In my on going quest for new faces and new places, I decided to head down to Sumatra, Indonesia. Feeling a bit landlocked here in Thailand, since I cannot take my bike across into Mynmar, China, or Vietnam. Have had a few friends head down to Indonesia, but not many. So just wanted to take a look for myself. The bike of choice is my oldest Africa Twin. Figured if I lost it for some reason, it would not be too heart breaking.... The trip is in two parts. I needed to ferry down my newest Africa Twin to Pattaya in order to get a license plate on it. ( Long story ...) So phase one is to throw my small travel bag on the back of the bike and head south to Pattaya from my home of Chiang Mai. It is about a 8 hour ride. I am off !! In Thailand by culture you are not supposed to lose your temper. I have been here a long time and generally abide by that concept. Basically you lose face here by losing your temper. However for certain special cases....So there I am traveling down the road about a hour out from Bangkok. Two lanes in my direction , a divided area with trees, and two lanes in the other direction. Doing about 120 KPH in the faster lane as there is a lot of slow truck traffic in the slow lane. Next thing I know there is a car almost touching the left side of the bike. He is slowly forcing me over into the divided area. I swerve over instinctively towards the center area almost going off the road, and then he zooms by in front of me taking my former space. He had apparently decided that I was not following close enough to the car in front of me, and he was going to cut me off, go in front, and get to Bangkok one second faster. So I fell in behind him. After giving the matter some thought, the little red road rage warning light started winking in the corner of my eye. My life traded for one second faster to Bangkok for him ??? My chance came about 10 minutes later as there was a red traffic light that blocked him in. I zoomed up on the shoulder of the road , jumped off the bike, and ran up to his car as it sat there. I started screaming all the Thai swear words I know at him. He looked out the window and shrugged his shoulders. I then tried to break in his window to drag him outside, but the elbow pads in the riding jacked worked against me. By then the light had turned green, and I was only able to get in a few good kicks on his door panel before he took off like a frightened rabbit. I may have over-reacted a bit, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. At least I was not lying in bed that night grinding my teeth about what I should have done. And maybe he will think twice before cutting off a bike again. Sorry no pictures !!! Finally reach Bangkok at night. Bumper to bumber traffic always, some of the worst in the world. Not moving very much, and hot even at night. No place for an air cooled bike. I have routing software for Thailand, which makes going through Bangkok a snap. Otherwise it can be a bit confusing.......... My bike enjoying some of the vibrant Bangkok night life. This is a elevated toll road that goes part way from Bangkok to Pattaya. One of the more bizarre public projects I have ever seen. There is room below to put in ten lanes in each direction. Instead they spent billions of baht for this elevated road that is barely used. It goes on for mile after mile. Somebody made a lot of money on this project. Finally in Pattaya. Time to go over the old Africa Twin to make sure it will survive the trip. Rear tire showed about 70% left. Hmmm decision point. Have to order tires to get them down here. So decided the tire would make it. More on that much later... I had put in a new clutch cable not a year ago. Having worked on the newer bike in Chiang Mai I decided that there was a better way to route the clutch cable. When I pulled it to re-route it this is what I found. Luckily had a spare. It was sheer luck I found this problem, as I kept thinking the cable was almost new. Ok bike is ready to go I think. By the way I did NO preparation for this trip whatsoever. Just wanted to give a try at the " jump and go" system of traveling. My bikes are generally in pretty good shape so never much work there. Just throw some clothes in one saddle bag, tools and spare parts in the other saddle bag, and go. Always like to take a departure picture before leaving in case something happens..... Giant bird by the side of the road on the way down to Malaysia. No idea why....Chalk it up to "Amazing Thailand" . Many consumer products contain palm oil. Here is what they look like before they are pressed out. Malaysia is covered in palm oil plantations. They grow fast, and are a high dollar value crop. Am now starting to see more and more of these large plantations in Thailand. The main highway south. A pretty good road by any standards in the world. Many stands along the side of the road selling things. Yes, we have bananas today. Now getting near the border with Malaysia. Weather is good, and the bike is running well with the exception of a slight high speed miss. More on that later. Decide it would be a good idea to get a extra liter of motor oil as I am not sure how much the bike will use in Sumatra. Stop in a medium sized town at a motorcycle parts place. Buy the same oil that is in the bike and off I go. Wait, what is that grinding noise I hear as the bike is starting off ? Sounds like a rear bearing. Center stand the bike, grab each side of the wheel and feel for looseness. Seems tight. Hmmm. Take off again. More grinding and a sort of lurch to the side. Ok now know it is a bearing. Travel into the town itself and find a small shop that has a couple of big bikes. He seems happy to see my bike. Pulled off the rear wheel, and ball bearings are dropping on the ground. He jumps on his small bike, heads off to some store somewhere and comes back with new bearings. About an hour, a total bill of about 20 dollars, and I am off down the road again. Here is what a really chewed up bearing looks like.