Mhs-nan Ride

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Wazza, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Posted below this is my report on our ride. Photos to follow. Regards Wazza

    The Ride.

    The Intent.

    Straight off the plane at 0830 from Sepang Motgp and into the hills was the plan
    Via the bike shop in the middle of Chiang Mai. Bit of a dash around buying simcards, a helmet and get some cash.
    I had arranged the bikes with Lan at CP Bigbike Rental and as per previous rentals the bikes were in good condition, good tyres and a full tank of petrol. I had initially arranged for an MT07, Suzuki V Strom, Honda CBR 650 and Kawasaki Versys. For whatever reason, the yammy wasn't back from hire so we had 2 x 650 hondas. After the flurry of activity we decided to go across the road and regroup, have bite to eat and a cool drink.
    By 1245 we were on our way.

    DAY 1 chiang Mai to Mae Chaem via R108, R1009, R1192.

    Left CM via R108 to Chom Thong and by 1400 we were on the R1009 and the fun began. We dropped by Mae Klang waterfall and had a cool drink at Vatchirathan waterfall, before continuing onto Doi Inthanon summit in misty rain and chilly temps. We stopped at the gates at the top and took the statutory photos at the summit sign and temperature readout, 10 degree that day.
    Back down the mountain to the R1192 and onto Mae Chaem. The R1192 is a good introduction to Thai riding and I have really enjoyed it the 3 times I've ridden it.
    I had booked the Hot Coffee Guest House sometime ago and never realised it was 25 kms out of town on the R1008. We arrived at 1700 and were simply amazed at the place. Tranquill, beautiful surroundings, lovely accommodation and great hosts.
    We had a very pleasant dinner and a few beers to wash it down. We all slept very soundly with the sound of water trickling down the river in the back ground.
    157 kms ridden.

    DAY 2 Mae Chaem to MHS via R1008,R1263, R4009, R108

    0830 departed Hot Coffee GH and continued north on the 1008 and turned west onto the R1263. We stopped at Tambon Mae Suek for coffee and bought a few small items from the shop. Up the road approx 12ks we turned onto the R4009 and headed to Mae Surin waterfall for a stroll around.
    Between the waterfall and the concrete viewing area, the Givi topbox decided to part company with oneself and the Honda. Fortunately it didn't open, just spun like a top down the road. They do tend to jump off on potholed roads. Bought an Ocky strap to secure it. Up on one of the ridges we happened upon a man with his elephant grazing on the side of the road.
    After the concrete lookout, we came to a fork in the road, the gps indicated that right fork was perhaps the “main road” so we headed that way. Only to find the road had been covered by a slip and for a few ks was just rutted dirt. Would not be much fun if wet but ok as it was. We came out at a little village and got pointed in the right direction and apart from the occasional section of dirt, the road was getting better. After the lake it really started to improve and in parts reminded me of the MEO microwave road. Down to the R108, we decided to head to Khun Yuam, for a break and a bit to eat. We stopped in at Katin Restaurant on the south side of town, very nice meal. Left Katin at 1400 and departed for MHS. The lads very much enjoyed this section of road and we arrived at Ngamata Hotel at 1500. Checked into the hotel and legged it up to the Crossroads Hotel for a couple of coldies and a chat about the day. That evening we strolled through the street market and had dinner by the lake.
    Distance 257 kms.

    DAY 3 MHS to Pai via Rak Thai,via R1095, R1285.

    After breakfast at the Ngamata we did a lap of town, up the hill to the temple and then started the search for fuel. Bit like a treasure hunt but light on treasure. The petrol station on the 108 in town is under reconstruction. Eventually we found fuel at the bus station. Left town at 0930 for Rak Thai.
    There is fuel on the R1095 a handful of ks north of MHS, not long before the Rak Thai turnoff. We stopped in at Pha Sua waterfall for a look along the way. From the waterfall on to RT the road is great and the lads enjoyed every metre of it.
    Arrive RT 1030 and took in the surroundings, quite picturesque. Had tea and coffee beside the lake and bought some dried fruit for snacks. Departed 1130 and thoroughly enjoyed the R1285 back to the Pai road.
    This section of the R1095 is a ripper, excellent valley floors and good, tight climbs. Stopped at the top for photos and to take in the vista. It's another good fang down to Pai, arrived 1430.
    Stayed at the Namu Hotel in the middle of things, clean, tidy with off street secure parking. Had a progressive dinner, entree here, dinner there sort of thing. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    A couple of Hong Thong night caps and a relatively early night. Big day tomorrow.
    Distance ridden 181.5 kms

    DAY 4 Pai to Nan via R1095, R1001, R1150, R1251, R1091.

    Depart Pai 0645, rather cold and drizzly mist. Eventually burnt off at around 0830. The rear Dunlop D222 didn't like the cold and damp, bit slippery. It was starting to warm a little by the time we crossed the R107 and got onto the R1001 to Phrao. It's a pleasant flowing ride, it was still cool when we arrived in Phrao at 0930, 164 ks down.
    Had a nice stuffed omelette at the pink eatery next to the fishing rod shop, down the market end of town. Depart Phrao at 1030 on the R1150. Another good road up the side of a big hill. We stopped overlooking the town and noted a big dam being constructed.
    Other than a fuel stop, we continued on to Chiang Muan and had a bite to eat and drink on the outskirts. Departed Chiang Muan 1430 on the R1091 to Nan arriving 1545.
    Booked into the Khuang Chang Kam Boutique Hotel, very nice place but bit of a challenge to find. They do breakfast but not dinner or beer. Right next door is the Nan Guest House, which definitely does beer. Good off street parking, very nice and tidy. We ate at a restaurant at the end of the lane, very good food.
    A longish day in the saddle but not as arduous as I had anticipated. From the start of the R1001 to Chiang Muan it's pretty fast flowing and you can quickly tuck the ks away.
    Total ride 445 kms.

    DAY 5 Nan to Chiang Mai via R101, R11

    After a pleasant breakfast at Khuang Chang Kam BH, we departed at 0830, fuelled up at the Shell station around the corner and then did bit of a lap around Nan. The place has a very pleasant feel about it.
    The R101 out of Nan is boring compared to our previous 4 days. There is a short section of the R11 between Lampang and CM that raises the pulse but otherwise not particularly memorable. Arrived Chiang Mai 1515
    The days total 327 kms.


    We hired the bike with swapping in mind. It's not often you get to ride multiple bikes end on end. As mentioned the intent was to have an MT07 jam jar, which would have made an interesting 4 way comparo.

    Let's start with Pete’s comments - assigned bike the Kwaka Versys
    The Kwaka-
    Seemed to like rights better than left turns.
    Suspension ok.
    Didn't like the downhill braking.
    Good engine braking.

    Suzi V Strom
    Good power and handling.
    Gearbox rough.

    Likes to rev.
    Hard seat.
    Sporty and fun

    Steves comments- Assigned bike Suzi.
    The Kwaka-
    Didn't like the handling especially tip in.
    Didn't like the tacho.
    It does like to rev.
    Kept sliding forward on the seat.

    The Suzi-
    Have to keep revs up.
    Good on gravel.
    Suspension spongy, better after adding rear preload.
    Good brakes.

    Seat uncomfortable.
    Good sporty performance.
    Didn't like the tacho.
    Good gearbox.
    Handles great.
    Good power.

    Garry’s comments-Assigned bike CBR650
    Good mid range torque.
    Best trail braking around corners.
    Concluded, very good.

    Good throttle transition.
    Good torquey motor.
    Superbly balanced.
    Tracks beautifully.

    Not torquey.
    Plenty of mid range and top end.
    Poor Rear brake.
    Throttle snatchy.
    Front end vague.

    Wazza,s comments- assigned bike CBR650
    Turned better with rider input,ie lean in.
    Brakes good.
    Tall bike.
    Screen good.
    Good power and willing to rev.
    Rear spongy until we cranked up the pre load.

    Gearing far too tall, mostly 2 and 3rd in the hills.
    Handling very good and confidence building.
    Gearbox feels like it came out of an old Soviet tractor, stiff and heavy 1-4, up and down.
    Willing to rev.
    Screen very good.

    Power good and sporty up in the revs.
    Suspension too soft especially the rear, wallows about on humps and hollows at speed.
    Need to keep up the revs in the hills.
    Rear Dunlop D222 very average on my Honda.
    Likes lean input when cornering.
    Front brake good but requires at least 2 fingers.
    Would benefit having a small screen for the fast bursts.

    Fuel Averages over 1387 kms.

    Kwaka 22.52 km/L or 61.58L used
    Suzi 22.76 km/L or 60.92L “””
    Black CBR650 22.60 km/L or 61.31L “”””
    Blue CBR650 21.88 km/L or 63.39L “”” I'm the heavy handed one!

    The Summary

    Could have probably turned left at R107 and done the R1322, R1178, R1340 etc and expressed it back to CM on the final day, possibly with a couple of detours.
    The main reason for visiting Nan is, I will be back at Christmas with my wife and daughter, so I was interested in checking it out. Will have to find a better way of getting there than the R11/R101 from Chiang Mai.
    Personally, of the roads we rode, I would rate the R108, 1095, 1263,1250, 1285, 4009, 1091 and the R1192 as the most enjoyable.
    Of the bikes, 2 x cbr 650’s, Vstrom and the Versys. The Suzi gets the nod for best bike, with the Honda’s a close second and the Kwaka bring up the tail.
    The Givi top boxes we very average, one fell off and another almost came off. The catch for the lid is bit of a pain when off the bike. Don't forget a strap or elastic tie for added security.
    Most of the roads we travelled could do with some post wet season love, lots of pot holes and broken surfaces.
    For my 3 companions, it was a real eye opener. The people, the beautiful countryside and the
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Nice one.
    Interesting comments about the bikes too.

    Now I'm wondering if you guys were in MHS the night I was at the Sunflower, confirming the GTR MHS Memorial ride with George.
    Friday 27 October was the night?

    Looking forward to your photos.

    Thanks for the report.
  3. Hi David,
    We started out on the Monday 30th October, straight after Sepang MotoGP. The bike comments were largely first impressions, although we did run through it again towards the end of our trip.
    Regards Wazza
    • Like Like x 1
  4. The 650 VStrom the best rental touring machine. 55
    Solid. Reliable. Lazy V-twin motor.
    Best luggage capacity.
  5. #5 Wazza, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
    IMG_1407.JPG IMG_1442.JPG IMG_1444.JPG IMG_1449.JPG IMG_1450.JPG Day Two Photos
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Some more photos IMG_0165.JPG IMG_0172.JPG IMG_0185.JPG IMG_0247.JPG IMG_0237.JPG IMG_0240.JPG IMG_0200.JPG IMG_0169.JPG IMG_0203.JPG
    • Like Like x 1
  7. A nice selection of pics.

    You got me with this one

    where is it?
    • Like Like x 1
  8. It's on the R4009, between Mae Surin waterfall and Nong Kheaw lake. We came onto 4009 from R1263. After the waterfall and well before the lake, there was a fork in the road. The gps suggested right was the "main" road and barely a kilometer down it, it turned to dirt. I have yet to confirm with the gps track but I suspect we took the turn to Huai Mak, rather than the road to Huai Mak Lang. I'm not quite sure how we deviated but we encountered several other dirt sections before we got to the lake. There are some stunning views to be had before the road drops down to the 108. It's probably easier to ride from the 1263, providing your bike doesn't have a 7" drum brake and you can just roll down the exquisite twisty road. Going up, especially 2 up would demand a good deal of concentration and a little clutch work, to avoid flame outs.
    If anyone can tell me where we went astray and onto the dirty I'd appreciate it. Cheers Waz
  9. The OSM map is a bit poor in this area for off road tracks. The two tracks going north to the "Elephant trail" is not on OSM yet.
    Screenshot 2017-11-21_07-52-17.
  10. Thanks Oddvar,
    You wouldn't be the same Oddvar that worked on supply boats out of northern Australia?
    Not a lot of fellows with that handle about and you would be 1 or 2nd I've run across.
    Back to the map, gps map was by far better than the one above.
  11. The map is better when zooming, and no. I work on ships but not been to Oz since 89..
  12. Yes indeed, brake type is certainly a major factor with regard to favoured direction on the west end of 4009. But even with a modern bike, I think that for those who don't like heights, downward is still a bit scary.

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