Cnx - Mae Sai - Doi Tung - Doi Mae Salong - Cnx

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    An ER6 visa run....

    Wat Doi Tung

    Mae Sai

    The "Big Dipper" on the Mae Sai - Doi Tung Burma border road.

    Route 1089 Tha Ton - Kiu Sataa

    Panorma over Burma from the Mae Sai - Doi Tung Burma border road.

    Text 'n captions & more photos coming soon... :D
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Captions for the photos above have been added.

    Now this really continues on from
    & a visa run.

    As the old At was out of action with an electrical short it was time to test out an ER6 from Mr Mechanic.
    True to form I was away late (don't you just love living with a singer who comes home from work at 3Am plus most nights.)

    It was a bit of thrash straight down the main highway R118 Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai, with one solitary stop at Charin Resort for some fattening cheesecake & a cappu.
    In CEI I rendezvouz-ed with the Kiwi Cruiser who was delayed & having trouble with a certain ATM machine that happily gobbled up his money deposit & did not issue a receipt. :shock:

    Doi Tung it was then to catch some later afternoon light & again the ER6n was wound up nicely.
    The bike really zips along but above 125-130 without a fairing your chest fills up with air diverting upwards into your helmet & the faster I went the more I felt my head being taken off. At 150KPH it did not feel great. So a comfy cruising speed would have to be 120-125 IMHO.

    Jurgen's laughing Buddha at Wat Phra That Doi Tung
    just to confirm it's location after his first visit many many years ago, but he forgot where the temple was.
    For us mature grey haired old hands who remember, the Buddha used to be in another location in front of the "wishing well" hole in the ground, but it was moved 3 or 4 years ago, for what reason I don't know.

    Back down the road is Wat Doi Tung
    img_1092. img_1100.
    which at the end of the day & at the right time has some nice light shining on it.


    This temple guardian looks like he had a heavy night, the night before.

    but the air was perfectly clear at the army viewpoint overlooking Burma on the back road for the sundown run into Mae Sai.
    The Kiwi Cruiser

    The army guys playing takraw after a hard day at the office.
    and what a refreshing view & mountain air they get to endure everyday.


    Breakfast - getting a decent western breakfast in Mae Sai has always been a bit of a challenge.

    but the Top North Hotel seems to be able to deliver, with good fresh coffee / cappuccino.
    Check them out, & if anyone else has any western breakfast suggestions for Mae Sai please tip us off.
    The Top North is also convenient towards the end of the main road, not far from the bridge.

    The Ruak River & The Thai - Burma border, looking upstream.

    Mae Sai city

    and a panorama of Tachilkek - Mae Sai from Wat Doi Wao

    Mae Sai - Doi Tung via the Burma border road


    Heading for the hills
    and it's a big hill

    Riding the border ridge line lined up for the Big Dipper

    The big dipper


    Onward & upward

    Back on the ridge line

    Cresting the next ridge line

    Route 1338 Mae Fa Luang - R1130 Doi Mae Salong

    3.30Pm & lunch at Sweet Mae Salong :thumbup:
    A Panini, washed down with 2 cappus, assisted by a Tiramisu.
    I'm still amazed at the high standard of food & drink Ton & Mee are turning out at Sweet Mae Salong. Make sure you DON'T MISS them whenever you pass through Doi MAe Salong. :clap:

    Mrs Mee "The Angel of Sweet Mae Salong" in her kitchen. :angel:

    It was 4PM when I left Doi Mae Salong & I was in a rush to get home before dark. So no time for too many piccies




    Arrival time in Cnx was 6.50Pm after a lengthy fuel & drink stop in Fang, to insert the liner into my Alpinestars mesh jacket.

    I certainly enjoyed riding the ER6. It packs a nice good punch - more than the AT. It is very quick & nimble in the mountain twisties. It has fantastic brakes. Better than at AT.
    But the suspension is not perfect & you can catch yourself out if you're not paying close enough attention to the road surface. The bike can & does wallow on bumpy uneven surfaces in the bends. However many other bikes would bounce around a bit too in those trying conditions.

    I did however enjoy the ride from Mae Sai - Doi Tung - Doi Mae Salong - Fang - Chiang Dao twisties & gave the bike the berries (Fred Gassit.) You can have great fun riding an ER6 in the mountains.
    The lack of a fairing can be a nuisance once you get above 125, but if you're new & just touring around at a leisurely pace this won't bother you. The AT is a big winner in the fairing department.

    It's also economical on fuel & I reckon my Africa Twin fuel bill would be close to double an ER6!

    The bike is a lot smaller than my AT & the seating / riding position is a lot different, not that it seemed to bother me at the time pushing & riding the hard in the mountains. But it's not a touring bike for a new Kawasaki Versys has definitely got my interest! :eek:

    The only downside is 48 hrs later I've now got my left arm in a sling - damaged tissue around my wonky humerus. Doctor Sudhee's request / order - stay off the bike & rest it for at least a week.
    So it looks like I had too much fun on the ER6. :lol:

    Enjoy & keep riding guys. I will be about riding on the Honda Wave, despite the good Doctor's request.
  4. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Usual high standard of pictures. Thanks David.
    Re the ER6n and cruising, I found exactly the same without a windscreen, which is why for only a few Baht more the Ninja 650R, seems a better option, the fairing and small screen, take that comfortable cruising speed up by at least 20kph, maybe for some shorter ones nearer 30 or more kph. Yesterdays run up to CR and back on the 118, I found 160 easily achievable and not too much wind buffeting, but same situation having to keep an eye on uneven road surfaces, as they will throw you about. Tony now has his Versys, and early impressions suggest it is better in this dept. I hope the arm and shoulder free up quickly and let you get back out on the big bikes.
  5. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Good photos & they certainly show the colours.
    Hope the arm mends quickly! :thumbup:
  6. wimpy

    wimpy Ol'Timer

    I have to compliment you on the photography. There has been a very noticeable improvement over the past year or so. Very nice.
  7. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp Staff Member

    NB: The photos of me on the ER6n are NOT indicative of a change of steed. The dearly beloved Vulcan was in dry dock whilst Kawasaki sorted out if I was going to get a new starter clutch under warranty or not... :) (I didn't) 12 days later, it finally got released from captivity, and we are together again...

    Back to the story - this was also my first extended solo ride on an ER6N. With a demanding team leader, I was required to put it to the test to keep him in sight. By the end of the ride, I had a couple of comments to add to David's observations.

    Pros: Can't fault it on power - its goes like a scalded cat as long as you keep the revs up above 6000 rpm. Actually, in 3rd and 4th gear through the faster sections, its a real adrenalin rush. Going up Doi Tung in the late afternoon, I don't think I changed gears more than 2 - 3 times! Just kept it in 2nd / 3rd and screwed the throttle on / off to negotiate the twisties! That 6000 to 11,000 rpm range is sweet as!

    Brakes are bloody good - especially compared to my Vulcan with it's single disk up front. Being 100kgs ligher, I found the ER6N pulls up very smartly indeed. Chopping down through the gears and using engine braking is also very effective, its got good compression.

    Personally, I found it a little uncomfortable to ride. The seat /footpeg placements combines to tip me forward into the too-low handlebars, transferring upper bodyweight through my shoulders and into my palms. My hands were aching several times - especially by the time we got to Doi Mae Salong via 1338. I commented on that several times, but David said "Oh, I don't find that at all..." Could that be why HE is wearing his arm in a sling???
    I also got a sore neck from leaning forward and having to tip my head back to see where I was going. To own and ride one, I'd definitely need to get higher bars, and a decent windscreen. Sitting more upright would make it a pleasanter bike to ride.

    NB: Interesting to note - Joe at Goodwill Motorcycle Rentals has added 30mm risers on all his rental bikes!

    As David observed, the ER6n is inclined to wallow / porpoise slightly on ripply corners - you'd get used to it, and it never actually feels unstable, just a bit soft. Its the same when riding hard two-up - stiffer front suspension, or maybe some heavier oil in the front shocks might help?

    Overall, I'm impressed by the price/performance package - its a lot of bike at a good price.
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the photography compliments Wimpy. :thumbup:
    It's theG11 & use of a monopod for most photos that does it now. No more one-armed happy snaps if I can avoid it.
  9. helbob

    helbob Ol'Timer

    Very nice pics David! Do you use a polarizing filter on the camera?
    I like the Doi Tung Border Road too, ist one of the best.
    Mmmhh, the Sweet Mae Salong food, i always drink coffee there.
    Next trip in january :happy2:
  10. stonevedder

    stonevedder Active Member

    David, Is it really that chilly at the moment?
    It's making me second guess my choice of jacket for my trip next week.

    Your pics are always great.

  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah well the last week it has been mildly warm & at both Thoed Thai & The Golden Triangle I've been sitting outside with no jacket.
    How cold is only relevant to what you are used to & the luck of the game to the week you are here riding - is it a cooler or warmer spell that week.
    But night time temps in the cold season can & do go down below 10 celsius in the mountains.
    Mornings are fogged in until 8.30AM & even later, with no sun. So yeah it is cool - nippy - cold.
    If you're a tough guy you might get away with a mesh jacket & liner in the mornings.
    But to be safe the easiest thing is to bring a set of thermal underwear. Light weight & compact to take up little space.
    Up to you, but don't blame me if it is colder or warmer the week you are here.
  12. stonevedder

    stonevedder Active Member

    I grew up in tropical Queensland so I'm actually a bit of a sook when it comes to the cold :smile1:
    Tough or not....shivering your arse off while riding isn't much fun.
    I have a vest liner for the mesh jacket but will defintiely take your advise on the thermals
    Having said that, aside from the fog, it sounds like perfect riding weather :happy4:
    2 more sleeps before departure...I can't wait!
  13. oldbloke

    oldbloke Ol'Timer

    Nice pix, as always David.
    Yeah those ER6's are full of fun - best thing I did last trip was to get off the honda 400 and pay the extra for the ER!
    I'm watching the threads with interest now since I'm returning at beginning of January. This time I'm bringing the better half - but she doesn't like touring by bike (claims I ride too fast...*lol* !!), so I guess it'll be travel by a suzuki4wd or similar. I'll try and fit a couple of days riding in somehow..:) though.
    How many er6's does Mr Mechanic have these days? - and are their 4wds ( :( ) ok?

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