Chiang Mai, Thailand to Yunan, China on a Honda CRF 250 L (& back)

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Down to the Mekong River in Jing Hong and a look at the new bridge















You can take a ferry from Jing Hong, China to Chiang Saen, Thailand. the ferry was stopped for a while after the murders of the Chinese sailors, but we're told is now running again



From:

mekong Cafe-information boat from Jinghong Xisuangbanna China to Thailand


There is a fast and confortable boat going from jinghong to chiangsaen in Thailand; the trip on the Mekong river is worth the price ..around 700 RMB and takes about 9 hours to get to destination, The China exit formalities are done at the Jinghong harbour immigration point, there is no need for a Burma or Laos visa, There are no stops in Burma or Laos, the Thai visa is issued at Chiangsaen immigration office upon arrival for a period of 15 days



Contact in Thailand
Maekhong Delta Travel Agency
230/5-6 Phaholyothin Rd., Wieng Pang Kham, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai 57130 Thailand
phone. +66 053 642 517 Fax. (66) 053 642 520
maekhongtravel@hotmail.com,




 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
The Mekong River waterfront in Jing Hong is a bustling hive of activity
















Restaurants with a boat like theme








& some in a more tasteful Lanna style



 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Sadly, most of the street food vendors in China have been chased from the streets by the police, they are constantly looking around and ready to move on










Everyone has their wheels at the ready













 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Continuing with the theme of trying to eat local ethnic delicacies, now in the Sipsongpanna region of China, time for some authentic Tai food.









Apparently, there was a party being held in the same restaurant to celibate a child's 100th day from being born










 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
So here comes the Tai ethnic food and what a box of chocolates it was







Buffalo jerky that had been shredded











The skin from processing bean curd (soy)









Pineapple mixed with sticky rice - This was the first time on the trip we've come across sticky rice, which need a warmer, low altitude environment to grow











A noodle soup with some ground meat








Some kind of worms/ bugs fried









An omelet type of cake filled with green leaf vegetables










Minced pork, almost like a Thai dish but not spicy








& regular sticky rice


 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
After dinner, being our last evening in China (Laos the next day), time for some gift giving to remind us of the China experience.


John - A night club owner from Canada, ride's a BMW 1200gs back home, almost like riding with your very-own stand up comedian, never a dull moment, that's unless you're waiting for him to get ready in the morning. The 8am starts were sometimes 8.15am starts, so a wrist watch for him.











Robert from Malaysia, has a multitude of motorcycles, this trip on a BMW 1200gs Adventure. One of the gentlest, nicest guys you'll ever meet, a successful civil engineer & recently retired. Maybe something needed to fill all that free time he has now - A Chairman Mao needlepoint, we want it finished on while waiting for the Houy Xai / Chiang Khong ferry.



 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
David from New Zealand, a money manager/ financial adviser , who's an avid dirt bike rider back home with a multitude of dirt bikes and runs a motorcycle touring business in South America. He's up at 0450am every morning then off to gym - for him a cloth hat to catch all the sweat.









Susan (who's married to David), mother of 3, who juggles that with managing their farm in NZ, didn't complain once about the nasty toilets on the whole China ride, for her, what every lady needs, more shoes (these were from Shangri-La.)


 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Thomas from Germany, the Donald Trump of Ko Samui. Lives in Thailand with 3 daughters & has several motorcycles. The most opinionated rider on the trip & was often right, went ahead approaching Kunming city and we lost him - "marching to a different drummer", this was quite appropriate and very funny.










Axel from Austria, he has more fingers in more pies than anyone I know. Restaurants, import/ export, retail shops, commercial pilot, it goes on. He has a multidude of bikes ranging from 250 MX bikes to a Harley, this trip on his BMW 1200gs. He also owns several homes, so how about a wall painting from Yunnan.









Oddvar is from Norway, lives in Thailand and is a Captain aboard super tankers. In 4,000km, I didn't hear him mutter one negative comment, one of the most positive people i've ever met, a breath of fresh air. He has a Valkyrie (naked Goldwing) , this trip, like myself on a Honda CRF 250 L which he loves. What do you get the guy that has everything? How about a Yunnan inner ear scaper.



 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
And last but not least our Chinese driving licenses and Chinese motorcycle registration, unfortunately only valid for the 30 days of our Chinese immigration visa's
























 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
There's a decent review of the 400cc X5 in this link:



Shineray / XinYuan X5 review





Today I took my new Shineray X5 home.
Here are the first photos and the impression of the initial 60km.

Copy of X5 day1-01.jpgX5 day1-03.jpg





After checking the engine oil, filling gasoline and add the battery I have demanded the dealers mechanic to let the engine revolve by starter while the „kill switch“ was off to avoid the bike fires up. The engine never run before and i want to make sure the oil pump distributes at least a minimum of oil.


After this step I started the bike first time …. and it started without any delay and run smooth in idle speed at about 1500 RPM. I had to prevent the mechanic to rev up the engine immediately as they love to do. He looked at me with a smile like thinking „crazy LaoWai“.


I rev up carefully to not more then 2500 RPM several times and then took a first ride for some meters to see whether clutch, gears, brakes, etc works.
Checked the lights and found the front right turn signal not working. But as I waited already 2 hours for them I said they have to care this when I come back after 300km for oil change. They needed that 2 hours to search and go to get a battery belong to this bike type.


After filling gasoline full nearby I went the first 10km not over 3000RPM. At this RPM the engine was rough and you could feel that's not what she wants. Over the next 50km with a lot of gear switching, start and stops I ended up between 4 to 4.5k RPM. From 3.5k on the engine gets more smooth and you can feel over 4k RPM she wakes up. 4.5k RPM is about 90km/h.
But this speed I reached at the end just during short speed up phases to avoid over stressing on the first run. So far everything fine.


What I like very much is
a) the high sitting position with great overview in the city traffic.
b) the low weight and therefore the riding flexibility


As i am used to my 300kg heavy weight HD it feels for me like bicycle riding. In a long line of stopped cars in front of a traffic light I had a big fun to go in fast slalom between the cars. …. Guys & girls: DONT DO THAT!! (bad behavior)


What I need to observe (i don’t want to complain immediately)
a) the clutch is (still?) hopping rough sometimes
b) the gear down shifting is sometimes rough and you get the feeling you miss the gear or you are somehow in between. But when i release the clutch i was in the gears (strange … maybe because its not grind in??).


Experts … lets hear your comment regarding clutch and down shifting.


Found shortages:
a) some rough frame welding seams
b) cable works could be improved
c) defect front right turn signal
d) ends of side panel stickers coming off

welding1.jpgwelding2.jpg





Next steps:
a) Tomorrow I will take the X5 to the mountains to have more gear switching and good alternation of load through all gears.
b) Additional I will have the first gasoline consumption check. Lets see whether she is thirsty.
c) Check all screws, nuts, bolts if something got lose. (during the initial 60km nothing was found lose)
d) Adjust the rear suspension as it is a bit soft for my weight

Copy of X5 day1-04.jpg





In the last 6 months in China, they've released a 400cc adventure bike.What makes it interesting is that the engine is a copy of the air cooled Honda XR 400 engine, which has a great reputation for reliability and simplicity.


Bring on the Shineray GX 400 Motor. 30,000 Yuan road registered/ USD$ 5,000 makes it worth a look with the copy XR 400 engine









We managed to persuade them to bring it out of the showroom so we could test it, Mr. R giving it a close inspection











They rigged up a fuel bottle for a test ride








Suspension felt ok for a cheap bike


























I took it for a spin and was surprised how much power there was, it was night and day different from a 250, very heavy though, we were told around 170kg








The gear selector shaft protruded out of the engine casing and looked a huge weak spot if hit on some rocks in a fall








The XR 400 copy engine










Once we'd got it out of th showroom, the locals were keen to give it a go too

 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
In Jing Hong, China, we did a rough calculation & knowing our average speeds for various road conditions for the last 4,000km, it looked like we might be able to make Chiang Khong, thailand in one day including 3 different countries of immigration and customs clearances. The stars would have to be aligned, but it looked possible.



So early start for everyone, not even light








Underway and time for one of the last leaks in China


 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Early morning, really cold around the Mengla region









Into the Mohan, China border area and money changers appear like a pride of lions feeding on a zebra








Time-wise, all looking pretty good. Here at the Mohan checkpoint, waiting for a Chinese outbound clearance







 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
All going really well and real speedy, through inbound Laos immigration in a flash and 3 km south to Laos customs










While passing through Boten, Laos, just south of the Chinese border, interesting to see the duty free shopping complex starting to take shape









Axel's Touratech headlight adjuster, he couldn't see anything in the tunnels

















The chicken feet from dinner, taken as a memento on John's BMW F 800



 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
We made amazing time into Chiang Khong 3.45 pm.... managed to get the last ferrt to wait for our customs clearance out of Laos









We didn't have our passports stamped out of Laos, the ferry was about to leave Laos agent said go across and i'll bring the passports over to Chiang Khong










So we did it China to Thailand in a daylight on motorcycles including border crossing, quite a day. Looking at it now, on a big bike, Chiang Mai to Jing Hong, China might be possible in a day.
 

2wheels

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Congrats Phil and group on an epic tour with some very nice pics. :DD
Useful information in there too.
And 'well done' to the little CRF; a little bike with a big heart.
 

nikhuzlan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Bikes
GSA, NC700D, KLX450R
Great job guys. Epic trip. Great report with superb pics. Gotta do that trip soon.
 

brake034

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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Location
N/A
Bikes
Suzuki GD110HU, BMW F650GS
Welcome home Phil, epic story and pics, I cannot wait to see the upcoming Burma ride!
So how is your verdict on the CRF?
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Thanks Marcel. Goran has 17 rider's for his Myanmar trip already, USD 1,000 all-in it's a steal as you can see by the interest:



[h=5]Goran Phuket
2014 Burma Expedition

[/h][h=5]So far we have 18 participants, total of 17 bikes (1 couple among us).

1. Closing date for payment of $555 is October 25th 2013. Those of you who paid basic booking fee of $100 have to come up with balance of $445 by that date.

2. If you want single bed, please let me know. Additional amount of $285 applies.

3. Few more interested parties: Tan Lip Teek's friend, Badruzzaman Ishak, Gibbins Phillip, Mohd Afanddy have to get back to me latest by end of this week.

4. Stand by for instructions regarding documentation. This has to be completed by 25th too.

5. This event will be marked as "Private by Invitation only" from this moment on and invisible to people who aren't on invitation list.
[/h]Like · · about an hour ago near Phuket ·
 

Jayem

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2013
Thanks for sharing all these magnificent photos in this terrific RR, Phil! I am blown away by the breathtaking mountain scenery and ancient town centers. I never thought China would offer such an interesting and fascinating destination, and so I never had an interest to go riding there, especially given my less-than-stellar experience doing business with the Chinese in China...

However, now that Shineray produces a DS bike with a copy of the XR400 engine, there is an opportunity for a bike rental shop or tour operator to rent bikes or offer bike tours to foreigners . It would save on time and paperwork hassles if one can fly in to, let's say, Kunming, and hop on a rental or join a local tour. Perhaps an opportunity for Mr R.R. to establish a local base in China...
 

brake034

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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Location
N/A
Bikes
Suzuki GD110HU, BMW F650GS
Agree it is a steal Phil, the facebook eventpage is private so I cannot see it.
At the moment I am stuck in Holland and do expect it can still take some time, I would like to :MGthe insurance company, so dead slow.

Have fun at home and preparing the trip to Burma!
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Agree it is a steal Phil, the facebook eventpage is private so I cannot see it.
At the moment I am stuck in Holland and do expect it can still take some time, I would like to :MGthe insurance company, so dead slow.

Have fun at home and preparing the trip to Burma!
Its only visible to confirmed participants now.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400

bsacbob

Administrator
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda XR250 Baja BMW F650GS
Wow he's taken some amazing pictures of that trip..
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
You need a Chinese guide.





Thanks for sharing this amazing trip.

I'm curious: did you have to have a Chinese guide with you? This was the case when I came from Nepal and through Tibet and it cost a fortune.

How did you organise this and what did it cost?
 
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