Ooops done it yet again - another spill

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by DavidFL, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    On the way to the 2014 GTR Mekong Boat & Bike Trip and what happens...R118 bites me again. Damn damn damn.

    And almost the exact same corner!








    Unbelievable, cruising along slowly, aware that I was in my "corner danger zone" & then suddenly without any warning I'm on the deck, the bike has slid out & I'm rolling, sliding down the road, watching the bike overtake me, bouncing side to side, end to end as it goes.

    A right hand corner this time, coming out of the corner. Last time a left hander.
    Fortunately the bike & I stayed on our left hand side of the road, no oncoming traffic, no one to run me over from behind - only Tony BKk enjoying the show.

    Damage to the bike is only plastic & zero damage to myself except the pride.

    The gear I was wearing

    Komine Super Titanium jacket


    Scuff marks on the outside left elbow


    A slight tear on the bottom left front



    4,500 baht from 320SP in Bkk, or available from Zeromet in Chiang Mai.
    I was wary of something so cheap providing adequate protection, but the jacket worked fine & was superior to the 9,000 baht Revit Tornadao that shredded on me last year almost in the same spot.


    Knee sliders - worth their weight in gold



    Scoyco 1,200 baht. Dont ride without them!

    Not a scratch on me.

    The pants Fieldsheer



    worn through but again protective foam in the right spot & not a mark on me.
    I will be after another pair of Fieldsheer from out of the USA, as they seem to be cheapest there.

    The right hand Givi box

    scuffed up, & what took the blow as the bike went down.
    The box popped open & the GTR valuables littered the site.
    But the box never broke, was repacked & locked up again.

    Only the mounting bracket is buckled / bent.

    My Arai Helmet

    a small graze on the chin protector.

    Of note at the accident site we saw plastic debris from a Kawasaki Ninja, plus another Honda.
    R118 is a bit of a nightmare, on the north, Mae Kachan side of the mountain.
    There are a series of corners alongside the Mae Lao stream either side of the police checkpoint, between Khun Chae national Park & the Trekker House turn off that are bloody treacherous - as I've discovered TWICE!

    I try to go round there carefully, smoothly, at a sedate speed; this time sticking to the centre line as I thought this is where the road is cleanest with no oil. The oil is in the middle of the lane. You either take the shoulder of the road or the centre line.
    I obviously got it wrong again, so next time I will be riding along the shoulder of the road.

    The other guys riding behind me all claimed that they had slides before I went down; but I had none until the bike just went down & I was sliding. Absolutely no warning.
    My tyres were new Michelin Tourance & the other guys were mainly on Pirelli Scorpions, so I wonder if maybe the Scorpions give you better feed back from road & let go more easily, but the Tourance just let go no warning whatsoever

    My other recent spills

    an older one 2007 in Hongsa, Laos

    Take care guys - it is good to be alive.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A bit more bike damage

    The SW Motech rack, has taken a big hit.


    Amazingly the GPs & mount are still intact, working as normal!

  4. Lightemup

    Lightemup Ol'Timer

    Good to hear no personal injuries.
    Happens to the best of them.
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    You are a tough git David!!! :thumbup:

    I was about ~20-30 yards behind you and we were not going fast or leaning hard when suddenly your bike spit out from under you. Surprised the hell out of me, and I must say I was amazed and relieved to see you stand right up after rolling and sliding that far down the pavement!! :clap:

    I'd seen both Robert and Richard slip just minutes before so I was taking it real easy on my knobblies, but when I walked out onto the road where you went down it was like standing on ice it was so slippery! Combination of morning dew on top of oil I reckon, as the wet slippery patches dried up and disappeared as we waited for the recovery truck.

    Reckon any crash you can walk away from isn't all that bad! Most of the damage to your bike was cosmetic; really the only thing that prevented you from riding on was the busted brake assembly. (Well, that and the fact that your headlight was pointing to the sky at an odd angle) ;)

    The 118 is best avoided when there is any rain or dew present. I hear some guys get round the slippery bits by riding up the 1001(?) to Phrao, when east on the fantastic 1150(?). Correct my road numbers if I've got them wrong. Anyway, I know that I will try to avoid riding that section of the 118 in the morning from now on!!!
  6. richardgore

    richardgore Member

    David, glad you're relatively unscathed.

    Thanks for the head-up: I'm due to be heading back on that road in the next couple of days so I may fir the stabilisers, or find a different route.

    I've been slipping and sliding my way round the steep bits for the last few days: a mixture of lots of dust on the road, and the crap spewed out by the ancient trucks. It's gonna be like a skating rink as soon as it rains!
  7. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Agree.. When the sun came out it all dried up..

    Last time when you had your GT-Slider.. We were passing around the same time.
    Same meeting time at the PTT..

    Best avoid this road if we can.

    Just to add.. Also saw Richard slipping and sliding around the place.. Thought something was wrong with his bike.
    I didn't have one slip.

    Good to see you soldier on and enjoy the boat trip still :)

  8. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Damn, it seems no matter what tire you were running could have dealt with a wet oil slick like that. But I have heard the Tourance are not too forgiving, wear like iron though. Stating the obvious, but avoidance seems the best remedy to those conditions. I believe I saved my skin several times over there and in VN because I was able to clearly see the detail of the road surface before I was upon it. And I was only able to do that because I was wearing polarized sunglasses.

    The entire time I was riding there I could see shiny, oily slick areas and steered well clear. Polarized lenses can be a pain because they make the new LCD displays on bikes hard to read at some angles and even some phone displays. But they are worth their weight in busted bike parts and ripped gear for sure. I don't ride without them.
  9. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Glad you're okay.:thumbup:
  10. Glad you are ok David.

    I hate that bloody road with a passion.... so friggin glassy smooth in so many areas..... done it twice in the last few weeks on the AT...... cornering very gingerly and still getting some slides on! Waited till late afternoon last Sunday before I came home so it was nicely warmed up and sticky, but still had to use the hard shoulder in a lot of places.

    When the hell was it last re-surfaced? It's causing exactly the same problems the old 210 Udon to Nong Bua Lamphu did about 8 years ago before they totally re-surfaced the whole thing...... claimed many many bikes on glassy corners.
  11. richardgore

    richardgore Member

    Hi again,
    Well, as promised, I came down the R118 yesterday on my way back from Chiang Khong. Keeping in mind your offs and other comments I kept pretty much to the hard shoulder but then I didn't have much of a choice because, about 20 kms after I turned on to the 118 from the 120 my fuel light came on. Not being sure how much I had in the hire bike I was, for the most part, freewheeling down the steep bits and coaxing it up the hills. Must have confused the hell out of the cars and buses which were overtaking me - a 650 BMW going slower than a twist and go! Just managed to coast into a fuel stop as the road flattened out. Very relieved as I didn't fancy having to push it in this heat.

    With the sun against you at that time of the evening the glare off the glassy road surface is blinding. Unfortunately there are very few alternative roads so that one is pretty much unavoidable. The trouble is that, knowing how many of you have had 'moments' or worse (David) makes me ride like a complete novice once I'm on it, which probably increases the chances of an off.

    With all the road resurfacing I saw going on in the North and East I'm surprised that this one isn't being addressed. Hopefully by the time I come back next year……..
  12. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    As a frequent traveler on Route 118, the second gymkhana of my friend David in the Khun Chae stretch sent shivers down to my spine. I was waiting for the group in Chiang Khong when the picture of the accident surfaced on Facebook. It was reassuring to see David standing, but, despite a relatively 'happy ending', the concerns of this road remain.

    I just went through this itinerary again and stopped to inspect the location and tarmac's conditions. The scars from this accident are still written on the road, together with other marks left over by other incidents.

    I tested the road's surface with my boots and found the adherence to be low at that moment (mid-morning).

    I drove the north side back, a couple of days later, also in the mid-morning. It was a sunny and hot March day, but, along this stretch, there were places even with water on the road and a lot of humidity everywhere. Other segments of the itinerary from Mae Kachan to Doi Saket were, however, perfectly dry.

    Khun Chae national park has a rainy micro climate and a lot of humidity. I often noticed downpours there when there is no rain on both sides of this area.

    A polished, greasy asphalt, and high levels of humidity make this trail treacherous. The road's shoulders seem often safer choices ... If there is no gravel.


  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yeehar. Back in business

    Power On. sent from Sony Xperia AcroS
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    For the record for those interested


    The most expensive part not listed was the MRA Fairing @ 7,000 baht; & that's the second time I've had to replace it from a spill. The first one being a year ago

    You all be careful out there now.

    Now it's time to go back to tweaking my Versys again. Ho Hum.
  15. Gary D

    Gary D Ol'Timer

    Well the accident details are very informative Dave. I too went down on the same stretch of the 118 last year. And it was also oil that brought on my demise.

    Two points that are similar are 1) using the outside area of the lane and 2) Metzler Tourance tyres. I was running in new Tourances on the way to Laos and was using the wide lane and that is where most of the oil remained. The inner lane had been used by smaller bikes before me and did not present a situation.

    Since changing to the softer Pirelli Scorpion Trails i feel much more traction compared to the Metzlers which are harder and so last much longer. And in a high speed slide the value of quality ride gear becomes apparent.

  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Glad to see you back on the road David!!! :thumbup:
  17. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

    was on the 118 in a pickup truck last week . I was driving very sheepishly after reading this thread and also doing some slip/sliding of my own for the first time on the 4018 a few days before. The wife actually commented on how slippy the surface was without me mentioning it. a lot of roads are looking very slick at the moment . Wear Polarised lenses and you'll see all the dodgy sections . Hopefully the Songkran Rains will wash the Oil and diesel away and give us back some traction.
  18. chiangmairich

    chiangmairich Ol'Timer

    Good to see your bike is back on the road David and a good outcome with the accident, no major damage to yourself which proves that the right gear saves a lot of pain and hospital bills!
    Interesting about the polarized sunglasses, I will try a set on a ride north next week although they distort on car windscreens in older cars maybe because of the laminate film.
  19. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    First ride away after the spill & I can honestly say I don't like the Metzler Tourance tyres - no feeling / feedback from the road.

    So they are off & back on are Avon Distanzia tyres. Superb feeling & grip. But not so long lasting - in 3 months I will need a new set at 10,800 baht = roughly 3000 baht a month for tyres.
    Oh well - that is better than a 25,000 baht repair bill I guess.

    Now on the my way back into Chiang Mai from Chiang Rai on R118 I stopped at the police box just around the corner from where I came off; the cops say "yeah it happens all the time " - in the morning there is "Nam Moei" on the road - dew / sap / condensation / moisture from the cool night air & forest. By 11AM it is usually gone. You literally can't see this moisture but it is there alright - as I have found out twice.
    The police also said it is not as bad now as it was two years ago - boy mak - very often before, now just often. But you only need it to happen once.

    So you all take care out there now - Songkran is here & the most dangerous time of the year to be riding.

    I'm off up R118 tomorrow heading to Chiang Khong to flee Cnx before Songkran gets well & truly underway.

    Power On. sent from Sony Xperia AcroS

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