We’ve been planning and talking about this trip for almost a year! Mae Hong Son – somewhere in the northern region of Thailand – always has a special place in every motorcycle rider’s heart. With beautiful roads, amazing scenery and 1864 of fun-packed twisty bends to negotiate, it’s motorcycling Nirvana.
The Mae Hong Son loop typically starts from Chiang Mai, and most people work the loop clockwise as the roads starts of relatively easy, and gets progressively more challenging. It connects Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon, to Mae Cheam, Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, and Pai, before ending up in Chiang Mai. And while I’ve done it in back in 2016 on my Pulsar 200NS, this time, I’m doing the loop with company. 7 friends rode up from Singapore to northern Thailand over 12 days and had a blast of a time!
Woo hoo! I love Christmas time! 2 years ago, I celebrated Christmas early by getting myself a new helmet – the Kabuto Ibuki modular. This year, I got myself a spanking new Scorpion Exo ADX-1 Adventure Modular helmet!
You see, the Ibuki has been with me for 2 years. And it’s also been the helmet I use daily. It’s beginning to display signs of wear – the cheek pad’s torn, the face shield is scratched up, and the sun visor won’t stay in place. While I loved the Ibuki, it’s time to move on…
It’s the weekend! And it’s time to ride! This was my first ride out with my new-to-me BMW G650GS Sertao. Now, Sertao (or more correctly, Sertão) means “outback” or “wilderness” in Portuguese. And there’s no place the Sertao feels more at home than in the dirt and backroads! Even more so with the brand new Shinko 804/805 40-60 (off-on road) tires fitted!
My little GS needs new shoes. The Metzler Tourance Next tires that came with the bike was almost bald. And since I got this bike primarily to take on the trails and fire roads, I decided to get some 50-50 off-road biased tires too!
After some research, and at the recommendation from a friend, I decided to go for the Shinko 804 (front) and 805 (rear) tires. The set cost just below $200 – which I thought was excellent value for tires!
Ah! Today, the big fat red girl meets her smaller, slimmer, but equally pretty white sibling. And so, the GS siblings meet for the first time.
She’s beautiful, graceful, and just does everything so well. And many a times when admiring her gorgeous looks while sipping a cup of coffee from a near distance away, I’ve caught her posing for fans who instinctively whipped out their iPhones to capture a selfie while standing beside her. She’s not only a looker, but the R1200GS LC is an excellent all-rounder and is superbly comfortable on long distance mile munching tours.
Siu Hon suggested heading to Melaka for dinner, and since any reason to ride is a good reason! So off to Melaka we headed, and we made that 530km round trip – just for dinner!
We arranged to meet 6:30pm at Petronas, Gelang Patah. But the weather didn’t seem to agree with us. The skies opened before we left Singapore, and poured onto us all before we could even rendezvous at Gelang Patah for the ride up. This however, gave us the perfect opportunity to test some of our recently acquired wet weather gear in prep for our major trip to Northern Thailand in December.
As you can see, Siu Hon’s wet weather gear didn’t hold up too well. His waterproof boots turned into a mini aquarium – collecting water that cascaded from his poorly sealed waist area all the way into the boots itself! Eeek!
And so I swapped out my set of 16,000km or 10,000 miles Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2’s from my BMW R1200GS LC for a new set of…. Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2’s! Yes, I liked the tires enough to want to buy it again! It has exceeded all my expectations on the tires.
In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that my rear tires recently got TWO punctures, and that I’m planning for a major trip soon, I’d probably feel comfortable running the tires for another 4,000km at least. Yes, it IS a heck of a long lasting adventure / sport touring tires!
So it’s time for servicing on the BMW R1200GS wethead again. As I’m preparing for a major trip in December, thought it would be prudent to get this out of the way. This round, it’s air filter, spark plugs, and final drive gear oil on top of the usual engine oil replacement.