Auke Koopmans Memorial Ride 2022

The Bigfella

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KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
June 18th will be the fourth anniversary of the death of one of the legends of the Northern Thailand / Laos motorcycling community.

"Auke was instrumental not only in forming Ride Asia but also producing some of the best mappings of Northern Thailand and Laos we are ever likely to see, his kindness and willingness to help others was something we all could take a lesson from." (thanks for those words, Bob Kelly)

We will be doing another ride this year on June 18th (and 19th) in memory of this great friend of many. We will be leaving Rider's Corner at 8:30am on June 18 - headed for Mae Sot. The ride will, for the first time, be entirely on sealed roads... It's not a race - but whoever gets to Mae Sot first will buy the first round of toasts to Auke. This is no milk run. It's a ride worthy of Auke's memory.

We are taking one of the newest sealed roads in Thailand. Route 3054. We know the road, both from its unsealed days (shown on Auke's North Thailand Road and Off-Road map, but not yet on Google maps)... and more recently, having run a group ride there. On Auke's digital map, it is described as "4WD only - very steep and unmade in sections".

Well, that's changed. It's now one of the world's great sealed roads. But beware, this isn't a road for mug riders. It is narrow (built for one pickup - with passing bays installed at frequent intervals, so two pickups can pass) - and consequently, we don't recommend this road for bikes with wide panniers. It is also steep - over 30% gradient in places. It's tight too - with multiple switchbacks that are steep and often covered in sand or mud.

If you are a rider than can't deal with switchbacks, both climbing and descending, without resorting to banging away at the gearshift halfway through, or worse... coasting through with the clutch in and desperately seeking a gear after the corner... DON'T DO THIS ROAD.

Here's a video showing some of Route 3054. We included it on a 4 day dirt ride last month. We're leaving in plenty of time to finish in the daylight.


The route for Day 1 is Chiang Mai, Hot, Omkoi, Mae Tuen, Mae Ramat, Mae Sot. Day 2 is Mae Sot to Mae Ramat, Ban Tak, Li, Chang Mai.

Who's in?
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Auke Memorial Ride 2022.jpg
 

2wheels

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Apr 2, 2012
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Chiang Mai
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Honda Rebel 500
Looks interesting.
And appropriate.
What do you suggest in my case Ian, CRF or Rebel?
Do we organise our own accommodation?
 

The Bigfella

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Aug 15, 2012
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KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Looks interesting.
And appropriate.
What do you suggest in my case Ian, CRF or Rebel?
Do we organise our own accommodation?
It is two days in the saddle if you go down and back without having a look around Mae Sot, so I guess it is a question of comfort vs being agile on the road. The road is quite open until south of Omkoi... so for the first part, the Rebel would win points. The last 80 km into Mae Ramat, ie the 3054, is definitely CRF for the win. The 1175 and half the 106 sections on day 2 will favour the CRF too

I did it on the CRF last time, because it was primarily an off-road trip - and I'm tempted to do that again for this road-only trip because the light bike was so suited to the tight stuff.

We will start looking at accommodation options over the next week or so. Last time we stayed at a lovely place in Mae Ramat, but the plan here is to go the extra 26km or so into Mae Sot.
 

Captain_Slash

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Jun 28, 2011
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BMW 310GS Honda Wave 125 Honda MSX 125
I have ridden it before but it was dirt back then
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
We have been discussing the ride mostly during Ulysses Club Thailand social meetings and rides. Things have firmed up nicely. Bearing in mind this is a group ride, not a paid tour... we will be putting some responsibilities back on the participants... but we've also done some pre-prep.

We have reserved all available rooms (10) at the resort we stayed at in April in Mae Ramat. This is 26km north of Mae Sot... and I suspect a better option given the distance and nature of the roads involved. More on that later... but that's only 10 rooms and we need more elsewhere. There's plenty of options and I will do a suggested list after we've spoken to other operators. We have a good local option for dinner and we are going to ask for an early breakfast on Sunday.

The ride is going to be a yo-yo... down and back on the same track, unless people want to branch off on their own. This is such a good road. it is worth doing it each way. With the exception of the last 100km or so on the Sunday. We will do a variation on the way down on Saturday, but Sunday evening from Hot, we will do as a blast back via the Canal Rd.

More to follow...
 

2wheels

Community Manager
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
June 18th will be the fourth anniversary of the death of one of the legends of the Northern Thailand / Laos motorcycling community.

"Auke was instrumental not only in forming Ride Asia but also producing some of the best mappings of Northern Thailand and Laos we are ever likely to see, his kindness and willingness to help others was something we all could take a lesson from." (thanks for those words, Bob Kelly)

We will be doing another ride this year on June 18th (and 19th) in memory of this great friend of many. We will be leaving Rider's Corner at 8:30am on June 18 - headed for Mae Sot. The ride will, for the first time, be entirely on sealed roads... It's not a race - but whoever gets to Mae Sot first will buy the first round of toasts to Auke. This is no milk run. It's a ride worthy of Auke's memory.

We are taking one of the newest sealed roads in Thailand. Route 3054. We know the road, both from its unsealed days (shown on Auke's North Thailand Road and Off-Road map, but not yet on Google maps)... and more recently, having run a group ride there. On Auke's digital map, it is described as "4WD only - very steep and unmade in sections".

Well, that's changed. It's now one of the world's great sealed roads. But beware, this isn't a road for mug riders. It is narrow (built for one pickup - with passing bays installed at frequent intervals, so two pickups can pass) - and consequently, we don't recommend this road for bikes with wide panniers. It is also steep - over 30% gradient in places. It's tight too - with multiple switchbacks that are steep and often covered in sand or mud.

If you are a rider than can't deal with switchbacks, both climbing and descending, without resorting to banging away at the gearshift halfway through, or worse... coasting through with the clutch in and desperately seeking a gear after the corner... DON'T DO THIS ROAD.

Here's a video showing some of Route 3054. We included it on a 4 day dirt ride last month. We're leaving in plenty of time to finish in the daylight.


The route for Day 1 is Chiang Mai, Hot, Omkoi, Mae Tuen, Mae Ramat, Mae Sot. Day 2 is Mae Sot to Mae Ramat, Ban Tak, Li, Chang Mai.

Who's in?
That's a superb video Ian.
Sand on bends; noted.
Need to move it along; noted.
Updated instrument panel on CRF; noted.
Multiple still photo opportunities; noted.
Hmmm, I might need to make it a two day ride back to home base.
 

The Bigfella

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Aug 15, 2012
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KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Thanks mate. I need to re-cut that video, now that the 'puter is tuned up and running at full speed again. As an old VW Beetle enthusiast, I never did like water cooling... and it leaked inside the computer and ended up causing a fried solid state disk and motherboard issues. I don't believe I lost any data, but I sure did have some fun pulling it all together again and reinstalling all the software. It would be much better with the material from the other cameras included....

The main points we wanted to show with that video, apart from the incredible beauty of the region - with fantastic views the whole 80 km of that route, was the need for experience on it. It is narrow, subject to sandy patches - as you mention, and it is incredibly steep. Having both run and participated in hundreds of group rides, tours etc over the last four years since getting involved with the Ulysses Club Thailand one of the key issues that has emerged has been the need for skills development - particularly for roads like this. A story to illustrate, if I may:

Back in March of 2019, I did a Mae Hong Son loop with a couple of mid-twenties American ladies. I'm sure the lady in question won't mind me telling this story to illustrate the issue. Day 3 of the ride, in Mae Sariang, over a beer that evening. She says "I think I've mastered the friction zone. I hope I haven't done any damage to your bike's engine" - she was on a 500F. "Eh?" says I. She'd ridden from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang, via Pai, slipping the clutch through the corners. Hmm. "How about instead of worrying about friction zones, you work on gear selection before the corner. Concentrate on being in the right gear for the corner, don't worry about the clutch, as there are so many other things that need your attention and the more you can do to ensure your attention is on those important things, like road surface, animals, other vehicles, etc, the safer you will be" We got back to Chiang Mai a day later and she commented about how much better her riding was.

Now, whilst she'd only been riding for six months prior to that, I raise it because the exact same issue came up on a ride recently. A highly experienced Club member rode sweep on a ride and commented to me that he'd seen the rider in front of him coasting through tight uphill and downhill corners then banging away at the gear lever after the exit trying to find the right gear.... and that person was supposedly an experienced motorcyclist. Giving up that level of control because you can't get your act together before the corner is an accident waiting to happen. But... they're out there. We see it with the bike hire business and we see it with some guest riders. As you may recall, we have a blanket "no motorcycle licence, no hire" rule with the hire bikes - but even then we still see people get on the bike and bang away at the rear brake lever trying to select a gear. Ugh.

There's no substitute for experience.... and Route 3054 is a road that requires it.

As for the need to move it along. We've got stands up at Rider's Corner at 8:30 am. Last week, at 8:32 am, as I was riding out on the 118, my phone started ringing. Another rider had turned up. Late. Sorry mate, don't know who you were, but, you missed the ride, we left at 8:30 am. Three riders for this ride are meeting us down the road. All three on the exit road (the 108) from Hot - just after the roundabout at around 10 am. That means for the first 90 minutes of the ride, we're moving it along. Nothing spirited, but, we are moving it along. I'm riding a CRF250... so, 90 kph. Omkoi is about 3 hours, plus a fuel/pee stop for those with little tanks. A quick lunch gives us lots of opportunities to stop and enjoy the key scenery and cultural spots along the way down the delightful 1099 and then the 3054. About six and a half hours of sunlight for 160 kilometres.

Next day, yes, you are correct, some people may want to come back at a gentleman's pace... and some may want to go via the 1175 or 105. Let's discuss over a beer in Mae Ramat
 

The Bigfella

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Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Well... some of us are back. Dave is back in BKK, Deere and Neil headed off from Mae Ramat towards Mae Sariang on the dirt, planning to be back Monday, Josh and Ang are in Tak, another five of us did the yoyo and came back the way we went. Others will report in as they get in - I think there were 4 coming back via the 1175.

Fourteen bikes set out. My stats were

Trip out - 336 km, 7:43 hours elapsed and 5.06 hours moving for an average speed of 66 kph.... not that we get over interested in that. An average of 6,805 metres gained and lost. Coming back today, 337 km, 6:41 and 5:16 elapsed and moving.... for an average of 65.3 kph moving, although I'd have said we were a lot slower. Hmm. If I'd stopped for fuel with the guys in Hot on the way back, rather than moseying along at 70kph, we might have set a faster return average.

Showing that the barometric calc for gained and lost altitude ain't the be all and end all of statistics, the average gained/lost was 7,681 metres on the way back - perhaps driven by the lower cloud base and a short shower.

I "used up" an old set of tyres for the ride. They were just shy of the wear marks and four years old... and I'd taken the wheels off a bike in the hire fleet at the start of Covid... and I was interested to see how they would go at that age. Fine. Not the slightest sign of slippage... apart from sandy patches. They did fine in the short shower we had. They don't have wear marks now :-) and they are going in the bin. It's funny... we often get people picking hire bikes from the fleet based on how much tread is on a tyre. Deere often joins rides with whatever bike has the lowest tread level and then rides rings around those with all the tread. One of life's little quirks.

More after some recovery...........
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Location
Chiang Mai
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Honda CRF300L, Beta Zero, YZ150 Enduro, Kawasaki Vulcan 1500
I finally got the chance to recut some of the video footage from the Auke Koopman Memorial Ride 2022 June 18 - 19th

I felt a need to better explain where we rode and why we were there

Learning a great deal about making Content on the fly.. hopefully improving with every attempt

Tribute to Aukes founder of RideAsia.net at 7min 30

 
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