Penang to Krabi Convoy Ride - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Penang to Krabi Convoy Ride

This is my first convoy ride ever and I am glad to have done it with the Versys and with my wife as pillion. The ride takes us from Penang, Malaysia and cross into Thailand, pass Hat Yai city and towards the beach town of Krabi. Distance one way is 500km. See the purple route from George Town in the South to up North.



We started off in Penang, where most of the 40 something bikes gathered and roll on at 7:30am. We had a group of Marshalls in their cruiser to help us smoothen our journey. Most of the red lights, they managed to get us moving. There were 4 other vehicles, 3 from the bike shop owners families and mechanics, and 1 SUV with a trailer for loading up down bikes. We're sure glad we had the trailer.

We arrived at Changloon, 150km away from our start point, a border town in Malaysia for buying insurance and the final fuel up at low prices. Fuel prices are twice cheaper in Malaysia.

Entering Thailand via Danok was time consuming. First, we got to buy the insurance in Changloon (Malaysia) and then go through immigration for passports and have the vehicle registered. It was tiring from the waiting and the heat. I think it took us 3 hours to get through the border.

The long wait and heat probably took the toll on one biker on a Kawa VN250. Being a 250cc, he was supposed to be at the front but he got to be the last after sometime we have passed Hat Yai. His bike is 3 months new and his riding skills is probably that long as well. We made a stop soon after this poor bloke crashed his bike while negotiating a bend, apparently he hesistated and panic braked and crashed. Rider had no gear except for a open faced helmet and sustained injuries to his knees, palm, right foot (swollen and a cut). His sneakers came right off. Riding was over but his holiday wasn't as he sat in one of the cars to journey on.



Bike towed. Bike injury is dent on the right side of the tank, bend handle bar, and scratched exhaust muffler.


I nearly crashed myself onto a stationary Marshal who was manning a junction. I learned not to rely on the front bike and need to see further ahead. The front bike made a sudden swerved to the left to avoid the marshal and it caught be by surprise and I was heading directly onto him. Can't brake and stop, so at the last seconds, I managed to evade to the right and missed the marshal by an inch.

Our first fuel up in Thailand.


Arriving in Krabi (Au Nang to be specific) and we rested here while the Marshals sorted out how to get to the hotel. yeap, we were quite lost. Fortunately, a Krabi Tourist Police car came by and escorted us to the right place.


Sunset in Au Nang.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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Last edited by 2daMax; 07-14-2011 at 08:26 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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The next day, we took a couple of speed boats to tour the islands around Phi Phi Island.


Here's me having breakfast prior to the boat ride


Our first stop, Bamboo Island. No Bamboo, just white sands and clear warm waters.




Next we visited some scenic limestone hills islands.



Swiflet (Bird Nest) Cave


Snorkeling in warm clear waters

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Stop over at Maya Bay....the scene where Leonardo Di Caprio was filming "The Beach"


Last stop for the day, Phi Phi Island. Lots of small shops and narrow alleys.


We returned to our hotel and had a wonderful dinner.

Day 3, time to ride back but stop over to Hat Yai. Getting reading to ride.


Sometime into the journey, we had another mishap. A BMW F800GS was hit by a small moped as we were making a U turn due to taking the wrong way. Biker was fine but his wife who fell off was a bit shaken up. She had a phobia and had to take the ride in the car. Bike was fine except for a few small scratches on the handle guard and engine guard. Moped rider had a burn mark on his torso from the Remus pipe which was on top of him.

Most of the riders proceeded to a rest stop while they sort out the accident.


We arrived in Hat Yai, where we proceeded to the Bike Week event. We then made our journey through a massive jam in downtown to he hotel. Free and easy to which we explored the city by foot and ate delicious food. It's a bustling city.

Checking out from the Hotel, time to head home.


It was another nightmare at the border crossing. The queue was super long for passports stamping.

Fueling up by the Marshals in Malaysia. Home sweet home.


It was a memorable trip for me, 1st time ever ridden at sustained high speeds for long distance. The V served me well. We found that our Givi E50, and the saddle bags was just nice for 4 days 3 nights stay.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 09:35 AM
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Congrats, Leslie! Glad you had a good safe trip and more to come...

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Ride safe,
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 10:17 AM
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Every ride is a lesson and glad you made it safe and hope all others who were less unfortunate heal fast.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 11:27 AM
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Awesome. Thanks for posting. Not being much of a world traveler it looks like you're eating Twinkies for breakfast.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 11:28 AM
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I very much respect your command of the English Language. I suspect I would not have don nearly as well as you in translating English into Malaysian.

It is so interesting to read of riders in other lands and their problems crossing borders. We take it for granted when we wiz right across state lines without any slowdown. International borders are a different story but not that big a deal if you have your documents in order.

The country there is very beautiful and I'm happy you had such a good ride. I think that in the future you will come to find that large groups like that can be more of a pain then pleasure. You might want to try a solo trip with just your wife or maybe one other couple. Always a lot nicer as you make you on decisions of how, when, and where you want to go. Just a suggestion.

Thanks for the report. I really enjoyed it.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dallasdon View Post
I very much respect your command of the English Language. I suspect I would not have don nearly as well as you in translating English into Malaysian.

.
Had the pleasure of meeting 2daMax (Leslie) a couple of weeks ago and his english is very good and probably better than my kiwi slang.

Leslie great ride report and hope next time I am there which will be in 2012 june/july we can ride together. Good point you made about looking to much at bike directly front as you need to scan a few vehicles ahead and if you focus on rear of bike in front and he goes in ditch so will you as bike will go where you look.

Hope you paid your 2 ringits Leslie when you crossed into Thailand.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 09:24 PM
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Beauty pics, countryside and write-up Leslie.
A very nice ride for building up everyones patience with such a large group!


It would be very easy for riders to get a little "hot under the collar" with all the waiting around that must have been involved.

"Safety in numbers" is a saying that comes to mind, but a few less riders may have been even "safer".(more safe)

Nice, very nice!

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments and encouragement. The good thing about this trip is that my wife now looks forward to future rides. Before, she has been apprehensive about me riding the bike.

I wish I can write better expressive English but that's my limitation. In fact, my English literature skills has been a downhill after reading emails with broken english at work for the last 10 years. You tend to get influenced by the bad english; and one good thing about this forum is that the english level here helps me to keep my skills level up to date

For those that plans to visit Krabi and the islands, I think it is quite easy in Thailand. There's an airport in Krabi, and tour packages for island hopping is everywhere if you want to book them. Mopeds can be rented and rode around. There were more white people in the islands than the locals and I thought I was in Australia or something

Kiwi, actually, 1 Ringgit is sufficient. My wife tried it and it was good, but I didn't take the risk and put in 20 Bath (or 2 Ringgit). My other riding friends told me that other Entry points into Thailand is not as bad as the one I went through, such as Wang Kelian or Padang Besar. Perhaps we take heed of this advice and avoid Danok when you come over next year.

Other thing I learned about riding in hot weather, particularly in Thailand where the heat from the road rises up and cooks the riders, is that to drink lots of fluids (no, not beer ) and try to stay as cool as possible. There was 1 rider that nearly passed out due to the heat and lack of fluids. He confessed after we made a rest stop.

We also went through some heavy rain and it was such a relieve riding through it as it was like someone has switched on the air conditioning. I would leave the rain wear at home on the next big trip. I brought along the rain wear with me but no one stop to get changed.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 11:02 PM
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It cost me 2 ringits (80 cents NZ) in and 2 ringits out. Don't think i would take a risk on just paying one ringit as customs there can make it very akward for you.

When I was riding with Karuna and Francis a couple of weeks ago we had a afternoon heavy rain did not bother me getting wet as i was very refreshed but was more concerned about the road surface in the wet because man does it persist down over there. Maybe in a small group would take some light wet weather gear but no need to take any of my thermal gear to your part of the world.

Good that your wife enjoyed the trip, its a long way out but next year would like to see if we can arrange a big ride into Thailand and maybe go as far north as Chiang mai.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 11:37 PM
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Good report, 2damax. Now I can put a face to the name :-)
BTW, is there a regular V group in Penang? I hope to meet with with some of you when I go back for a visit on my bike.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Veelosopher,

There's no V group in Penang, or not that I know of. STlee is from B.M. I meet most of the V owners when I visit the bike shop (Hot Bike). Hot Bike was the organizer for the Krabi Tour, it was free for me (because it was kawasaki and I bought the bike from him) but I had to pay for my wife's portion.

Kiwi,

Chiang mai is a long way, about 1842km from Penang. Depending on wife's approval actually or I can sent her there by flight and I ride up with you guys.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Just found out the bloke who crashed his Vulcan is trading in his bike for a ER6n. BTW, he's a professor, aged around 50 to 60, new to riding. I salute this guy for his spirit of never say give up. Of course, he's got his biker wife to thank also. She rides the Ninja 250R and was also in the convoy.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 06:05 PM
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Veelosopher,

.

Kiwi,

Chiang mai is a long way, about 1842km from Penang. Depending on wife's approval actually or I can sent her there by flight and I ride up with you guys.
Hmmm your right that a lot of road for me to find a toilet that actually has toilet paper lol
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 06:55 PM
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Hmmm your right that a lot of road for me to find a toilet that actually has toilet paper lol

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Phil,

BYOTP - Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. That's what saddle bags are for, isn't it ?

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 10:08 PM
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Phil,

BYOTP - Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. That's what saddle bags are for, isn't it ?
Not joking either this will be a serious part of my kit for next time.
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