Random Roads Thailand Edition

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cro59, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    533
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    Thailand
    Pop’s used to let you leave a cash deposit in lue of holding your passport. When you return the bike undamaged you get the deposit back.
    #21
    Cro59 likes this.
  2. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Judging from the FB reviews, they still do. Guess I'll find out soon enough. :lol3
    #22
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  3. Smidty

    Smidty Been here awhile

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    In

    :lurk
    #23
  4. 08StangGT_CS

    08StangGT_CS Adventurer

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    San Antonio, TX and Beyond
    I’m in. As of 24 hours ago I was going to go to Thailand for Christmas after landing in Singapore but that all went to poop.

    What’s your line of work if you don’t mind me asking. I do month on month off in China.

    I hope to ride down in Thailand one day.
    #24
  5. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    I'm a helicopter pilot. The job is good but the schedule sucks.

    Sorry your trip got trashed.
    #25
  6. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    610
    +1 for Pops. I went with a bunch of mates a few years ago and all 10 of us rode cb500xs. Not one mechanical issue in 2000kms for any of us. He had heaps of bikes there. I was kind of glad we had preselected the cbs as i could have spent a day trying to decide what to hire. We all thought the 500s were perfect for the mostly b roads we were on. Best motorbkje trip i have ever done. And i would love to go back to chaing mai one day, its a very nice place to chill out. I spent a few days rhere either side of the ride.
    #26
    Lopburi and Cro59 like this.
  7. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Golden Triangle
    Hello there folks. Where to start?

    Maps, you say. Yes Auke Koopmans put together a great deal of the mapping that's been done in Northern Thailand and Laos - both ours and for others who needed to stand on his shoulders. There's GPS and hard copy maps of both. Prior to buying Rider's Corner in Chiang Mai, I did many mapping trips with Auke, and along with many riders, some of them hard core adventurers, we contributed our riding tracks to Auke's efforts. His latest maps are the best available, but it's fair to say that I'm biased. I've used his maps for my own trips for years.

    Bikes? Yes we offer bikes and also assist with route information to those who come here - and, hand on heart, I'm happy to say we don't make or want a cent from providing such information. We're riders. Be wary of those who base recommendations on commissions received. We also work closely with people who know the border crossing routines. We have a German couple heading across the border into Laos on two of our bikes (a DRZ400 and a CRF250) tomorrow. They are fully prepared with all necessary documentation. They are just back from the Mae Hong Son loop on those bikes... and he, a former motorcycling journalist, raved about those three days "best motorcycling trip ever". Our hire fleet is somewhat diverse... everything from Honda Waves, Yamaha Fino, Honda Forza, Honda 250s in XR, XL and CRF formats, DRZ 400s, Honda 500s and more. Hell, our Lifan 200 is even popular with the shorter riders. I've been persuaded to ride with some groups... but don't do tours (I can put you in touch with those who do, again, on a commission-free basis).

    We do rooms too... but you'd want to be adventurous. Tum, my partner put up pink curtains in the latest update... but they'll be gone in very short order - like this week, or we discount the rooms. Her food gets excellent reviews. Our coffee is great. Our cider keg... shall I go on?

    [​IMG]

    Come ride Asia

    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    @The Bigfella I'll shoot you and email and will be sure to stop by.
    #28
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  9. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    What's the best source for gear in Chiang Mai? I've got most of what I need except for pants and gloves.
    #29
  10. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    So a word on gear...

    As I mentioned, my work schedule is three months on and one month off. For the past two years, I've centered my vacations on diving trips, but I've been missing riding, especially since buying the CB500X in the spring and fitting it with the Rally Raid kit. Now I could certainly head back to my bike every vacation but there are so many places to see that I figured this is a good opportunity to fly and ride other parts of this amazing rock we live on. Thailand is destination number one.

    So what does any of that have to do with gear? Well, I'm sure as hell not flying back to my storage unit every trip so I need to outfit myself with a travel kit. Two requirements, it has to provide reasonable protection and it has to be dual purpose. I'm not lugging around a duffle bag of crap that is only useable on a motorcycle.

    Klim, Revit, and others have product lines that look more like regular street clothes. I have a Klim Revener jacket at home that I like a lot. For this trip I opted for a Revit Hudson overshirt. Cordura, decent armor, and looks like a regular jeans jacket. It's something you could wear around town without standing out as an obvious moto guy. The down side is it isn't waterproof, so I'll bring my Marmot rain jacket to throw over top. I've also got a deceivingly warm Outdoor Research jacket that packs down to the size of a large grapefruit and fits under the Revit. That sorts out the upper body.

    Pants are a bit harder. Ideally, I'd like waterproof pants so I don't have to stop and put on another layer. Revit makes waterproof jeans, but my experience with riding jeans is that they are terribly hot, heavy, and have no ventilation. Adding a waterproof layer wouldn't help any of those complaints. I'll probably compromise here and buy some Goretex riding pants that I don't hate terribly.

    For shoes there are actually a ton of options. The tradeoff is less protection for style and walking comfort. I suspect I'll buy multiple pairs before I find what works. For this trip, I bought a pair of Forma Hyper boots. They look like above the ankle, tennis shoe with CE1 protection. They are comfortable enough, but a bit warm and the toe box is on the tight side. The sole doesn't have great grip, so they might not work well as hiking boots. Good abrasion protection, but lacking for crush and torsional support, so I wouldn't use them for serious off road riding.

    Luggage wise, I've got a Kriega US-30 and a 20L backpack. That is enough space for a month, but will certainly demand a minimalist packing approach. The Kriega mounting system can adapt to virtually any bike and I've had good experience with their bags.

    Other than that, I've got a good minimalist camping set up and the usual clothes. Computer support will be limited to a cell phone and bluetooth keyboard. Maybe I'll add an iPad later, but vacation time is more about disconnecting and I haven't carried a laptop for years.

    I generally try to take a very minimalist and spartan approach to gear. I'll be packing out on Saturday and can post a few photos if anyone is interested.
    #30
    08StangGT_CS and Lopburi like this.
  11. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    I'm just back from a Christmas dinner with an eclectic group of riders (and a few folks who don't).. so I will comment later. Helmets are the easiest thing to source here. I will duck down to one of the shops and get some photos of their gear over the next couple of days.
    #31
    Cro59 likes this.
  12. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Thank you for all those tips.
    #32
  13. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Two days to departure and fifteen days to Chiang Mai. I think there are some other important days coming up but I can't quite remember what they might be. :imaposer
    #33
  14. ChairmanMaose

    ChairmanMaose OneLessCar

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    The evenings are cooling off in Chiang Mai. It takes the edge off. Great little city. I look forward to pics of the city. Hint, pics of the city.:D
    #34
  15. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, pictures. In my eagerness, I started this report earlier than warranted and believe me there are no pictures worth taking where I am right now.
    #35
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  16. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Here's a taste of the local scenery...
    [​IMG]
    #36
  17. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Old and reliable. My favourite helicopter to work on!
    #37
    Cro59 likes this.
  18. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    We have those things around here too. I took this shot in 2014, and I believe a bit more scavenging has gone on (we didn't souvenir anything). They hit the side of the pad as they came in.... and it was dragged up to this spot. Up near the Burmese border.

    [​IMG]
    #38
    Cro59 likes this.
  19. ChairmanMaose

    ChairmanMaose OneLessCar

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    It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no....
    #39
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  20. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    A proven reliable aircraft, but no aircraft ever made is truly pilot proof. :p3rry
    #40
    rob1313 likes this.