Chiang Khong - Phrae & Back - Testing Fuel Range & Looking for New Attractions

DavidFL

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Something to do check out your fuel range & see what you can find.
A quick run southwards to Phrae & home again.

The masterplan to find out what the fuel range was on the Vstrom & the Versys.
What's that a Versys too?
Yep, Dave DKT admitted that he never knew what the fuel range was on his Versys after only owning it for several years.
Let's give a test run sometime & see what we can do then. Carry a 5-litre container on the back & see how far we can go.

I live in Chiang Khong & Dave is in DKT, just out of Phayao.
The shortest way to DK Is down R1020 to Thoeng from Chiang Khong then cut across the rural back roads.
But I opt for an easier faster route via Paradise Road R1290 & then R1063 to Chiang Rai.
It's about an hour to get to Chiang Rai & then another hour to Phayao.
All plain sailing with a bit of speed down the super most of the way.
So the "new" Vstrom gets a nice work out.

It's 111kms to the Junction of the western bypass around Chiang Rai & R1 = 1hr 8 minutes & and average speed of 98kph.
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Well done I thought for morning peak hour. Departure time of 8.38am & 9.46am on R1 for the run south down R1.

Then it's straight down R1 to hook up with Dave waiting at the Esso south of Phayao.

Dave's got an extra 5 litres of 91 on his bike & off we go in the heat.
Not far down the road a sudden downpour appears out of nowhere, the temperature plummets; we are both soon drenched, & shivering along at a slow pace. Visibility is poor, it's bloody cold & the road is like ice.
A PTT pops up & the old GTR fellah dives straight into the food court for breakfast. A most welcome Duck with rice & some excelent broth does the trick.
Then it's off again, back in the heat.
R11 to Denchai comes up & the fuel light on the VStrom has been flashing for 25 on empty - zero kms left.
Magically as we near the Shell / PTT gas stations on R11, I think OK this is enough, I can conveniently duck in & fuel up, as I've got 340 kms up at a really fast pace now, and the bike stutters to a halt. 344 kms down at fast clip, with 27 kms on zero kms of fuel left. The Vstrom is good for 400 ms at a leisurely pace. I;m impressed.
Next up is Dave, he's only done a 100 odd kms since home, but let' see how far he can get later on....it will be interesting how the two bikes compare.

Way south of Lampang it's a left onto R1023 & the back way into Phrae.
There are two or three destinations marked for checking out.

Wat Salaeng is the first one.
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This Wat, once deserted for around 30 years, is named after a wild flower with off-white colour Dok Saleang, that was an offering to the Lord Buddha by the locals.
Phra Kru Wijitnawakarnkosol (or Kru Ba Somjit) and Phra Kru Silasangwarapirat had it renovated in 1963; and on September 30, 1984 the Ministry of Education proclaimed Wat Salaeng a temple, with some monks living there. Two years later, the temple was granted its sacred temple boundary by the king.

Wat Salaeng is now divided into two parts, an old and a new part.
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The New Part
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A nice sized gong.
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The old part
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The real old section is a beautiful ubosot (ordination hall), that is almost hidden in a grove of trees adjacent to the viharn (assembly hall).
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The large viharn has been recently renovated and is notable for its use of chong lom (wind gaps), which are a local design for bringing illumination into buildings without the use of windows.

The renovated Viharn
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Magnificent banyan trees
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There is also a "newer new" part under construction.
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Work has been going on for 2 years so far, so the workers say, but more budget & thamboon is needed to complete the job in another couple of years.

There is also a museum, which unfortunately was locked the day we visited.
This museum houses has many antiques from Dvaravati to the late Ayudhaya era.
And somewhere out the back there are also hot springs
A return visit is definitely required.

More to come testing the fuel limit & digging out the hidden gems of Phrae.
 

DavidFL

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Back on the road & attraction # 2 pops up

Komol Pha Boran Textile Museum

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The Komol Antique Textile Museum was founded by Mr. Komol Panichpun in August 1992, in honour of H.M. the Queen on the occasion of her 72th Birthday Anniversary.

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There are two sections, ground level and upstairs. The ground level section comprises and a shop & a doll museum.
The upstairs section contains the museum proper & is 4 sections
  • Vieng Ta paintings.
  • Antique textiles of Muang Long
  • Teen Jok weaving from various districts
  • Preservation of antique textiles from old wisdom. Some pieces are over 200 years old age.
The downstairs shop & doll museum

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and it was indeed an interesting collection of dolls & characters.
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I Love Lucy
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The Upstairs Museum

The old paintings
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These are actually copies of the originals, which were at Wat Luang Wiang Ta Mon & the originals are now at the Rai Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai.

Ancient Textiles of Muang Long
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Teen Jok weaving from various districts
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A signature hem
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National costume outfits for Miss World / Universe beauty contestants
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Where to go: Komol Old Cloth

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Moving on down the line next..
 

DavidFL

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Whilst snapping away outside the cloth museum as we left I was reminded that the building looks just like that old railway station just down the road, the Ban Pin station, & I'd never actually checked it out. Let's go take a look Dave DKT.

Of note is that it is 3 kms from the the Kamol Cloth Museum to the Ban Pin station & Dave DKT still has plenty of fuel in his tank. Damn that's miserly fuel consumption on the Versys I thought, but it can't last much longer I thought. Ha Ha.

The Ban Pin Railway station.
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Ban Pin Railway Station is a classic beauty and was built by the Geman engineer Emil Eisenhofer, who built the Khun Tan railway tunnel.
The building is a combination of Northern Thai architecture and European architecture of a “Bavarian Timber Frame House” that was favoured in Bavaria, Germany.
The Station is somewhat unique with a small two-storey office building adorned with exquisite perforated fretwork woodcarvings on the window and door frames. The classic charming design of the Station makes it among Thailand’s six significant railway stations.
The Ban Pin station was opened on 15 June 1914.

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We were there at 4PM & asked when the next train? 9PM was the answer.
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only 5 hours to wait.

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It wasn't a busy day at the station.
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The Ban Pin railway station is well worth checking out, don't just ride on by like I did for years.

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There's also a fabulous tree or two out front of the station.
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more to come about testing the fuel range limit...
 

DKT Dave

Ol'Timer
Sep 25, 2019
71
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Great report David. It’s amazing looking at those posts to think we saw all that in one day!

Ban Pin railway station really is a classic and reminded me a lot of the old stations in the wheat belt of Western Australia I saw growing up there. If you have any interest at all in railways it is well worth a stop.

Having stops to take in local attractions/museums/parks etc really makes for an interesting time going from A to B.

On to fuel consumption. As pointed out above I have never known just how far I could get on a tank if push came to shove, and the subject had come up in conversation last year when I witnessed David ride his blue V-Strom from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son in the clockwise direction last year. That’s 350 km and I was impressed, and also a little jealous, as I believed my Versys would not do the same. When I raised the idea of taking a can of fuel and riding till the bike stopped David said he would do it with me and let him know.

I have never trusted the onboard range till empty reading, and I was also suspicious of the calibration of the fuel gauge. It’s never really a problem with fuel so readily available here, but it has always played on my mind wanting to know just how far I could get.

Months go by and with David not long on his new bike, when he messaged to see if I was up for a run to Phrae I suggested we find out our range once and for all on the trip.

Long story short I filled up about 5 km South of the highway 1 and 120/ Phayao bypass bridge intersection, rode all day as above in the posts, and ended up in Phrae for the night. The next morning we set out for some more attractions before heading home via 101/103/1120/1091 thru Pong.

I was travelling well and started to get my tail up with thoughts of the Versys actually getting me all the way home on the one tank, however the low level warning started flashing about 25 km south of Pong putting a stop to those thoughts!

David and I split shortly after Pong with him heading North to Chiang Khong, and I continued West to Phayao. I was taking no chances with any risky overtaking moves by this point as I was expecting the bike to die at any moment!

The trusty Versys just kept going, and going, and going. I couldn’t believe it when I rolled up at my front gate with the trip meter showing 452 km travelled....and I was still running!

That was enough for me, I was satisfied with that range, so I put her to bed. After a good nights sleep I start to think I really haven’t accomplished what I set out to do and I still had my 5 litre can of fuel sitting there. So off I set expecting to sputter to a halt within 1 or 2 kms. Finally the Versys gave out and rolled to a standstill out on the 4013 after another 25 kms. That gave a total of 477 km from one tank, and 118 km from when the low level warning commenced flashing. I am still amazed at how far the Versys took me and am thankful I had a witness as well!!!

Considering I set out hoping it would get 350 km to the tank, I am stoked with that range! An interesting experiment indeed!
 
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Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
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^ Trouble is with running fuel that low is you dont know if the range will be the same next time, and you wont always have that extra fuel on board ;)


With the amount of service stations in Thailand I prefer to play on side of caution and fuel up when the low fuel warning light comes on, its a pain in the butt running out of fuel, not to mention bad for the fuel system.


PS and the Thai's seem to know exactly how far their bike will go before it stops :D
 

DavidFL

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^ Trouble is with running fuel that low is you dont know if the range will be the same next time, and you wont always have that extra fuel on board ;)


With the amount of service stations in Thailand I prefer to play on side of caution and fuel up when the low fuel warning light comes on, its a pain in the butt running out of fuel, not to mention bad for the fuel system.


PS and the Thai's seem to know exactly how far their bike will go before it stops :D

Indeed maybe time for some of Canthai's fuel injector cleaner now.
BTW how far can you go on your bike on "reserve" once the warning lights start flashing?
 

canthai

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Apr 8, 2015
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I prefer to play on side of caution and fuel up when the low fuel warning light comes on
I fill up when the gauge reads half full.
Modern FI engines have the pump in the fuel tank, where it is surrounded with fuel and this helps keep it cool.
Keeping it submerged will extend its life.
My Father always said "Run off of the top half of the tank, you never know when you will need the bottom half" !!! 555
 

Lakota

Ol'Timer
Oct 10, 2011
189
38
28
I fill up when the gauge reads half full.
Modern FI engines have the pump in the fuel tank, where it is surrounded with fuel and this helps keep it cool.
Keeping it submerged will extend its life.
My Father always said "Run off of the top half of the tank, you never know when you will need the bottom half" !!! 555
I think this is very good advise. I've ran out a few times on my KLX and I don't think it's good for the pump. I always carry a 1litre MSR fuel bottle in a tooltube anyway ... just in case and mainly for 'Damsels in Distress'
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
176
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63
BTW how far can you go on your bike on "reserve" once the warning lights start flashing?



My NC750X only has a 14L tank, I usually go about 250km before I fill up, the low fuel light doesn't come on by then, I remember once I went 65km with the light on, and it only took 13L so it should go about 100km on low fuel ?


BTW my X-Max 300 has a 13L tank, I remember going 50km with the gauge flashing once, didn't take over 12L so could go more.


I don't know about others but I get worried with the low fuel light flashing and think of the issues if I run out, especially riding alone, so im fueling up when gauge is on the last bar on the dash ;)
 

Dodraugen

Ol'Timer
Aug 19, 2012
269
186
43
53
Lampang
Great report David. It’s amazing looking at those posts to think we saw all that in one day!

Ban Pin railway station really is a classic and reminded me a lot of the old stations in the wheat belt of Western Australia I saw growing up there. If you have any interest at all in railways it is well worth a stop.

Having stops to take in local attractions/museums/parks etc really makes for an interesting time going from A to B.

On to fuel consumption. As pointed out above I have never known just how far I could get on a tank if push came to shove, and the subject had come up in conversation last year when I witnessed David ride his blue V-Strom from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son in the clockwise direction last year. That’s 350 km and I was impressed, and also a little jealous, as I believed my Versys would not do the same. When I raised the idea of taking a can of fuel and riding till the bike stopped David said he would do it with me and let him know.

I have never trusted the onboard range till empty reading, and I was also suspicious of the calibration of the fuel gauge. It’s never really a problem with fuel so readily available here, but it has always played on my mind wanting to know just how far I could get.

Months go by and with David not long on his new bike, when he messaged to see if I was up for a run to Phrae I suggested we find out our range once and for all on the trip.

Long story short I filled up about 5 km South of the highway 1 and 120/ Phayao bypass bridge intersection, rode all day as above in the posts, and ended up in Phrae for the night. The next morning we set out for some more attractions before heading home via 101/103/1120/1091 thru Pong.

I was travelling well and started to get my tail up with thoughts of the Versys actually getting me all the way home on the one tank, however the low level warning started flashing about 25 km south of Pong putting a stop to those thoughts!

David and I split shortly after Pong with him heading North to Chiang Khong, and I continued West to Phayao. I was taking no chances with any risky overtaking moves by this point as I was expecting the bike to die at any moment!

The trusty Versys just kept going, and going, and going. I couldn’t believe it when I rolled up at my front gate with the trip meter showing 452 km travelled....and I was still running!

That was enough for me, I was satisfied with that range, so I put her to bed. After a good nights sleep I start to think I really haven’t accomplished what I set out to do and I still had my 5 litre can of fuel sitting there. So off I set expecting to sputter to a halt within 1 or 2 kms. Finally the Versys gave out and rolled to a standstill out on the 4013 after another 25 kms. That gave a total of 477 km from one tank, and 118 km from when the low level warning commenced flashing. I am still amazed at how far the Versys took me and am thankful I had a witness as well!!!

Considering I set out hoping it would get 350 km to the tank, I am stoked with that range! An interesting experiment indeed!
477 kms seems a lot. But how big is the gas tank on that bike? How much did you fill up? So we can calculate the milage you got....
 

Oddvar

Ol'Timer
Mar 18, 2013
453
274
63
I filled once 0.1 litre more than the capacity on the CRF, still running. :)
On all my bikes I have tested them to empty tank. The F6 is at the moment the leader of the pack. 168km on 20 litre.
EU requires the "reserve" to last for 50km.
The F6 loses fuel to one carburettor and keep going for another 10km before loosing the next carburettor. Keeps going on 4 carburettors for about 2km.
The AT "barks" and keep going for 10-12km.
No issues on the tumpers, they just stop. :)
Knowledge is king!
 
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Dodraugen

Ol'Timer
Aug 19, 2012
269
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Lampang
By all means Oddvar, I have ridden almost all the bikes I have owned out of fuel so that I know how far I can get under certain circumstances. The Crf I have ridden 70 kms on the reserve once until it was bone dry, alltogether 270 kms on one tank. The Tiger 955i 463 kms, the old Transalp I rode dry so many times I have lost count, but I got 350-360 kms out of a 17,3 liter tank on that bike.
Rented a Cb500X in CM once and I rode it from right outside Mae Sot to right outside Udon Thani on one tank but not bone dry, 540 kms, I filled up 16,85 liters. I also rented a V-Strom once in CM, rode it with a pillion and a huge topbox I rode 450 kms on one tank and still had 3,5 liters in the tank (could only fill up 16,5 liters)

I dont understand the concept of filling up the tank when its only half empty/full. Whats the point of only using half of the bikes potential?

Would be interesting to know the milage of that Kawasaki though....
 
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DKT Dave

Ol'Timer
Sep 25, 2019
71
82
18
By all means Oddvar, I have ridden almost all the bikes I have owned out of fuel so that I know how far I can get under certain circumstances. The Crf I have ridden 70 kms on the reserve once until it was bone dry, alltogether 270 kms on one tank. The Tiger 955i 463 kms, the old Transalp I rode dry so many times I have lost count, but I got 350-360 kms out of a 17,3 liter tank on that bike.
Rented a Cb500X in CM once and I rode it from right outside Mae Sot to right outside Udon Thani on one tank but not bone dry, 540 kms, I filled up 16,85 liters. I also rented a V-Strom once in CM, rode it with a pillion and a huge topbox I rode 450 kms on one tank and still had 3,5 liters in the tank (could only fill up 16,5 liters)

I dont understand the concept of filling up the tank when its only half empty/full. Whats the point of only using half of the bikes potential?

Would be interesting to know the milage of that Kawasaki though....
I did the math. Just out at the moment. Will post tomorrow!
 

DKT Dave

Ol'Timer
Sep 25, 2019
71
82
18
It is a 20.8 litre tank. That calculates at 22.9 km per litre. The area I was in during this test was mostly flat and with a lot of constant highway speeds. If the onboard systems are to be believed (which I have more faith in now) the bike has averaged 20.4 km per litre during its life of 27000 km.

I would not get that range out of a tank on the Mae Hong Son loop, I do however now have much greater faith in the range and won’t be looking for the nearest fuel station once I’ve done 200km anymore.
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
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63
It is a 20.8 litre tank. That calculates at 22.9 km per litre. The area I was in during this test was mostly flat and with a lot of constant highway speeds. If the onboard systems are to be believed (which I have more faith in now) the bike has averaged 20.4 km per litre during its life of 27000 km.

I would not get that range out of a tank on the Mae Hong Son loop, I do however now have much greater faith in the range and won’t be looking for the nearest fuel station once I’ve done 200km anymore.

I was talking to a mate a few days ago, he has a Versys 650 here in Thailand and another one in Australia, he agreed with you Dave about fuel range.


He said he regularly gets 400km before he puts in fuel, and normally takes 17L, so another 4L to empty which puts the distance about the same as you Dave.


He also mentioned go over 130kmh or hard through the mountains and that fuel range will not be possible :D
 

Dodraugen

Ol'Timer
Aug 19, 2012
269
186
43
53
Lampang
It is a 20.8 litre tank. That calculates at 22.9 km per litre. The area I was in during this test was mostly flat and with a lot of constant highway speeds. If the onboard systems are to be believed (which I have more faith in now) the bike has averaged 20.4 km per litre during its life of 27000 km.

I would not get that range out of a tank on the Mae Hong Son loop, I do however now have much greater faith in the range and won’t be looking for the nearest fuel station once I’ve done 200km anymore.
Oh - I didnt know that bike had such a big gas tank. Anyhow - still a decent fuel milage and a great range!