The Sweet & sour of Rd 1243

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Peter R, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. I had to pick up a bike I had brought in Chiang Rai so rode it home to BKK in the company with the handsome and charming men of Thai superbike club.
    When I picked the bike up the tires were completely flatted off so as to be useless, so managed to cure that by stealing a set of used Rennsport race tires courtesy of West.
    We left CM and headed off to our favorite playground route 11 to Nan. I was in “old goat biker ” heaven, with a nice VFR800 VTEC under me, good set of sticky Rennsports and ahead of me, my good friend West on his SV 1000. Now a Suzuki SV is a fine bike but not normally at the leading edge of handling, particularly with a passenger and a dog aboard. But ridden by West the SV was flying, I was working bloody hard just to keep up, and I had no passenger or dog aboard plus I had two arms, while West hasn’t, He rides faster and more safely than most very capable riders with all his family on the bike and a prosthetic arm. When he pulls in to fill up with gas, unloads the missus and dog and then takes off his arm, the jaws do drop.
    After a fine ride we arrived at the Nan Valley resort, where we had an enjoyable meal and a beer or two. Only 800 Baht gets you your own VIP chalet and a terrific location. The next day West had to head back to CM and Andy to Bangkok on his GXXR 1000. That left 4 of us to get on to my favorite little town, Loei.
    We headed off to Wiang Sa on a very pleasant crisp morning, the planned route on 1162 + 1243, 1176 onto Loei.
    It started alright with a excellent road on 1162. Unfortunately this deteriorated somewhat after about 20 Kms into road works. Part of which include a steep down hill section of unmade mud, making a return uphill on our bikes impossible. (Point of no return). Soon after you come to a lift barrier, manned by a sort of security guard. I asked how was the road in front of us, he replies OK, but added that he had seen one 4 WD make it through yesterday. I though he was just expressing his sense of humour, He wasn’t.
    The road ahead of us was just a track, some parts you could do at 10 km’s hr other part barely walking pace. The Fazer 1000 and Moto Guzzi handled the road Ok , my VFR 800 less well and my poor young Norwegian mate was well pissed off on his Ducati 996. We all maintained our own pace with myself in 2nd place but out of sight of the others. I fell in deep rut at the bottom of a downhill run and the VFR was over, only at walking pace so no real damage except for a bent brake lever and broken mirror. Just at that most embarrassing moment a Thai guy on a small bike appears over the hill. We have not seen anyone on this track before.
    He asked me “what was I doing” certainly tempted to tell him I was about to change my oil or other such sarcastic response but managed to keep my civility about me and he assisted me in getting the bike to its feet. I ran it up to the top of the hill where Jochan had stopped for rest with his Guzzi, and we waited for the others to appear.
    We managed the final 2 Km’s to the end of the track where the road breaks into a fine piece of concrete unsurprisingly, unsullied by 10 wheel trucks or any other forms of transport.
    Normally one would wonder why two excellent pieces of Thailand’s best road construction is marred by 15 Km’s of pure shit connecting the two, but this ignores the reality of road construction in Thailand as more often than not, roads exist to feed the local Construction barons pocket rather than serve a community need. So for the final piece of the leg we have an enjoyable winding stretch of about 15 Km’s which most of the width is useable because there is unlikely to be any oncoming traffic at all.
    Although judging by the amount of Buffalo shit on the road, they are something to watch for
  2. About 3 years ago, I did this route in reverse. I was on a TDM850, my friends were on an old BMW.

    We loved the wide new road section coming north, then hit a military checkpoint. The soldiers signed us in and off we went, only to hit the unfinished stretch around the corner.

    We managed to hit this stretch when it was starting to get dark, but it was in much better shape than Peter experienced. We got thru it at reasonable speed, and eventually got to Nan.

    Strangly, the track through the jungle had the same milepost markers as a paved road

    Peter, you might want to try the next route to the south - 1083. Did it last June. Link removed


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  3. I am a liitle ashamed to admit it but this is the second time I have been caught on this bitch of a road. The first time 2 years ago on a Hayabusa. Not exactly designed for off road stuff. That time the Busa got a puncture at the end of the rough stuff so had to ride for about 30 Km's on a completely flat rear tire until I got to a station where they had repair facilities. Again, that was not a pleasant trip. We repaired the tire, pumped it up and rode back to Bangkok on it.

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