Mae Hong Son Loop 2 Bikes, Honda XR 250 and Honda CBR150R 2 Riders Woody and GT Honda CBR150R Rider GT We set off from Chiangmai after mid day sporting a couple of mild hangovers. The plan was to ride to Pai at an easy pace. The rain started not far past Mae Rim and I dunno weather it was my dull brain (Woody said it was) or just the wet road but the CBR was handling like a goat with three legs. A couple of heart stopping moments made me come back to earth and realize if I'm to make Pai on the bike and in one piece then I'd better slow down. Woody kept going at a reasonable pace and to keep up I had to brake late and crank the throttle wide open as soon as I could. Rather stupid I thought later. Anyway we made it. This bike continues to amaze me; I wish it had some power though. I’d had my bike in storage for a year and the tyres have gone a bit hard and need replacing. That’s my excuse! The road to Pai is very twisty and slippery as I’m sure the GT-Riders already know. The road surface changes colour when wet in places and it's very hard to read when it's covered in water and pissing down rain. Riding fast on this type of surface is like having one foot in the box and the other on a banana skin, ride flat out at your peril. I'm not sick of living just yet. There's some road works along here but I'm buggered if I can remember exactly where. You'll see the dirt no problem, and if you go too fast you might see it a lot closer than you'd planned. The final 20km into Pai has just been resurfaced and is perfect at the moment. Upon arrival in Pai we started checking a few guest houses and being told the town was full we got a little worried we may have to ride on further but eventually we found a nice place to bunk down for the night. There was still about an hour or so of day light left so we took off to see the waterfall just a short distance out of town. Along the way I saw some ladies sitting on the side of the road. When they heard us coming they leapt to their feet and made a gesture with their fingers like you want smoke. I asked Woody what they wanted; he told me you want smoke? eh? Marijuana, oh, no mate I never touch they stuff, I have enough trouble with beer and I was an asthmatic as a kid and don't need anything adding to the problem. I have heard lately that the police are doing some random stop and searches of farang coming back from the waterfall. We got to see the waterfall and then it started to absolutely bucket down again. Being smart arses we'd left our jackets back at the guest house. So we had to wait under a rickety old thatched roof propped up by a few skinny bamboo poles. While not the Taj Mahal it was surprisingly dry under there. Once the rain eased we rode back to the guest house and then thought about where to eat. I don’t like Pai one little bit and just wanted to get out of there. Next morning at sparrow fart I get a bang on the door. What the hell, it’s well before 7AM! Who’s there? "Hey GT you awake was the reply. Am now, what's wrong? Let’s get out of here, we're burning daylight. I dragged me sore and tired carcass off the stretcher and into the shower and felt a lot better afterwards. The ride to MHS was mostly dry except for one spot when it rained very hard and we had to stop at the rangers’ station for half hour or so. The rest of the ride to MHS was quite good with mostly dry smooth roads. However just to check you're paying attention there were a few places where the road was wet as a shag on some corners and you couldn't see it until you were right on top of it. Again, it pays to slow down when the weather is suspect. We rode into the guest house car park in MHS tired and ready for a rest. A quick rinse in the shower and an hour’s rest, then it was time to hit the town. I'd not been up this way before and was eager to check the place out. Just as we were about to leave on foot it started to rain and quite hard too. So we had to wait a while until it eased. After a scoff at a cafe we decided to go play some pool. They've got beer in those establishments you know, I can recall myself telling Woody! After being comprehensively beaten at pool not once but 4 times I decided enough pool for now and enough beer for now too, I needed a rest. Some of us old sods do like a nap in the arvo. After a short nap we decided to get back on the horses and go up the hill for a look at the temple. You get a nice view of the town from up there. That night we did a few laps around town looking for beer shops but couldn’t find any, so decided to head back to the Crossroads Pub again for a palate cleansing ale, or two. Sometimes one's too many and ten's not enough, as was the case on this occasion. The next morning I woke very early and felt good. Now you sod (Woody) it's my turn to get you off the stretcher early. A quick check of the CBR, (kick the tyres and lube the chain) I packed my bike ready for the days ride back to Chiangmai. I sent an SMS message to Woody to get out of bed. A moment later there was an almighty cough and a splutter and the curtain swung back. You're up early shithead,what’s the time? C'mon mudguts, get up, let’s go. We left the guesthouse a bit before 7.30AM with a quick stop at the 7-11 for Woody to buy some fags and a drink and we were on the road. Route 108 from MHS to the turn off on route 1263 suited my CBR quite well. The ride back to Chiangmai was fairly uneventful. There are a few kilometres on route 1263 with gravel which needs a bit of care on a road bike but it didn’t slow us down that much. Coming down into Mae Chaem we were going quite quickly. Woody was in front and went over a huge dip and I followed a few seconds later. It was quite unexpected and if I’d been going any faster I’d have bitten the road for sure. Woody stopped and I shot past him only to see petrol pissing out of his bike. When he went over the bump the float in the carby must have opened to its full extension and jammed the float needle. I’m a mechanic and knew immediately what had occurred. A few taps on the float bowl with a metal spanner and it came right. The rest of the ride was uneventful and most enjoyable especially the road coming in the back of Doi Inthanon. My only reservation about this part of the ride although enjoyable even on a small under powered bike was the fact I rode way too fast. The feeling you get arriving at a corner sliding with no power to pull yourself out of trouble is one I don’t care to repeat any time too soon if at all. Maybe next time I’ll have a bike I can ride fast enough to keep up but still ride sensibly. One can only hope! Apart from the usual idiots in pickup trucks, dogs running out in front of you and the odd fresh cow pat, the roads are in reasonable condition for this time of the year. We had a most enjoyable ride and I can’t wait for next time. Here’s a video we knocked up quickly.