Mini dirt adventure to Baan Ricky with my friend KS

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by jsbkk, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Hi all,

    Me and my friend had a small 50-60kms dirt adventure around Baan Ricky a few days ago.

    In our last trip to Kaengkrachan National Park KS mentioned to me that he had purchased a CBR150 and intended to use it for commuting. I am an avid reader of GT-Rider. Found out about Baan Ricky, and worked out a plan. We could rent bikes and explore the trails.

    I got my KLX last November.

    Hello Gorgeous!

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    Neither of us has ever tried riding on dirt. Absolute newbies. This was our first experience.

    Day 1


    Would like to thank Tony_bkk & friends to inspire me to get into this J. Also would like to thank Brian_bkk for uploading the trails around Baan Ricky, without which we wouldn’t have known where to start.

    I got the 1k service done on the KLX. I got myself a body-armor, pair of gloves, knee protectors, a jersey and boots from Dirtshop. Got the hand-guards installed. I had read about how to derestrict the bike by shorting the clutch electrical cables on this site, so got that done too. (Bike breathes better for sure). Uploaded the GPX trails onto the GPS and I was ready to go.

    On 26[sup]th[/sup] Jan Sat. at 5.30am, I met KS at Rama III and took the route via PhetchKasem. The bikes were slow and we had to stick to the extreme left lane as we could do only 90-100k. We had to refuel the KLX many times throughout the trip. Enough number of times that I couldn’t keep track of the fuel consumption. The CBR though, did the whole trip without an extra sip.

    We stopped at one of the Jiffy’s for morning coffee.

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    We were at Baan Ricky around 10am. Good and a clean place. Room rent was 600bht per day which included Towels, Blankets, Drinking water, Soap and Shower. Missing was TV, aircon & hot water. Surprisingly there was mosquito repellent lotion. :)

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    Only one KLX was available for rent and that was fine with us. We were told that all others belonged to some other company (whatever that meant), or were taken away to Bangkok. Although the bike had done only about 7k, the engine rattled and was noisy. KS tried the bike and had difficulty finding neutral but after adjusting the clutch cable he was ok. Bike rent was 1000bht for a day.

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    Since it was the first time for both of us, we decided to go for the shortest trail (24 kms Baan Ricky2.gpx), I had downloaded. Both of us having zero experience on dirt, initially we were too careful and were riding slow. But we realized, on real uneven patches we HAD to go faster so the bike could jump over the humps, instead of going thru them. Soon we were on high revs and were pushing thru easily.

    This trail had many rough patches and I was really impressed how the KLX could comfortably glide over. One of the reviews said the foot pegs were too small, but I found them adequate enough. The boots gripped easily and I could easily raise my butt.

    On the best patches we were too busy riding and enjoying, it never occurred to us to stop and take pictures. I still need to learn the art of capturing the moments of riding. Anyways we came across lovely scenery on this first trail.

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    After few kms of riding I could hear some rattling behind me. Thinking it was KS’s rented bike I didn’t pay any attention. After a while, when I pulled out of a rough patch, I heard some metal thing falling behind and heard KS calling me. Didn’t realize I was on higher ground I slammed the brakes, only to realize my feet wouldn’t reach the ground and flop! I went into the bushes. The brakes are very good!

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    Thanks to all the gear - not a single scratch. I walked to KS where he handed over my number plate to me. Hmmm… I learned why one needs to tie-up the number plate. Managed to pick up the bike only to discover that the clutch lever had broken. The newly Acerbis Handguards didn’t quite help. Luckily I could still use the clutch with my gloves on. We had a few dead ends on this trail and had to backtrack at times. Since the bike was tall and heavy in comparison to the CBR, KS did have a few flops at the U-Turns, but no damage was done.

    At about 12.30-1pm, we came back to the room we had booked. We were hungry and we needed some rest. The food at Baan Ricky was excellent.

    “Phat Krapao Kai” one of my all time favorites.

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    View from our room

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    We left the doors and windows open and had some real cool breeze blowing through. After a shower and a nap, around 3pm we were ready to check out the (Baan Ricky 1.gpx) 2[sup]nd[/sup] trail. My GPS showed this one to be 111kms and neither of us was willing to ride that long. Hence we decided to ride as much as we could and try to be back to our room before sunset.

    GPX map of both trails in green.

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    Trail two was more scenic and adventurous. We couldn’t follow the “Baan Ricky 1.gpx” trail which I had downloaded because it was blocked but a wooden gate and we couldn’t find a way around.

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    We desperately tried to find a way to the river. I had seen a few pictures of Brian crossing the river on the bike and was tempted to do the same. We ran into a dead-ends repeatedly (as u can see in the track map). Eventually we gave up.

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    Luckily we found a way to loop back to the main road.

    We were pretty exhausted riding since morning. Just got back to Baan Ricky, had dinner and crashed out.

    to be continued…
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, fantastic ride report!

    I remember too the excitement of my first ride on dirt- it's very addictive, isn't it?

    You mention having to re-fuel your KLX several times to reach Baan Ricky, which seems odd. Normally you should be able to get roughly ~180km/tank on a stock KLX ridden "normally". If your fuel consumption is much worse than that you might want to have the bike looked at.

    I still haven't been to Baan Ricky, but it's on my short list!! I reckon when the fire and smoke season starts up north that Baan Ricky will be the place to go as Kanchanburi gets rain pretty much all year around.

    Happy Trails!

    Tony :happy1:
     
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Great report.. Really pleased to see the tracks were of use to you..

    Baan Ricky is a great place.. So many trails and so much more to explore..

    Looks like you stayed in the new bungalow.. That was still a work in progress last new year when down at Baan Ricky.
    The A/c will be installed soon I guess..

    Last time I rode down to Baan Ricky.. I filled up on the KLX from home.. Rode all the way and quite some time with the orange light on..
    Then thought.. Hmmmm better get some juice or may look silly here... about 30 km from Ricky's stopped at a fuel station and still had about 1/2 a litre left.
    That is around 220 km door to door from my place in Bangkok to Baan Ricky...

    Here are some more fun tracks for you.. I would look at the ride through the national park if you can.. We saw wild elephants in there.
    Just wave and keep going at the guard house or they will look puzzled and so no you can't go past.. then you spend 20 mins saying pretty please

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/37743-Baan-Ricky-Sai-Yok-National-Park-Trails-%28New-Year-2012-13%29

    You should have been able to rent those other bikes.. But guess Alan was not around?
    To be honest.. The KLX is more than enough for your first time..

    PM me when going down next.. If no plan on the weekend.. May meet you there...
    We also go and play at Chonburi a bit on the weekends for a bit of bush bashing..

    Just too add.. It is bloody hot in Kanchanburi in the hot season.. 40c is not unusual..
    If we go then.. usually wake up very early and stop around mid day and start again at 3 or 4 pm..
    Also smokey from the burning off.. but nothing that affects your riding too much.. just the heat is a killer..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  5. a-tecracing

    a-tecracing Ol'Timer

    Nice report, if I am not about, the KLX, 125 & 250 are the only bikes available for 'just hire and ride' the YZF250's are for 'track hire' and WR250F's are for 'guided tours'. Most people prebook, bikes, equipment, accommodation. This can be by email alandavies208@tiscali.co.uk or ph 0895317347. It is worth checking you planned dates, as we can take care of any requirements, book additional rooms, organize/advise any local attraction you may want to visit, we have a local thai who can FIX these trips
    Hope to meet you guys next time, ps resent arrivals Gary & Noy @ the restaurant are learning and improving the service all the time. Pilok 'the off road track' is always a great adventure, Pha Sawan, or just jungle villages and tracks
    Don't forget, you can bring your bike on the train with you from Thonburi station Bangkok to the end of the line at Nam Tok, twice a day
     
  6. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Thanks for your the comments.

    Yesss...... I WANT MORE!! :D

    Sorry I wasnt clear about the re-fuelling part. What I meant was, I had to re-fuel the KLX often throughout the trip, not just while going. Why? because we couldnt find decent fuel stations close to baan ricky. Hence we landed up buying fuel from small stores. Some of them had that typical fuel drum with a hand pump and a glass cylinder. At some place they were selling fuel in small one liter bottles. They were calling it 'sohol', 'benzine', 'supreme'. Were of all blends of yellow to orange to red. We weren't really sure about the fuel quality and we landed up filling small quantities. And because of that my odometer calculations went haywire. In the city I get the fuel light at abt 165-170k.. so I guess its ok.

    I agree. There are many places Kanajanaburi tobe explored. Pilok is one of them. It seems Pilok is gaining popularity next to Khaoyai. Many GS1200 riders and Versys/Er6n riders overtook us when we were stuck in the left lane. It felt good when some of them honked and waved at us. :D. My guess is they were all on their way to Pilok. But even around Baan Ricky, there are many trails and places to go.

    Cheers
     
  7. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Thanks once again Brian. It was fun to keep an eye on the GPS and following the trail. Some patches were so dense and rough, we would stop, scratching our heads, wondering how could we possibly go thru. We covered only 50-60kms but that was good enough adventure for us :smile1:.

    Thanks for the link. I do remember reading that great post of your. I was tempted to explore many of the places you had mentioned but it was physically difficult for me to ride from bkk and do the trails all in such a short trip.

    sure will. :smile1:

    Thanks
     
  8. a-tecracing

    a-tecracing Ol'Timer

    ref; fuel around Baan Ricky, If you ride up here, stop Sai Yok Noi (Namtok end of railway from Bangkok) Esso station on left as you enter town on 323. Unlead 91 is the best you will get up here.Next big station is at Thong pha phum (50km north on 323 from BR) Sai Yok Yai 2.5 kms north from BR, righthand side 200metres before police station, Unleaded 91 out of 45 gallon drum, we are big customers of theirs, let the the old lady do everything, keeps them happy ! fuel in jungle villages in 1 litre bottle (50baht) That's what locals pay. If your planning big loops, check you will be able to get fuel. Or top up every 100kms. Pilok has fuel in the village.
     
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Hi Alan,

    Do you have any more info on the train.. leaving times and how long the journey takes?

    Nice option instead f riding that terrible road from Bangkok.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  10. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Oh God! Cannot upload any more pics. Exceeded my 8MB quota. Now I'll have to figure out how to use photobucket. :crazy:
     
  11. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Day 2
    We had left the room doors open and I remember it was very cool. We were up early at 5am. I was hungry and wanted something to eat. It was way too early for any coffee shops or restaurants to open, but still we decided to check them out. Didn’t bother to put on any gear except the gloves and helmets. We rode out of Baan Ricky and few kms north they were setting up the Sunday “Talaat” (market). The local people were getting fresh vegetables and stuff to sell in that sidecar kind of thing. We couldn’t take any pictures as it was too dark.

    One guy was selling fresh made “Khao Tom”. The picture may not be looking so appealing but I swear, it was the best “Khao Tom” I ever had!
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    Riding back to BR we say a sign Sai Yok National Park 100 Meters. The time was around 5.50am and we didn’t expect it to be open. To our surprise the guard took some 20bht or so and gave us an ticket to enter. We got inside and parked our bikes. Wow this was good! Early morning fresh air, we could hear the birds and the jungle sounds, we’ve always enjoyed that.
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    We walked inside and came to a view point made for the Sai Yok Waterfall. Nice!
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    Walked around a bit and moved ahead. Came to this big suspension bridge from where had an amazing view over the river.
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    That’s the waterfall view from the bridge.
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    View from the other side of the bridge.
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    We were really enjoying the cool breeze there when we saw this huge group of guys, free floating in the river! Out of excitement, I waved and screamed at them. To my surprise none of them waved back! Now that was strange! (Later found out – group of Russian Tourists). I would be freaking out if I were in there.
    Would love to try it out and I decided to go down to the rafts and find out more.
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    It seems these house rafts are available for accommodation if booked in advance. Each raft has some wooden floor space, a room and a toilet. Rentals were like 900bht per couple. The raft size is 10 and 20 people. So can book the whole raft for oneself as long as you pay for 10 (or 20). Food is “Ahaan taam sang” as per order. Morning breakfast is sandwiches, sausages, omlette etc (what they call as “American breakfast”) and fried rice, khaotom and they even make vegetarian if ordered. If one is not happy with the surroundings they can take the raft to any spot you like.



    Bookings and more details can found out from K.Umaporn
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    From the suspension bridge we moved on and came across this sign board
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    Bat Cave!! How interesting! And it was just 1.6kms. We HAD to check it out and started walking following the signs.

    Next sign board we came across was this
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    Uh-oh! We didn’t realize it’d be dark in the cave and without the flashlight it would be difficult to go in. Cellphone flashlight function wouldn’t last too long. The bicycle option sounded good, and so we decided to walk back to the park headquarters. The flashlight was free of charge but no bicycle was available. For some reason, I landed up asking the guy if motorbikes were allowed. “Pai dai khrup!” Can go – Wow! Never expected. The officer mentioned that we could spot bats only during dust and dawn. Too excited that we could ride to the cave, we decided to check it out anyways. He said the trail was fairly even and easy, so no problem for the CBR too.

    Ready to go
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    Beautiful trail and after a few hundred meters we stopped for taking some more pictures.
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    Suddenly it occurred to me about the CBR tires. A flat tire on this terrain could easily ruin our fun. Didn’t want to take the chance. Parked the CBR and decided to carry on 2up on the KLX.

    So beautiful.
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    Soon we reached the Bat Cave! Had never been inside one and we were so thrilled.
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    Bats Inside!!
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    Ride to the Batcave. 3min clip. Bats at 03:00.


    That’s about it.

    We came back checked out and left for Bangkok.
     
  12. jsbkk

    jsbkk Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the info reg. fuel. The train would definitely be a good option.
     
  13. a-tecracing

    a-tecracing Ol'Timer

    I know there are two trains per day thonburi-Namtok, first arrives approx 13.00, the second (last train of day) arrives 19.30. these times are one hour later than quoted on timetable. Leaving Thonburi is 5.30 am and again at 13.30. Will try to get contact number and post it up here. It is a slow train stopping at every station, but at least you can walk about when you need to and keeps you of the road. If you actually got out at Kanchanaburi and rode to Sai Yok Yai you would save an hour ( kanacha/Namtok by train is 2hrs)
     

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