900km, Potholes, Dirt Roads and an Arse Numbing Experience - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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900km, Potholes, Dirt Roads and an Arse Numbing Experience

It had been a while since our last trip, a good 8 months if I remember. And our, not too long ago plan, scrubbed away by family commitments and work. I’d recently replaced the MT60s with another set, after the Heidenau dealer let me down due to his GS Trophy race commitment (priorities eh!). But with 2500km on them already commuting, it was time for a blast!

A long holiday weekend beckoned, and a spur of the moment decision for a ride was arranged! We’d planned on our frequented Ratchburi, but the night before, we opted for Sakaeo and Aranyanyaphat, the Border Market with Poi Pet, Cambodia.
We met at 5:30am to avoid the mass exodus of weekend holiday makers. It’s common to be sat in a cage for 5-10 hours to reach your 200km point. Stuff that! We had a good run for an hour before stopping for the usual coffee break. I needed it as I was truly shafted from the sleepless night due to a surprise attack from the wife! She does that when I’m going on a trip. Is it a reminder, or warning, but whatever it was the coffee sorted me out, if only for the next stop.
I’d been to Sakaeo 10 years ago and remembered the roads being pretty interesting by car, so I was hoping not to disappoint my biking buddy on the trip.

Google Maps says Erm!

With a little help from the annoying google GPS which changes its mind more than a politician up for reelection, for the most part, I was relying on memory. I recalled at our coffee stop a building with a silly Eiffel Tower on top as being a landmark to turn right from the main road to head to Sakeao, and lo and behold, there it was 10 years later, despite the GPS telling us to go ahead! We made good ground with the few cars on the road, heading into a rural section could only get better!
A few KM in we arrived Y section in the road, not remembering the area from that point we followed the GPS which said go ahead. We did just that and hit a few kilometers of potholes that resembled cluster bombs the size of a sink basins in some areas. Dodging them was strangely fun!

After a toilet break and a GPS check, google maps actually surprised us with a dirt road section that went on for a about 5km or so. It made up for the potholes.
We hit some decent tarmac and after being nearly wiped out by oncoming cars that was met with the middle finger and often comes with a bullet to the head! Sheep overtaking with no consideration for bikers, we reached the ****-hole popularly known as ‘The Border Market’









Last edited by BKKPhil; 10-28-2015 at 08:13 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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My friend had never been so he didn’t really know what to expect. When I told him dirt, smell, trucks and chaos I think he thought I was joking. We arrived at a quiet period, but after reaching our waypoint, we got out as quickly as we arrived. With no particular place to go, we headed for Tha Phraya National Park, after all, it was all about the ride!

They Say ‘Life is Like a Box of Chocolates’

By this point we had done nearly 400km when we reached the area of the national Park. It was a Forrest Gump moment as we turned back as soon as we got there without stepping a foot in the park. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDE BRO!” Sadly, my derriere had other opinions, screaming and begging me to stop riding. It was a “So wrong yet so right moment!” We couldn’t stop despite the pain we were both in! We eventually agreed that we needed a proper break, food and a bed for the night so we headed into the main town of Sakaeo. We found an odd looking, new but old place. A place that doesn’t get many visitors so maintenance gets forgotten about. Modern, contemporary rooms that look great but had an odd whiff about them. ‘You never know what you’re going to get in Thailand’. We paid 640 baht, about 12 quid which is a little steep for us. We’re used to 500bht and below being two smelly bikers n’ all! Besides, neither of our backsides had the energy to find anywhere else cheaper. After a shower, an hours rest and the attire of a civilian, we searched for food and beer. It was knocking on. 7:45pm in fact, and after downing two bottles of beer, it was time for a sleep ready for the morning’s ride. Or so I hoped!

Sleepless in Sakaeo

I lined the wife and asked how she and the daughter was. Passing pleasantries and boasting about her antics the night before. Did I keep you up darling? She asked. Completely forgetting my romantic and tactical side, I told her the truth thinking I was helping. “Don’t worry, it’s this severe eye strain I have that keeps me up all night”. Can you call me later, I’m just having my hair treated, she replied. I twigged on moments later, but I had a Henry Kissenger moment using a ‘self-made’ crisis to my advantage. That’s one in the emotional security bag for me, I thought! She’ll try harder next time, or she might go on strike for another 6 months. Damn!

On to Pastures New

6:30am, another sleepless night and probably a kick in the passionate nuts department, I am running on pure adrenalin at this point. Holly cow, I stayed up watching 22 blokes kick a ball around a big garden!

We left the hotel to find some breakfast, but it was a little too early for most shops in the area. The Coffee Hills coffee shop which opens at 6:30 actually opens at 7am, so we headed to the beautiful Pang Si Da National Park. We arrived at the security gates and was greeted by a soldier who asked for our driving license and charged us the Thai rate.

For both of us it was 150bht, or there about. Foreigners are usually charged 400bht each, and some are complaining expat residents and permit holders are being charged this when they are taxpayers. Let’s not talk about discrimination towards white folk! Thanks to the soldier, we’re 700bht better off which served for fuel.
We grabbed some recently slaughter chicken which was BBQd to perfection, and just what we needed before our swim.

Last edited by BKKPhil; 10-28-2015 at 08:17 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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We took a bath and a swim in the waterfall and felt relaxed and fresh for what lay ahead. I’d been here ten years ago and was hoping that place was still the same as many parks a tarmacking the roads for more tourists, we were not disappointed. Roughly 40-50k of dirt roads lay ahead. Feeling fresh, we jumped straight back on our steeds not made for trail riding (APPARENTLY).




Dirt, Snakes and Bass-Ass Tires (does that mean good?)

We plowed on down the dirt roads blasting it from time to time. 4x4 and other vehicles use it so caution was made on the corners. Standing on the pegs and pushing the back-end out was thrilling and gave us chance to see obstacles you wouldn’t otherwise see being seated! The Versys with the MT60s felt confident and handled the road well, despite wearing out like an HB pencil erasure on a ‘Flat Bastard!’ That's a filing tool btw! 3500km with this trip and the tires are 90% done. Not worth the cost and damn to myself for buying another set. TKC80s on their way.




We stopped to adjust my mirrors which had worked their way lose. We fumble for 20 mins but could not lock them. We had a moment, or heat and lack of water was the culprit as we were both befuddled as to what we were doing wrong. Change sprocket, valves etc not a problem, but tightening the mirrors on this occasion needed a degree from’ Adams and Washington online University!’ After tightening them by using a tie rap to use as a compressed washer, we headed on, only to be stopped by a striking, green snake. As we dithered as to it being poisonous, and to whom was going to find out, we let it be. After an hours riding on the dirt track we reached a view point, rested briefly, realized we had no water, and headed back from whence we came!


They Came. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. You Can Forget About Swimming!

As we exited the dirt road we noticed a few cars parked on the beginning of the dirt track. The row of cars went on an on all the way back to the waterfall and beyond where we swam. In the space of 2 hours, the small fall which had myself and my friend plus 4 others, now had a mass of people that resembled a scene out of ‘The Walking Dead’. We didn’t see it, but the cars, usually over packed with people told the chilling tale. The row of cars went of for a kilometer or so on either side.

680km Thus far, Let’s a call it a day.

We left the National Park and took a route that would pass another small tourist area called Khao Chakan which is a mountain with numerous caves covered with monkeys and bats. We took on some refreshment and made the 200km+ journey home.

Last edited by BKKPhil; 10-28-2015 at 08:24 AM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 09:49 AM
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AWESOME report!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 10:06 AM
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Great report
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 10:27 AM
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Very entertaining report thank you!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 11:25 AM
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 01:34 PM
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Great write up!!!

14 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS (kawi green)
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