Mr. KTM going into Cambodia with pictures !!

Feb 23, 2003
Here is the high powered border crossing into Cambodia from Laos. You must have your Cambodia visa in advance from Vientiane or Bangkok as they will not issue one at the border. The guys here were too funny, as they remembered when I had pulled a wheelie the last time I was there on my bmw. Now they demanded that I do it again on the ktm. No problem!!!

Here is the road when I tried to go down it 5 months ago.

Here is the exact same road .....I was so bummed out. I so wanted to blast down this road with my KTM, sort of a triumphant return . Now the road looks like a runway. There were huge work camps along the road with Chinese writing on the outside walls. This must be part of some master plan of theirs. What is most astonising is the fact it was done in only a few months !!!

Sights along the road south.

And there I was, fighting through red jungle mud , buried to the axles, trying to make progress.......Wait!! Wrong picture. This was a bypass around the main road where they were building bridges. Because this was now dry season the trucks had ground the dirt into a powder that was like flour with mystery terrain below it. Made for some tough riding on the detours. There were many many of these bypasses. That is a truck stuck in the dust behind behind me. Hit a small patch of this on the main road doing about a 100Ks. Started doing the tank slapper thing..... Think my seat still has pucker marks on it. On a 1150 GS I I would have been down. Did wish I had a steering dampner though.!!!

Local policeman. He was very proud of his bike, although he kept making hand motions about trading bikes.

After a night in a very quiet town along the Mekong River it was time to head for Phnom Penh.
Joe had ridden ahead of me because it was a very long dusty road and there is no need to eat extra dust by riding together. Twenty minutes later every ktm 950 owner's nightmare comes to life. Yes, a flat rear tire in the middle of nowhere. My first one, and I had only read about the horrors of fixing it on the web.
If I had not read about the sidestand trick for breaking the bead I might still be there. KTM uses a lock on the rim to keep the tire on the rim case of a rear blow out. However makes for a very tough breaking of the bead. Pulled it under a shaded open bamboo structure to get out of the sun as it was a very hot day. Within ten minutes I had a crowd of both spectators and workers.

Side stand trick in action. Now just lean the entire bike over until the bead pops down.

Whipped the tube out and carefully patched it. I have endless miles on a bicycle and have patched hundreds of flats by the way. Put it all back together, inflate it, and head off to big cheers , after palming off $ 10 to them for all their work. Feeling pretty proud of myself, and ever pop a little wheelie as I take off. The grin disappeared in about two minutes which is about as long as the tire held air.......
Here is flat tire version number 2. Notice the new players and the more professional enviroment !!!

No I did not leave the nail in the tire. For some reason the new glue just did not like the tube material and did not stick even after all my carefull prep. So they sent the tube out to some local tire shop where they put on a hot patch that worked perfectly. Another$ 10 , more cheers and am now down the road for real, going like a bat out of hell in case it starts leaking on me again. Wanted to reach the paved road so if it went flat again would just put it on a truck as it was now getting late, and I had no time for flat tire version number 3.
I now carry an extra tube by the way.........
Reached Phnom Penh at about 7:00 at night. It is always a bad idea to ride these roads at night unless you have a death wish.

Local traffic along the river in Phnom Penh.

Many intersections are uncontrolled, so you get to play a sort of game of chicken where the tonnage rule goes into effect....So cars and trucks always win of course !!!

At the police station where I had to pay a fine for turning left at an intersection. For some odd reason I not see the tiny sign hidden behind a tree that had the universal symbol for not turning left. I had some time to kill so at first refused to pay it on principle, just to see what they would do. Finally when they realize they had a tough nut to crack, the sargent says it is not actually a fine, but is really for beer money. Oh, of course no problem as it has now become an issue I can relate to.

A few days of fun in Phnom Penh and then time to head south for the town of Kep. This was a sort of former fun spot for the wealthy French as it is the closest beach to Phnom Penh. There are a lot of villas there shot up during the Pol Pot years. Here is one of them.

Here is another one where the kids were swimming in the old pool next to the house.

The pool looked like an algae experiment, but they were having the time of their lives!!!!! Wonder what the former owners would have thought...

A lunch stop at the beach and then head sort of west to Sihounoukville.
Pleasant road that sort of parallels the ocean. Was almost smoked by a cow though. Joe was riding in front and spooked a big cow by the side of the road. I was going along at a good clip...... The cow started running directly towards the road, on a perfect path to intercept me . I do not really believe the Harley mantra of loud pipes save lives, but in this case it worked!! Just when the collision was a forgone conclusion with Joe watching helplessly from his rear view mirror, the cow heard the Remus pipes on my bike and made a U turn at the last second. Thank you Buddha!!! :lol3

Relaxing on the beach.

Riding on the beach.

Beachfront home. Just kidding, really small spirit house for the dearly departed.

Ferry crossing for the trip back north to Thailand. No expense is spared in providing the latest and safest equipment....
There are four river crossings like this one. That is Joe in the background helping to keep the level of the rive high.........

The snack girls team get me to buy some water. Loved the way they balanced the trays on their heads. Always hard to resist winsome looking little girls asking in plaintive voices "you buy food from me????"

Back home again in Pattaya, Thailand. This is a view of walking street at night. It truly is an amazing city, sort of like Disneyland but with 20,000 cute girls who want to go home with you. Middle aged man paradise...

Promotion girls that work for gogo bars set back from the street

Ok kids, that is it. Overall a very enjoyable trip, with Joe a great riding partner. Except for when he spooked out that cow........