Saturday, December 31, 2011

China-Laos Solo Ride ::Pre Ride::


It was on February the First, Year Two Thousand Eleven.. The time was in the afternoon at almost 1pm.. I was doing nothing at home after playing online gaming Modern Warfare 2 on Playstation 3 console.. I’d been playing online since morning coffee at 7 o’clock in the morning and had 2 meals of McDonalds delivery.

I was bored… very bored…

Then I decided to take a spin on my 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventure, to Souled Out at Hartamas for couple of pints of the black stuff, the Guinness.. this is how I enjoyed my life to the fullest, while most people were working… LoL

While I was enjoying the second cold pint of Guinness, I had a crazy idea of riding up to China-Laos Border alone… on the NEXT DAY!

Normally, I do not plan when it comes to riding.. I always plan within at least 12 hours before I decide where to ride. And I will never use GPS unit.. I always use road MAPS.. Well, most people think I’m crazy for planning a very long ride ‘alone’ and only plan couple of hours before I start the epic journey. 

That is me.. That is Globe Rider, the Legend!

On the way back home, after 2 pints of Guinness, I paid a visit at Sunny Cycle to buy and change for a piece of new Metzeller Tourance XP rear tire.. Sunny gave couple of hints of China-Laos road condition and I pretty got the picture of it, especially on Laos’ Highway 13..

Then re-filled the huge GS Adventure’s 37-liters fuel tank (including reserve) at Shell for Ron 97 fuel.. The fuel-distance mileage showed 740km of mileage with the full fuel tank. I was really up for the China-Laos Border solo ride.

As I came back home, I started to packing my things, re-charged my Olympus E-P1 PEN camera and iPod.. Eventually, everything was ready but I was missing something... hmmmm… a Laos Road Map, which is the most important thing..

In the evening, I called my friend, Aswadin, to accompany me to Kinokuniya at KLCC to buy Laos Map and had an early KFC dinner. By the way, Aswadin is a friend of mine who enjoys listening to my great riding adventures.. I must always have a heavy dinner plate-all thighs-original-KFC dinner before I do a long ride (average 1,500km in one day) as I can have an early sleep so I can wake up at 2.30 in the morning before I start my ride at 3.00 in the morning..

By the way, have I mentioned that I bought the Laos Map merely few hours before I started my journey to China-Laos?

For your info, this is how I plan my ride.. Always few hours before I start my journey… I do not plan 2-3 months ahead… there’s no thrill and no challenging when you plan 2-3 months earlier.. I’ve heard people say something like, “Fail to plan is to Plan a failure”… Oh, that is so crap, lame and fucking nonsense!

Globe Rider way is:

“Choose a
destination, fill up the fuel tank, put my Game Face On and Go!”.. 


Last day of 2011..


Today is 31st December 2011... it's the last day of year 2011..

The year of 2011 means a lot to me.. i have reached 30 years old.. (30 is the new 20, by the way!)

Also, i have achieved few things before i've turned 30 years old.. such as; riding alone to China-Laos, covered Cambodia, did Mae Hong Son's 1000 Corners TWICE within 3 Months, worked in Chokchai Thailand, open up my dairy business, bought Pajero Sport after i sold my Honda NSX, and most importantly, owning an R1200 GS Adventure (not many people have owned the GS Adventure at the age of below 30), and many more..

I hope there will be more great things to come in year 2012..


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Arai Tour Cross II helmet.. After 4 years..

After 4 years I have been using the Arai Tour Cross II helmet, its condition is still considerably good and solid. The cushions still could hold onto my face / head although it is already worn by 25%.  Not bad if I consider I have been using it for the past 4 years in many types of weather conditions, crashes, doing almost everyday on long ride (+600km per day)..
The first time I used the Tour Cross II helmet when I had the Aprilia Pegaso Strada (fcuking crap bike, trust me!).. it didn’t have tall windscreen and I survived using the Tour Cross II with its long chin enduro helmet design and helmet cap at high speed.. At first, I didn’t feel comfortable at high speed especially when I needed to do shoulder check maneuverings.. Furthermore at high speed, Tour Cross II helmet can give you a hell of neck pain if you don’t have a strong neck muscle..

Also at high speed, I need to keep my head steady because a small turning movement could make the helmet vibrate rapidly, thus making me having bad headaches..

Then I sold the CRAPrilia (did I spell it correctly?) bike and bought Kawasaki KLR 650 (2010 model).. The KLR 650 is such a great, brilliant and lovely bike.. It’s tall, big and it has the aggressive enduro look with 21-inch front multispoke rim, wide handle bar, long front suspension (although it’s too soft), comfortable seat and big 22.1 liters of fuel tank. Although my current ride, the 30 Years Anniversary R1200 GS Adventure, has 33 liters of fuel tank (excluding the 4-liter of reserve), I still consider the 22.1 liters tank is big for this 650cc, high torque @ low-rpm thumper engine.. With a full tank of fuel, I can easily do ~430km of mileage on this superb 1987 bomb-proof-engine KLR 650. This is one of the reasons why the US Marine Corps uses the KLR 650 as one of its fleet.

Anyway, back to the Tour Cross II helmet.. Although the KLR 650’s windscreen is not a tall and big as the BMW GS Adventure’s, it didn’t give me any trouble. The KLR 650 is not a fast bike as it gets wobbled if it is ridden at the speed of 150 km/h.. In fact, the KLR 650 struggles to achieve 150 km/h speed barrier.. It handles well below 140km/h, thus making the Tour Cross II feel at its comfort zone.. Therefore, I never encountered any problems with the Tour Cross II helmet and I loved the helmet every moment I used it with the KLR 650. They both are such perfect combos!

In December 2010, I had the opportunity to buy the BMW “30 Years Anniversary” R1200 GS Adventure.. My business had been doing very well and I’ve been dreaming to own a GS Adventure. The R1200 GS Adventure has been my dream bike ever since I grew interests on dual-purpose bikes.
Anyway, the GS Adventure model comes with larger windscreen and front screen spoiler. These two contribute a lot on the front wind hitting on the rider and also protect from being hit by stone chips. They are so large that make me feel hot when I ride in a hot day. Hence, I removed the Arai Tour Cross II visor and use a pair of Scott Goggles. These goggles give more air to flow inside the helmet, on the face area.

Wearing the Goggles also gives lots of advantages. On a foggy day, the mist does not enter the goggles and this is very helpful for those who wear power-glasses when riding, like me. The mist does not even get on the glasses; thus, no fog is developed on them as no warm exhaled-air gets onto the glasses.
Secondly, it is guaranteed no dust or sand can get into my eyes. I really hate when this happens. With the goggles, you can say goodbye to the dust and sand.

The only disadvantage of using the goggles is during heavy rainstorm. The big particle of rain will hit on my face especially on my nose and upper lip. They can be pain in the arse! The only way I can avoid this is by sit slightly closer to the big windscreen, to get protected by it. Or sometimes, I tend to cover the mouth with my left hand, but riding with one hand on the throttle is dangerous on heavy rainstorm.
Conclusion, I really love the Arai Tour Cross II helmet. It suits me very well with my style of riding and also on enduro design outfit. I would recommend this helmet if the user rides below 150 km/h of speed (without big & tall windscreen) and has strong neck muscle.

No doubt the Tour Cross II is proven and widely used by over-landers around the world. It also has been documented on Charlie and Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round and Long Way Down documentaries.


--My 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventure--

Some of you might have been wondering why I always mention my R1200 GS Adventure as “30 Years Anniversary GSA”…

Well, I love mentioning it as it is limited and BMW came up with the model to celebrate its 30 Years Anniversary of GS bike, which the first GS, the R80 GS, was invented in 1980.

How different is my 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventure compare with other R1200 GS Adventure?
For your info, the 30 Years Anniversary GS Adventure comes with bigger bash plate (which cannot be bought from Motorrad and no other 3rd party makes it), bigger handle guard and Red Adventure Seat.

There are hundreds of the normal R1200 GS (Biasa) and R1200 GS Adventure in Malaysia BUT there are only 9 units of 30 Years Anniversary R1200 GS Adventure in Malaysia.. and mine is one of them. Wicked!!


TGNMBB -- Thank God No More Blackberry!

Finally, I have got rid of my Blackberry Bold 9700.. All I can say, it was a bloody crap phone! (apart of its BBM)

After nearly 1 year of using it, I had major problem with its battery. It drained too soon and even died off when its indicator stated there were still half left.

I changed to a new battery but after weeks of using it, more problems came. Every time I surf the Internet browser or sms or have a chat, the BB tends to switch off or sometimes, restart by itself. When it restarted, it tends to re-loop its restart procedure for almost 20 minutes.

Now I’m waiting for Samsung’s latest phone, the Galaxy Nexus. Everybody has switched to touch screen smart phones these days.. no more Blackberry please.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Alpinestars Bionic II


For years, I’ve been dreaming for having motocross outfit as my riding attire. But as I always travel far in Indo-China countries, the weather gets hot and rainy at times. Hence, I tend to ride with my Dainese jacket and Clover pants, which they were both constructed with Gore-Tex material.

This year, after experiencing riding in China-Laos in summer, I was bored with the outfit. I was looking something, which is light, cool and easy to move around. Also, something that looks wicked with my Arai’s Tour Cross-II helmet and Scott Goggles. Therefore I started my search for a body amour but none of the body armour suits sold in Malaysia have the looks which I’ve been looking for. Until I’ve found the Alpinestars Bionic II.

I read its reviews on the net and most users gave thumbs up on the armour. It is light, it protects and hugs my body nicely and its design is better than others. The nets are stretchable and they feel cool during hot day. Normally, I would not go for Alpinestars' products because I’ve had disappointing experiences with the brand especially on its quality control. I’ll see how long the body armour will last.

The next step is to find a nice combo design of jersey and pants which suit well with the 30 Years Anniversary R1200GSA scheme.


Top Box-less..


There was one day, I was wondering if my 30 Years Anniversary GSA would look good without the Hepco & Becker top box.

I’ve been using the top box since the first day I bought the R1200 GSA and it has never been taken off the bike. As I was going through the photo album of the day when I purchased the GSA from BMW Motorrad, I noticed how beautiful the GSA itself without any accessories.

Hence, I took my GSA for a spin without the top box. The GSA looks much nicer with its more aggressive 
looks as an enduro dual-purpose bike.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Globe Nomad Rider Blog needs to be updated!!!


Since i've been working on my dairy farm, which is called Nakhon Ratchasima Dairy Farm, i haven't got any time to update my blog at all...

There are few ride reports i need to write, such as:

1. Solo Ride to China Border and Laos
2. Christmas in Koh Samui with Adventure Ride riders
3. Solo Ride to Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 
4. Work at Chokchai Farm in Pak Chong... but this time, i drove my Pajero Sport to Chokchai Farm
5. And not to forget, i need to finish the Second Ride to Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son... hehehee

I will update these rides someday... and also gonna make a link for Nakhon Ratchasima Dairy Farm and my new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV in this blog too...


Saturday, March 19, 2011

'2nd Ride' to Mae Hong Son, Golden Triangle & Myanmar... Part 3

Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai

Alright.. i'm back to continue posting ride report of my second ride of Mae Hong Son.. We left Mae Hong Son for Chiang Mai as early as 6.30 am local time after we had breakfast at the hotel.. My GS Adventure still had another 300 km of fuel in tank so I didn’t need to refuel at Mae Hong Son.. As we left Baiyoke Hotel, the morning was still dawn and visible was very misty and cold..

On the way to Chiang Mai on Route 1095, I have already planned to have a break for coffee and desserts in Pai.. The distance from Mae Hong Son to Pai takes only 160 km.. Yes, it is a short ride and I always love the road from Mae Hong Son to Pai… it has blind corners, sharp steep hilly corners, where u even need to pull the clutch lever on 1st gear when taking the sharp steep corners… I always make a stop at one of the hilly corners for a photo session… the photo below shows how steep the corners can be..

As we left early in the morning, the road was still empty on Route 1095.. it was hardly to meet any road users at this time.. hence we had great time enjoying the corners.. there were many areas in mist and visibility was only 50 meters especially on top of mountains... The ride on the mountains was great as we were riding higher than clouds..

Pai is a small town in Northern Thailand's Mae Hong Son Province, near Myanmar border and it lies on Pai River.. it is well known among backpackers for its relaxed atmosphere, the town is full of cheap guesthouses, souvenir shops and restaurants.. In the proximity of the town are spas and elephant camps..
We had couple of desserts and cafe latte at one of the resorts in Pai, facing padi fields and mountains... i told my mate Laurence to have desserts as they would provide us energy for Pai - Chiang Mai ride.. We shall arrive in Chiang Mai by noon...

After the break, we continued our ride to Chiang Mai.. The ride to Chiang Mai from Pai (on Route 1095 and Route 107) would take only 2 hours and half for merely 130 km and very challenging... there were more sharp corners and there were many road users especially tourist buses, lorries and trucks...

Finally we reached Chiang Mai and i went to Royal Lanna Hotel, along Night Bazaar to get a room while Laurence sent his Versys for service.. I always love to stay Royal Lanna Hotel because the staff were still remember me and she would give me a special rate for double Deluxe room, facing the Night Bazaar..

As usual in the evening, i've called my Chiang Mai girl friends for drinks and dinner at Hua Lamphong.. I really love the bars along the JJ Market because they are hang out bars for the locals, where they serve cheap Leo & Singha with great Thai food and each bar has its live-band performance.. but unfortunately, Chompoo could not join us that night.. she was celebrating her birthday at different place...


Retreat? Hell, we just got here! 


Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Back.... for blogging!


Sorry for being away from my blog and thanks for waiting for my next ride reports..

Basically,  i have few rides that need to be written... they are:

- Second Ride to Mae Hong Son 1864 Corners, Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle & Mae Sai Myanmar Ride (click here for photos)
- Christmas at Koh Samui
- Solo ride to Laos People's Democratic Republic & China Border

Stay tuned...


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