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Old 04-28-2013, 07:52 AM   #1
Scuzzlebutt OP
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Eh? Cambodia dirt bike tour - no armour?

Hey all,
Watchin telly one night bleary eyed evening and I saw the Blokesworld blokes riding dirt bikes across Cambodia. They looked like they were havin fun. I sent an email and before I knew it I'd signed up for 7 days!

One thing they said that concerned me was not to bother with body armour as it would be too hot in October in Cambodia!

They said that everyone that's previously gone with them has lasted no more than 2 days before throwing it into the support truck.
I'm not a very experienced off-road rider (or on road for that matter!) I did a 7 day group tour of north Thailand off road last November with body armour; it was hot when you stopped, so you tried to keep moving, right?
Cambodia has limited medical facilities and from what I've seen the blokeworld guys don't err on the side of caution. I would have thought this would have been a pre requisite.

Am I right? Or will Cambodia in October be that hot?

Thanks for reading
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
Pecha72
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Cambodia´s well into the tropics, and most areas are not far off from sea level.. so yeah, it will be hot!

When doing dirt bike rides in Cambodia, I´ve used a motocross type mesh-shirt, that has elbow & shoulder shields and back protector, riding boots and knee protectors. I´ve also ridden around the area on a 115cc scooter, without any riding gear except helmet, was of course much more comfortable. But I cannot recommend doing that, you´ll never know, when you might have a crash. Traffic and roads can be quite dangerous there. I´d say it took a few days to get used to the gear, but after that it wasn´t so uncomfortable (... but do not take any cold-climate gear there, like a thick Gore-Tex suit, that WILL be uncomfortably hot!)
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Seems like moronic advice to not wear any armour.
Most of the guys I know personally who run dirt bike tours through SE Asia will not let you on the ride unless you are wearing full gear. That means proper motocross boots, proper knee armour, hip, gloves, elbows, shoulder and spine (and hopefully chest) and full face helmet.
Shit happens, especially when you've got a bunch of (no offense intended) dopey men blowing off a bit of steam rediscovering their lost youth and trying to keep up with eachother, and whatnot...
In a lot of cases where this shit happens you are many hours even days from proper medical attention (ie Bangkok),
I am very serious, I have friends who run these kind of tours and when I was living in Laos recently I would hear the stories and get the latest carnage reports every time they would return or the news from other groups would arrive. Some groups are a lot worse than others. Some get lucky, but multiple crashes and usually injuries happen all the time, to people wearing ALL the gear. People who have been doing this longer than those blokesworld dicks know this well and have had to personally deal with trying to extract and save people (and sometimes themselves) with nasty compound fractures, head injuries and the like.
Too hot to ride freely on a bike in the middle of no-where with full armour? Consider how hot it might feel when you are lying in the back of a bongo truck or iron buffalo creeping and bouncing over the rugged dirt tracks you previously flew over, all day in the sun with abrasion/bruising/puncture wounds hurting and broken bones grating together.
Yes it will be hot in full gear, and a little bit less hot in no gear. Take rests, always try to stop in the shade, stay very hydrated (hydration pack is a good idea). Considering your described experience, and assuming these blokesworld guys (or the people they are subcontracting your tour out to) will take you on some fun rough dirt, you will likely come off at some time or another. Even little lowspeed falls will be greatly benefitted by armour and though it may make you sweat a bit more you will enjoy your ride with less pain.
At worst they are right, and you may want to trade personal safety for a cooler ride, and then you can chuck your gear in the 'support truck'
Good luck, I'm sure you'll have fun.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
Witold
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Well, the big problem is that if you're flying in, you can expect to be sweating like a pig walking down a shady street doing nothing. It is hot. It takes a while to get used to the heat. I would say it takes a good 2 weeks before I stop being drenched with sweat all the time.

But yeah, it's your skin, and most facilities in Cambodia are very 3rd world.

Personally, I would definitely wear everything I got and just keep hydrated.

Life and limb is cheap in Cambodia, but I'm not Cambodian. hehehe...
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
protokultur
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I rode KH in December, and it was very hot most of the time. Still, you should wear an armor shirt. Especially if you are going rt66 or the jungle. You will thank me later for it. The mesh shirts like this are reasonably cool if you just wear them with a loose T-shirt or nothing else:

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...rt-Jacket.aspx

It does come in white although after one day it will be orange-brown from the dust.

For a helmet, get one with a peak, like a trials helmet maybe.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
Pecha72
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"just wear them with a loose T-shirt or nothing else:"

My first day riding in Cambodia, I made a real dumb mistake, I wore the mesh-shirt with shields, but instead of putting on the motocross shirt, that I had, I wore a t-shirt (bright yellow, given from the tour operator, to spot our group guys in Phnom Penh traffic, that actually worked well). But as this shirt change came just around when we were taking off, and it was sort of hassle, I forgot to put any sunscreen into my arms (and I´d just flown in the day before!).... so in the evening, after the first day in the scorching sunshine, when I took the mesh shirt off, my hands looked lexactly like they had been put in a waffle grill, the regular pattern of course coming from the holes in the mesh. The guesthouse staff were just terrified, they couldn't figure out, where that had come from, cos I'd already taken the mesh shirt off before they saw it (they probably thought someone HAD actually grilled my hands!).. one guy insisted he goes to the farmacy, and sure enough, he got me some lotion for the sunburn, that really helped. But it took a long, long time before those "burn marks" were gone. Not very smart (or healthy for that matter!), so make sure you take care of this better than I did, especially the first days you're there.

Pecha72 screwed with this post 05-01-2013 at 01:26 AM
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:00 PM   #7
Scuzzlebutt OP
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the next step

Thanks for the info guys, Much appreciated. @Pecha72 Lol!
Looks like armour is a definite, I just got my knee braces last night. Boots, helmet, gloves, pants and shirt I already have.

My next concern is what type of armour? The vast majority have a zip straight up the sternum. To me this seems to be a weak design, not that I've ever had that sort of stack.

One bloke I saw on my Thailand tour had armour with velcro under the arm providing a solid plate across the chest, this seemed much better to me. Don't know the brand, he said it was from England.
Thoughts on this type of armour? Where to find that style? The ones I've seen in stores are roost protectors which aren't armour! There's a couple on eBay, buy I prefer to try before I buy.
@ontic No offence taken, particularly cause you're on the money! You suggested hip protection: is this just the padded undies thingies? Do they help much?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
team ftb
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I've lived and ridden around SE Asia for almost 10 years offroad. Please do as others advise and wear armor. I'm sick of picking up people busted up from tours and even busted my own self up many times here. Best case scenario you'll save your self from scrapes and bruises. Bottom line you'll be stinking hot not matter what you'll wear this time of year so might as well stay protected. Cool down like this when you can as it helps with evaporative cooling and keeps the mind sane in the heat.



You won't find the solid one piece chest armored pressure suits over here. The ones available here will be the zip up the middle type, and if you're lucky you'll find the traditional MX one piece plastic protectors.

The Thor Impact Rig http://www.atomic-moto.com/Thor-Impact-Rig-SE_p_231.html has the one piece chest armor you were asking about. It works well as long as you keep in mind once forward motion ceases you will start roasting.

If you are fair skinned follow Pecha's advice and lather on sunscreen. I've never had problems and have spent years with riding in pressure suits only with no long sleeved base layer over here but we all have different sun tolerances and nothing will kill your joy like treating sunburn and suffering trying to sleep in the evenings.

Never even heard of the group you're traveling with so hope they've got a couple smart souls to offset the ones who advise all of their tourists to not wear armor. This is great advice if you can guarantee you won't crash.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:11 AM   #9
Redleader
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Cool2 Cambodia Dirt Bike Tour wear armour!

Scuzzlebut! Totally listen to the advice offered up above by FTB.

Cambodia is NOT the place to become a healthcare tourist. Standards are constantly improving, but are still third world at best. Not too bad at cutting stuff off, but not too good at sewing them back on!

Also as an aside, we advise armour being worn on our tour as a basic duty of care to our riders. If your tour guides are advising against armour, then I would question how seriously they are taking their duty of care to you in all other aspects of the tour.

Be careful, there are an awful lot of "dirt bike tours" out there now that word is getting out about how amazing the dirt bike riding terrain is in Cambodia. But bear in mind often standards of maintenance and care of vehicles and clients can differ greatly from developed world standards.

That said, riding cambodia dirt bike trails will undoubtedly be the best ride you ever have! Please post back here what you thought of your dirt bike adventure in Cambodia!

But remember, FTB has offered up sterling advice. Ignore it at your own peril!
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