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Hello everyone, I'm in the planning stage of a trip to Thailand on my '83 GL1100 Gold Wing leaving about May '04 (need to be in Thailand by August). Never having riden further than Spain/Italy, I am trying to find out the pit falls etc. Can any of you learned travellers give a few helpful hints to a new adventurer. I was planning to go completely overland but it appears that will not now be possible - can anyone please advise? Thanks, Oletimer (George)
yeah you would be ablt to get to Nepal easy on your GoldWing I would say. The road is paved all the way unless nature took it away temporarily. You may find a few roads turned into rubble here and there in eastern Turkey due to flooding and same for Pakistan. In Pakistan by Afghanistan you may find the road gets covered in sand in a few places through the desert but if you take it easy you should be ok I'm sure. From Nepal to Thailand is a bit tricky as you will have to fly the bike from Kathmandu to Bangkok or take another route involving shipping. there are plenty of options though and all included on this website under the shipping links.
Not sure why you should get ripped off though.. the world isn't that bad! Just have to be alert that's all and most people are.
ps. I personally don't think it's that bad for rain either. Yes it rains but not all the time and hey, its warm rain so who cares.
[This message has been edited by Spud (edited 11 November 2003).]
Thanks Spud, I've been to Thailand plenty of times (wife being Thai) and speak a fair bit of the lingo (Prachuap dialect) so I aint got any probs rip-off wise. Its the bit tween here an there thats a bit grey. I've read the accounts and everything I can about the trip but, and I'm sure you'll agree that, situations can (and do) change at short notice. I merely wanted to know what the lastest news was of any probs or difficulties. Thanks again Spud.
Parts availability enroute might be a major logistical problem for you, considering that the GL is not endemic to the areas you are planning to go through - not to mention the age of the motorcycle.
I ride a two year old ST1100, I needed to get the tires changed in Northern Portugal once, and I went to the largest Honda dealer in the region - they had never stocked or sold a ST1100, and many of the staff looked at it as if it was a UFO. It took 2 days to get the tires shipped in, and the staff were very cautious about working on it - none had any experience at all with this model of bike.
Thanks for your input Pan, its one of the things I hadn't given much thought to. I think if I start on new rubber from UK, I would be considering a change somewhere about Pakistan or maybe India. Perhaps a couple of days off while they were flown in wouldn't be wasted. I can see what you ean about the size of the tyres though, I've got a couple of bikes in Hua Hin (Honda 100 and a Suzuki 120) and their tyres look like cycle tyres in comparison to the Wings.
Depending of course how you plan your route (whether it's going to be the very scenic route ot not) will depend of course on how long those tyres will last. Mine were new from the start and lasted all the way to Bangkok. They weren't completely worn then either but I was heading to Cambodia/Laos so wanted some grib in the mud.
As you probably know Bangkok quite well, have you heard of Siam Super Bike? They would be able to get your parts in for you if you can last until then. As the name suggests they are quite used to working on big bikes (although not the cheapest) and seem to support most of the ex-pat population with their bikes. http://www.siamsuperbike.com/ (Peter)
They sorted out my Honda Dommie for me with a new clutch & tyres. Also fixed him up a litte bit for free after I hit a rather large truck in Ban Pai
I am hoping to move out there very soon (Thai girlfriend) and hope to do a bit of racing down in Pattaya. Anyway, good luck.. most people are in a similar position with regards to parts as larger bikes are rare anywhere on that route, regardless of make/model.
ps. my bike was/is a Dommie which left the UK last year with 37k miles on the clock and was 10 years old. I went to Singapore with it.
you mentioned you wanted to do a bit of racing in pattaya, are we talking VFR400's?
A friend of mine mentioned a track day school there where you can race them, he keeps trying to talk me into it and I'm almost there, any comments on the track etc.. last time I was in thailand I was hit by a truck and mashed my leg, the hospitals were useless and my leg went black then I was flown home- just pot luck but wondered if the track was dirty etc.. as i don't want to break my body again!
Nice input Dave, yeah, I DO know Krong Thiep quite well (and stay away as much as poss, haha) but my 'home area' is Hua Hin. I've got a 'man that does' and he's very reasonable - gives you the choice of pattern parts (Mai pang, kap) or Genuine parts. He rebuilt BOTH my little bikes in March (the kids had been 'playing') with wheels, tyres, tubes, wheel bearings, chains and spockets (both bikes) and 1 piston and rings. Total cost including labour 3700 baht (about £50) Can't moan at that can I? - I used only pattern cos the kids have no idea how to look after anything anyway. This trip will be as sedate as I can make it, I'm going for the ride and don't intend breaking any records (nor bones) I'm allowing 10 weeks for the trip out and intend using one my small bikes to 'do' Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Lightly loaded of course. I've made a note of Siam's address, it will prove useful at some point (going to some touring in Thailand later, go to see brother-in-law in Chiang Mai and Uncles in BKK) Whats the score about extensions for the bike - ie: I'm led to believe that the bike can only stay for 30 days, is that correct? Thanks again Dave, if your down that way or fancy a 'over here' we can make a meet? Cheers, George
Not sure what they race there but I get the impression the track is good. I know of some ex-pats who race down there along with Peter from Siam Superb bike. Thought once I get myself settled in over there I would try it out
The hospital I went to was fortunately ok (Ban Pai). I had to have stiches in my chest and a chest x-ray. It only cost me about 500 baht (excluding my Arai helmet which needed replacing big time.. I lost my memory for about 30 mins, very interesting experience as I didn't know which country I was in).
Yes be good to meet up. You are in the UK at the moment? I'm in London up until I head over there early next year. Hua Hin seemed a nice place when I went through it. Would be good to go down there again one day.
10 wks should be ok for that trip but it's still quite quick maybe. I took a month to get to India but thought it was a bit quick. I would have prefered to take it more easily and stop for a few days here and there a bit more.
ps. drop me an email if you would like to meet up sometime. Girlfriend is over here so she'd find it interesting too.
pps. oh also about the 30 day limit..yes last time I knew it was 30 days but i think you can nip somewhere else and then get another 30 days. Pop down to Malaysia maybe?
When i go over next year I hope to export my UK bike and get it registered in Thailand.
[This message has been edited by Spud (edited 12 November 2003).]
Hi Dave, yeah, I'm in good old blighty (working my jacksie off to fund my trip) I live in wolves but am coming down your way early December (Won't be on the Wing cos I'm still in the rebuild stage with the engine in bits) I wasn't sure as to the exact rules regarding import and length of stay for my bike in Thailand, but am glad to hear your views (might be a nice ride down to the Malayian border every month) I'm planning to set up a pit-stop in Hua Hin and it will have all the usual facilities: Showers, sleeping, good food (both Thai and English), a laundry facility, a repair shop and secure parking, all at a reasonable cost of course I'm not out to rip-off anyone. I'm looking forward to meeting you and the other half, what part of the metrolopes do you stay in? When would be a good time for you? Cheers, George.
Damn fine idea I reckon. There must be loads of people going to Singapore or the other way. It would be good to have a place like that in Hua Hin. I think that was where I stayed after riding from BKK.
I'm in Dulwich. I am off to Thai in early Jan then back again until end of March. I shall hope to head there long term after that and thought about riding there again but money/time may not allow me to this time. I hear the carnets are quite expensive now. Mine was only about £1800 from ADAC but I don't think they can issue them fro Brits anymore. Be great to meet up anyway!
Hi Dave, sorry for the delay but I've got so much on my plate I wish I was on a diet :-) Looks like I'm down in Grays on sat and Sun this week, not sure if I'll have much spare time though - its work! Still, I'm going to Belgium in December so could have an hour at your local - if you can make it. I'll send you a mail to let you know exact date ok. I'm hoping to make a start on the PIT-STOP in July/August. Should be ready to receive first non boarding visitors about Sept (with luck)It will be posted anyway. Talk later, all the best, George (oletimer)
SORRY! Heres a p/s:
I was in touch with RAC re: Carnets and Sue, who told me, she and the RAC READ this site REGULAR - AND - base ALL their knowledge and understanding of the long distance bikers needs from what they have read HERE! So to Grant and Sue - YOUR WORK IS KNOWN AND RESPECTED.
Sue at the RAC said here is a formulae for Carnets = Bike Value X5
or = Insurance for 10% of that with half being retained by insurance on return.
OR, A bankers draft equal to bike value X5 to guarantee your 'safe return'.
I think the insurance method sounds best if you're watching the pennies, Oletimer
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