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  1. #1
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    Riding the Mae Hong Song Loop with 20+ ACEMTSG bikers from Vietnam!

    My friend and GT-Rider member Viethourse invited me to join him and his club, ACEMTSG, for a blast around the Mae Hong Song Loop. As much as I dislike that first rough bit between Chiang Mai and Pai, the rest of the loop more than makes up for it, and I was keen to ride with Viethorse again and meet the rest of his club, so of course I accepted

    Had hoped to ride or fly up to Chiang Mai a bit early and get out for some day trips, but a pesky mosquito landed me in the hospital with Dengue Fever a week before my planned departure

    Nasty illness, just sucks all the life out of you and leaves you dizzy and fatigued Thought maybe I'd hit the road on the 30th but could barely get out of bed... Time was running short and I didn't want to miss Viethorse and his mates, so on the first I sucked it up and hit the road! My little guy wanted to go too!


    I didn't leave Bangkok until after 2pm, so arrived in Chiang Mai well after dark, but it was a pleasant enough ride, though chilly in the mountains near Lampang and a bit buggy around sunset!



    Arrived Chiang Mai around 9pm, and then headed over to the Kafe to meet up with Viethorse and his friend Hanh- they didn't have time to ride all the way from Vietnam with the rest of the club, so they flew to Chiang Mai and rented Honda 500's for the MHS loop, and would then fly back to Vietnam after the loop.

    More to come!
    Last edited by TonyBKK; 08-12-2013 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Fuck it
    Satonic's Avatar
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    Looking forward to this one

  3. #3
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    The next morning we met up at Dave's house for the ride to Pai- Trung and Hanh had met round the world rider Lalo and invited him along, and my friend Nik also showed up on his beautiful new Ducati Hypermotard!

    Plan was to meet up with the rest of the group in Pai, but Chiang Mai to Pai is too short a ride and a rather crappy road, so we decided to ride there via the 118 north, then the 1150 west to Phrao and Chiang Dao, then south on the 107 and finally west on the 1095 to Pai:


    https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=R...sz=15&t=m&z=10

    Nice cool day, light traffic, a bit overcast, a good whack up the 118 with a short photo stop at the Nam Ron hotsprings area-




    Back on the road we stop at the turn off to the 1150 to re-group-


    The 1150 is a fantastic roller coaster of a road and I really enjoyed chasing Nik on his new Hypermotard. Even though he's still breaking it in and running it in "touring mode" we'd enter corners together but he'd pull away from me quite easily powering out of the corners on his torquey (is that a word?) new Ducati :mrgreen:

    That was a fun whack and we stopped at the PTT in Phrao to wait for Viethorse and Hanh who were a bit frustrated trying to get up and over the mountain on their underpowered and poorly suspended Honda 500's. (Viethorse rides a Honda VFR 800 and BMW 1200GS back home while Hanh was missing his CBR1000RR). Lalo had just picked up a second hand Honda CRF250L the day before and he's quick on descents but struggles on the hills with the Honda's 18 Hp...

    Cheap and tasty noodle lunch in Phrao- about 200 Thai Baht (US$7) for the 6 of us!


    Dark clouds to the east of us, but we're heading west, so I'm not too worried about getting wet. Another fun whack to Chiang Dao on the 1150, then south on the fast and twisty 107. Nik couldn't join us to Pai so we bid him farewell at the function to the 1095 and we headed west while he headed south towards home.

    A quick photo stop at the beginning of the 1095-




    I warned the guys to be careful on the 1095- it's rough and slippery and renowned for the kamikaze van and truck drivers. I had wanted to do the ride on my GSXR but Piston Shop didn't get it finished on time, and frankly, I was pretty happy to have the Versys for this leg.

    We rolled in to Pai just before sunset and checked in to the Baantawan Guest House (Baantawan :: Pai's Boutique Guesthouse) a very nice resort right on the Pai River and walking distance to the center of town. View from my room:


    View from my room-


    Viethorse and Hanh got a nice penthouse-


    Lalo, bless his heart, walked into town and got me a beer. Cheers mate!!

    The guesthouse had prepared quite a nice spread for the arriving Vietnamese bikers-

    Only one problem... It's nearly dark, and no sign of the big group...

    After trying a lot of different phone numbers Viethorse is finally able to reach someone in the main group. Turns out one of the bikes had a mechanical problem that forced a 2 hour delay in Chiang Mai for repairs. Yikes- they were going to ride the Chiang Mai to Pai road in the dark! It's already tough enough in daylight; I did not envy them that ride!

    We wandered in to town to grab some drinks and appetizers and enjoy the fantastic people watching and when we returned to the guesthouse a couple hours later the group had arrived, all safe and in good spirits!

    Dinner under the stars, fireworks, and bed- tomorrow is a LONG ride from Pai to Mae Hong Song to Khun Yuam to Mae Sarieng to Hot to Chiang Mai!!!

  4. #4
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    I am NOT a morning person, but was woken up in the wee hours by some of the Vietnamese guys hooting and hollering in the parking lot. I guess that's what they call a Vietnamese wake up call?

    They planned to hit the road at 0800 and actually seemed serious about it. Not a bad idea really, considering the distance to be covered and the size of the group.


    Quite a decent breakfast spread at the Baantawan, although the coffee was dreadful...


    It's good that they planned an early departure, because today is going to be a long ride!


    Roughly ~460 km of twisty roads between Pai and Chiang Mai as we ride the Mae Hong Song loop counter clockwise. An amazing collection of bikes! From a Goldwing GL1500 to an assortment of big BMW touring and adventure bikes, with a V-strom 1000 and Multistrada and Yamaha 660 supermotard, a Triumph Bonneville, a Repsol Honda CBR1000RR, a BMW S1000RR and a Yammie R6 and more made for an interesting mix! Let's go!

  5. #5
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    This was a BIG group, but very well organized-



    I never did get a proper count, but guesstimate there were about ~25 bikes, plus two support trucks.

    I believe they normally ride as a convoy, with one truck at the front and another bringing up the rear, but on this day I suggested that we stop at the Pang Mapha viewpoint for a group photo, and next thing I know, they ask me to lead and tell the group that they can pass the lead truck if they want, and follow me. Yikes, I wasn't expecting to lead and was worried I'd get lost leaving Pai!

    Fueling up at the Pai PTT-


    Goldwing GL1500, tough looking NC700 and an old V-Strom 1000-

    Fortunately I made it out of Pai without any wrong turns, even repairing a bent shift pedal on the Yamaha 660 that got dropped in the PTT parking lot

    Another gorgeous day, sunny and cool, and we made good time to Pang Mapha-


    Everyone was smiling ear to ear You have to understand that the maximum speed limit for bikes in Vietnam is 80km/hr and apparently the police are very strict about it, so coming to Thailand where speed limits are hardly ever enforced must be a real treat. Some of the Vietnamese guys also mentioned that there are very few good "big bike" roads in Vietnam and that the road conditions in Thailand are much better.

    A pretty impressive collection of hardware!


    Lots of smiling faces!


    Good spot for a group photo-


    Pang Mapha viewpoint, Mae Hong Song, Thailand!


    Mr Vu rode all the way from Vietnam on a Triumph Bonneville! RESPECT!


    Still a LONG way to go before we reach Chiang Mai, best we get a move on!

  6. #6
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    Nice one Tony, it's a beautiful ride eh? Truly stunning scenery round those parts.

    I did it myself a few years back as a fairly inexperienced rider, first proper bike trip I'd done and loved it, though we cut it a bit shorter by heading east at Khun Yuam>Mae Chaem>Buathong sunflower fields>doi inthanon>C.Mai, rather than going down to Mae sariang.

    Looking forward to the rest of the report.

    Edit: Forgot to say, Google Streetview have just uploaded the MHS loop streetviews, was looking at it the other day and showing my mate some of the extreme switchbacks and scenery - great tool for checking the route out pre ride for those who haven't rode it before.

  7. #7
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    From the Pang Mapha viewpoint it's a short whack to Mae Hong Song on fantastic winding mountain roads

    Dave and I got a bit ahead, so pulled over and snapped some pics as the leaders rode by. Viethorse and Hanh weren't the only guys to fly in and rent. There were a couple other fellows who were riding rented ER6n's


    Here's Viethorse on his Honda CB500X


    Hanh on his CBR500-


    Young guy on a nicely blinged out Ducati Multistrada got faster and more confident as the day wore on


    This Thai fellow was quite quick on his 1200GS when he wanted to be


    I think this is the R6?


    After these guys passed we jumped back on the road and chased them down. Good fun!

    We soon arrived at the city gate to Mae Hong Song where we stopped to let the rest of the group catch up.


    Welcome to Mae Hong Song, Thailand!

  8. #8
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    Once all the bikers and support trucks had re-grouped at the entrance to Mae Hong Song we rode in convoy to a government building where the riders would be presented with certificates showing they've ridden the Mae Hong Song loop. Kind of cool a cool souvenir and would look nice in a frame on the wall

    While the group parked up I admired Mae Hong Song's collection of ancient fire trucks-


    You might think these are antiques, and anywhere else, they might be, but they are still in service here!


    Dave seemed to take a liking to Viethorse tho I'm not sure if the attraction was mutual


    Are you feeling the love yet Viethorse?


    By the time we had collected our Mae Hong Song certificates it was well after noonn, and we still had a LONG way to ride to reach Chiang Mai. I wanted to show off the beautiful Wat Chong Klang but only Dave and Viethorse followed me, while the rest of the group proceeded to the PTT for fuel and snacks.

    Viethorse in front of Wat Chong Klang, Mae Hong Song, Thailand-


    We caught up with the rest of the group at the always crowded PTT gas station. Just love the fact that this guy is doing the Mae Hong Song loop on a Goldwing!

    And he can ride too! I was good fun following him through the twisties and watching him grind metal in the right corners!

    Lunch was waiting for us in Mae Sarieng, some ~170 km further to the south, but a lot of guys were getting hungry so people grabbed snacks at the 7-11 and a noodle shop across the street. I enjoyed a thoroughly disgusting microwave pizza (a real travesty considering all the excellent food available in MHS!)

    And we're off again! Riding south towards Mae Sarieng!

  9. #9
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    Another good whack on the racetrack-like 108 south of Mae Hong Song

    Along with some of the quicker guys from ACEMTSG we got well ahead of the main group, eventually stopping on a long empty straightaway in the woods to let them catch up.


    To say we had the road pretty much to ourselves would be an understatement


    ^ Following this young lady's lead we all posed for a group photo lying in the middle of the road. I'm looking forward to seeing Viethorse's pics from this spot

    We made good time to Mae Sarieng, regrouping at the PTT before heading into town for a late lunch-


    Amazing hospitality from the ACEMTSG club! They invited us to dinner in Pai and lunch in Mae Sarieng- thanks again for your wonderful hospitality!!

    Turns out lunch was at a GT-Rider favorite: Inthira No pics of the food, but we ate well!

    Here's Mr Vu posing next to another rider's S1000RR (unfortunately the S1000RR had to take it really easy as his front brake pads were nearly gone... )

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat ossierob's Avatar
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    Great story mate....did it in a minibus with my Aussie kids and Thai family a few years back and loved the trip....thoroughly recommend it....thanks

  11. #11
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    Great thread. I would love to do the same someday soon.

  12. #12
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    Recently returned from 7 day trip with about 60 Harleys from Bangkok to Chiang Mai Real Biker Custom Show via Mae Sot, MHS, Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Khong. Fantastic riding. Everyone should do it given the chance.

  13. #13
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    I agree,
    great route!!!

    Make sure in Mae Sot to eat at the Khaomao Khaofang restaurant, a must visit place

  14. #14
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    Cool post, great trip. Heading that way to visit a friend in a few months, probably just going to be renting/riding a scooter though. Still trying to work out bringing my '72 Yamaha R5C over from the States :-(

  15. #15
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    Hope they all enjoyed the Gay bike Ride

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