ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-12-2012, 04:51 AM   #601
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by danhalen View Post
Really enjoyed reading your ride report over the last week, maybe one day i will get to check out some of these places. Really love the small displacement, non typical adventure bike aspect of it. And here i was thinking that i needed some fancy European machine with a bunch o farkles?
.

I think the real revelation for us has been just how little bike and gear you actually need. I'm sure, like many, we watched the Long Way Round series years ago, and dreamed of taking a big trip. I started looking at what it would take to outfit my VStrom and was astounded by the price and sheer weight of the crap. It seemed that every added farkle required some more farkles. For instance, to deal with the weight of all the added gear, suddenly I would need and uprated shock and fork work. Adding it all up meant that I would have to spend thousands of dollars, even before the trip started, on the bike, and we would still be riding two up on a very heavy motorcycle. It just didn't make sense to us. We chose to spend less on our bikes and gear and more on riding and beer!
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2012, 04:59 AM   #602
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Sorry there haven't been any updates for the last few days, I just haven't felt much like writing lately. We have decided to spend tomorrow lying around by the pool, so I should get some work done then. So here are a few photos of what we've been up to, taken with our new camera!







These should silence all the naysayers who think we ain't doing no real "adventure riding." NB: No bikes were harmed in the making of these photos (and Re was fine, too!).
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #603
tgxbug
Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Oddometer: 20
Hi
can't add enough to the accolades on your reporting, inspirational stuff.
are you planning on coming southwards to malaysia later?
cheers
Bug
tgxbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #604
JDK111
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: W. Canada
Oddometer: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
These should silence all the naysayers who think we ain't doing no real "adventure riding."
Great report! ... keep it up!

In regard to your comment above..... I'd add that you and Re are also doing a GREAT job in dispelling the myth that 'adventure riding' requires a bike that's brand name is labelled on it's tank as initials (... think BMW, KTM etc).
It's amazing what the locals do with their 'Clicks' in Asia, Thailand & Malasia.
JDK111 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #605
Goldie05
Fast George
 
Goldie05's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Jackson, NJ
Oddometer: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Underboning View Post
Sorry there haven't been any updates for the last few days, I just haven't felt much like writing lately. We have decided to spend tomorrow lying around by the pool, so I should get some work done then. So here are a few photos of what we've been up to, taken with our new camera!



These should silence all the naysayers who think we ain't doing no real "adventure riding." NB: No bikes were harmed in the making of these photos (and Re was fine, too!).
OMG, do I see tire cords on Re's front tire??

is the tire that bad or is it my impression? what's Re been doing?

Just riding the Symba's IS AN Adventure
__________________
12 Yamaha Super Ténéré
Alaska Trip
Cross Country Trip
Riding USA Blog
GeorgeFPhotography
Goldie05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 12:16 AM   #606
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgxbug View Post
Hi
can't add enough to the accolades on your reporting, inspirational stuff.
are you planning on coming southwards to malaysia later?
cheers
Bug
Oh yeah, we love Malaysia. We should be there in about a month or so and probably spend 4 weeks riding around (maybe longer if we get stuck in George Town again!).
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 AM   #607
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDK111 View Post
Great report! ... keep it up!

In regard to your comment above..... I'd add that you and Re are also doing a GREAT job in dispelling the myth that 'adventure riding' requires a bike that's brand name is labelled on it's tank as initials (... think BMW, KTM etc).
It's amazing what the locals do with their 'Clicks' in Asia, Thailand & Malasia.
The local riders are humbling. I wish we could ride ours as well as they ride theirs. Whenever I think that we are riding fast down some rough or tricky road, some local rider blows by us two up or an a bike covered with pots and pans.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 12:24 AM   #608
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldie05 View Post
OMG, do I see tire cords on Re's front tire??

is the tire that bad or is it my impression? what's Re been doing?

Just riding the Symba's IS AN Adventure
Funny! The light patch on the front tire was the first thing I noticed when we uploaded the pics to the laptop. No, it's not cord, just some dirt caught between the ribs. (But I did go and check her tire to be sure) The fronts are getting a bit worn now that they have nearly 20K miles on them, but we have new, spare fronts that we bought in Namibia ready to go.

Re, on the other hand, has been breaking the cardinal rule: When in doubt, GAS IT!

Underboning screwed with this post 03-13-2012 at 12:36 AM
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 12:29 AM   #609
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
3/7 Visas, Carburetors, and Re's Rack

Since yesterday's breakfast was so enjoyable, we repeated it today. Fruit, coffee, and baguettes in the lounge with Torsten and Marin. About an hour into our conversation, Torsten mentioned that they were going to pick up their Thai visas today. Whoops. Guess what we forgot we were supposed to be doing while we were in Phnom Penh?! One of the big things we meant to do here was get our visas for our return to Thailand. Torsten told us that they had to wait for five days to get their visas(!) and that the Consulate only accepted applications until 11:30 am. Since it was already after 10:00, we excused ourselves and ran for the shower. After we got cleaned up, we got together all the necessary photos, money, and passports, and went down to the bikes. Since the Thai Consulate appeared to be about 2 miles away, we decided to ride.

Re's bike started up fine, but for some unknown reason, mine was very reluctant to start. Eventually, it did start, but it wasn't running cleanly. We pulled out onto the road and over the next ten blocks or so, my bike ran progressively worse. It eventually stalled and wouldn't restart. Of course, by now it was 11:00 am and hot, hot, hot in the sun. I pulled out my Swiss Army knife and opened the drain on the carb bowl. Plenty of fuel spilled onto the ground, so I pulled the sparkplug, which appeared fine and sparked brightly. Huh. Since it was now after 11:00, Re made for the Consulate, while I pushed my bike back to the hotel. Before she left, we made sure she had all the paperwork, but I forgot that she also had the room key. So after pushing the bike back to the hotel, I was now sweat-soaked and locked out of the room. I was able to borrow the housekeeper's key to get into the room and cool off for a while.

After an hour or so, Re returned with the good news that not only was she able to forge my signature on my visa application, but also, she was able to sweet talk the official into having our visas ready in only two days. Sweet! We headed out for lunch and then returned to see what was wrong with my bike. We unrolled the tarp, got out the tools, and dropped the bowl off the carb. In the bottom of the bowl, there was a drift of fine, whitish powder, and we also found that the pilot jet was partially blocked. We were able to clean the jet and then reassembled the carburetor. A quick thumb of the starter button, and my bike started up and settled into a nice, even idle. I am puzzled by the crap in the bowl, because we just installed a new fuel filter that claimed to be a genuine Honda part less than a month ago. Oh well, as long as it's running.

Since we already had the tools out and were grubby, it seemed like a good time to get Re's rack welded. We removed her top case and undid the four bolts that secure the rack.



Once we removed it, we could see the extent of the damage, and it was bad. One of the men who works at the hotel pointed us in the direction of a welder, so we walked out to find him. A few blocks from the hotel, we found an area where old motorcycles are made into new motorcycles. Many small shops here take the best parts out of five bikes and make four very good looking bikes out of them. Everywhere, people were painting, polishing, and cleaning up secondhand underbones. We spied a man sitting on the side of the street making a crashed kickstand look like new. Once again, our welder spoke no English, but understood what we needed done.



After he finished the kickstand, he immediately set to work on the rack, and 20 minutes later, he handed us back a freshly welded rack. This time, the repair cost a whole 2.50 USD. Cambodia is very expensive! We tromped back to the hotel and reinstalled the rack and top case. When it breaks again, we'll have to get some steel added, since there's not much left to weld. We headed back to the room to get clean and dirty and then spent some time doing some writing.



Later that evening, we went back out for some more fried calzones before returning to the hotel for a relaxing evening.


4 miles for Re, less than a mile for me.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 12:34 AM   #610
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
3/8 Tuol Sleng and the Russian Market

Re returned this morning with iced coffee, fruit, and still hot from the fryer, fried dough sticks. I walked upstairs to look for Torsten and Marin, but they had already left, so Re and I dined alone. After breakfast and a shower, we rode the bikes down to Tuol Sleng. The Tuol Sleng Museum is an old high school that was transformed into Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge used S-21 as a detention and torture facility for suspected enemies of the cause. After the prisoners were tortured into outlandish confessions, they were transported to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, where they were murdered. By the late 70s, they were killing as many as 100 victims a day. We arrived in time to watch a French documentary about the Khmer Rouge before touring the grounds. The movie and museum were sobering, and I kind of wish I had not come here. On display in some of the old classrooms were the bedframes that the victims were chained to while they were tortured, and many of the original pieces of torture equipment were also on display. But the most haunting part of the museum is the, literally, thousands of photographs of the victims that were taken the day they arrived at S-21. When you consider that only seven prisoners left this place alive, it is very sad to see the faces of the people who did not. I expected to see the faces of adult men, but what I was not prepared to see was the women with babies in their arms, and children who appeared to be as young as five years old. All enemies of the state, and all murdered.

After touring the museum, we rode a little further south to the Psar Tuol Tom Pong Market, which is also known as the “Russian Market.” We visited here on our last trip and knew it would be the best place to find cheap, cotton boxer shorts to help soothe our barking butts. We also recalled that there was a large section of the market devoted to new and used motorcycle parts and accessories. As we rode to the market, my bike started to cough and sputter, but was running well enough at small throttle openings to allow us to keep going. We spied several motorcycle shops right outside the market, and I went into one of them to look for a chain. Apparently, there are no 420 o-ring chains available in Cambodia, because the English speaking shop assistant told me he'd never seen one. He did, however, have a non o-ring chain that I purchased for the exorbitant price of 4.50 USD. See, I told you Cambodia is expensive! The bad news on the chain was that it was 100 links, and we need 96 links. And of course, I didn't pack a file in our tool kit. I'm sure somebody can solve this problem for us for a dollar.

Chain in hand, we went into the market itself, where the first order of business was finding some lunch. After soup and some fruit shakes, we made our way into the warren of clothing stalls. There, Re found us some “genuine” Calvin Klein cotton boxers. Stylish! I wandered off to look in the tool section, while Re purchased herself a new krama (a traditional Khmer scarf that can be used as a sarong, headwrap, or dust blocking scarf). Riding back to the hotel, my bike coughed and bucked the entire way, but did make it under its own power this time. Sigh. Since it was hot again today and the sky was getting dark in the distance, we decided to put off working on my bike, and instead, opted for a repeat of yesterday afternoon.



Later, we grabbed our rain jackets and walked out to the aptly named, Chinese Noodle Restaurant. Here, they unsurprisingly make Chinese noodles, delicious ones at that. After they hand stretch the noodles, they either fry them or put them in soups with a variety of accompaniments.



We watched the guys pulling and stretching the dough while we decided on what to order. We had one plate of fried dumplings, one plate of fried noodles with beef, and one plate of green beans and black mushrooms. These dishes plus two Diet Cokes cost 7 USD, and they were damned tasty and worth every penny. While we were eating, it did begin to sprinkle, and there was lightning in the sky. On the walk back, we stopped for some pastries at the Bayon Bakery and some beer at the Caltex. High class all the way.


5 miles. WTF is up with my bike?
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 01:35 AM   #611
Packer
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Packer's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
Oddometer: 333
As we had already had a framed copy of Re's posterior it was with trepidation that whilst in the office I opened the post about Re's rack.

Brave people riding into deep water with the spark plug as low as those wee bikes, you now have cross-bones.

Keep up the good work but mostly keep on having fun and enjoying the adventure.
Packer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 04:05 AM   #612
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packer View Post
As we had already had a framed copy of Re's posterior it was with trepidation that whilst in the office I opened the post about Re's rack.

Brave people riding into deep water with the spark plug as low as those wee bikes, you now have cross-bones.

Keep up the good work but mostly keep on having fun and enjoying the adventure.
I thought the title might get some hopes up!

The spark plug was a worry but the real excitement happened when I had to go a little deeper to avoid some branches along the shoreline and I heard the eerie noise of my exhaust being completely submerged. I've ridden through deeper water on my old KLX, but I didn't really think about how low the exhaust was on the Symba.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 04:13 AM   #613
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
3/9 More Bike Maintenance, Visas, and No Museums.

After breakfast, we once again sat down bikeside and got to work. Once again, we pulled the bowl off my carburetor, but this time, we found no schmutz in the bowl. A glance through the pilot jet revealed no problem there either. Today, the main jet was the culprit. It was nearly completely plugged, so we blew it out and put everything back together. Once again the engine fired up immediately and settled into a nice idle. I sent Re out to have her new chain shortened while I removed the chain case and the old chain. Re returned a few minutes later with a 96-link chain and a story of a novel way to remove a link. Apparently, the mechanic to whom she entrusted the job, had a small, metal plate with a nut welded to it. He placed one end of the pin that needed to be removed in the nut and then pounded on the other side of the pin with a hammer. Once the pin began to move, he then used a small screwdriver as a punch to pound the pin through the rest of the way. The price for such mechanical precision? A mere 50 cents. And here, I thought you needed a grinder or file. The chain didn't look any worse for the wear, so we installed it with a new clip-type master link, and adjusted the chain. The rear wheel now spun easily, with no apparent tight spots to be found. We reinstalled the chain case and lubed the chain.

Our plan for the rest of the morning and early afternoon was to tour the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda near the riverfront of Phnom Penh. Something just didn't seem right about the plan, so I checked the listing for the sights in the Lonely Planet. Sure enough, they are closed from 11:00 am until 2:30 pm for lunch. Since we need to be at the Thai Embassy at 3:30 pm, it doesn't look like we'll be doing any touring today. Since we had plenty of time on our hands, we decided to try a restaurant a little further afield than our usual haunts. This place was supposed to have Malaysian and Padang food, and we are big fans of both. So we grabbed our hats, water, and map, and set out on foot. We found the street easily enough, but when we arrived at the address listed, we found a bicycle shop. We walked up and down the street looking for the restaurant, to no avail. The only other thing we had to do today was hit the ATM, and the nearest branch of the Canadia bank was as the Sorya Mall, so we headed there instead. We got a bit lost, but eventually found our way. In addition to the ATM, Sorya also has a food court on the 4th floor, where we had loklak and fruit shakes for lunch. Since the mall was cool, and outside the mall was really hot, we were in no hurry to leave. Eventually, we made the long, hot walk back to the hotel, where Re did a little writing.

Shortly after 3:00 pm, we fired up the bikes and started riding toward the Thai Consulate. Within eight blocks, my bike started running shittily again. We continued to the Thai Consulate, but by the time we got there, my bike was barely running. While Re waited to pick up our passports and new visas, I again checked to make sure there was fuel in the bowl and bright spark. Since two miles is a long way to push a Symba, especially on a very hot day, I rode the lurching and bucking beast back to the hotel. Thoroughly pissed off at the bike (or more accurately, at my diagnostic and wrenching skills), I parked the bike and decided I needed to think about it a bit more. While Re worked on some writing, I paged through the Symba shop manual pdf to see where else crap could be entering the system. I dunno.



We decided to return to the Chinese Noodle Restaurant for dinner tonight, where we had bowls of noodle soup and some more of the delicious green beans with black mushrooms. We picked up some pastries at the bakery and some shoju for the drinkies. Back in the room, Re worked on some more writing while I watched River Monsters.


5 miles. Okay, seriously, WTF is wrong with my bike?
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 04:18 AM   #614
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
3/10 Bike Maintenance and No Museums

After breakfast, we once again sat down next to my bike, took off the legshields, and got to work. This time, I was determined to clean everywhere. I removed the carburetor and completely disassembled it. The needle and slide were both spotlessly clean, as was the carb bowl. The pilot jet was again partially plugged, and the main jet tube had some sore of white deposit on the ouside of it. This same deposit was found on the A/F screw. I blew out all the passages of the carb as best I could, before reassembling and reinstalling the carb. I've been inside plenty of carbs before, but I have never seen anything like this fine, white, powdery substance. I don't know if it's some sort of artifact resulting from the wide variety of fuels we've been mixing? While I was working on the carb, Re removed the visible fuel lines and rinsed them out. As I finished putting stuff together, Re walked around the corner to a local bike shop and returned with a fresh bottle of oil. In the meantime, I also removed the air box and air filter. I cleaned the air filter with some gasoline and then re-oiled it with the new oil that Re bought. Since we were cleaning one air filter, it seemed like a good idea to clean the other one. A few minutes later, we were installing a freshly cleaned and oiled air filter in Re's bike. After washing up, I thumbed the started button on my bike, and just like yesterday, and the day before, it fired right up and settled into a nice, even idle. I adjusted the idle speed down a little bit and then took it out for a test ride. After about four miles on the streets of Phnom Penh, it was still running great. Yay!

While we were working on the bikes, Re and I were also talking about our future plans and the rest of this trip. We continued to talk in the shower and then on our way down to lunch at the Java Cafe. It is seeming more and more likely that we will be eliminating Australia from our itinerary, and Indonesia looks vulnerable too. For lunch, we had paninis (I have never had a panini before, but it sounded good).



Mine was filled with pastrami and emmenthal cheese, while Re had the roasted veggies with emmenthal as well. The verandah at the Java Cafe is a good place to take it easy, so we decided once again, to skip the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and instead, spent more time talking at the Java.

Later, we walked along the Mekong and then along the Tonle River. We sat on a wall overlooking the water and pondered whether we could just buy a little boat to carry us and our little Symbas to the sea. Actually, most of our conversation today has revolved around the best way for us to live overseas for a few years while making some money. Late in the afternoon, we went back to our room for a fruit snack and some more research. Since it was to be our last night in Phnom Penh, we couldn't leave without one more round of fried calzones at Nike's. After dinner, we picked up some chocolate eclairs and more shoju for a nightcap.



4 miles for me. I am cautiously optimistic that my fuel problem is solved.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2012, 04:22 AM   #615
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Underboning's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 712
3/11 Ride to Siem Reap

One consequence of yesterday's conversation is that we will be accelerating our trip a little bit. With that in mind, we've crossed off a couple of destinations in Cambodia. Instead, we decided to head the 200 or so miles to Siem Reap. Seam Reap is best known as being the home of Angkor Wat, a huge temple complex which we visited during our last trip. But this time, we won't visit Angkor Wat, we will instead see some of the more outlying temples on a day trip from Siem Reap.

After another breakfast of fruit, coffee, and baguettes, we showered and loaded up the bikes. With fingers crossed that my fueling problem was solved, we pulled out of the hotel at 9:00 am. Leaving Phnom Penh was hectic and slow. It took us about an hour and a half to cover the first 26 miles, but fortunately, the traffic soon got much lighter. The little bit of rain we've had over the last couple of days seemed to go a long way toward greening up the countryside since it didn't seem as brown today. The roads continued to be busy and occasionally potholed, until we reached the junction with Highway 7. Once we turned west to stay on Highway 6, the road surface got better, but the road did get noticeably narrower. There was some crazy overtaking by oncoming traffic, but in general, it was a good ride.

As we got closer to Siem Reap, the scenery changed.



It became much greener and we rode next to lakes and bright green rice paddy.



The day did get very hot, and we stopped several times for water breaks. We didn't seem to mind the heat as much today, since we knew what awaited us once we made it to our hotel. We arrived at the Angkor Friendship Inn at 3:30 pm. We stayed here for five nights during our last visit, so we knew about their pool. When we arrived, Sophia, the manager, recognized us from our last visit. We dumped our stuff in the room, put on our bathing suits, and jumped in the pool. We spent an hour or so splashing in the water before getting a shower.

Later, we went out for dinner at a little restaurant in the old market, where we had many lunches the last time we were here. As we were finishing our food, another couple sat down at the table next to us and said, “Aren't you the people riding the little bikes in India?” Excuse me, are we now internationally famous? No. we actually met this couple and her parents in Hampi at Christmastime. The four of the would come to our guesthouse to have breakfast in the restaurant upstairs, and we spoke at length with “the mom” about traveling in Africa. It is a small world.



Apparently, Fabian and Tanja recently left her parents in India and came to Bangkok with their bicycles. They are going to do some riding in southeast Asia while Tanja's parents continue their now more than five-year round the world bicycle trip. We had a pleasant evening chatting with them about our respective trips before we said goodnight and went back to the room.



215 miles in 6.5 hours. My bike is running great, and Re's new chain seems to have solved her problems.
Underboning is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014