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Old 03-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #706
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Originally Posted by Packer View Post
That's the hardest part of it. I'm taking a bike into the USA for a trip this summer. I think I'm up to about 10 different documents so far. Then the bike spat the dummy and chewed it's final drive with just 14 days available to me before it's due to go into a container for shipping Enough to drive a man to

Who can guess the brand? No, not the drink, the bike
Ouch. We'll you can probably buy a Symba for the price of the FD replacement... That is really unfortunate, i hope you can get it sorted in the next two weeks. I have read too many stories lately of tragedy occurring on the eve of some of these trips. Good Luck!!
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:35 PM   #707
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To me is looks as of both of you guys have lost weight but look quite healthy. I know that staying rested and clean and well nourished while on the road takes some skill.
I truly envy you your diet. I'd love to be able to eat like that every day.
We may have lost some weight in Africa and India, but we seem to be "recovering" here in SE Asia! Especially here in George Town, the food is too good and too cheap.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:37 PM   #708
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Originally Posted by Ronnie Ventura View Post
Hey there Colin & Re! Been following your thread here from the very beginning. You guys are my lil-bike heroes!

It is ironic, but I just somehow knew that my very first post in ADVrider would be in a thread that has folks on lil bikes riding my country ... But what I didn't count on, was that it will be in response to a photo post of what is literally my home: my house is right at the foot of that limestone hill you shot!

I am sooo kicking myself for not writing earlier to buy you and Re lunch and a couple of beers Maybe on your return ride to Penang? I hope you guys are returning to Penang ...

Rubber-side down, safe rides! And, oh – watch out for moped-tire-puncturing steel cords of exploded semi's tire carcasses on E1 and all highways ... which can also slice open boots and feet if ridden past fast enough. I've had some underbones' lower fairings sliced clean-off by them ...
We are currently back in George Town but will be heading out to Taiping and then to the Cameron Highlands in the next few day, maybe we can meet up? You sure do live in a beautiful part of Malaysia, the scenery aroung Ipoh is beautiful.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #709
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If you take anymore pictures like this, Re will end up in Toxic Britney.
You're a brave man quoting a picture like that!
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:44 PM   #710
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That was in Way Kambas National Park, right down the bottom of Sumatra.near a place called Jepara - well worth a visit... but watch out for the elephants. Same day that happened, a 6 week old baby elephant pushed a woman over.

You mention cheap fuel. I've been paying 45 cents a litre here in Indonesia, but its going up to 60 cents on April 1.

I'd love a bit of tyre life like you are getting.... my last front tyre was replaced at under 2,000 miles (as was the rear)

For the F1 race, I flew my son up from Australia and we were in the K1 grandstand - on the first corner, Watching them pull those cars up from 300kph or so in around 50 metres was painful.... it really must hurt eh?

I'm about 2/3 the way up Sumatra now, at Kopanopan tonight, I think... in a dive of a hotel after a few nights of luxury... heading for Lake Toba. I fly out of KL on April 8th - home to Oz for 1 month, then back into KL on May 8th. I don't know where I will leave the bike yet... maybe in Sumatra, maybe in KL. I'll keep an eye on your RR and let you know if we get close.

btw... saw two Japanese guys yesterday at Lake Maninjau, one from Finland on a G650 and one from Japan on an Africa Twin.... first other western bikes I've seen on the road.
Shortly after I posted my comment I used the handy search feature and found your RR, looks great! We were considering scratching Indonesia off of our itinerary, but after seeing your pics, we aren't so sure. It looks like a great ride, so far. Fuel here in Malaysia is about 65 cents a liter for the 95, the 97 octane is nearly a buck but it is basically just for foreign registered cars and trucks, foreign bikes can still use the 95. Have a safe journey and maybe we'll meet up sometime!
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:37 AM   #711
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You're a brave man quoting a picture like that!
Ha ha how true. However can you blame him? Ha ha...amazing trip...I'm so in.

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Old 03-31-2012, 05:25 AM   #712
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We are currently back in George Town but will be heading out to Taiping and then to the Cameron Highlands in the next few day, maybe we can meet up? You sure do live in a beautiful part of Malaysia, the scenery aroung Ipoh is beautiful.
Sure! I am gonna PM my email address and mobile number to you after this post. Do let me know when you expect to be in Taiping or ride up Cameron Highlands; I can meet you guys at any of the two locations, or anywhere in-between them.

Are you planning to spend a night or two in Taiping and Cameron Highlands?
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:05 AM   #713
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Originally Posted by Ronnie Ventura View Post
Sure! I am gonna PM my email address and mobile number to you after this post. Do let me know when you expect to be in Taiping or ride up Cameron Highlands; I can meet you guys at any of the two locations, or anywhere in-between them.

Are you planning to spend a night or two in Taiping and Cameron Highlands?
Hi Ronnie-

I just PM'd you are schedule for the next few days, hopefully we can meet up!
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:19 AM   #714
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3/26 Ride to...?

Today we are planning to ride to, well, we didn't know where we were riding, we just knew we were going somewhere else. Before breakfast, we loaded up the bikes, added a couple of psi to a couple of the tires, and checked the oil level in both bikes, but we still hadn't decided where we were going. Instead, we walked down to Al Nazim for breakfast. We decided to forgo the tiger's head mushroom and ginseng coffee this morning since we needed to get on the road instead of each other. Over another delicious breakfast, we discussed possible destinations.

Malacca had been our next destination, but on our last visit, we spent five days there and saw just about every sight there was to see. We like Malacca very much but just couldn't come up with a compelling reason to return. So, maybe Kuantan. Kuantan is a city on the east coast of Malaysia, roughly due east of Kuala Lumpur. There's not really anything to do in Kuantan, other than eat at an excellent Indian restaurant and watch local soccer teams play at the field next to Masjid Negeri, but it is the gateway to the east coast. From there, we could head up to Cherating and Kota Bharu. We had been to Kota Bharu before but never to Cherating, and it might be interesting. The problem with going to Kota Bharu is that it is the jumping off point for the Perhentian Islands, which we enjoyed so much before, but we cannot take our bikes, so there's no real point in going. Okay, so where did we want to go? On our last trip, we didn't make it to the Cameron Highlands, and it is less than a day's ride, so maybe that's where we will go. The Cameron Highlands are located east of Ipoh, in the north-central part of peninsular Malaysia and are known for their tea plantations, hiking, and cool temperatures. Sounds good after sweating our butts off for the past couple of months, so that's where we will go.

We hurried back to the room, fired up the laptop, and spent a few minutes perusing the usual websites for room recommendations. At around 10:00, we walked out to the bikes, punched our destination into the GPS, pulled onto the main road, and promptly stopped for fuel. It is still such a novelty to be only paying about 2.50 USD for a gallon of petrol, but I like it! Fueled up, we headed north to Kuala Lumpur. On our ride south, we skirted the western edge of KL, but the GPS now had us skirting the eastern edge of the city. The route today was still a bit confusing, but it was certainly easier than before. The morning was bright and sunny, but once we cleared the northern edge of the metropolitan area, we could see dark skies in the distance. Again, the roads were excellent and fast, and traffic was relatively light and polite. The skies continued to darken, and the clouds sure looked like thunder.

The turnoff for the Cameron Highlands was at a town called Tapah, but before we could make it there, the sky exploded. First the wind rose, and then the big, cold raindrops began to fall. I've ridden through enough rainstorms to know that this one was gonna be rough. We pulled over, covered our daypacks, pulled our rubber gloves over our riding gloves, zipped all our vents, and continued riding north. Over the next ten miles or so, the rain continued to intensify, and the wind became very gusty. We were now riding through two to three-inch deep puddles on the shoulder of the highway and decided to duck under the next overpass we came to. Malaysia is a very civilized country in that at nearly every overpass, there is a directional sign with a picture of a motorcycle and an umbrella that directs you to the special motorbike parking area under the overpass. Once you pull under the overpass, there is a small opening in the guardrail that is just wide enough for a motorcycle to slip through and into a small parking area where you can shelter from the rain. We have also seen specially constructed motorcycle rain shelters along stretches of the highway without overpasses. We decided to take shelter, not so much from the rain, but from the wind. We were getting tossed around, and that combined with the standing water made it seem prudent to wait for the rain and wind to lighten. While we waited, we looked out over the mountains and could see that the Cameron Highlands area was completely engulfed in clouds and mist. A check of the GPS showed that the road from Tapah to Tana Ratah contained approximately elebenty billion corners. Somehow, that road plus the weather just didn't add up for us. We talked about it and decided that since both of us really wanted to take a break for a few days, we would head back to our second home in George Town.

After 20 or 30 minutes, the rain and wind let up enough for us to ride safely again, so we hopped back on the bikes and rode into the rain. It rained on and off for the next hour or so as we made our way north through Ipoh, but we hardly noticed since the scenery was drop-dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, our camera was hidden away from the rain, so we didn't get any pictures, but the scenery was amazing. The light through the roiling clouds illuminated the dark green mountains around us, while the fog and mist snaked around the nearby peaks. Eventually, we rode back into the sun, and it was only then that we noticed how chilly it had gotten. By the time we reached the bridge to Penang, we were almost completely dry except for our boots. We paid the toll and rode onto the four-mile long bridge. Unlike when we crossed a few days ago, the wind was blowing hard today, and traffic was fairly heavy. It was a bit disconcerting for us but apparently not for the other riders around us, who zipped by casually, with only their right hands on the bars, while we nervously kept both hands firmly on the controls.

Once on the island, we found ourselves in the midst of rush hour since it was nearly 6:00 pm. We joined the other motorbikes in the designated motorcycle lane and made our way into George Town. Soon, we were back at the Star Lodge, where we got a room for the next five nights. We dumped our gear in the familiar surroundings and walked out to our favorite dim sum place, which was inexplicably, closed. Bummer, but not really. There is so much good food here that it's easy to find another favorite. Instead we tried a new place for wonton mee and then stopped at the grocery store to pick up fruit and kitten chow. On the way back to the room, we fed and played with three kittens we had seen on our outbound walk. It's good to be home.



270 miles in 8 hours. Bikes are running good. Re reports that the front tire is stiff, but it handled the standing water well.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:33 AM   #715
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3/27 – 4/1 Lazy Days in George Town

The next six days have no real motorcycle content, we're just taking it easy in George Town. Our goal is to relax, eat, see some movies, and hopefully, figure out where this trip is going from here. George Town is the place where the wheels came off our trip two years ago, and it looks like it will be where our wheels stop rolling for a while this time. We have definitively crossed Australia off our list, so we need to figure out whether Indonesia is still on our itinerary, and if not, how we are going to fill our time between now and returning to the US.

3/27

We were determined to do as little as possible today, so with that in mind, we had a takeaway breakfast of roti canai from Yasmeen, and then we spent the morning in the room doing this and that. For lunch, we had some delicious Hainanese chicken and rice at a good place on Lebuh Chulia. The funny story about this place, is that when we first arrived in George Town on our last trip, it was raining, so I stayed with our packs under the overhang of this restaurant while Re found us a room. Like many of the restaurants here, it is only open for lunch and was closed at the time. While I sat, a man whose eyes didn't look quite right came out the door and squatted down next to me without saying anything. He was peeling an orange and offered me half, which I accepted. He didn't speak much English, but he asked what I was doing there. I explained that Re was looking for a room, and I was staying out of the rain. I asked if that was okay, and he said it was and then asked where we'd come from. I told him we had just arrived from Hat Yai in Thailand, and his eyes lit up. He told me that he really enjoys living in Malaysia, but that he likes to visit Hat Yai whenever he can. I asked why he likes Hat Yai so much, and he said it was because two things were cheap in Thailand: “drinking and fucking.” I had no idea how to respond to this, so I just nodded my head knowingly. With that, he stood up and walked back into the depths of the restaurant. A few weeks later, we went there for chicken and rice, and he smiled when he recognized me there. He didn't seem to remember me this time, but we'll always have that afternoon in the rain.

After lunch, we walked over to Prangin Mall to see “The Hunger Games” at the theater on the fifth floor. I had never heard of the movie or the books it's apparently based on, but we enjoyed it, especially for 2.33 USD each. Later that night, we went out for dim sum. Re posted some of her writing to our blog, and then we went to the corner bar for a nightcap.

3/28

Another breakfast from Yasmeen, and then we worked on ride reports pretty much, all day. We broke for lunch around 12:00 and went to Sri Ananda Bahwan for another delicious banana leaf thali. For dinner, we had wonton mee from our favorite hawker stall and then ice cream for dessert.

3/29

Instead of getting Yasmeen for takeaway, I actually dragged my butt out of the room and down to Yasmeen for breakfast at one of the sidewalk tables. Back at the room, we worked on a “to do” list for the rest of the week. Later, Re worked on some blogposts, while I researched teaching English in China and Taiwan. We decided to try someplace new for lunch that was recommended for their roast duck and rice.



We found Jit Seng Duck Rice on the ground floor of the Star Hotel, and sat down for a slightly expensive, but amazingly delicious lunch of duck, pork, and rice. We were each brought a plate of rice and small bowls of hot sauce, and then a heaping plate of sliced cucumbers, crispy and succulent roast pork, and a huge amount of arguably the best duck I have ever had. I'd guesstimate that between the duck and pork, there was at least 12 ounces of meat. We stuffed ourselves on the deliciousness, and the bill came to a rather hefty 8 USD, including drinks. This would be amazingly cheap in the US, but considering that Hainanese chicken and rice is usually around 4 USD including drinks, this was a bit pricey, but worth every penny.

We then walked back to the room to continue with our writing and research. As the afternoon wore on, I got a very bad headache and had a problem with the vision in my left eye. I took some paracetamol, and it seemed to get better. Later, for dinner, we had a couple of different noodle and shrimp dishes from one of the hawker stalls on Lebuh Chulia and then some “pancakes” with a red bean filling and chrysanthemum and honey tea for dessert. Back in the room, I read while Re did some more writing, and then we walked out for a nightcap.

3/30

I woke up feeling really bad this morning. I had a vicious headache, waves of nausea, and my eyes didn't seem to be working right. When I turned my head, it felt like my vision wasn't keeping pace, kind of like if you've had too many beers, they weren't tracking correctly. I stayed in bed while Re went out to get roti, and I laid back down after breakfast too. I felt better around lunchtime, so we went out for Hainanese chicken and rice again. Back in the room, we finally put pen to paper and wrote down some possible scenarios for either teaching overseas or returning to the US.



Mid-afternoon, my headache returned, so I laid down while Re walked to the old cemetery to do some sketching. When she returned, I was again feeling some better, so we worked a bit more on future plans. We were both feeling the call of the Big Mac, so we went to McDonald's for dinner and stopped to pick up some more fruit before returning to the room to read.

3/31

Third verse, same as the first. Roti from Yasmeen, and then, we actually made a few decisions. We've decided that we can't decide what we will be doing after this trip, but we have decided that we are not going to Indonesia, that we will try to make the family reunion in North Carolina on July 7th, that whenever we ship the bikes, it will be from KL, and that we will be returning to Thailand for some quality beach time soon. Late in the morning, we decided to do a little shopping and then had a nice lunch of curry mee at a hawker stall. Later in the afternoon, we made the very huge mistake of going back to the movie theater to see “Wrath of the Titans.” I cannot stress how badly this movie sucked. If there was a plot, I have no idea what it was. After the movie was over, Re said that it had less plot than a porno. There was no acting, and we both decided that we want our two hours back.



After the movie, we went to Kapitan for chicken biryani and then walked to the esplanade for a dish of “special ABC.”



ABC is a local dessert made of shaved ice, red beans, sweet corn, red and green jello of some sort, palm sugar syrup, and evaporated milk. What makes it “special,” is the addition of a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It sounds weird, and it is. The first time I had it, I was skeptical, but it's actually pretty good.

4/1

I received a distressing email overnight that my nephew was in the hospital due to complications with, heretofore, undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. He is only 16 years old, and the email said that he was on multiple IVs and not responding. I spoke with my parents on Skype this morning and found out that my nephew was better today and responding to treatment. Still, that's a tough diagnosis for a young person. Fortunately, he has lots of family around him and is a resilient young man.

After a couple of overcast days, the sun was finally out this morning, so after breakfast we walked to the grocery store and picked up fruit and bread and hopped on the bus to the beach. George Town has a very modern and efficient bus system that covers most of the island, but most importantly, it goes to Batu Ferringhi. The buses here are so fancy and modern that many of them are equipped with a wifi hotspot. The ride to Batu Ferringhi takes about an hour, but soon enough, we were on the sand and enjoying the sun. We read for a few hours and generally enjoyed the sand and water before riding back to town in the late afternoon to clean up before dinner. Dim sum again, but this time we tried several new delicious dishes. Leaving the restaurant, we could see dark clouds roiling in the evening sky, occasionally illuminated by lightning, so instead of heading to Little India for dessert, we hurried back to the hotel, expecting the heavens to open at any minute. They never did, at least where we were, so instead, we chatted with some fellow guests on the porch before returning again to the corner bar.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #716
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OK you're in one of the nicest places around, NOW I'm jealous!
I loved the place, but haven't returned since the early '90s. Cameron Highlands is a really pretty place, I spent days and days just walking around up there. Be careful of the trucks when you ride back down from Strawberry Hills on the slippery-dip road.........wet, slimy, and a 1000ft drop on your side of the road.
I still have the photo's of me at the usual Penang sites, you know, the old fort, Snake Temple, etc.
Have a great stay.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:55 AM   #717
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Is this really Malaysia?

OK: you guys are making my own country sound totally alien ... Cool!

Yeah; the rain sucked over the past couple of days ... but good to hear you and Re went through them like the RTW champs you are! The wind can be bothersome for lil bikes, yes ... but also for idiot cagers that do not understand the concept of physics and aquaplaning, going at way past posted speed limits more often than not. Those – you have to be really alert of. But generally, it's always smooth riding on the E1 or just "the highway" for us locals on the peninsular west coast.

You guys should try staying in Taiping longer. Lots to see, eat, and comfortably do there in its laidback setting ... It's not known as the retirees' town for nothing

The ride up Cameron (as you ride south from Taiping) will see you exiting the highway in a town called Simpang Pulai. Again, you will be passing that lump of limestone where I call home ... You can also take the SECOND exit after Menora Tunnel, and that will put you on an easy, clearly road-signed, edge-of-Ipoh city ride to Simpang Pulai. This will afford you a riding break/refuel before you hit the foothills of Cameron (that's Simpang Pulai.) I can meet you on that stretch, lead you to Simpang Pulai if you want.

Oh: if you do the second-exit-after-Menora route, you will need to use the parallel bypass road flanking the highway: keep left after Menora, exit bypass marked "IPOH".
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Ronnie Ventura screwed with this post 04-03-2012 at 05:00 AM Reason: Added route instructions to Ipoh > Simpang Pulai > Cameron Highlands
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #718
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Laugh Cameron Highlands, Underboner-ed!

Some quick shots of our intrepid Underboners in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands - Wednesday, April 4 at around 1500hrs MY local time (+8 GMT). Google Maps / GPS coordinates 4.469396,101.376235


Colin and Re having their Malay lunch :)


Colin re-telling their story so far to my old folks, Danny and Elizabeth


21,900+ miles and counting!
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Ronnie Ventura screwed with this post 04-04-2012 at 11:55 AM Reason: I'm a doofus: corrected mileage figure.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #719
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In case you were wondering, YES, we are missing your updates and hoping all is well with your journey. I'm guessing you are pool-side someplace, sampling the local brew and cuisine, and just too content to post. Hope you haven't written off the rest of the trip.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:04 PM   #720
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Hopefully just bad Internet connections. Hope all is well.
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