8 bikes to Mae Hong Son vua Bua Tong

The Bigfella

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The Ulysses Club Thailand weekly ride commencing November 6th was a three-day ride, taking in Hot, Mae Chaem, the Bua Tong fields, the Mae Surin waterfall, the Nong Khiao lake, Mae Hong Son, a long-neck village (planned for Huay Pu Keng, but visited Huay Seau Thao village instead), the Su Tong Pae bridge, Fish Cave, Pai and home via the front road in time for the MotoGP on Sunday.

Departing Rider's Corner at 8:30, we re-grouped, as usual, at the PTT on the 121, just south of Suthep Rd and then picked up Alex at the Mae Hia market on the way out.

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We had eight bikes, twelve riders. Christoph on the Ducati Multistrada, Ivan on the Yammie Tracer, Alex on the Ducati Monster, then on 500Xs, we had Lachie and Ow, Gordon and Mai, Deere and Aoy, Malcolm and Tum and I.

We took the longer, but faster route to Mae Chaem, where we stopped for lunch at the Mae Chaem Gate restaurant. A note on timing.... at 9:30, we were at the Doi Inthanon (1009) turnoff, at 10:30, the Mae Chaem (1088) turnoff and we were in Mae Chaem for a very early lunch. Conditions were good and we enjoyed the ride

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Smoky vehicles aside, that is. I think we made a wise choice on the route. Doi Inthanon was shrouded in clouds

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Lunch was a leisurely affair

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A quick stop in the hills to stretch the legs led to Deere and I being given a shot of the local hooch by the lads who were enjoying the view

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The 1263 was fairly quiet, with the dogs sleeping on the road. It's a little bit bumpy, as usual, in places, but it encouraged some spirited riding at times

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Not a lot of fires yet... but they are about

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So much opportunity for mulch production going to smoke

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I didn't grab a waypoint for this, but its on the 4009. A fairly major effort with currently a rather dodgy looking Bailey Bridge providing the passage

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An awful lot of steel beams were poking up at odd angles there.

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We pulled into the Bua Tong viewpoint, just ahead of a dodgy looking cloud.

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Lovely fresh air

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That nasty cloud decided to dump on us, but I couldn't be bothered with putting on the wet weather gear. I got wet nuts, but they were dry again by the time we made MHS.... just in case you were wondering.

So, it was off to be wallet-raped at the Mae Surin National Park. I offered my usual disapproval of pricing based on nationality. The guy in charge decided he'd make it even more disparate and waived the 40 baht fee for Thais, whilst charging farangs 200 baht. What turned out even funnier was that we went in before the sweep group, who'd waited out the rain, arrived. Deere and Aoy were charged the 40 baht each. Tum sent them back and the guy refunded them. 80 baht is 80 baht....

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The lake was looking particularly nice, so we stopped for another short break

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I'd flown the drone around here last time I was here - in February, with a Czech group. Much prettier this time of year. I was on a DRZ400 in February, riding solo... and it was definitely a cut above the 500X on these roads (then again, I was doing dirt then too - and riding without a pillion).

The 4009 is a fantastic road. Views are just stunning. Here's Deere capturing one of them

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Fairly sure that was near here. I was riding sweep and as it turned out, I'd stopped about 100 metres before where the rest of the group were waiting

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more to come
 

MastaMax

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15 Yamaha YZ250F / 08 Husky 450SMR / 13 ER6N / 13 KTM 300XCW(sold)
GF wanted to go to Doi Bua Thong. Good to see it's not over-crowded. I've seen a few pictures from last year with mini-vans and cars all over!
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
GF wanted to go to Doi Bua Thong. Good to see it's not over-crowded. I've seen a few pictures from last year with mini-vans and cars all over!
I reckon it will peak over the next week or so. We were there on Friday - and there were some minibuses and cars, but I imagine the weekend would see ten times more in the crowd.
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
What goes up must come down.

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and down.... This short clip starts off with some of the photos above, then shows some of the descent on the 4009


It was sun in the eyes time too

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We checked in - four rooms at the PIYA, two at PLP and another couple elsewhere

Dinner at the Good View Hotel

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There was a bit of a stuff-around in the morning. I had this in the rear tyre

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A small piece of box-cutter blade, picked up from the market outside the PIYA

Given the tyre was on its last legs, I'd have fitted a new one if either Honda or Yamaha had had one in stock, but I wasn't going further afield, as we had lunch organised at the Flying Turtle Cafe. Neither shop had one, so we plugged it and continued. Re plugs - some people hate them, but I've had one to 260 without issue. We change the tyres out after plugging though.

Spotted a nice Benly at the Honda dealer

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Lots of Thai Harley riders in town. Saw about three times this number

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Breakfast followed at Mom & Sons, then back to PIYA to load up

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The pillions looked happy

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2wheels

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Very nice.
Hope your nuts have dried out by now.
Disgusting price discrimination still exists despite some government dudes promising to get rid of it :poop:
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Speaking of price discrimination....

More here

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However, given these people get the rough end of the pineapple somewhat, I'm less perturbed by it there. I prefer the ambiance of the other main longneck village - here's a shot of it from a trip I did with two American customers

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However, we were pushing the schedule, so stayed closer in to MHS and visited the more commercial feeling Huay Seau Thao village

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I picked up a Thai flag scarf for Tum from this lady - it being winter and all

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There were knockers for sale, but I passed on those and bought some bells instead

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Deere's been here before and knows Nuda

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She made me do it.....

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Aoy doesn't look impressed

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OK.... semi-impressed

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It wasn't a school day, so one can't complain if the kids are getting involved

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I've been gathering a bit of history on these people. Here's a photo from the first couple to visit the UK a century or so back
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The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I will get this ride report finished.... but I'm busy watching the smoker at the moment. Ribs, chicken, duck and crocodile.

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A couple of midday beers after the Remembrance Day ceremony didn't help either.
 

The Bigfella

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Aug 15, 2012
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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I quite liked this sign - hadn't seen one quite like it before

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We took the MHS bypass and detoured in to see the Su Tong Pae bridge and temple

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Signs of some heavy rainfall and the loss of some rice by the looks of it

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Nothing like walking in the riding gear to help shed some of the night before's excesses

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I've been to the temple before... and I didn't need to work up a sweat, so I left it to the Thais to make merit

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I'd just remarked that the water looked inviting when a keelback swam under the bridge

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It was back on the bikes and a few km down the road to Fish Cave

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Its a delightful stop, especially at this time of the year

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On the bikes again and a nice fang to the obligatory lookout stop

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Youngie and crew called in whilst we were there... headed to MHS

We turned off at the Lod Cave turnoff and stopped at the Flying Turtle Cafe to pick up some coffee beans and for a bit of refreshment

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We did a quick return run through the delightful forest and then on to the next lookout

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Stunning view on both sides

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I was having a ball, but with the weight the 500X was carrying, this was the limit at which adhesion was lost. Actually, that's a little bit past the adhesion limit... but Tum's a great pillion and I didn't even get a tap as we slid through one of the corners

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We should have run the loop anti-clockwise... as by the time we got home, I'd well buggered that tyre on the right

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That's about 5,500 km on the Rosso II - and it's well done.

In Pai, we found a couple of favourite places didn't have enough rooms, so most of us checked into the TTK at 400 baht, airconditioned.

It was around the corner to the Pai Hotel to watch the Bledisloe Cup match and re-hydrate

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Nong Beer cafe for dinner, although I wasn't 100% happy with the curry. A bit fatty on some pieces and a bit tough on others for my liking

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A sad sight

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That's the remains of the Pool Bar.

Breakfast was to my liking. I had the Middle Eastern plate at 180 baht for breakfast at the TTK.

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Malcolm was in fine form for the morning

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We did the bolt after breakfast, with Lachie and Ow staying on for a day in Pai. Straight back to Chiang Mai with coffee at the Witch's on the way back and into town via the Len's Canal route to avoid the Mae Rim traffic.
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I've got a few more videos up, and might do some more later.

Here's a bit of what the 1263 and 108 were like


 

BigEnso

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Nov 28, 2015
Location
Thailand
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Honda CB300FA
I quite liked this sign - hadn't seen one quite like it before

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We took the MHS bypass and detoured in to see the Su Tong Pae bridge and temple

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Signs of some heavy rainfall and the loss of some rice by the looks of it

View attachment 88600

Nothing like walking in the riding gear to help shed some of the night before's excesses

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I've been to the temple before... and I didn't need to work up a sweat, so I left it to the Thais to make merit

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I'd just remarked that the water looked inviting when a keelback swam under the bridge

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It was back on the bikes and a few km down the road to Fish Cave

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Its a delightful stop, especially at this time of the year

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View attachment 88610

On the bikes again and a nice fang to the obligatory lookout stop

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Youngie and crew called in whilst we were there... headed to MHS

We turned off at the Lod Cave turnoff and stopped at the Flying Turtle Cafe to pick up some coffee beans and for a bit of refreshment

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View attachment 88614

We did a quick return run through the delightful forest and then on to the next lookout

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Stunning view on both sides

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I was having a ball, but with the weight the 500X was carrying, this was the limit at which adhesion was lost. Actually, that's a little bit past the adhesion limit... but Tum's a great pillion and I didn't even get a tap as we slid through one of the corners

View attachment 88617

We should have run the loop anti-clockwise... as by the time we got home, I'd well buggered that tyre on the right

View attachment 88618

That's about 5,500 km on the Rosso II - and it's well done.

In Pai, we found a couple of favourite places didn't have enough rooms, so most of us checked into the TTK at 400 baht, airconditioned.

It was around the corner to the Pai Hotel to watch the Bledisloe Cup match and re-hydrate

View attachment 88619

Nong Beer cafe for dinner, although I wasn't 100% happy with the curry. A bit fatty on some pieces and a bit tough on others for my liking

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A sad sight

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That's the remains of the Pool Bar.

Breakfast was to my liking. I had the Middle Eastern plate at 180 baht for breakfast at the TTK.

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Malcolm was in fine form for the morning

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We did the bolt after breakfast, with Lachie and Ow staying on for a day in Pai. Straight back to Chiang Mai with coffee at the Witch's on the way back and into town via the Len's Canal route to avoid the Mae Rim traffic.
Great pictures and report.

A question: Having just come through the Mae Rim traffic yesterday, I would love to know where Len's Canal is located. I've Google it and nothing comes up. Can you give me a hint?

Thanks

David
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Great pictures and report.

A question: Having just come through the Mae Rim traffic yesterday, I would love to know where Len's Canal is located. I've Google it and nothing comes up. Can you give me a hint?

Thanks

David
Thanks. The GPX file in the next post shows that route - and a bit more. We normally refer to Len's Canal as the bit that starts near the 1001 / 1414 intersection, ie down the 4034

edited to delete the dud file
 
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BigEnso

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Location
Thailand
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Honda CB300FA
Thanks. The GPX file in the next post shows that route - and a bit more. We normally refer to Len's Canal as the bit that starts near the 1001 / 1414 intersection, ie down the 4034

edited to delete the dud file
Many thanks. Definitely looks more interesting than the traffic at Mae Rim.

David
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Many thanks. Definitely looks more interesting than the traffic at Mae Rim.

David
And it is so nice to just duck under the Superhighway rather than get caught up in the snarl
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I just realised that I'd done a spreadsheet of the ups and downs from the Garmin tracks on that loop.

So - the route being essentially Chiang Mai to 121-108-1088-1263-4009-108-1095 to Chiang Mai.

The Garmin showed the total climbs as 12,688 metres and descents as 12,542 metres... and that's not bad, just a 1% variance. One section of the 4009 had us dropping 482 metres in 4.9 kilometres - a 10% average descent, with some of it MUCH more than that. That descent continued. Extending it to exactly ten kilometres, the drop was 798 metres, or 8% average.

Scrolling through the Garmin graph of the track, it had one section showing a 34% down gradient, but those graphs aren't the be-all, end-all of that discussion. Riding sweep, I have to say, there was a distinct whiff of brakes in the air.

Moving averages, for those interested in times between places, including urban transits and the tootling around tourist spots were:

CNX - Mae Chaem - 72kph
Mae Chaem to Mae Hong Son via Bua Tong and Mae Surin - 54kph
Mae Hong Son - including longneck village, bridge, Lod Cave and the 1095 to Pai - 55 kph
Pai - CNX via Len's Canal - 60 kph.

 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Wondering what the songs or the bands were. Great mood music. I Was on that loop in 2019.
These days, I put the music up right at the end of the clip. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals on that Route 1263 clip, for example
 
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