G'day from Australia

Discussion in 'New Users' started by H Simpson, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. H Simpson

    H Simpson Member

    Hello everyone.

    My name is tony and I live in Australia. I have been to Thailand before, and recently went to Chiang Mai, but I have never ridden in Asia before. I have ridden in Australia on and off for 15 years.

    I will be returning to Chiang Mai from 28th December - 16 Jan and keen to rent a DRZ400 (with luggage rack, etc) for 2-3 weeks. Any suggestions for where to hire a good DR from? I would also like to hire a garmin gps with maps preloaded, and will probably buy a Go pro to capture the trip. I didn't want to buy another gps until I confirm I have the Asia bike touring bug as I already have 3 for different purposes, but no garmin. Anyone want to buy a cheap Magellan ;)

    I'm still formulating a trip plan, but I would like to see Pai, Nan, and Chiang Rai spending 4th -7th Jan in Pai and NYE in CM.

    Sorry for all the questions in the newbie thread. I am checking out the existing threads also, but there is so much content to read.

    Well done for a great site Gt rider!!

    I look forward to meeting some of you when I arrive over a cold brewski :).
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  3. G'day Tony, welcome! Not sure if they have DRZ400 but the main hirers that I know of are POP and Tony's Big Bikes...... just do a Google search mate.
    If you're not planning on mud sliding too much have a think about a Versys, there are so popular up the "Top End' now...... a mate just took one around Doi Mae Salong, Golden Triangle, Chiang Khong and Chiang Rai in the wet and gave it a huge thumbs up. Tony's also rent Africa Twins if you fancy the "Big Daddy!"
  4. H Simpson

    H Simpson Member

    Thanks for the reply Martin.

    I have also considered the Africa twin. I have googled and the DR only seems available down south such as Phuket and Kok Samui.

    My previous bikes have been xr250, tt250, dr250 and xr600. Those are the type of bikes I am familiar with. 250 definitely too small though...

    I don't plan on doing much hard core dirt stuff, but also don't want to restrict the bike to only the black top. I have never ridden a road only type bike before, although all my bikes were registered and I did regularly ride on the road.

    I suppose I'm looking for something which can eat up the kilometers in "reasonable" comfort, with a decent sized bag on the back and also not shy away from the odd jaunt into some (easy) dirt trails. I'm 193cm @ 105kg.

    So now I have a dilemma, the versys or the AT. 650 probably more suited for touring for a couple of weeks. They both seem sorta similar albeit the Versys more suited to blacktop and the AT more for dirt. Decisions, decisions. The AT looks much cooler though ;)
  5. H Simpson

    H Simpson Member

    ^^ Edit: 650/750 probably more suited for touring than a 400 for a couple of weeks.
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A Kawasaki Versys 650 is the way to go. Rent from Mr Mechanic.
    An Africa Twin will cost you 3 baht a km for fuel, as compared to 1.5-2 baht a km for a Versys.

    Regarding Pai I would NOT recommend being in or near Pai over the 4-day (Saturday 29 Dec - Monday 1st Jan) New Year break. The town gets over run with thousands of Bangkok Thais, all accommodation & restaurants are full. Traffic is grid locked in town. Even parking is at a premium. Even petrol ran out for a day a couple of years ago in an extreme supply hiccup -could not keep up with demand.

    There's some bike hire info that may help starting here
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Welcome to GT Rider!

    Suzuki DRZ400's and Honda AT's are rather rare in Thailand as they're all grey market imports, while the Versys is manufactured in Thailand so quite common. It's a great "go anywhere" bike and can handle dirt roads just fine but is not really suited to any real off road dirt riding.

    You might think a 250 is too small, but for many of Thailand's smaller roads 250cc is often all you really need. If you want to mix it up and are keen to ride some dirt the Thai-manufactured Kawasaki KLX250's and Honda CRF250L's are both quite cheap to rent.

    Happy Trails! :happy1:
  8. H Simpson

    H Simpson Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I thought Pai might be a bit like that over NYE. Hopefully it will quiten down a bit by the 4th January, but if that wasn't likely I could go there the following weekend. I want to try see the chilled out Pai, not the gridlocked tourist Pai.

    I really don't plan on doing much dirt riding at all, but that isn't to say I won't encounter some in my travels.

    After further research the AT looks to be quite an old design compared to the Versys. Shame cause I have a soft spot for Honda's.

    The excess for theft is quite high for the bigger bikes. Now I understand why people mention secure parking so often in trip reports, although even they aren't much of a guarantee. Maybe an additional lock might be worthwhile.
  9. I think the only problem you'd have with the Kwak is the seat....... you say you are 6'4"...... I'm a six footer and even though seat height was surprisingly tall for me it's got bugger-all push back for a tall rider..... if I was to buy one the first job would be to have the seat re-upholstered so I could slide me butt way back when I wanted!

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