Wed. October 11, 2006
RIDERS: Silverhawk (Dave E.), Big & Tall (Justin) Pikey (Jeff),
SuzukiLuke (Luke), BarryBBQ (Barry)
WEATHER: Overcast, Rain, Drizzle, FLOOD.
Luke, Barry, and you can figure out who is in the center.
I have written about 1252 many times as you can see above. BUT, I did
predict that one day it would be a great loop and now it is. They have paved
1252 for it’s entire length.
Take Hwy 118 (Chiang Rai Rd) and the turn off is approximately 40 kms from
the Super Highway on the right(N19 00.982 E99 18.270). The turn off for 1252
is not marked by a road number but by overhead signs pointing to Chae Hom.
The right hand turn is just after a left hand curve and bridge which makes
it easy to miss. It is just a small road that actually doubles back parallel
to 118 before making a left curve and then heading what feels like straight
up the mountain.
The road winds through some of the fullest “rainforests” in the areas and
some just gorgeous views of the mountains. The last time I did this road was
in June 2005 so the asphalt was completed since then. It is already
suffering from many areas that have been covered and partially cleared by
mudslides and road erosion but is doable on any bike with some caution.
The scrapes on the road only tell part of the story. I have never seen
anyone’s leg bent like Luke’s, but when we pulled the bike off he jumped up
only complaining about his hand and some road rash. Must be that Yoga.
The “discovery” of Hwy 4074 now makes it a GREAT loop. APPROXIMATELY 40 km
along 1252 is a turn off to Jaeson (Chae Son) National Park and hwy 4074
(N18 49.741 E99 29.744). You will immediately come to entrance gate to the
park. Tell them you are just passing through and heading for Chiang Mai and
they won’t charge you what is now posted as “Foreigner 400Bt” (ridiculous
fee). When you clear the park stay to the right and you will come to a
bridge followed by and uphill. Unfortunately for us the bridge AND the road
was now a roaring flood.
Jeff was the first to try to walk on water, we were just waiting for that
hidden sink hole.
Justin was the first to prove it was crossable but was almost swept away
by the water at the top of the hill. When everyone else it at the bottom
waiting “It’s lonely at the top”.
We did make it through and found one of the most desolate paved roads,
twisting and climbing back through the mountains, that I have been on.
Great view, when you can see
Hwy 4074 twists back and connects with Hwy 1317 (N18 51.588 E99 16.530). A
right turn takes you back to the 118 or a left will lead you to San
Now due to the rains the roads are dirty and wet. Once it dries out a little
this will be one of he best day trips in the area. It took us almost 7 hours
but that was due to food stops, waiting for rushing waters to subside and an
incident that now may change Luke’s moniker to “Cool Hand Luke” (hope all is
well today, Luke. I see you are able to type at least). Total was about
150km. Actual riding time (according to the GPS was just under 4 hours).
I will leave the color commentary to be added by my riding mates. Enjoy.
Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
Replied on: 12 Oct 2006 14:23:19
OK, Dave, here's some colour commentary and I
hope more is added as I didn't take too many pics. The weather yesterday was
changeable, a little sun but mostly heavy clound and intermittent rain which
left the surface slippery as Luke was to find out. Tip Luke: don't ride a
Baja 250 on loose surface like it was a Gixxer on a track! ;-)
Pic below is close to the Kampaeng Din junction where we stopped for a fag
break and to suit up against the now falling rain:
Apart from Luke's
unfortunate get-off the ride was pleasant and uneventful travelling through
some serious rainforest, sometimes in sunshine, sometimes in rain and even
in the clouds at higher points. Talking of rain, this is what faced us as we
rounded a bend in Jaeson N.P:
Fortunately(?) Luke had crashed earlier and was more restrained. If
he had been leading, I think he would have not had the chance to brake and
had an early, and dirty, bath! At the time it was still raining and runoff
from the mountain was cascading down the "road" in a substantial torrent.
Now we were faced with a choice - do we double back onto the 1252, or do we
wait and see if the water subsides enough to see if we can continue.
Me, being the impatient type (and somewhat reckless maybe), decided to "take
a peek" around the corner so tentatively set off to wade through the
knee-deep water and up the hill to see what awaited us:
Hmmm, maybe we should wait a while...... OK, we waited for about 20 mins and
amongst our motley crew, there were now a couple of Thai guys and an "old
thing" of indeterminate sex. The Thai guys recce'd the route on foot as I
had done previously, then returned, one of them fired up his Sonic (a street
cousin to the Tiger) and went for it. OK, he didn't reappear so we took that
as a sign to give it a go ouselves. Me, with the least to lose (cheapest
bike!) went first and it wasn't too bad, a bit of pressure from the water on
the front wheel but no great drama.
Here's Barry doing the same on his XR:
After we were all safely through, we rode about another 40km, again,
up and down through great rainforest and a few more stream crossings via
OK, that's my take. Maybe the other guys will pitch in with a few more
comments/pics? Like Silverhawk says, a great new loop and in the dry season,
fun on pretty much any bike.
"No matter how hard you try, you CAN'T polish a turd!"
Big & Tall
Replied on: 12 Oct 2006 23:55:49
A tip of the hat must go to Silverhawk for
suggesting this loop. It sounded interesting and we wouldn't know what to
expect as we weren’t sure if it was pavement or pavement and dirt.
David enjoying the views
I think we've all been influenced David U and his late morning starts. No up
with the birds with this group. This was fine with me as a karaoke Bar and
rain kept Luke and I out riding until midnight the night before on a visa
run to Mae Sae.
We were all on 250 four stroke enduro bikes except Jeff on his mighty
roaring (or is it wheezing) 125 Tiger. Motoring along the 118 at 80 kph is
new ground for Luke as we spent yesterday blasting along at 180 and him at
230 KPH on sport bikes. Luke only knows WFO so broke up the monotony of
riding on the needle jet by doing his yoga exercises on the bike while
riding. We have to give Luke credit here as his antics will come in handy
later in the ride. Riding at a sedate 80 I also got to see some pretty
scenery on the 118 that at 180 kph went by unnoticed.
To add to David’s detailed description the turn off from the 118 to the 1252
has a small cement pyramid on the SW corner of the intersection with 1252
painted on it for reference. But it’s too small to see while riding.
The road gained elevation rapidly in a twisty series of turns. This proved
humorous for everyone but Pikey as his wheezing (not roaring) Tiger was
having its throttle cable stretched by Jeff searching for its entire 4 1/4
HP. To add to the joy the thing would pop into some false neutrals causing
him to lose steam as quick as a 70 year old on a bar girl. He would do any
country western band proud with his foot stomping on that lever and you'd
think he had Clint Black on an MP3 player or something with all the foot
Silverhawk and I ogling.
As the others stated the roads were slick with rain and as we all had
knobbies the pace was moderate. However this road in the dry would have to
rank up there as one of my favorite short loops. The combination of fun
turns and gorgeous scenery that was evident even on this gloomy day would
make it highly recommended.
The recent rains caused debris
galore on the roads including the landslide sign that had been knocked over
itself by a landslide
Our group had been gathering lately to watch the moto GP's and Luke has been
especially influenced watching the talent. Seeing those guys pass under late
breaking and watching Rossi do it with ease provided some motivation. Sadly
motivation was not enough to keep poor Luke’s front tire connected to the
pavement in one wet dirty corner. I was riding behind Luke and could see he
was lining Jeff up for "the Rossi pass" on the brakes. He swung wide for an
outside pass, I’m sure he could hear the crowd roaring, and through it in
deep and hard (its why his GF likes him). However the dirt in the corner
lacks the fondness his GF has and when my poor vision is enough to see a
tire go from fluid motion to frozen lock up you know its gonna get ugly.
Sadly his corner technique went from Rossi good to Gibernau bad in about two
feet and down he went. Poor Jeff provided heroics wrestling his Tiger away
from running him over.
Jeff rides his tiger flat out
everywhere, ringing its neck however causes jeff to buy Farang priced gas
from drums in the hills.
I’ve gotta say when I went over to pull the bike off of Luke his leg was
contorted in such away that it looked broken for sure. It was twisted in a
way that even my ex GF gymnast would not be able to replicate. So take
Luke’s advice and practice your yoga. Luckily adrenaline is a fantastic
substance and as soon as Jeff and I removed the bike he popped up like a
jack in the box toy and was ready to ride again. Thankfully he was able to
ride though he was now the master of the casual pace.
The road once we passed through the national park got narrow and even
twistier winding through remote village’s roller coasting up and down. Great
The rains reeking havoc on the
It got more interesting when we rounded a corner and found the road
disappeared into a pond and the other side of the pond was a waterfall
instead of road. The water was about 6-8" of fast flowing water washing
debris down into the pool. We milled about discussing our options. Since the
other side of the road rose steeply out from the water we did not know how
deep the water crossing was. Jeff was kind enough to volunteer to get his
feet wet and play in the mud (I think it’s a fetish thing) and water to
check out the water depth and what was round the corner. It turned out that
the real challenge was to be round the corner.
Standing next to one of the quirks of riding in Thailand.
crossing back after the recon and bike dancing.
Since I had the newest shiny bike it was in need of some thrashing. Barry
pulled me aside and egged me on with, "hey, don't worry it’s a rental".
Those words have led to the pummeling of more rental cars in my past than I
care to remember. The crossing was a breeze however what was around the
corner was something my ex wife must have put there for me. Water was once
again crossing the road but at a very high velocity. This time there was a
four foot drop off that the water was flowing over. Barrybbq's words were
still in my brain so I did not stop and continued across. This is where I
should have sent Barry across. He’s three time bigger than I am and
therefore harder for water to move. Barry probably needed a laugh so egged
my midget ass into going first. Sure enough once I planted the front wheel
in the torrent the hand of God came up and started washing my front tire 90
degrees to the right and down towards the drop off. My butt sucked about 3
inches of seat cover in fright and I jumped off the bike and grabbed the
rear rack and fender. I felt like I was dancing with the high school fat
girl as I was holding onto the bike that weighs twice as much as me and the
water swept it 90 degrees and was trying to pull it out of my hands. All
this drama was going on out of ear and eyesight of the group and I had
visions of being washed over the drop-off, drowned and buried by my XR 250.
This would suck as I had not yet visited the massage parlor that Luke had
been waxing on about
I gathered the bike back and
road back down and across the pond crossing. I of course embellished the
difficulty of what lay ahead and polished my ego with tales of bravery and
treacherous conditions ahead. The group called BS on this and we decided to
wait for the water level to drop then cross. As David stated about 1/2 hour
later the water receded a bunch and a Thai gent went for it on his scooter.
Causing grievous harm to all our egos. We then all crossed and continued on
Silverhawk crossing in style.
Jeff drowning his cat.
Luke pimping his Pippy Longstocking jeans for the crossing.
Barry making his XR 250 look veeeeery small.
The road at this point gets even tighter and climbed up through the fog and
rain, Barry recorded an elevation of about 1400 meters. It wound through a
handful of other stream crossings and small villages. It started to stink by
then and I just thought it was Barry’s digestive system working through
breakfast. But there were more buffalo feces on this road than I have ever
True words by anybody's definition. Luke and Jeff realizing
JUST how cool it is in the mountains.
A steep decent led us to lunch at a gorgeous resort named Tharnthong Lodge.
A beautiful setting nestled amongst the rainforest owned by a very caring
farang. We all vowed to bring our wives/GF's to score much needed brownie
points. I had some excellent Italian food with a desert of homemade berry
ice cream. A delicious treat for this manky bunch.
Barry and David enjoying lunch.
Luke’s wrist was acting up and giving him grief. However mother Barry had
some sympathy and helped Luke get dressed and buttoned back up. Barry is
just lucky my camera was buried at this time as he looked like a concerned
Again hats off to Silverhawk for coming up with the loop and being the pied
piper leading us through. This loop is recommended as a great ride close to
Chiang Mai. All it needed was a karaoke bar and it would be perfect.
Reply author: SilverhawkUSA
Replied on: 13 Oct 2006 00:15:54
Good stuff guys, Thanks.
Food for thought.....
Floods claim three more lives in North
BANGKOK: -- A family of three was swept away as flash floods hit the
northern province of Mae Hong Son on Thursday, raising the death toll to
at least 42 persons nationwide as floods continue to wreak havoc in many
provinces in the North and Northeast.
The bodies of a man and his daughter were found, but the woman has not
been found. The family was carried away by the flood as they rode a
motorcycle home in the provincial seat.
In Chiang Mai, Doi Angkhang in Fang district, ravaged by a flash flood
five days ago, was hit again by forest run-off after a night of new rain.
No further damage was caused, but the storm delayed rehabilitation
operations. Piles of mud and wood were swept away to villages by the new
round of flood.
Sandbag embankments were built to protect local communities from further
flooding. Road access to Doi Ang Khang has been cut by new flooding, and
residents in Fang are warned of further possible forest torrents.
In Phichit, some areas were cut off from the outside world as some 20
bridges were destroyed. Damage is estimated at Bt20 million.
In the Northeast, three districts were hit by floods and people living
along the Mekong River have evacuated their belongings to higher ground as
the level of the river has been increasing rapidly.
In Kalasin, overflowing water from the Chee River has flooded paddy
fields. Farmers will receive compensation from the local authorities or
the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, according to the assistant
In Nong Bua Lam Phu, rains have stopped but if floods threaten to damage
to about 8,000 acres of paddy fields.
Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
Reply author: SilverhawkUSA
Replied on: 19 Oct 2006 19:06:33
Ran this loop, two up, in reverse yesterday (Oct.18). I think it is better
done clockwise as described in the above reports. Overall the views and flow
of the road is better. The 250 was really lumbering in low gear going up
some of the ascents riding double.
Not nearly as threatening when the water has gone down.
Note: Had a bit of a hard time with the guys at the gate entering
the park. One said it was OK to go ahead as I wasn’t stopping, while the
other insisted I had to pay the park entrance fee to go through. Just before
I dropped the clutch and gunned through, the other guy said OK, but if I
stop I still must pay ( a little face saving I think) as it was very clear I
was not going to pay a 400bt fee to drive through. Please don’t get sucked
into paying and set a bad precedent.
Enjoy the ride.
Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
Reply author: Big & Tall
Replied on: 20 Oct 2006 20:37:49
Thanks for doing the research of which way has a better flow.
Yep, without the water those two places certainly have a different look to
them. i bet you missed the water though.
"Formerly known as the twat, racer55"
Reply author: pikey
Replied on: 17 Jan 2007 11:14:48
Yesterday, myself, Silverhawk, Marcus, SuzukiLuke & my mate
Neil (visiting from England) did the loop again, but this time in superb
weather. Check out the views and then contrast them to when we did the trip
back in October:
We didn't pay to go through Jaeson National Park - a quick "pai Chiang Mai"
at the gate saw us through without problems.
A word of warning though - whilst the whole loop is now either tarmac or
concrete, there is a lot of loose stuff lurking waiting to catch out the
unsuspecting rider. By that I mean pea gravel, sand from previous wet season
mudslides and sap/moisture under the trees which can be hard to see. This
can be fun to consciously break out the back end a little, but when the
front lets go without warning before gripping again, it certainly gives you
Take it easy and enjoy it because it's a great day loop both in terms of
riding and scenery.
www.gt-rider.com & www.daearly.com