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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cro59, Dec 15, 2018.
Fogged in at the airport is not the start I had hoped for my vacation.
How about the obligatory gear shots while I wait? This is my first fly and ride so I did my best to pare things down. Fit everything into a Kriega US30 and a 20 L Osprey daypack. Not a lot of excess but I figure I can buy whatever I forget in Thailand.
I could have cut things down further except I’m bringing a basic camping kit and some warm clothes for a possible excursion into Korea.
From the left, yellow bag is my quilt, the tan is a poncho/shelter, sleeping pad, cook kit (cup & spork), blue and mesh bag are sundries like 550 cord, fire stuff, sew kit, etc. below the water bottle is a pocket survival kit, knife, and tyvek ground cloth. That’s pretty much my gear for up to a week in the woods. The poncho needs a hiking stick to set up, but I can tie it off or cut a branch. The quilt is in the bottom of the pack and the rest takes up about a quarter of the US30.
Clothes, first aid kit, and some toiletries in the red bag. Basically, two sets of clothes, some warmies (hat, gloves, wool long sleeve), and swimming/exercise clothes. I favor merino wool for shirts, underwear, socks, and insulating layers.
I do have a couple of excess odds and ends, like my Vortex pocket spotting scope and a folding wood stove that I’ve been playing with, but I still have extra space so I’m fairly satisfied.
OK, not too exciting, but I’m trying to distract myself while the weather clears.
Electric chaos. Must be back in Asia.
Merry Christmas, everybody!!!!!
And I promise, there is actual motorcycle content coming in this thread. Just have some family time and diving to enjoy first!
you might want to check the weather, but Korea is cold for anyone other than our northern cousins , then the humidity is to be added. have some GOOD gloves.
Still diving. Riding starts next week.
I'll be right behind you, I fly into Thailand on the 21st of January and I've got a V-strom 650 booked for a couple weeks. I'll be watching your thread.
Where are you renting? I plan to stay in the north for riding. Too hot and humid down here by Phuket.
I’m renting out of Chiang Ria. C&P big bikes. Pick my bike up Jan 26th
Rented two Honda CB 500X at Tony's Big Bikes.
Friendly Brit, with all the extra equipment needed at hand (protective vests, helmets and so forth). although of course already used:
Tony’s Big Bikes. 17 Ratchamankha Rd. Tel: 053207124
About buying a helmet locally:
Bought the wife e new helmet at a local Yamaha shop (she did not like the well-used pot on her head). Cheap as dirt but beware! They knew only one size which fitted my wife's (small) head perfectly. But it would never fit my big head.
Going North-west to the Myamar border, turn North-east before the border (highly recommended for health reasons! ) towards the three-country border (Golden Triangle anybody?) and heading East towards Lao border. then return South over Chang Rai and to the Doi Phu Nang National Park.
Take your time, enjoy the scene, the hospitality and the local food.
Word about the police: "a bit" corrupt but the fines are small. Good thing: if they catch you for instance for speeding and you have to pay a fine (bribe) request a ticket. It will be valid for 24 hours, so if another patrol catches you speeding again, show the ticket; they will let you go since you already paid.
Five days to Chiang Mai. Just saying...
Two days to Chiang Mai. Still hanging out with my family and playing tourist. Can’t complain.
And so it begins...
Made it to Chiang Mai today (thanks for your patience with the looooong ride report preamble). It’s a bit bittersweet to be here because I had a great visit in Phuket with my son and wife. As much as I’m looking forward to the riding part of this trip, seeing them off was hard.
Staying with @The Bigfella at Rider’s Corner. Got to support the ADV community, right? He’s a great bloke and very hospitable. Can’t wait to see what he does with the place.
Just wandered around a bit and took the street food challenge. So far, so good. Decided I needed a dose of outrageously overpriced cigars and whisky, so Bigfella gave me this baby to whirl around town on for the evening.
Well, what do you know? There’s actually a motorcycle in this ride report! Maybe this thread won’t get booted to the Basement after all.
There are some cities that are good places to ease into traveling. They are interesting, a bit exotic in their own way, easy to move around in, and foreigner friendly. Prague and Antigua, Guatemala, come to mind, and Chiang Mai joins the list. Got a friend that is intimidated by the thought of blasting of into “unknown” foreign lands? Send them to one of these cities.
Spent yesterday wandering around the streets and alleys of old town, checking out the museums, and sampling the street food. With the city’s 700 year history, there is plenty to see and do here.
Shrines and temples around every corner.
Looking for a way to fund your trip? Pick up a cheap CRF, add a hack, and run your very own street food stand.
Speaking of street food. There are plenty of markets hidden within the square mile of land within the old fort walls that make up old town. At night, cross the canal at North Gate and join the crowds. You can easily eat your fill for a few hundred Baht.
OK, too much writing and not enough riding. I rented one of Ian’s DRZs and it’s time to jump on the back.
Well, shit. I’ve played this game before.
Okay, so the plan for the day was a quick loop around Doi Suthep through Nam Mae Sa. Nice twisty mountain roads and a good ride to get used to the DRZ and local traffic. On the first sharp turn the bike stepped out in a weird way. Everything looked fine and it felt good on the straightaway, so I pressed on. A few miles and hairpins later, I felt the all too familiar wobble in the back. I pulled over and sure enough, the tire was toast.
In typical ADV fashion, I walked down the road to the ATV touring shop where one of the guys insisted on driving me around to source a tire. We eventually found ourselves at a dirt bike tour place. The guy didn’t have any new tires, but he gave me one from his leftovers pile. It was sketchy, missing quite a few knobbies, but I figured it would get me home.
The local mechanic mounted the new tire and tube for 200 baht ($6).
I continued on, shedding more knobbies on every turn, feeling happy and blessed to be exploring the world on two wheels.
Elephants and cell phones.
I took a random trail which dumped me out into a beautiful valley.
This little coffee shop set up these interesting seats to enjoy the view.
Plenty of temples and monasteries of course.
Great intro ride and I made it back to Rider’s Corner, where Ian was beside himself about the tire. To make up for it, he insisted on pumping me full of fine wine and a little of his black cock.
Robert, from Canada, and Grace (@BHedonia), from Australia, joined us for the usual evening of stories, lies, and ADV revelry.
No elephants or small children were harmed in the writing of this report.
Great. I love elephants. I rented a Honda xr 200 Baja in Chiang Mai that was is similar condition. It had 2 Baja headlights and it would of looked pretty cool if it hadn't been ridden hard etc etc... I'm sure if you looked around you could find it and being ridden daily. Looks fun. I'm so envious.
No riding today because I spent my time at the tattoo shop. So some thoughts for those who are thinking of traveling here.
There are bike rentals everywhere, so unless you absolutely must have a specific bike there is no need to rent or reserve before you get here. @The Bigfella at Riders Corner has a good selection of scooters, 250s, and bigger. If you are staying local then just get a scooter or 250. They are much easier in traffic and for parking. If you plan to travel around then the DRZ, CB500, or a 650 may be a better bet for cruising speed and comfort. However, the CRF & KLX are everywhere and so are parts, tires, and mechanics. The city’s rental fleet is riden pretty hard, so the ubiquitousness of the CRF & KLX might be handy if you break down out in the boondocks.
Budget wise, you can do quite well for $30-50 per day. Rooms start at $10-15 and you can get a good meal for $5. Gas is cheap at 25-30 baht per liter ($3-4 per gallon). The wildcard is booze and coffee.
More riding tomorrow.
Why the hell would you need such a big bike in SE ASIA. what a waste. Must be on a suicide mission!!
For two up, the VStrom would be fine, but for a solo rider I’d recommend the 250s. The DRZ is a nice compromise if you can find one, but I do find them to be a bit tall for my dirt skills.