet patrol gathered itself up from yet another Armco barrier we were on our way up the 1338 to 1149 that parallels the Mynamar border. The 1149 is a delightful narrow country lane winding its way through the jungle and along the border. When coming off the 1338 and turning right onto the 1149 there is a police checkpoint. The coppers manning this station tried to convey that the 1149 road was not recommended and turned into a dirt trail. Utter poppycock, it twists and winds its way along the border and is paved all the way. Dont believe the soldiers, my guess is they just try to limit traffic along the border if possible. The views once you rise out of the jungle and begin to descend towards Mai Sai are the best I have seen in Thailand so far. Simply gorgous steep hillsides spackled with exposed limestone and views into the valleys below. If thats not enough the last 10 miles of pavement into mai Sai are stunningly sculpted and writhe its way down the mountain in a perfect coat of jet black smooth asphalt. Another romp on the main jets and this time we managed to keep everyone out of the Armco barriers. The road drops you right into the town of mai Sai.


No karaokes out here, fantastic views.


The relaxing 1149 along the Myanmar border.

My camera packed it in as we came into some of the most scenic terrain above Mai Sai. Hopefully Luke can caress this thread with his images to give you peeps some insight.

This route is a great way to hit the border for a visa run instead of droning up highway 1 to the border. Luke and I relegated ourselves to discovering the hidden gems of mai Sai nightlife that mother would frown upon, however Uncle Ned that did tours in Vietnam would give a thumbs up. We stayed at the Mai Sai guest house which other GT riders recommended and is located west from the border crossing point along to the end of the road paralleling the river.

Days 3-5 to follow in another report but for now Im off for another ride.
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:14 AM   #11
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Some photos from Lukes camera taking the piss.

as if you didnt have enough pictures of us muppets to clog up your computers here are a load more from the fang-mae sai leg of the trip....



even justin's mammoth frame couldnt stop the fully laden KLX from a dive into the dirt





gt-riders helping each other out and managing to look cool in the process....



justin will be giving masterclasses on cornering techinques following the races at hang dong on sunday, looking at the way he clips this apex who's interested???







at the border outpost with 2 very bored soldiers



move to the outside, slam down 2 gears, turn in, hit apex, open throttle, oh shit buffalo, swerve violently to the other side of the road...



the second best scenery in northern thailand........





second only to this beauty found on the 1234 to mae salong section

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Old 07-04-2007, 06:25 AM   #12
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Ok this is the last Motard report so we can get back where the real fun begins. in the rural jungles off road in South EAst Asia.


The 3rd day of muppeteering began at a gentle 9.30 from mae sai, we wandered out of town missing our one turn off for the morning in true hungover fashion, this then left us with a boring slog on the main road over to chiang saen



we stopped of for some brekkie in chiang saen and wasted another half hour so that justin could take some photos " for the folks back home in good ol' U.S of A" were his precise words i think. after chiang saen we headed over to ching khong on pretty flat roads again. however it was delightfully punctuated with views of the mekong river,
all fueled up again we set off in search of the 1155 to take us to wiang kaen, the only rest bite now from the midday heat was stopping off at some of justins ex-flames from his previous trips in these parts, whilst amusing at first in soon became annoying when every village became another half hour of flirting and playing with chain lube







now on the 1155 and full speed ahead to pu chee fah we turned off up the hill at the village of pang hat, pu chee fah is well signposted here, the climb of the mountains began in erratic fashion









the drive now was stunning with mountain vistas that stretched for miles and with the clean air was a awesome drive, the drive was not without incident though as following a breathtaking chase down the mountain in pursuit of the green machine i was most unfortunate to clip a patch of gravel on the exit of the corner, my bike was ok thank god and i somehow threaded my way through the kilometre markers in some houdini of an escape from serious injury, my stunning SLEDGEHAMMER jacket though took the worst of the fall...









coming down from pu chee fah was a subdued affair for mne as i was still nursing a torn jacket and was miffed at the fact that the red honda was no match for the KLX of justin, scenery again was perfect, we descended onto route 1093, where we were in seach of the 1160 that would hook us up with 1148, after a great deal of direction asking we found our turning, it is signposted as the phu sang national park, and opens up with about 7-8kms of dirt before a section of tarmac and then dirt again up the hill...
the 1160 is another great road for dirt capable bikes...







at this turning go right, we'd have paid good money to know that at the time!



the rain had fallen here recently and altough we stayed dry justins front slick was beginning to become a hinderance....










a mix-up at the team green pits in pang tham left justin really struggling for grip at turns 7 and 8, sack the strategist! what were they thinking??!!

jungle scenery and red jacket..



the 1160 did indeed hook us up with 1148, and apart from a brief shower we took to the corners with gusto for the last leg into nan province of what had been a long day..
arriving into pua at 8.15 we were both shattered having driven the last 65 kms in the dark, those of you who know justin will know he is no eagle and so he was following the shien from my headlight and in times of oncming traffic i would flash the back brake light to give justin something to aim for.. very energy sapping for both parties involved.. and here we are at the end ...



we have hundreds of photos from this leg, so expect some more from justin from this day of tomfoolery!..

-------------------------------------------------

From now on the reports will be written as i go and keeping in touch with you all.

Thanks for coming along.










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Old 07-04-2007, 06:30 AM   #13
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Wow! What an adventure

Keep it comin'
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:45 AM   #14
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Wow indeed
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