Udon - Chiang Mai - Bangkok 1,510 km for the weekend

Discussion in 'North-East Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by brian_bkk, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    UDON - Chiang Mai - Bangkok

    1,510 km

    The Route:-
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    I heard of a Versys for sale in Udon from Rob and it sounded great.
    Also John Gooding vouched for the owner and the tender loving care the bike has recieved..

    It is now or never.. While I do like the Ninja 650.. It is not really a Northern Thailand bike..
    The second hand prices of the Versys seem a bit crazy to be honest.. So this was a win win for Dave and Me.
    Get on an Air Asia flight in good faith that the bike be as advertised and vouched for by people I know..

    Friday
    Another 4:30am wake up. Really not the best time of the day to be getting up..
    7:10 flight to Udon.. The country side is looking lovely and green..
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    Dave and his wife are waiting for me at the airport and we head back to Dave's house.
    The Versys looks great and took her for a ride.
    Wow.. it feels big compared to the Ninja.. I felt like Captain Picard of the Enterprise sitting there in the cockpit.. "Engage!"

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    Off we go to do the paper work.. here and there extra copies of this.. some silly letter from immigration saying I can buy a bike.. Would have thought my work permit is enough.. anyway.. then back we head after lunch to do the inspection and transfer the green book.. No. can't be done here.. you have to go to a place about 20km out of Udon.. Great.. wish she had told us that before.. as Dave's house is half way back in that same direction we now have to go.. grrrr
    Get there, inspection done and all transfered over.. Nice change to Mochit and the masses of people and queue.. no one but us..

    First LTA that said go 23km out of town...
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    Finally she is mine :)
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    Cockpit View
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    New PC's about to be deployed at the LTA ;-)
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    By this time it is 3pm.. There goes my plan of being done by Mid day and in Tha Li for the evening.
    So head up to Nong Khai and turn off before and then begin to enjoy that lovely road that takes you along the Mekong.. Fantastic.

    Love stopping here and peering over in to Vientiane - yearning for a Beer Lao..

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    About 5 pm and not sure what is ahead.. I decide to better stop at the next place for the night and enjoy the sunset..

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    Decide to get some food.. and rode barely 100 metres up the road and there was the place I was looking for.. Damn.. oh well..
    Met up with Gerrie the owner.. He remembered us coming through last Nov / Dec on our way to Loei.

    Accommodation report :-
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/36738-Banmairimkong-Resort-Right-on-the-Mekong?p=280520#post280520

    Gerrie invited me to sit with him where we had at least 4 big bottles of beer each and talked until mid night - plus the two I already had during sunset... hiccup.
    Gerrie kindly let me leave my bike there and I walked back along the Mekong to my place..

    Breakfast view at Gerrie's
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    Saturday
    Well.. I am far from where I intended to be.. So decide to ride along the Mekong to Chiang Kham..
    Coffee and fried rice here
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    The Mekong is still very low
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    Then down to Loei and cut through to Uttaradit..
    To the more direct path as being so late and alone.. didn't feel like taking a chance of getting stuck riding in to CNX in the dark through the back roads.

    Sunday
    Hearty breakfast at Euro Diner

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    Up early and met K. Nat at Piston Shop.. He really is a nice person.
    Take the Ninja and leave the Versys.. Asked him to change some of the things on the Versys back to stock.

    Face off between the Ninja and Versys
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    Seat back to original but softer, change the small sproket for the stock, change the height of the bike back and one other small thing..

    Next the ride back to Bangkok on the Ninja.. I enjoyed the Ninja surprisingly.. Nice to take the bends and lean over and feel so much closer to everything..

    When in Tak.. realised the number plate and the tax disc have gone flying off on the road some where.. I really seem to have back luck with this.
    Again.. The bolts are there, the metal fatigued and basically ripped off.

    7hr ride back, two stops for petrol and 20 min breaks.. Traffic was really bad at Rangsit.. easily added 40 - 50 mins to the journey.. and that horrible Vibhavadee road.. Not nice when you are at the end of a long journey and have to heighten the senses for Bangkok traffic and home is 20km away and taking for ever..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
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  3. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

    Nice report! Thanks for the resort posting also as it looks exactly like the kind of place I would like to stay.
    Hope your are happy with the Versys, after removing the lowering-link you will be less "closer to everything" but I think it will feel much better in your knees. BTW the front should have been lowered also, so that have to be corrected also when removing the lowering-link.

    What GPS system is on the Versys?

    Chang Noi
     
  4. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Great trip for an "engagement session" Brian.
    My last rented Versys with 2Bros exhaust and it bloody loud, how about yours? Much more silent than a tuk-tuk, right?
    Not really understand your changing over to the Ninja at Piston Shop. You rode your Ninja to the shop and left it there before flying to get Versys?
     
  5. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Brian, I would get those hooters on the Versys painted black. They stick out like a sore something or other!
     
  6. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Thanks Fella's

    ChangNoi:-
    Will get that checked. Thanks.. The GPS is my 660.. I ordered the mounting kit from the US and it arrived just the day before heading up to UDON.
    Certainly made life easier getting the CNX.. Dave kindly helped me to install the mounting kit before I left.

    VietHorse:-
    I left my Ninja in Chiang Mai for weekend visits as nothing much more to do with her around Bangkok.. Tired of Khao Yai...
    So picked up the Versys and ride over to CNX then rode the Ninja back to BKK..

    Ron:-
    Good idea.. Her hooters are rather exposed.. Makes a great sound and people look, thinking a car is coming through and get out the way..
    Dogs tend to be more cautious too..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  7. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Got it.
    Really love this view. A fishing rod and some cold beer is more than enough to make a great sunset moment.

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  8. monty1412

    monty1412 Ol'Timer

    Brian, congrats on the bike mate and great report. Like you Ive had it with Khao Yai or rather the bloody drive there. Im at Koh Chang at present , we might consider a three day trip down here.. there are twisties here.
    I may also when I reposition the Ducati to Chiang Mai ride the route you did as like to go to Nong Khai as well.
    You wil note Ive resisted the temptation to lift a photo of you and adjust the red balance.... of course you will know that its not so much resisted but rather Im so bloody hopeless at this stuff that i cant .
     
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Thanks Rob (Monty),
    Congrats on your new bike too.. Hopefully we can do a ride before you head back home to Aust for a couple of weeks..

    If you want some good places to stay on the main land. Check out Chanthaburi.. That area is really lovely and only 2.5 hrs out of Bangkok. In the right season.. you can walk out 50 + metres and the water is so clear you can see the sand on the ocean floor.. Not touristy.. Only Thai tourists.. lots of fresh seasfood along the beach.

    Name: Smile resort
    Date: 30/12/2011 2:48 pm
    Latitude: 12º 33' 27" N
    Longitude: 101º 54' 51" E

    Trip report to Cambo.. First few pics are of the place in Chanthaburi..
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/35764-Bangkok-to-Sihanoukville-for-the-New-Year-Long-Weekend-2011-12

    As you are up and usually in the saddle by 6 am. You will have no problem making it to the resort on the Mekong in one day..
    I would suggest staying there.. rather than Nong Khai.. To me Nong Khai is just like any other medium sized Thai town..
    Take your time along the Mekong.. It really is lovely to just soak the fantastic scenery up..

    Then you are max 2 hrs away from Udon. Forty Five mins of Mekong road and back roads to the main highway to Udon.. avoiding the traffic associated with Nong Khai..

    You can blast down to Bangkok or if you have an extra day, there are some nice routes through the mountains and Petchabun you could take.
    Try and fit in an extra day and come back to BKK from Udon the scenic way.

    Thanks for not getting your red ink out and making me look like a turnip ;-)

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  10. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Congratulations on the new bike Brian, it looks like a ripper.

    1510 KMs is a big weekend ride. Thanks for the report and the tip on the Banmairimkong resort.

    Rex
     

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