Down To Kanchanaburi For Vintage Bike

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    #1 ianyonok, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    I awoke at 01:00 in the morning, having a crankshaft big end low oil pressure nightmare.....
    Had noticed the day before that the Pressure Release Valve indicator button was not protruding as it normally did.
    There was no choice, sneaked out of bed, went down to the workshop and broke out the set of velvet headed hammers and spanners.
    Off with the timing cover and replaced the crank end garter oil seal. Also cleaned the oil pressure release valve. All done and cleaned up by 05:00 and ready for an early start. Thanks for the advice to Mike in Udon, Thailand's Meriden Triumph expert. The oil pressure indicator button was again behaving normally, showing +60-80 psi even at hot tickover.... Wonderful.!

    2018-11-14 06.31.23.

    Also just put on a new Dunlop K70 rear tyre, new primary chain & new final drive chain. Topped up gearbox oil, changed engine oil & filter and primary chaincase oil.
    It was a long ride down to Kanchanaburi..
    2018-11-14 14.51.29. Decided to ride down highway 1, here taking a break from the afternoon sun on a side track.
    2018-11-14 15.12.07. 2018-11-14 18.24.37.
    After a long day of 300+ miles, I stopped for the night in Tak, at Delio's Homestay and enjoyed some real Italian pasta with real Italian bacon and real Italian parmesan cheese.... cooked by a real Italian...
    2018-11-14 18.37.22.

    Next day, continued south to Kamphaeng Phet, then turned off highway 1, west and south on the 1117 into Nakhon Sawan.
    Came across the strange Thoeng Hin Toen.
    2018-11-15 11.47.43. 2018-11-15 11.48.00.

    A most unusual balancing rock.
    2018-11-15 11.48.27. 2018-11-15 11.49.08.
    There were more rocks in a grouping in some trees nearby. I went to take a look, but it was immediately clear that my noisy oil dripping machine was unwelcome..... in this temple area of bald headed meditating nuns.......! We rode on...
    2018-11-15 12.05.18.

    Down through Uthai Thani
    2018-11-15 12.52.36. 2018-11-15 12.59.58. 2018-11-15 13.01.27.

    I attempted going into Phu Toei NP in Suphan Buri..
    2018-11-15 15.06.14.
    But discretion got the better part of valour.....
    Not a good idea.... heading into the mountains on a dirt road.... at 3pm... on a very very old road bike...... so I turned back and went to the Chantara Villa Hotel in Dan Chang.... and drank beer... a better option.
    2018-11-15 15.12.24. 2018-11-15 15.12.30.

    The 3rd day was proper riding, west from Suphan Buri into Kanchanaburi.
    2018-11-16 07.42.05.
    Came across a very impressive drive around the Krasiao Dam, west of Dan Chang.
    2018-11-16 07.42.14.
    Unfortunately, the road along the top of the dam was closed... by the obese guy in uniform with large epaulettes...
    2018-11-16 07.48.03. 2018-11-16 07.48.08.
    A bit later it was into the good stuff.... the 4041.
    2018-11-16 09.20.31. 2018-11-16 09.29.04. 2018-11-16 09.29.18.
    Yep... long way from home...
    2018-11-16 09.32.25-1. 2018-11-16 09.51.17-1. 2018-11-16 09.59.15-1.
    Wow, as good as roads in the north.
    2018-11-16 10.04.06-1.
    You wind your way up to the mountain pass at the Chedi Sapao Tong, where the reward is a spectacular view of the top end of the Sri Nakarin reservoir.
    2018-11-16 10.12.26. 2018-11-16 10.13.34.
    Then wind down the other side to the water.
    Had a "moment" riding down, when the rear wheel let go on a sand patch. My foot reacted instantly and went to the road but the rear regained grip and we carried on.
    2018-11-16 10.15.25-1. 2018-11-16 10.26.53-1.
    The ferry cuts across an inlet and saves about 60klms of riding.
    2018-11-16 11.05.05-1. 2018-11-16 11.07.48.
    An engine and propulsion system at each end.
    2018-11-16 11.10.43-1. 2018-11-16 11.35.53-1.
    The Nissan diesel looks like a truck engine...... and a truck steering wheel too.
    2018-11-16 11.36.03-1. 2018-11-16 11.42.46. 2018-11-16 11.43.12. 2018-11-16 11.44.00. 2018-11-16 11.44.14. 2018-11-16 11.45.55-1.
    On the southern side of the road south, there is an elephant restricting fence, to prevent vehicle/elephant collisions.
    2018-11-16 11.55.17.
    2018-11-16 12.01.46.
    ........... and Proof.....
    2018-11-16 12.02.14.
    By about 13:00, I was in the Suriyan Juntra hotel, within 20 klms of the rally site. 550 miles from home.
    The afternoon was spent washing and cleaning the bike and giving it a good checkover. A loose sparkplug and a few oil leaks were the only issues. Checked the primary chain and adjusted the final chain. Tyre pressures good and oil tank level still just about OK.

    Khun Anan had brought his very clean BSA M33 up from Chonburi...... in a pick-up.... He had sooty sparkplugs, so I suggested dropping the carburettor needle down a notch in the Amal Monobloc throttle slide, that should help.
    2018-11-16 17.28.28.

    Next day, found a good restaurant for a breakfast of rotis.
    2018-11-17 09.28.12.

    A neat Enfield combo pulled in with a young guy on his way to the rally.....
    .........with essential pith helmet and medic's saddlebags.
    2018-11-17 09.17.24. 2018-11-17 09.17.39-1.
    Even had his gun..........
    2018-11-17 09.19.21-1.
    ..... which turned out to be an umbrella.....
    2018-11-17 09.41.49-1.
    ....... and his vintage camera was in fact a smart phone case....!
    2018-11-17 09.42.30.

    Some people just live the part..... wonderful....
    2018-11-17 09.43.27-1.

    The Kwai river valley is very attractive with a line of mountains either side, as you ride NW up to the dam.
    2018-11-17 09.58.03-1.
    The red sign says "Please park in the car park"....... so I parked in front of the sign...
    2018-11-17 10.19.25-1.
    I was meeting up with our LICME group, who were still back in Kanchanaburi. So, I rode 50 klms SE to meet up with them in the city.
    We had 3 x late fifties pre-unit Triumphs, a Velocette Venom, BSA M21 and a BMW 250 single.
    2018-11-17 12.22.53.
    The gang.........
    2018-11-17 12.26.14.
    After 3 days riding solo, it was great to ride in a group of tasty classic bikes.
    2018-11-17 13.43.03.
    Khun Man's BMW looked quite original and sounded very sweet. He also has at home an Ariel Red Hunter, a BSA A65 and some other classics.
    2018-11-17 13.44.06.
    After lunch, we rode up to the Rally, together. Pics to follow in another report.

    Next day...... with no sleep due to loud roaring engines and loud music all night..... it was breakfast and goodbyes. The rest of the guys were riding SE back to Kanchanaburi, then on to BKK or Phrae.
    I decided to avoid the traffic and head back north alongside the reservoir and the quiet twisty roads to Dan Chang.
    2018-11-18 10.57.59-1.
    One of many stops like this........ Their warm packet snacks really are bad...
    2018-11-19 05.44.24.
    The limestone karsts of Uthai Thani
    2018-11-19 07.09.01. 2018-11-19 07.28.06.
    Damn, missed the exact 40,000 mile rollover..... Miles I have ridden, since restoring the bike in the 90's.
    2018-11-19 07.52.28.
    Another meal in another country town..........Breakfast in Lan Sak, Uthai...... and another bored housewife who wanted to ride north as pillion....... "got my cicle outside, wanna try..?"
    2018-11-19 07.52.52.
    Then you ride about 50 klms in just 3 straight boring sections of 3504 road, that takes you right across Nakhon Sawan...... that's worst part of the trip.....
    More limestone karsts up in Khampaeng Phet.
    2018-11-19 12.56.25.
    I avoided highway 1 on the return ride and headed NE through Lan Hoi and Thung Saliam. Yes, I had no idea where they were either, but it's Sukhothai.
    2018-11-19 13.08.08.
    Ahh, back to the scenic mountain scenery of the north, here in Phrae. Stopped the night in the Nanda resort in Wang Chin. A quiet sort of place, guessing you could see it all in 15 minutes.
    2018-11-19 14.32.40.
    Next morning, further along the 1023, are the Mae Chok Hot Springs.
    2018-11-20 07.40.16.
    Just what is needed on a foggy morning...
    2018-11-20 07.40.24. 2018-11-20 08.06.17.
    30 minutes in the VIP room and I was twenty years younger...
    2018-11-20 08.51.00. 2018-11-20 08.51.22. 2018-11-20 09.02.52.
    Past Long and after crossing the railway line, took the 4009 Seri Thai road. Several points of World War 2 interest along here.
    Had visited the Seri Thai cave before, but this time noticed the graveyard. The site is not so far from the cave, down a farm track.

    "In honour of two brave unknown Japanese soldiers who perished while performing their duties in searching for the Seri Thai".
    2018-11-20 10.23.12. 2018-11-20 10.26.43.
    This was the site of the Seri Thai radio post. Used to contact the American army in Sri Lanka, to send aircraft to bomb the Japanese army in the area.

    2018-11-20 10.40.18.
    But this sign still intrigues me. "No entry, have "Haw"". No-one seems to know what that means, but as the sign is on the gate across the track with barbed wire, it seems likely that the area around the radio post was mined by the Seri Thai... and the mines may still be there.
    2018-11-20 10.40.27.
    The Commemoration hilltop.
    2018-11-20 10.46.15.

    Well, got home later that day after a 7 day ride.

    Total distance covered on the 60 year old Triumph Thunderbird 650; 1,510 miles... (2,430 klms).

    Not bad for an old un.

    The bike did extremely well. No real issues. We were purring along on the highways at 60-65mph.

    A few more pics from the Lanna Independent Classic Motorbike Endeavour guys;

    In Nonthaburi on the way back to BKK

    some more....

    1542785087807. 1542785100947. 1542785106844. 1542785109812. 1542785113943.
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  2. GTR-Admin

    GTR-Admin Administrator
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    Mar 22, 2016
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    Brilliant write up and wonderful photos - and what an epic ride on the Triumph!

    I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I am am very sorry to have missed the Vintage Bikes day, it would have been great to have made it. Circumstances did not allow me to get away, sad to say...

    The bloke on the Royal Enfield has distilled the very essence of taking your riding seriously!
    Given previous comments by others on the difficulties of getting a sidecar approved at Land Transport Offices, I wonder if his is street legal? And how well it handles, given a previous poster experiences a couple of years ago? Looks bloody good though!!!

  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Sep 19, 2006
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    Wonderful! You are a Legend with that Triumph! Great Job.
  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    Thanks Gents.
    The Enfield had a number plate and I don't suppose the rider considered legalities for long. This is Thailand, do what you gotta do... and have brass in pocket.
    Apparently for Vintage Bike, the cops have an unspoken amnesty on vehicle registrations etc.
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  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Jan 16, 2003
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    What a beauty. You've got a sweet meandering style, just pottering along and finding lots of nice little gems here and there.

    It looks like you lucked out with the weather too, as I seem to recall it was a bit wet around that time too.

    Damn Phrae & the Seri Thai history is interesting. I may have to go back to Phrae for another look around in the back blocks out there.
    There's some good Shan history too around there - some old gem mine we need to find & check out too I believe.

    Just wondering with oil leaks on the bike, do you ever carry any extra oil with you, or do you just monitor it all closely?

    Bravo for continuing your rides on that wonderful old machinery.
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    Yeah yeah.... Oil leaks.... hahaha...
    Well, not surprising on an old engine that is getting well used.
    I check the oil level in the oil tank every day and usually let it go down until I can empty a whole 1tr bottle of oil in there.. that takes about 1000 miles.
    Right now, leaks under control, but the engine was designed with a timed breather, so it spits oil down the breather hose. That is where most oil comes out.
  7. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

    Jan 5, 2008
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    Nice ride report Ian.
    Riding 1510 miles on a 60 year old Triumph down to Kanchanaburi and back, is a nice way to spend seven days.


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