GT (and forum) virgin!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Tomo, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Hello All, girlfriend and I are coming over to Chiang Mai for a week's biking on about January 5th for the first time. Been to the South a few times and enjoyed the biking immensely (coming from the congested, Draconian roads of the UK who wouldn't..).
    This site and it's contributors are therefore very useful for the likes of myself and I apologise in advance for repeated FAQ's or other faux pas...
    Is there a real GT Riders directory or is it simply the forum?
    How chilly is it likely to be in January in and around the mountains? Will we need to bring UK bike kit (I've been looking at some of the pictures...)?
    Where/what is Cnx?
    What is the 'Kafe' in Chiang Mai?
    Is there a particular venue in CM where riders gather?
    Thanks for your time - apologies again for old questions.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Gday & welcome to the GT Rider board & site

    With your questions there's no doubt you're a newbie & I reckon that you might want to look at New Users
    1. Welcome. Important. Read This First.
    to ease your way in & avoid any potential ear bashing (that some of us delight in giving out.)

    Now for brief answers to your questions
    1. Weather = see above. The cold is only relative to what you’re used to. If you’re coming from the UK my guess is that in January you should find it warm to cool to chilly, but not cold.
    2. Kafe = a Pub & Restaurant in Chiang Mai, obviously favoured by some of the GT Riders
    3. Cnx = Chiang Mai (Cnx is the airline code)
    4. Regular hang outs = The Kafe . Plus the UN Irish Pub & The Local pub for MotoGP & F1. The Jai Yen for the Bluze Bop Bros “band.”
    5. There is no GT Riders directory, just the contributors on this board. Take a look at the member’s profile to see what they are prepared to say about themselves (not much as most of them prefer to hide & remain relatively “anonymous”). But maybe it is an idea to start a rider’s directory…

    Anyway I hope that the GT Rider board provides you with enough info to have a good time, as most of us do, when you ride here,

    Keep The Power On
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    David, thanks for that. I was aware that I might come under fire for asking dumb questions but work was starting to get in the way of my forum browsing (hate it when that happens...!).
    I've learnt a lot already from this site and welcome any feedback (including potential pi55 taking).
    Part of the charm of Thailand is the ease with which you can simply turn up and 'wing it' but this site with reports of 'loops'(routes out and back I assume) and local KSE's, is a goldmine.
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Hi Tomo,

    I'm an ex-UK rider now based in Chiang Mai for just about a year and I would say to you that after freezing your knackers off in a UK winter, you will find riding here in January to be pretty much the same as late spring/summer UK - early mornings can be a bit nippy (comparatively) at about 16 deg C but quickly climb to mid/high 20's (cooler in the mountains). Would be a good idea to bring some summer riding kit and a jumper (just in case) if you have the room although you can get semi-decent lids and clothing here. Tip: don't bring leathers if poss - I did and they have stayed firmly in the wardrobe for the past 12 months!!!


  6. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the tips Pikey, the little lady is a real hot house flower and has been contemplating bringing a leather jacket.. I did a few extra miles at the weekend and decided that the summer gloves could be packed away till next May...ho-hum! I am tempted to buy some cheap helmets when we reach CM - I don't much fancy dragging expensive lids around (we plan to spend a week in CM before flying south). Gonna head for the Kafe on the 5th Jan so might get the chance to buy you guys a beer.
  7. Fiddy

    Fiddy Ol'Timer

    i can now tell you if someone "lost" their papers, it means they never had papers
  8. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Welcome Tomo,

    Most of riders here wear synthetic jackets with padding and leave the leather for home. A lightwieght Cordura jacket with venting and padding is the best bet. The missus could then layer underneath to her desired warmth and shed them as the temps rise.

    I brought leather gloves over and have not even unpacked them except for a couple track days. Synthetic vented gloves cover my paws.

    Once again welcome and see you on the 5th.

    Cheers all.
    "Formerly known as the twat, racer55"
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Thanks Big & Tall,

    Having ridden in the tropical south it's tricky getting my head round what to bring for the hilly north(2 degrees at night...huh??). In any case it can't come too soon and having read reports of fearless souls doing the Mae Hong Son loop in a day in t-shirts and shorts, I guess anything is possible!
    My plan is to base us in CM and bimble out for a day or 2 at a time and explore the area a bit - I'm a 1200 Bandit pilot in the UK but feel perfectly comfortable on a 400 Super Four (more so actually as I'm a short arse...) and sounds like thay are readily available in CM.


    Tomo (aka Short & Stout!)
  10. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Boy, are you gonna get a surprise if/when you meet "Big & Tall"......

    It's called "artistic licence" or something like that isn't it J??? ;-)

    No matter how hard you try, you CAN'T polish a turd!
  11. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    The weather up in the mountains can be quite nippy at times even for someone from the UK, I rode up to the top of Doi Inthanon in May which is the hottest time of the year, I was wearing only shorts and a vest and it was baking hot on the way up, after spending a few hours up there I came back down about 5pm and was absolutely frozen, there was a bunch of Harleys that had left about 5 mins before us and I wanted to catch them up n blow them away in the tight bends, I got a little concerned that the cold was gonna slow my reactions but I caught them up anyhow and dispatched them [:D]
  12. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Hi Penetrator,

    Sounds like you were on a mission!! Would have thought that Harleys would be real hard work in the mountains - not my first choice for sure.
    Was in Patong for Bike Week in 1999 however and hanging out in some of the same bars as the 'Thailand Jokers MCC' (who are those guys??). I made a point of being quite complimentary about their US iron!


    Tomo (aka "viva HD" when the Jokers are around..)
  13. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Yep a Harley is not exactly the best bike in the world for those tight mountain roads, I come across this vid the other day and I immediately thought of what probably would of happened if 1 of those Harley's had tried to keep up with me on the XR250.

    when I got to the bottom of the mountain I stopped for a piss in a petrol station and waited for them to roar by so I could take them on along the main highway back to Chiang Mai, it was a bit harder on the straight but I got past them [;)]
  14. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    I was one of those "fearless souls", I wouldn't do it again by choice!

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
  15. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    PS Penetrator, Harley's aren't bought to race 250's round mountain passes, or anywhere for that matter, they're built to cruise so everyone can have a look at the scenery!

    The riders are probably in a pub somewhere laughing about the annoying tosser on the 250 who thought he was Mick Doohan on angel dust!

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
  16. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Hi Brat,

    I read your account of doing the MHS loop in a day and take my Arai off to your bravery(and that of your writer). I often develop a sharp pain in the kidneys whilst in tropical dress (!)if I get over enthusiastic with the little lady riding shotgun - funny that!

    To be honest though I prefer to bimble when riding in Asia...I'd miss too many food, drink, sights, sounds, interesting 'stuff' otherwise which only motorcycle travel truly seems to offer. And I do fear the smoky 10 wheeler coming the other way on my side of the black stuff....


  17. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Hi Tomo, we're usually seen gawking about doing 80K but we had to be back in Chiang Mai by morning to attend our booking at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, we did bimble until darkness fell, had I realised the brevity that the map maker dealt with the road we would never have attempted it, our maps road hardly had a bend in it, once committed we gave our all! :eek:)

    Having said that the memories from the trip were built on spontaneity, I hope common sense doesn't hold us back too often!

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
  18. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    We did a Euro tour last year in October...7 countries in 2 weeks in some really sh1t weather. In fact one of the guys voted to put the bikes on the train and opt out half way round but in the end we all finished it and wouldn't swap a minute. Sometimes it's the adversity that makes the memories stronger (and the sunny bits seem all the better..).
    I guess I come to Thailand partly for the laid back lifestyle and that includes the biking. In the UK it takes me longer to get the bike unchained and me clad in waterproof, armoured, insulated kit than it does to get anywhere. I love the simplicity of just swinging a leg over a bike and just bimbling off without a care - yes, there are still risks but as you kinda pay ya money, you takes ya choice!
  19. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    prat, yea your right about the harleys not being bought for racing 250's on mountain roads and it is not a fair contest, but then when they got to the bottom of the mountain they were racing and overtaking everything in sight on the highway back to Chiang Mai that favours even something as big and bulky as a harley over a high geared single cylinder enduro bike, but nevertheless I was back in Chiang Mai having a beer laughing myself while they were still on the highway.

    Not big and not clever but wouldnt life be a right pile of shite if we couldnt have a little bit of fun now and then. And I certainly wasn't thinking I was Mick Doohan, it was in fact Mike Hailwood in the 78 Isle of Man TT [:p]
  20. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Careful pen baby, we may meet some day!

    My Buell has the 1200 Harley engine with a race kit, very quick, straight line and corners, but again, A/ it's down to the rider and B/ did they know they were racing, probably not as it's hard to imagine any circumstances that a xr 250 would beat a larger road bike on bitumen, aside from the first 20 metres at the lights! :eek:)

    I was towing my sprint car home from a race meeting one night, stopped at a cafe, a bloke walked up and asked where we were headed and if we wanted to keep racing the rest of the way, said he was having a great time! I was driving normally and hadn't even realised he was behind us!

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
  21. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    brat, the guy posturing about racing you whilst you were towing the car is classic.

    "Boy, are you gonna get a surprise if/when you meet "Big & Tall"......

    Jeff, most people are taken back a bit as you know when I saunter into the room. Sadly a 41 inch inseam creates more issues than you'd think. Thank gawd for tall seat foam kits and 12" of travel on the bike.

    Cheers all.
    "Formerly known as the twat, racer55"
  22. edwin

    edwin Member

    This XR250 sounds the business , out cornering and then out dragging Harleys . Are you sure the Honda is not actually an XR750 Harley ?
  23. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Hey Justin, maybe next week when I christen my "funky moped" Tiger 125 in the dirt with Silverhawk, rather than rent an XR from Joe, why not see if you can blag Robert H's KTM Adventure as I am sure it would suit a man of your stature! ;-)

    Cheers to all,


    No matter how hard you try, you CAN'T polish a turd!
  24. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    I look forward to standing next to Big & Tall at the Kafe in January (his long shadow will keep my Chang cold a little longer perhaps..)

    Remenber reading a piece in MCN a few years ago about a crazy Aussie (ex racer) called Paul Lewis who ran a UK Harley franchise - as I recall he was putting up £10k against anyone on any bike to beat him around Silverstone and he would be riding a road legal fully dressed HD.....!! Only caveat was that the contender must never have held a racing license.

    As my long beardie brother-in-law used to say, "It's not what you ride but that you ride".

    To be fair though, he was mostly full of sh1t.
  25. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Remember that too from MCN Tomo, guy was known as "Ant" and from memory, was a racer of some repute but I though he was a Kiwi? Think also that part of the deal was that if he got beaten, the winner would take the bike and the 10K. Last I heard, a few years back was that he ran Dockgate 20 H-D in Southampton but dunno where he is now - prob crashed an FLHABCXYZ Ultra Electra Tour Boy Fat Sportster thingie ;-)

    BTW, prob better holding your Chang up high near a ceiling fan rather than relying on B&T's shadow to keep it cool!

    BTW again, many many moons ago I used to be a beardie member of the UK H-D Riders Club (not H.O.G) with an old Shovel FLH but then progressed onto a Buell but for me, even though I am definitely not a "quick" rider, the best is still the 851/916 Duke range - great V-twin power, superb handing and wrapped up like the prettiest bargirl you could ever imagine!

    Look forward to meeting you in January.

    No matter how hard you try, you CAN'T polish a turd!
  26. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    Pikey, you may be right about the guy being a Kiwi and yes I think he was involved in DG20 (we stop in there for Sunday morning bacon buns and free coffee occasionally!). He is by all accounts short of stature but grande in the cahoonas department...

    My (ex) brother in law was full of sh1t regardless of what he was riding! My good buddy rides a '98 1340 FatBoy with lots of beautiful personalisation (he's a toolmaker by trade so stainless abounds).

    I'll set the beers up in CM on the 5th!

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