Adventure Riding Korea

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Macosie, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    Hi Folks,
    It's winter here in Korea, and it's damn cold, so, even though I am still riding, I'm dreaming of the nice warm(hot) summer here when I can ride without my testiculars hiking up into myu stomach... nice intro eh?

    Anyway, I'm planning a trip around Korea next summer, as it may be my last here. I know a few nice little roads in Jeollanamdo, specifically around Yeosu, but I'm thinknking of doing the coastal routes, and skirt along the DMZ. Has anyone done any riding here in Korea? If you have some choice riding destinations, I'd welcome the advice.

    For those of you who haven't been to Korea, you should know that for the most part it's a very developed country with a great expressway system and a plethora of auxilary highways. It's on those auxilary highways that I drive, because rumour had it that you can't ride on the expressway with a motrorcycle. I challenged those rumours having no empiracle proof, and drove on the Expressway from Suncheon to Kwangju. I made it through the automated toll both, and onto the highway. Seemed fine, no worries for over an hour. Then, about 3/4 of the way from to Gwangju, I was pulled over by the highway patrol, and later escorted off the highway by the police. I got away with a warning, because there are no signs with English or pictures saying no motorcycles, and they were just amazed that I survived the ride. Trust me, it was the safest riding in all of Korea, lots of space, no buses or taxis... beautiful fast riding (I was in a ruch and didn't have time for the twisties of the aux. roads.

    Ocassionally, the smaller highways turn into normal roads, which turn into concrete roads, which turn into dirt roads which turn into some seriously fun trails. Unfortuantely, roads like this are not well documented, and it's lucky to find one that has an actual destination. Maybe some of us can change that, and post some of those here.

    Most of the riding I'm going to be doing will likely be on real paved roads, but if I can have a few off road adventures I'm up for that too.

    My plan is to take 3 or 4 weeks in the summer (I teach in a public school so that's possible) and ride around Korea, chedcking out some of the "tourist destinations" I haven't managed to get to yet. Jejudo, maybe Diamond Mountain (in North Korea) and Dokdo are on a list that keeps growing. I figure riding around to them may be the best way to see them.

    So, if you want to give me some advice please do.

    If you want to hook up with me for part of the ride, let me know. (Dates are still in flux until May or June.)

    If you have any good stories of riding Korea, hook us up.

    Basically, I will keep y'all posted on my prep and activities until then.

    Cheers,
    Macosie (aka Big Marc in Yeosu)
    #1
  2. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    Apparently Korea isn't much of an Adventure Touring destination. Here are some of my pictures... maybe it'll change some people's minds.
    [​IMG]
    Baekyado, Yeosu county
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    Road running behind Mangsanri to Yeosu University
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    Looking down over new highway project and farmland
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. minsukim99

    minsukim99 Adventurer

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    Adventure roads in Korea? There are plenty. I travel by bike around Korea once a year and offroad every weekend: No worries in finding nasty and fun little offroads so far. There are unbelievable place to go by bike and let me know if you're interested in learning how to get there...
    #3
  4. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    This is a backroad up to Hunguksa Temple Hermitage. These are all 125 cc machines, with the exception of the 110cc scooter in the 3rd position. This is easy cruising with a great destination, a point that you can hike up to the hermitage, or two peaks. In the spring, these peaks are covered with Azaleas.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So.... these are just some of the pictures of the stuff you can see by bike here around Yeosu. Korea is a small country with many, many roads. I'll have to stop and take more pictures in the future of some of the roads. I will definitely includ more when I can.

    One highway I use is almost always deserted. It great, with tones of twists, and is skirts along a gorgeous resevoire. It's a stretch between Juam and Damyang. It's worth the ride...
    #4
  5. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    Hey Kim Minsu,
    반갑습니다... Great to hear from you. What part of the country do you ride in? Post some pictures of some of your rides if you can.
    #5
  6. minsukim99

    minsukim99 Adventurer

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    I live in Seoul and I often ride to the East Sea. I do have plenty of pictures but I either don't know how or I am not allowed to... :cry
    #6
  7. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    You need to have a website to host your photos first. I first upload my pictures to jusspress.com. They will host photos, and give you a link to use for blogs, forums and websites like this. Try that out maybe.
    It would be good to see them.

    I love riding around Jeollanamdo. There is sooo much beautiful country down here. I regret that I didn't have a bike when I lived in Bucheon. It would have been so easy to get to KangHwaDo and places around there.
    #7
  8. DBf650

    DBf650 n00b

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    In March I am moving to Korea and wanted to know if you or any body has any expereince or information regarding bringing a bike over from the US. Otherwise what options are there?

    Thanks
    #8
  9. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    I have no idea about importing, except I've heard that unless you are a GI, it's expensive to import. You'll have to check on that with the Korean embassy or something.
    Options here...
    125cc bikes - Daelim, Hyosung. Small, but practical for daily communters.
    250cc - Hyosung Comet - imagin a Suzuki GS with a 250... nice little bike, Hyosung Mirage - cruiser also not bad. Sells well in the UK I hear.
    650cc
    Hyosung 650 Comet - originally based on the Suzuki GS600, but was changeds. I read it's a good bike. It comes naked, semi-naked and fuly fared. and ranges arouind US$5000-6000 brand new. I see used ones (2002s are the oldest) for about $3500-4500.
    Hyosung Mirage 650 - If I liked Cruising bikes, I'd buy this. It's a SWEET looking cruiser. this is the first year, and it costs about $6500 new. You might find a used one in Seoul.
    Japanese bikes are imported and cheaper top buy here than at home (Canada). I bought a beaten up 88 Africa Twin with a 400cc engine for about $1500. I"ve seen a nice 97(I think) go for $4500. I would have bought it, but that wasn't in my price range. Maintenance is a bit of a pain on the big bikes because most mechanics here are not properly trained. Seoul is different. Bigger cities have "real" Honda, BMW and Harley Davidson dealers/service.

    www.bikemart.co.kr is a good site, but you need a korean person to set you up on it and it's only in Korean.It's a good soursce for 2nd hand bikes, and pricing bikes. In MyoungDong, there is a street with lots of shops(20 or 30, Maybe more) all in a row. It's good place to pick up a bike, but beware of "foreigner pricing."
    HJC helmets are made in Korea, and I picked up a CL-14 for $80 in Yeosu, and could have had it for $65 in Seoul. They retail back home for about $150.
    Hope that helps.
    Good luck.
    #9
  10. Macosie

    Macosie Been here awhile

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    Sorry, the bike street is not Myoung dong, it's in Chungmuro. (they're close to eachother. )
    #10
  11. mujiburrahman

    mujiburrahman Been here awhile

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    Great pictures from korea
    #11
  12. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    Hopefully there will be a lot more opportunities soon.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/world/asia/north-korea-south-nuclear-weapons.html


    “The North expressed its willingness to hold a heartfelt dialogue with the United States on the issues of denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States,” the statement said. “It made it clear that while dialogue is continuing, it will not attempt any strategic provocations, such as nuclear and ballistic missile tests.”
    #12