The Magical Roads Tour part 2 Nov11

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. 01 Nov 2011;
    I was ready to roll out of the Viang at 06:30 but my “trusty Triumph” was being untrusty…..
    Pull in clutch, kick over engine in neutral to free clutch plates. Fuel tap on, tickle the tickler on the carburettor till fuel drips out, ignition on and a good kick. Nothing….. kick, kick kick…. Doesn’t want to play…. A bit like the wife most mornings…
    Gloves off, jacket off, helmet off, shades off, bike on centre stand again. Some sweet talk, some more tickling and a few good hearty kicks and she bursts into life…. Just like the wife again… if I’m lucky.
    It’s all down to the correct amount of tickling….. in both cases….


    I was heading to meet Gary and Nong somewhere near Pai….. They were coming from Chiang Dao, me from Chiang Saen.

    The widening of the 1016 from Chiang Saen to Mae Chan is continuing. Contractors are due to complete the 27 klm stretch of road by July next year and on a penalty for late completion. More than half is completed, with just a few klms at the Mae Chan end and the difficult part nearer to Chiang Saen from Pasak Noi, where the Kham river runs alongside the road.

    The 1089 out Mae Chan is much nicer.


    The road up to the checkpoint at Ban Lorcha and then coming down off the mountain through the twisties on the west side is a great section, down to the Lao Ta coffee shop and petrol station.


    There was a market going on there that was threating to block the street.



    This place has become a regular stop. Coffee beans for sale at 350 Baht a kilo.



    This old Chevy Monte Carlo outside had seen better days.

    Carried on through Thathon, Mae Ai, Fang and down to Chai Prakarn.


    Lovely hospital entrance.......

    Then starts the next section of good roads and dramatic limestone karst scenery, through Chiang Dao and down to Mae Taeng.






    Lunch stop in Chiang Dao.




    We then turned right up the 1178 towards Pai.
    More scenery and hairpin bends, potholed and repaired tarmac and quite a bit of traffic going from CM to Pai.


    Stopped at the Pankled Coffee shop for coffee and snacks.





    We saw evidence of landslides on many of the roads, but nothing blocking our passage.






    Then continued into Pai, had a quick look around and then headed back out to go down the 1265 to Wat Chan.



    The 1265 was potholed and covered in cowshit to start with, then a good long nice section, with the last bit holed or washed out.


    There’s not a lot in Wat Chan and apparently no completed tarmac roads out in any direction, yet, but underway. Finally met up with Gary at the Royal Project there, lovely spot, private bungalow.

    Distance today; 267 miles (430 klms). A respectable distance on the old girl.pencil.png
  2. Looks like you had some good weather at least. Those washouts will take some repairing by the looks of it. Seem to remember stopping at Pankled Coffee shop in May & it was OK - would stop there again. Hoping to have a night in Pai at end of January, most people seem to prefer MHS but Pai just has something about it!
  3. Yes indeed; Sathanee Ooak............ love it.....:sick:

    02 Nov 2011;
    Gary, Nong and I headed out next morning back to Pai for breakfast.






    Then off north on the 1095 up to Pang Mapha. Superb road this, very enjoyable, scenery and tarmac.








    Went to have a look at Tham Lot Cave. Went inside by bamboo raft. Stunning mites and tites.





    Headed to the Cave Lodge run by an Aussie guy, John, who has been up there for 30 years. Many stories to tell.





    Nice road through the forest to get to the cave Lodge.



    Continued along the 1095, wonderful road to Mae Hong Son, gotta be up there with the 1148. Sweeping, flowing turns, few hairpins, sheer joy.




    Continued on south,through Mae Hong Son down to Khun Yuam on the 108. Another great road, some of it, almost as good as before Mae Hong Son.


    Stayed in Khun Yuam for a night at the Hern Tai Guest House. Good enough.



    Another superb days riding.

    Gary........"d'you know wot? ad a great day today!"

    Distance today; 171 miles (275 klms).
  4. 03 Nov 2011;
    We continued east along the 1263 out of Khun Yuam towards the Buathong Field (Mexican Sunflowers). Another great road, pretty quiet, great scenery.






    Another couple of weeks and the the flowers will be in full bloom.

    On to more truly magical roads.




    Stopped at the Hot Coffee resort near Mae Chaem, lunch and free wi-fi. Cracking spot by the river, it would be a great place to spend a night.


    Rolled on and took the small road up the back side of Doi Inthanon. This was a good test for the old Thunderbird but she roared up the mountain in 2[sup]nd[/sup] or 3[sup]rd[/sup] gear most of the time. Satisfaction to have made the top. 109 years of man and machine at the top of the highest mountain.


    It was cool up there with mist and rain coming over the mountain.
    We took the main road down the mountain and the heavy rain started. I pulled in to the side at some fruit stalls. A young German couple pulled in wearing shorts and T shirts and nearly run out gas. So, when the rain stopped, I followed them down the mountain for a while, before stopping and taking a litre of petrol out of my bike’s tank and into a plastic bottle for them. Good deed for the day… Got down near the bottom and stayed in a resort for the night. Had a goodbye dinner with Gary and Nong.

    Distance today; 130 miles (209 klms).
  5. 04 Nov 2011;

    Set off early, about 05:30. The uprated alternator on the Thunderbird allows for a reasonable halogen headlamp to replace the original Lucas “prince of darkness” 6 volt lighting. I filled up with petrol near Hang Dong, where the traffic was extremely busy, before heading off around the Samoeng loop. The middle section of the loop is great, less traffic, then from halfway, down the mountain into Mae Rim is a great run. I stopped off at the X-Centre to say hello to Ian and his missus.


    After that it was run for home. Lunch stop on the way and then coffee again at the Lao Ta coffee shop. Arrived back in Chiang Saen at about 16:30.

    Distance today; 236 miles (380 klms).
    Total Magical Roads Part 2 trip distance; 804 miles (1294 klms) in 4 days.

    Actually, the Thunderbird is a superb bike to ride a great distance on and perfect for the roads of northen Thailand. It was built as a touring bike with wide comfortable double density sponge seat, comfortable sitting position, gear and brake pedal positions not too acute. Low revving engine that will pull from 30 mph in top. Quick detach rear wheel (no need to remove the brake hub or disturb the chain). The bike even carries a bicycle type hand pump as standard, positioned on brackets from the bottom of the seat (it works too). The front mudguard stay doubles as a front stand for front wheel removal and it has a generous sized toolbox. She leaked out about 0.5 litre of oil..... not bad over that distance.........

    A most enjoyable ride on some of the world finest roads.

    Best wishes
  6. Have a good one Ron..
    Great time to ride, good visibility and before the roads get too crowded
  7. Ian
    What a great report - bringing back some serious pangs for my '68 T120!
    The T-bird looks glorious on the MHS Loop especially now the sunflowers are out.
    How did she handle braking on the hills - and any mech probs, apart from early morning tickling blues?
    Many thanks again for taking the time to write it up.

    cracking image

    pity about those who need to sticker up the sign tho...

    I believe you have found

    a GT-R's new Avatar!
  8. Maybe an avatar for the morning after the night before heavy drinkers?
    Great photos yet again - Ian - nice scenes & the flowers do look beautiful. Sadly they'll all be gone by end of Jan when we should be passing through!
  9. Great stuff Ian and I especially like your bike. The Thunderbird was the first bike I owned at the age of 14. Very special indeed. Thanks for the report and pictures.
  10. Thanks guys,

    It is a special bike. I have owned her now for 18 years. Just great to ride. Not for sale.... ever...
    Mechanical problems..... well... actually none. I never opened the toolbox on the run, but I did tighten up the barrel to crankcase nuts when I got home as I had noticed oil weeping from the joint. I made the mistake of not sealing the joint with gasket cement years ago. The manual method was just grease, which would have worked fine, but the mouth of the cases had been damaged previously by bodgers with screwdrivers.
    I have to replace the swing arm bushes though. When I replaced these years ago, I had no way to in-line ream them (they have to be reamed after insertion), so used sandpaper, with a poor result. I now have a set of new bushes and a new swing arm pin, together with the correct size reamer and pilot guide, so, will be getting to that job soon...
    Braking... well... I tend to go down hill slowly........ The back brake is fine, but the front is not. I recently fitted new shoes and turned the cam lever around to give a straighter run for the control cable. This also repositioned the cam lever to be applying braking force exactly when the lever is tangenital to the cable, thus applying maximum force. This improved the brake from awful to not great.....

    Rhodie.... a '68 T120 huh... now there is a machine.... it probably had the excellent TLS front brake.... about 50% more pad area than the old Thunderbird.

    Best wishes
  11. great report, great pictures, thanks for sharing
  12. 272972=5879-673139186_s3YgE-M%20copy.
    not bad braking for its time.
  13. Great report guys!! Nice thunderbird!!
  14. Rhodie,
    Yep, that's the brake. An excelllent unit. Fitted on the 650cc Triumphs and BSAs from '68 to '70.

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