I slept really early last night. By 10pm, I was already in bed. I set my phone alarm to 0400h. I’m generally a morning person, so getting up early was not an issue. In fact, I wanted to beat the possible morning Causeway jam and also anticipated some delays as Malaysia was supposed to start implementing the VEP system today.
It was with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation that I begun the trip. Is this trip even possible? What if the bike breaks down? Can I really reach Chiang Mai? I woke up before the alarm went off. 3:40am. And since most of my stuff were already packed, I left home at approximately 4:00am. The plan is to reach Penang by noon, and that will give me some time to roam the island and also to get withdraw some cash from the ATM machine there.
I don’t have a plan. Only a sketchy idea in my head. I just want to ride.
As I shared my plan to ride, most were surprised. Some were skeptical. Many thought I was just plain crazy. Yes, I intend to make a trip up north, quite very north.
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
The Mae Hong Son loop near Chiang Mai, Thailand, is on every motorcycle enthusiast’s bucket list. With more than 1,800 turns and twists, it’s never a boring stretch. Ever since I’ve heard of the Mae Hong Son loop, I’ve been dreaming of doing it on a motorcycle – my own motorcycle. And now that I have some time on hand, I thought why not!
And since I’ll be up in Chiang Mai, I thought I’d also take the opportunity to tour the region. And so the crazy idea of doing a 5-country tour on the bike struck me. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I’m giving Myanmar, Vietnam and China a miss as my research suggests that trying to enter these countries on a foreign-registered motorcycle is, while not impossible, difficult and messy. It’ll involve applying for some pricey permits prior or hiring some mandatory escorts. No thanks. I’d rather be travelling on my own.
Let’s take stock of my riding gear… Riding jacket? Checked. Riding pants? Checked. Gloves? Checked. Rain jacket? Checked. Riding shoes? Errr…. Uh uh…
I rode up to KL and back twice earlier this month. And on both occasions, it rained. No. It poured. But thankfully, in both occasions, it was short bursts of heavenly blessings, and the sky quickly cleared. Possibly just a passing cloud. And when it cleared and as I rode on, the 120kmh wind had a cooling and calming evaporative effect that quickly dried me up. Well, except for my rain water saturated socks. I wore non-waterproofed sneakers Continue reading “Riding Boots Shopping”
It was an unexpected trip. But yes, I’m riding up to KL again. This time, I will stay over for at least a night. Since my last trip up was just a week ago, I’ve learnt much about my faithful machine, and a few things I wanted to try.
First, I’ve got myself some extra luggage space. Soft bag panniers! They mounted on easily and offered some much needed additional space on the storage-deprived bike. Unlike larger bikes or scooters, the 200NS comes quite literally with no storage space on it’s own. I’ve considered the hard-shelled side boxes, but being a new rider, I’d prefer the side-protruding storage spaces do not poke out any further than the width of my handlebars. This gives newbies like me Continue reading “2nd Singapore-KL Road Trip”
Man were born to explore. And long before cars and bikes ruled the roads, man explored on horsebacks. And in each adventure, the relationship between man and horse strengthens, eventually forming an inseparable bond between the two travelling companions. The motorcycle and his rider is the modern mechanical version of that man and horse relationship.
Even before I purchased my first bike, I’ve dreamt of exploring places with it. And when I discovered advrider.com, I instantly got hooked to the idea of doing my own motorcycle tours. But a lone explorer with his mechanical steed needs to be prepared for all kinds of situations. Emergencies – as some may call it.
SG-KL-SG. Yes. It was a touch-and-go trip. I had some business to settle there and therefore the last minute trip. Left SG around 13:30 yesterday afternoon, and reached back SG around 01:30 in the night. Total distance – 760km. Couple of things I learnt about my 200NS from this trip:
1) The 48L Shad topcase was just barely enough to hold my stuff. I need to rethink about storage solutions if I were to make a similar trip again. Yes, it did hold my hand carry luggage (was initially planning to stay over for a night), rain coat, bike cover and some other small stuff. But I had to force the lid to close. Not good. Almost couldn’t squeeze in my bottle of chain lube – speaking of which…