As My Cousin and Some Friends are arriving Next Week i had Planned to take them for a 4X4 Trip to Mae Hong Son. Because of the ammount of Rain we have had up until a week ago i thought the Smart thing to do was Check Out the Trail Condition first on My New Kawasaki KLX 250. After a Lunch in town with some Friends My Trip had Grown in Distance and Number of People. Now 3 Days with 6 Bikes and a couple of Guys taking a Pickup on the Road Carrying Our Gear!!! This Report Is Written By Mark Rossi, Well Done:
The ride was planned out by Ian at the X-Centre. The original idea of the ride was to survey what state the wet season had left the dirt roads from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Song, and decide if it where possible for Ian to take a 4.W.D. group through later this month.
It seemed the local rivers where not the only thing swollen by the fading rainy season, our group soon had swollen to 6 expats on motorcycles, Ian, Dave Lek, Justin, Luke, Barry and myself plus 2 people in a pickup vehicle Jeff and Nigel tackling the 1834 bends to Mae Hong Song on tarmac acting as our service vehicle (thanks guys)
David Lek, Ian, Justin and Luke. Breakfast at the X-Centre and on the road by 9:30am
This is the route we took over 3 days. 1st day Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Song. 2nd day tarmac to Sappong than off-road to Pai. 3rd day off-road to Wieng Haeng than tarmac back to Chiang Mai. All up we did a little over 600kmDay 1: Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Song. 250km. 50% dirt 50% tarmac
Day 1 was set at a furious pace. With 4 of us riding the same low powered machines and Justin and Lukes bikes being very similar, you really had to optimize every line and keep as much momentum as you could pushing the little engines to there max limit, it really was fantastic concept that we rode the same machines.
Ian and Barry
Ian fueling at Wat Chan
I came across this guy on the road i don’t know what kind of snake he was but he was very aggressive and had know intentions of moving out of my way rising up and recoiling back to strike, it was suggested he may be some type of viper he was about 4 ft long and as solid as a mans wrist
Luke was leading at a furious pace when his wheels drifted out onto slick grass around this right hand sweeper
With the roads being moist and slick through the forest and the pace being high there was sure to be some carnage today. We all took at least 1 fall except for Ian, who eventually crashed on the second day.
It was 3pm in the afternoon 90minutes riding time out of Mae Hong Song when tragedy struck Justin had a front wheel wash and a awkward fall coming off cement tracks leading down to a creek crossing which caused him injury, a 4.W.D.pickup was arranged and he was taken to the hospital in M.H.S.
Leg x-ray-ed and found to be broken but even that can’t keep a good man down,
Barry the nurse maid
Barry loses his nurse maid job to some one a little more feminine even at the grimmest of moments Justin still smiling and making the most to have a good time.
Day 2: Mae Hong Song – Sappong – Pai 170km
Luke, David Lek and Ian the sign in the background is advertising the fact this is how many bends you have driven around to reach this point taking hwy 1095
Jeff and Nigel took Justin to the airport to fly back to Chiang Mai while the other five of us rode to Sappong on tarmac. the previous days riding had taken its toll on the crew, Luke was supporting a muffler burn, David Lek had a foot injury.
David taking a bend on hwy 1095 notice the wild pig in the background
The off-road from Sappong to Pai along the Burmese border was known to be treacherous in the wet, the area had received rainfall 5 days before so it was touch and go if the track would be passable.
With storm clouds in the distant David thought it smarter not to attempt this track with a foot injury and continued on tarmac back to Chiang Mai leaving us now with 4 riders.
from Sappong there is 20km of cement road before we ride dirt.
A new bridge makes this creek crossing passable
Barry climbing his way up a steep rutted hill
The pine forest was my favorite section
lots of clay lots of wheel ruts
Day 3: Pai – Wieng Haeng – Chian Dao – Chiang Mai
The road from Pai to Wieng Haeng is 50km 0f dirt and takes around 2 hrs
this road is in fair condition exempt the last hill leading down into Wieng Haeng
This collapsed road is on slippery clay hill coming down toWieng Haeng if you didnt know the area it would be easy to ride over it before you saw the cliff drop
Ian picked up a unknown pillion that must of had the ride of his life
We finished the ride making our way down hwy 1322 on tarmac then hwy 1178 and 107 back to Chiang Mai.
Some areas we rode where remote with no phone service and difficult to get help if required, some location it could be a 12hr night time ordeal to get a rider out if injured so keep this in mind if you ride this area.