Ride Report: Bang Saray to Hua Hin

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RCer
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Ride Report: Bang Saray to Hua Hin

Post by RCer » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 am

Long trip report from Axe Mechanica in Bang Saray to Hua Hin.

This was my first serious ride in Thailand and the report is a little long. Its broken down into 3 categories for those that don’t want to read the entire thing. BIKE, TRIP/ROUTE, EXPERIENCE.

BIKE:

Just about everyone on here knows I own a CTX 700. Thanks to the talents of Steve Ferguson and Axe Mechanica, I now have a 1970s retro bike. It’s a 2016 CTX that has the riding position set up like my bikes were back in the 70s when I began to ride. Some may not like the neutral upright position but for me, it’s the perfect position. No weight on my hands, no pulling on my hands except when going fast and being beat by the wind. Feet literally fall into the right position when I get on the bike. No looking for the footpegs.

Before the mods were done I had a hard time maneuvering the bike to my standards and could only ride for 15 or 20 minute stints because of the pull on my hands. Counter-steering didn’t happen much simply because of the pull on my hands.

The stock footpegs were half way up the front of the bike and 45cm more forward than they are now. It required me to put my feet almost straight out in front of me and use the pressure my feet and pull on my hands to keep me in place. Think in terms of a sideways check-mark.

I can definitely see the advantages of having the DCT (automatic) version of the bike, but its limited. In traffic, I keep my revs up between 3,000 to 4,000. I can adjust speed (up or down) quickly with the flick of a wrist. No need to shift or brake. I don’t think this is possible with the DCT, but don’t know for certain.

At this point, only thing I would change is to put a wind screen on it. Since I’m short, just something to send the wind over the top of me, instead of direct on.

TRIP/ROUTE:

The battery on my phone is old and weak. So, no tracking was done for this trip. All routing info is from memory. I also don’t believe in using a GPS while riding. If I need to know where I am and how to get where I’m going, I’ll stop and check the GPS. No distractions please. Great time to have a smoke and drink of water too.

I started at Axe Mechanica on 3 in Bang Saray. Headed south to 332, then east to 331. I rode 331 north toward Chon Buri turning west on 344. I was heading toward the King Taksin bridge in BKK. After my 20th or so “No Motorbike” sign on that road, my stomach declared empty and my bladder announced full. So, I bailed. I ended up on Sukhumvit Road and Soi Sukhumvit 105.

While sitting I checked Google Maps and of course it told me to go to the toll road and cross the King Bhumibol 2 bridge. So, what the hell, I did. Got all the way up to the toll booth and was stopped by the lady and told to go back. Yup, I knew I shouldn’t be there but, I also know from experience officials typically know how to get you where you’re supposed to be and even though she didn’t speak English, she was a big help.
I made the u-turn and headed back down the ramp using traditional Thai methods or riding against the flow of traffic. At the bottom of the ramp, I made another u-turn to the right this time and followed the road and watching how it weaved along with the overhead toll road. That took me to a large Honda store next to a Nissan (I think) store. I walked in and found the only English speaking person who was kind enough to give me directions to the ferry.

Heading out of the Honda store I turned left and road through the construction zone, most of which was under water, yup it had rained there before I arrived. I turned left at the next traffic signal and followed that road all the way to the ferry. Piece of cake.

After the ferry, I followed the scooter crowd toward 35. I took 35 all the way to 4 and headed home in Khao Tao via Pran Buri, not Cha’am/Hua Hin.

EXPERIENCE:

First, a little about my riding background. I started riding bikes in 1970, out in the Wild West of Tucson Arizona. We had little in the way of laws and even less enforcement at the time. You went where you wanted and as fast as you wanted to go.

Tucson has a monsoon season and flooded streets were the norm during it. Still are in some places, but far to many laws and enforcers now, to fit my tastes. “Nanny state” is the only thing I can think that fits.

Riding for me is about experiencing the environment. That includes the scenery, weather, other bikers, pedestrians, animals, smells, and of course cars/trucks. My eyes never stay in one place for more than a few seconds. I’m constantly scanning the road ahead, about 1/2km and my mirrors. My peripheral vision is an essential tool. I rarely look at my speed, rather I just go with what feels right and fits the road/traffic. That means sometimes I’m going 1kmh and creeping my bike through traffic and other times I’m doing 140kmh, slicing and dicing traffic.

This was my first trip riding any appreciable distance 417km, in Thailand. Riding on a bike setup like my Z1B (but no comparison in giggle factor) was pure joy. Even going through BKK was fun. I wouldn’t want to do it on a daily basis, but I’m retired so that’s not an issue.

The lawlessness was awesome. It brought back very fond memories of my teens and early 20s. Freedom at its best. You get on your bike and go. Look out for yourself and to hell with everyone else. I expect everyone to do the wrong thing at the wrong time. Loved it.

In the US whenever it started raining, I’d head for the closest shelter. The only real rain on this trip wasn’t until Phetchaburi. For me, it was “rain, blessed cool rain”. I got soaked. I only stopped when visibility went away. No, I don’t have rain gear and it wouldn’t have done me any good anyway. No place to stop and put it on.

As an American used to the mph system, it is really demoralizing to convert the exciting sounding 140kph to the boring 86mph. lol

I’ll be 60 in a month and having a ball. I was very happy to see I hadn’t lost my skills, but my reactions aren’t what they used to be. Age will do that. Also, my balls aren’t as big as dump trucks like they were in the 70s, as well. But, I’m still an adrenalin junky.

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buksida
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Re: Ride Report: Bang Saray to Hua Hin

Post by buksida » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:23 pm

Great report, got any pics? Especially the bike... :naughty:
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Re: Ride Report: Bang Saray to Hua Hin

Post by RCer » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:52 pm

Here's before and after shots. Full selection is on FB Expat Bikers.
20170121_103308_001.jpg
20170121_103308_001.jpg (112.67 KiB) Viewed 1479 times
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received_485493181791249.jpeg (145.93 KiB) Viewed 1479 times

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