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Old 09-23-2010, 08:32 AM   #1
canoli OP
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Thumb Dirt Roads, Whiskey & Fire. The Most Epic 35 Mile After Work Ride EVER.

The sky was nothing but grey clouds and temperatures & humidity levels were both in the 90’s. Wasn’t really in the mood to go for a run but I had a need to do something other then go to the gym or sit in front of the tube. I needed to de-stress. I needed to go for a ride. A call to fellow inmate CapCal1000, a promise to the wife to be home by dinner and we were off to explore the back roads of Nonthaburi Thailand.

Lane splitting our way though thick Bangkok rush hour traffic we quickly reached the Rama 4 Bridge and turned onto roads more to our liking. Twisty double lane ribbons of stress relief that are just far enough away from the masses to lower the blood pressure a few numbers. From there we pushed our way deeper into the country side and explored some of the dirt and fire roads that wind their way through the rice paddies.






As we continued our ride it seemed like the whole world was starting to calm down. The temperature cooled, the locals were out grabbing a bite to eat and more and more of the bar carts were filling up. It’s when we passed one of these bar carts that Cal noticed what looked (from a distance) like an old Harley Davidson.



Motor from a Honda and a few other mis-matched parts but you gotta admit...its an original.

Quick U-turn and when we pulled up the locals welcomed us over with smiles, thumbs up and for me a shot of home made Thai Whiskey (more like a dark rum then whiskey). We sat around for a while and in broken English\ Thai talked about where we were from, where we were going, motorcycle stuff etc. We took pictures, kicked tires and had a ton of laughs.







A typical Rural Nonthaburi after work establishment.



Eventually everyone’s vocabulary limit had been reached and it was time to go. We geared up, thanked everyone for their hospitality and……nothing. Nothing happened. Cal pushed the start button on his GS and absolutely nothing happened. No lights, no clicks, no nothing. A quick look at the battery and at first glace it seemed that all the jumping around on the dirt roads knocked the connections loose.



A quick tighten of loose screws, turn of a key and…nothing. Crap.. . Well it seems that the question of “Does anyone have any jumper cables?” is in fact universal. Within 2 seconds of me asking that question in English the entire place had jumped up to help and someone did in fact have jumper cables.



After realizing that my DR just did not have enough oomph to start the GS (I think the GS uses more power then my house) we started to get a little worried. It seemed like the temperature was climbing back up, we started sweating and thoughts of how we were going to get this bike home started to creep into our minds. Luckily for us the locals had a plan…and a Toyota HiLux. With a spark, zap and a bang the GS roared back to life. By now the town had started to gather around to watch the action and when it fired up there were cheers all around. We stuffed all the bits and parts back, said our goodbyes (again) and headed out into the night to try and find our way home.

It was absolutely incredible that total strangers that didn’t speak the same language as us welcomed us into their place, shared what they had with us then lent us a hand when we needed it. We were feeling great. The temp was down, the music from the local villages was BLASTING and the fires in the rice fields lit the sides of the road helping us to find where we needed to turn.



Dirt roads and country lanes turned back into highway as we passed over the Rama 4 Bridge. It’s neon lights welcoming us back into the crazed traffic nightmare that is suburban Bangkok. By now Cals GS was sputtering and coughing pretty badly. It was almost cutting out at every lull in traffic and he really had to fight to keep it alive. We weaved our way through the madness being careful not to hit any of the stray animals that wandered out from the darkness but being sure to keep the pace up enough so the GS wouldn’t cut out. A few more twists and turns onto dark but familiar roads and made it home just in time. Cals bike died on his driveway and I made it home just as dinner needed to be taken out of the oven.

As I was sitting down to eat and about to tell Canoli Wife about the ride I got message from Cal confirming what we thought was the cause of the problem…

Old battery



All in all we covered a whopping 35 miles but the goal of doing something other then sitting in front of the TV after work was accomplished. Can’t wait until the weekend.

canoli screwed with this post 09-23-2010 at 08:43 AM
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
CapCal1000
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Thanks to Canoli for the post.

I noticed the starter hesitating before this once or twice, but thought it was the typical delay while the computer decides whether to let me ride or not.

The roads home in the dark were fun as the battery was obviously toast. Constant hesitation, blinking headlights, failed sensors and each touch of the brakes lit up the dash and killed the engine..

Prompt removal and examination of the battery revealed that, in spite of a recent full inspection and service by the local BMW Motorrad dealer, the battery is original, has never been serviced and should have been removed two years ago. Good job guys!

Really it was the most fun you can have in Bangkok with your clothes on!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
Macushla
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Wow you guys are lucky to be able to do that. And in such a beautiful land.

Motorcycles are the human language it seems.

move in beauty
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:09 PM   #4
Ladybug0048
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Nice post - I like it.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:06 PM   #5
YnotJP?
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Nice report. The Thai bike may have a Honda motor, but, I think the alternator is off a Buick. Maybe that is what the BMW needs.

Southeast Asia has a lot to offer the motorcycle rider, great poeple, nice country, good weather, and a lot more.

Thanks again for the report.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:43 AM   #6
canoli OP
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Thanks I appreceate the feedback. Ynot.. yeah I also think the alternator was off a Buick.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:37 AM   #7
UpST8
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Definately better then watching TV It's not about the miles, but the smiles.

Hope to ride around Northern Thailand, when time and money line up
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
Kodanja
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Thumb

Nothing like a bike problem to raise your blood pressure back up Glad you got the bike started and back home. Great story of how people are so willing to share and help strangers. Post back your next ride!
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