Hi, Having just responded as a new member in a discussion on the proposed December Lao expedition, I thought maybe i'd better introduce myself. My name is Kees Sprengers, I'm 57 yrs old, living in Vientiane, and spend much of my time also in Luang Namtha province, Lao PDR. Hence my comments on the road from Huay Xai- Boten. I do documentary photography, mainly in LN province, a project started about 3 years ago. I'm fairly new to bikeownership, I rode a CB175 in the 70's, then nothing but cars until my sojourns into SE Asia about five years ago. Currently I own a Pickup truck in Vientiane, but find it too timeconsuming to drive it up to LN once a month and back again. So i have just bought a XT600, with intention of riding that up north, and keeping it there for the times I am there. I have rented numerous bikes in Luang Namtha, but all rental bikes there are in terrible condition, slipping clutches, bad road behaviour, bad breaks, no power. All but one are 110/125's, the only other one a clapped out AG200, which is badly worn and refuses to (kick) start every second time. I took that out to Vieng Poukha one day, about 2-3 hours, and swore i'd never rent a bike again. So I am excited about having my own XT 600 up there, and know it is in good order. Any hints for preventative maintenance before I drive up North are welcome.