I’m so glad I did it. Northern Thailand is a beautiful area for riding. The roads are incredible, the hospitality was genuinely warm and I got to hang out with my friends for eight days. It was paradise.
Four of us departed Warwickshire and flew via Bangkok to Chiang Mai. We joined twelve other riders from countries such as Germany, Australia and New Zealand for an eight-day tour of the mountainous area around Chiang Mai. The bikes were ABS-equipped Kawasaki 650 twins with 71bhp and approximately two years old.
The roads were unexpectedly well surfaced and pretty much free from traffic. Our route climbed us through some beautiful mountainous passes, miles of wonderful hairpin climbs and descents.
Typically, we rode between 200 and 350 miles a day. In the evenings there were beautiful hotels, cold beers, truly hilarious banter and great food. The air was cooler higher up and it was actually pleasant to wear my protective kit, a contrast to the heat you experience in city traffic.
The Kawasaki proved to be a superbike, comfy and quick. The only complaint was the high fuel consumption and tiny tank, necessitating all too frequent fuel stops. Every inch of the route had been ridden and surveyed by Miles our host.
A minibus accompanied us to carry our kit and provide technical support.
About half of the riders (after enduring visa delays and hassles) ventured into Burma for one mid-tour day. Quite an interesting peek into a totally different, previously hidden world.
Would I ride overseas again? Yes; it was one of the most exciting, funny and rewarding trips.
I concluded that it’s best not to try and keep up with the quicker riders at the front, always wear the gear and always have a copy of the route yourself in case something happens!
If you haven’t ever ridden overseas, Thailand would be a great place to start. Avoid the rainy season and book up now!
Stuart went with Thai Motorcycle Tours, paying £1,300 for the package including beer and food, just the flights to pay for on top.
All in all, a two-thousand-pound adventure