Sportster road trip, any advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by mpybkk, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    I am going to ride my sportster from Bangkok up to the north next month, try and go through Mae hong son first and then up around Chiang mai and such, just relax and explore a bit. Yes, I already know the sportster is a rough ride, so other than the obvious Harley bashing, I was curious how reliable are gas stations or pumps up around north west? As well, most the roads are pretty reliable these days too? I have a tiny gas tank and my main concern/worry is running out if fuel up on a mountain.

    Anyone have experience with this before? I have a bmw, but it's a 1960 R50, not sure I trust it on such a long my plan is to rough it on the HD.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I reckon you can get fuel at least every 60 kms.
    How far can you go on a tank?
  4. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    I have a sportster 48, so the tank is tiny, coming in at only 2.1 gallons. I have been thinking of trying to find a 3.1 tank to put on for the trip, which will get me about another 50% more milage (maybe around 130-150 miles a tank).

    Typically, I can around 80-100 miles a tank on this 2.1 gallon…but 100 is pushing it and risking running out of gas.

    Another friend suggested I bring along a reserve bottle, but those are so small I am not even sure it would help?
  5. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    You will be OK. The 250 Dirt Bikes have a similar range to the Sporster's and they go everywhere. There are a surprising Number of Harley's up here in Chiang Mai so I am sure You will have a Great Trip. I take mine everywhere and it Handles Great! I may See You up here!
  6. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    My tank is just a 2.1 gallons, gets about 80-90 miles at most. I have been trying to find a 3.1 tank to swap out just for the trip (looks aside, practicality first), no luck yet though.
  7. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    I had a older 4 speed sporster 1200 for years here and toured all over ,, filling up every 100km or so i reckoned I could stretch to 130kms the bike was totallyreliable went to phuket CMX BKK pattaya ISSAN , Krabi etc
  8. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    That's good to hear! That sounds almost exactly like the situation I'm looking to be doing...

    I was starting debate buying a third bike (new versus or used GS) just to get some proper touring in, ha! But I love the idea of roughing it around in classic HD style (although my lower back might not be so enthusiastic about this). Must be my American blood getting the best of me. ;)
  9. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Once did 1027miles in ONE day on a hopped up iron head 77'' hardtail sportster chopper in UK ,, but next 3 days i was all messed up but i was 25 years younger then ,, but rode phuket to hua hin in one day on my old sporty so its all doable when i get another HD it will be a sporty they are the best HDs the new rubber mount engines with 5 gears are really sweet and look so good .
  10. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    As others have said, plenty of civilization up North to top off, but if you get off track or have some unforeseen detour, it could be cutting it close depending on the route. If it was me with that short range, I would pack a few liters at least in a duffel or otherwise just for peace of mind. One mantra I follow when riding remote is never pass a petrol station or shithouse when the opportunity arises. The next one could be a lot further than you think.
  11. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    I think for sure I am going to pick up a 3.3 tank….got a family member coming over from the states in 2 weeks, so i am going to have them bring me one over. I will slap that sucker on for the trip, which will give me more peace of mind (and 50 more extra miles of gas).
  12. mpybkk

    mpybkk Member

    That sounds awesome...let me ask you. I only know riding my sportster and older you think that's more fun that getting like a Versys to tour around? My sportster has been bobbed out a little bit, so any rainy weather and I'm toast. You think riding the HD would be more fun up around the north?
  13. Morandzuric

    Morandzuric Member

    I'm riding Sportster C in the motherland. Normally I just take a 1 gallon additional tank made of plasric and everything is okay. More troubles I've got from stock suspension - its terrible on rigids (mine is 2001, so it's rigid).
  14. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    Having road up that way, I would be happier with some back up fuel ,and hope not to use it for my peace of mind.When I was touring Italy I saw a lot or riders with clear flexible petrol bags which they sold at petrol stations very cheaply and strapped to their bikes ,not sure if available in Thailand?
    Have a great trip
    Safe riding

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