5 Day Loop - CM-KK-Udon-Loei-Nan-CM

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by daewoo, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Chiang Mai to Khon Kaen.

    A guy I had emailed a couple of times, John, who lives in Khon Kaen was happy for me to accompany him for a 5 day ride...

    First stop, Chiang Mai to his home in Khon Kaen, because he had some commitments the next day...

    I had swapped the ER6N for an ER6F (Ninja650 in Thailand)...

    I don't know if it was just psychological, if the tyres are much better, or if the faring help with a bit of downforce, but I think this bike was much better to ride than the ER6N, even though they are apparently mechanically identical... it is also likely that the roads we rode along are all in much better condition that the MHS Loop, and it was the rough corners that I felt really challenged me on the ER^N previously...

    Because the bike only had 4km on it when I took it I did start off treating it pretty nicely... the Thai owners have to outlay a heap of money for these bikes, and it isn't fair the treat them badly...

    The run in is supposed to be 5,000 rpm for 1000km, I did mostly keep it under 6,000... but for a long time at the start of the ride, it was sitting on 6K, because that was the 130 cruising speed for the long ride along the number 11 till... the other side of Utaradit...

    for the whole ride, the bike performed faultlessly, the only other comment I would make is that it seems the ABS kicks in pretty easily... I would often feel the ABS pulse on a downshift when I am pretty sure the wasn't going to be a lock up...

    This was a great ride for the trip, willing engine that could punch you to 140 in no time, and it saw 183 at one stage :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: lots of the guys here regularly ride at those sort of speeds and much higher, but that was about the limit of what I would want to do anyway...

    By the end of the trip, I was pretty much able to keep up with anyone through the twisties, and with my limited skills, I think that is a testament to the bike... the only limitations is my lack of commitment (where have I heard that before :) )

    Leaving CM - My green Ninja, John's GS1200 - Very popular bike here in Thailand,



    Fuel and Drink stop



    On a small road we used to link the 1214and 1246 near Uttaradit



    You see these little trucks everywhere - Powered by a little belt drive motor that looks like about 5HP.

    We stopped at Doi Eng resort in Chatrakan on a recommendation by DavidFL, but after waiting for 1 1/2 hours for them to get a cook in from the rice field, and cook Chicken Fried Rice and Pad See Ew, I don't think John will be stopping in again... very nice staff, but could have just told us kitchen was closed and we would have just kept motoring,


    About 50km from KK and I was really fatigued, so we stopped for a coke, this guy owned the shop, and is also a cop... he was a really nice guy and spoke really good english... lusted after a BMW, and knew exactly the price of tyhe bike and all the accessories...

    In Khon Kaen,



    I stayed in Khon Kaen Orchind - 500THB - $Au16 and completely wonderful.




    Day 1 - 660km

  2. Even though John had been away from his family in CM for 4 days, was only home for 2 before heading off again, and one of those he was busy all day, he still escorted me to Udon Thani...

    Because the bike only had 4km on it when I took it, I needed to have it's 1000km service before I headed out further into the country side... because 'Big Bikes' are new to Thailand (well new to legitimate dealers) there are only 7 Kawasaki shops in the country that sell and service them...

    The route took us from KK along a road that shadows the water reserviour, through some small villiages, and then back onto the main road into Udon... In Udon we just rode into the workshop, they have about 15 lifts, but almost everything is a scooter... they had dropped the oil while we talked to the service managers, and it was all ready when we got back from finding me a hotel an hour later... no booking, no problem...
    I ended up at the RuySay Mansion - 340THB about $Au12...

    I went out that night to celebrate my wedding anniversary in style :shock: :shock: :shock: It took me two attempts to get back to the hotel, because the disco looked so inviting :) ... Pii khrup, yuu lang dai mai, phom ow jak kumlung tendrum khrup... the Tuk Tuk driver just shook his head and turned around... :) ...

    KK University - Very big and well regarded

    These are U-Turn bays located regularly along the dual carriageways - they are the reason you shouldn't just wind it up to 200 and sit on it... cars and trucks aren't too bad here, but they also can't be blamed for not expecting a bike to be doing 2.5 times the (80) speed limit...


    Another hazard to look out for -


    Iron Buffalo






    Not surprisingly, this convoy wasn't moving too fast...


    I couldn't get a good photo of the load on this ute, but it was about 100m high, with a lean of about 45 degrees, maybe, he was stopped by the cops a little bit ahead, but they just looked and said "pretty impressive" and waved him on :shock: :shock: :shock:



    Only 170km today...
  3. I had to find my own was from Udon to Loei - No real dramas -

    The route took me North from Udon to the Lao Border, I then followed the bank of the Meekong, with Laos just on the other side for many hours, before turning left and heading south to Loei...

    John and another Aussie living in Bangkok were all meeting here, from their homes, and we all arrived within 20mins of each other - 15mins after that we were sinking beer (except for John who is one of those freaky non-drinkers)...

    Fitting my Oxford Bags, Seat off

    Sit bags either side, one strap under grab rail, two over

    Seat back on

    One strap over seat and two loops over end of grab rail


    $Au3 breakfast




    This is as close as I got to Laos





    The roads still suck :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


    The local fire truck washing the basket ball courts at the school, the kids would run into the spray, and if they got too close you could see it really hurt :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:



    $21 Hotel,



    Bikes could park in the courtyard...


  4. Today we would head from Loei to Nan. One day I will work out how to colour in a map so that it means something to you guys...

    In the group now is John, this time on his FZ1 (Fazer)... Also is Grant, on his Ducati Monster and Suki, and 50/50 Thai American, on his Triumph Tiger...

    Suki is a former rock star, band promoter and producer, and also has done a couple of motorbike tour videos (Dream Chaser)...

    After a 1am finish the night before, we were still on the road at 9am...

    We chose a route this time that John and Suki had heard about but neither ridden... it included a ferry crossing of a river that we thought would be interesting, but little did we know how interesting... it also included a section of road under construction, which was large aggregate on top of soft soil, and particularly challenging...

    Other than the new roads, all of the roads were great of course... they don't really suit themselves to knee down slidders dragging, as at any time there could be a pot hole or dip... I don't know the number of times I opened the taps on the straight to almost be launched into space as the bike went through a dip at 140 and them came back up to meet my butt like a canon...

    Yep, the roads still suck

    This road is basically the border with Laos, so there are lots of Army stop points along the way... hardly saw the soldiers tho -





    Another great thing about Thailand - $3 lunch including drinks...






    The road under construction... I don't mind hard dirt so much, but this loose stone was pretty tricky...

    Ride at the speed limit - Fak Tha



    The "Ferry" crossing - we rode onto the barge, and waited... they have to bring the long tail boat over from the other side to tow the barge... they had no drinks to sell other than home Whisky - and thought it was funny we wouldn't drink it because we would fall of the bike...






    The "Engine" arrives - it actually wasn't too slow considering...






    This was the road straight off the ferry, but it then crossed into a different villiage and turned into a single lane... weird...



    In Nan we stayed in another 350 Baht/night hotel, but this one wasn't so nice... it is nice in that it is all wooden which is pretty special, but was quiet run down... the fire hazard in these places always worries me...


  5. I love the sector with the ferry :) ... not sure where you found it. I recently toured similar region (up from Mukdahan) and then direction Nan on route 1268 ... but no ferry :(
  6. I love the sector with the ferry :) ... not sure where you found it. I recently toured similar region (up from Mukdahan) and then direction Nan on route 1268 ... but no ferry :(
  7. Good little story Daewoo....you've certainly knocked over a few clicks in your short time here. Guess Mum and the kids are wondering when the hell you are going home ??!! Stay safe dude.
  8. I'm sure John our tour guide will post up all the road numbers soon...
  9. I loved the roads as well, other than the unmade roads which were pretty challenging... the phanton would probably handle them with aplomb like the Tiger and GSs...
  10. Yeah, I keep pushing the date back by 'one more day'... Tomorrow will be the last day on the bike... :( ... hope it isn't too long before I can get back, even if it is only for a day or two tacked onto the end of a work trip...

  11. Suki introduced us to a young bloke, Min, who is the son of the owner, and manages one of the 3 Honda dealerships in this small town... dealing only in Scooters... he has a CBR1000RR and a GS1200 Adventure...

    After insisting on buying us all dinner, and then escorting some of the party to the local discos and a couple of beer bars, he headed out of town at 9:30 for a day loop...

    It would see us cover most of the famed Doi Phu Ka (AKA Doi Pukka) Loop, with a slight devation at the end which saw us discover the best race track in the world... every rider we meet now is eager to get to this road...

    I can not believe how fast even I was ridding on this road, managing to hold of John on his FZ, and Grant on his Monster... what surpised me even more is how close to death I came trying to keep up with Min on his GS and Suki on the Tiger :shock: :shock: :shock: I completely mis-timed a changeover at 100km/h and consequently found myself within 10cm of the armco ont he outside :shock: :shock: :shock:

    We also met yet another guy and his girlfriend on yet another GS who joined us for the afternoon...

    After meeting so many virgins in Thailand, even many virgins who have kids, I don't know why you would need to pay for a tour...


    1550 km since CM...

    We stopped to wait for Suki while he got some flu medications, pretty son we were joined by many interested schoolkids...





    Yep, roads are still shit :D .



    Real Hmong villages...


    Another 100m section of roadworks testing the Monster's dual sport capabilities...



    And what a Pukka ride it is too...




    Don't know if you can properly see the guy sitting on the tread of the excavator chiseling out the dried clay... I guess with that drop of, a little maintenance doesn't go astray...

    They take their road safety messages seriously... lots of different gruesome photos on these posters... they will also sometimes leave a wrecked car near the crash site, with "5 killed" painted on it... makes you think...




    More shit roads... and this isn't even close to the condition of "the Pukka race track"...





    We all just stopped in the middle of this bridge (as you do) at the end of "the race track" all a bit in awe of the road we had just done...



    1835km now...

    Don't know if it is possible to get those last little chicken strips... time to get the bastard file out...

  12. Nan to Chiang Mai -

    Suki stayed on in Nan for more touring, while we wanted to get back to CM because lots of riders were coming into town for Chiang Mai bike week... (most Hardley Ridables)...

    We headed out of town a bit late about 9:30... two of the party allegedly didn't get to bed until 1am, and that slowed things down a bit...

    after another 100THB ($3.45) breakfast buffet, we rode out of town and into some really weird thing called, cruising...

    It was this amazing thing, where we actually rode quite slowly (relatively) and quite spread out... I got into this funny place in my head (I am sure there are lots of funny places in there) where I was sort of in a dream, thinking out everything like how lucky I was to stumble onto another great group to ride with, economics and the sex trade in Thailand (which still upsets me a bit a times), life at home, work, kids, the future... I am sure if I could have done another 50km in that mode I would have come up with an answer to world peace...

    Not many photos of this day, despite the somewhat relaxed pace... just got into the riding and just wanted to keep the feeling flowing... we stopped for lunch in Phayo on the waterfront... unfortunately a whole heap of noisy look at me Highly Dangerouse's turned up to spoil the mood a little, but mai pen lai...

    Leaving from a drink stop after the early morning full karma meditation session ride...

    Oh look, a photo of the bike with nice scenery background... bored of them yet???

    Full driveway service of course - usually about 450THB ($Au15 per day in fuel)... range is about 250-300km...

    In Chiang Mai :( :( :( :cry: :cry: :cry: end of this trip 2170km in 5 days... actually it was 6, so the title of every thread is wrong :) :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

  13. Thanks Darryl for posting such a great report, fun text and the photos making the story. Enjoyed the varied company, roads, stopping places etc.
    I do have some pics, but forgive me if domestic chores prevail today and teaching tmro, so will post Wednesday.
    The ferry crossing is found by the 1339 North from Nam Pat. The first 5km are compacted dirt and not difficult in this dry season. The road leads directly to the river crossing.
    Once across the river, again only one road, but now it is called the 1026 and goes directly to Na Muen and on to Na Noi and Wiang Sa where it joins the 101 to Nan. When you leave the river crossing on the new 1026 you do come to a T junction and are faced with a left and right turn. If you take the wrong one you are back at the river. I guess they hope to build a bridge one day, but do not hold your breath. I think the ferry is only used by locals, as the lack of refreshments at the boarding point, suggest not enough people crossing to make money there. The cost of the crossing was 100 Baht per person including bike.
  14. I've added here another ride from this trip, just to keep all of my posts together, even though it isn't related to the original title... note also that this is a copy of the thread from my Sydney forum, hence the referrences that don't makes sense :)

    Two quick trips from Chiang Mai today...

    Firstly was a quick blast over the Samoeng Loop...

    I headed north from town the The X Centre, owned by a GT-Rider member, they do Bungy Jumps, Trail Bikes, Drift Carts, Paintball, and Jungle Buggys, and some big 'Zorba Ball'... they also have a sports bar on site, so seemed like a good place to have breakfast and talk the "Bungy" Aka known as The NZ Ambassador due to his eloquent prose and diplomatic manners (not ;) ) makes Speedy seem positively gentlemanly...

    after that I just blasted through with only a few photos... the loop brings you back out south of town...

    I also tried to video using the still camera riding one handed, which didn't work too well, but gives an idea of the nature of the roads...

    No photos of the Doi Suthep trip, didn't stop, just up the hill dodging tour coaches and Songtaews mini-buses and back into town...

    Yep - roads still totally suck...

    Video will have to wait as it will take too long to upload, and I can hear the sweet siren song of Mrs San Miguel Light calling me... :burp:



  15. I've added here another ride from this trip, just to keep all of my posts together, even though it isn't related to the original title... note also that this is a copy of the thread from my Sydney forum, hence the referrences that don't makes sense :)

    This ride actually occured before the one above....

    Decided to do a blast up Doi Inthanon on Saturday morning...

    Unfortunately, after a long night the night before, we were a bit late leaving, and that put us right in a massive traffic jam... It was a Thai Holiday to celebrate The Kings Birthday, so everyone was out at the markets, and the lack of any parking guidance means it just turns into a nightmare...

    In another win that would make Tropical John laugh in heaven, John went up and explained that we were both English teachers with Thai licenses (while I minded the bike), so instead of paying the 400THB ($12) Farang price, (Thai's only pay 40), we payed nothing because "Thai Free Kings Birthday"... all we payed was 20THB (60c) for the bikes :) ... happy days...

    I think I used that photo before - oh well

    The twin pagodas near the top of the Mt...


    Who said Darryl's a heartless bastard??? I have a soft side...


    Hit 2406km now

  16. I've added here another ride from this trip, just to keep all of my posts together, even though it isn't related to the original title... note also that this is a copy of the thread from my Sydney forum, hence the referrences that don't makes sense :)

    This ride actually occured at the very begining of this trip, before the ones above....

    I had a pretty good mate who lived in Phuket, John Hamilton, John was a great guy who I email chatted with a lot, and who I did about 5 days riding with on a previous trip to Thailand. He had a beautiful wife Miss Elle as well, who was always willing to gang up with me against John,

    John died about 12 months ago from a brain tumor… A good friend of his in Phuket, Simon Grant tried to organise a memorial ride on the Mae Hong Son loop in johns honor, but it always seemed to fail at the last minute… Simon as killed in a motorcycle accident a month ago, so the idea of the memorial ride was given new importance and was now in both their names…

    Fortunately for me, the guys up here delayed the ride until I could come along and I was lucky enough to say a few words about John at one of the stops…

    John, Elle and I on the Mae Hong Son loop in Nov 07.


    For the ride, I rented an ER6N from Mr Beer for ($37) 1100 Baht a day, plus 100 Baht ($3.3) a day insurance. For the insurance, if the bike is stolen, I have to pay half the value, and if it is damaged I have to pay 20,000 Baht ($665) Excess. The bike had 8,300km on it, and they are 240,000 Baht ($8,000) new.

    Because of the limited availability of ‘Big Bikes’ (anything over 200cc) in Thailand, these are a very popular bike… I think they are of limited utility…

    I had a real hard time with this bike on the ride, one part of the ride, from Doi Inthanon road across to the Mae Chaem road was a real goat track… I loved this road when I did it previously on an XR250 on knobbies, so much so I did another lap ï
  17. Daewoo
    Looking back over these, I can see that one was one hell of a good riding holiday you had eh?

    Now for this one over in Nan..


    I can see Sukie's up to his old tricks again. :lol:..
  18. Yeah, great trip...

    A bit hard knowing what the missus is going through at home trying to juggle the 3 kids so I can have a holiday... gotta figure out a way to do multiple short trips each year without spending cash I don't have...

    Trying to ride every day for 12 days (and drink every night 8) ) and then jump on a plane just leaves you exhausted... but still a ripper trip, thanks in no small part to johngooding, as well as the other guys I rode with...

    Back at work today, trying to figure out how I can get the best of both worlds (nothing new there)...

    Suki had some good video of our rides, not sure where he will post it up tho...

  19. Great reports and pictures Darryl and was good to meet you in Chiang Mai. Hope we'll have a chance to get out and ride together next time you're in Thailand!
    Happy Trails,
  20. Daewoo, sure you enjoyed your recent trip !!! Perfect fotos and nice reports. Especially the pick-up truck with the second axle on the back hit me !!!!! :lol: . So now it's like for some of us also for you 'back to work' :evil: ..... :wink: , cheers, Franz

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