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Route – 107,1096,4031,unknown,4029,5032,1269
Distance – 220 km

Sick & tired of reading about this new phenomenon and losing sleep over it too, today I decided to visit Pop Rentals and hire the cause of my insomnia to put it to bed once & for all.

The first D-Tracker off the rank didn’t have 2 mirrors so I got off that one, sat on the next one & the bars were buggered. Whilst my right arm was bent, my left was straight ! So 3rd time lucky, I was taken immediately by the thoughtful design of the offside mirror, which enabled you to see 3 images of everything, essentially it was split.

Not wanting to appear picky & too fussy, I rode away while I could still muster a smile.

First stop after leaving the city was to visit my favourite Kiwi, Ian for a coffee & a chat. After that I continued along the 1096 & took the right up the 4031 towards Mae Khi.

I stopped to pick up some water & rice cakes and nodded to some other farangs, tootling along on their Dream.

Passing the junction I had exited the last time I was up here, I rode straight on towards Mae Pa. Here the road deteriorates and eventually becomes dirt.

I caught up with the tootling couple and had a chat with them. A nice French couple, they had no map, had fancied a ride & were following their instincts and just out for a loop to anywhere.

I (we) carried on up & down the bumpy track, I stopped to take some snaps at the dam & again passed them just bumping along.

At the end of the dirt, where the track spills out onto and T’s with tarmac at Mae Pa, I bid them farewell and after they looked at my map they thought they would take the easier road back to Samoeng.

I carried on north west towards Pang Kwao and followed that road until it turned into a dirt track and ended at Pong Kwao Hot Springs.

Just as described in other ride reports, this place is very sleepy and nothing much is going on.

I retrace the track down and onto Pan Lan, where I bear right and follow the road towards Mae Tung Ting.

Along here there is a fork, right to Mae Phae or left to Mae Tung Ting.

This stretch of road is brilliant and I rode it twice as I enjoyed it so much the first time!

At the end I turned left, now apparently I am in Mae Tung Ting. I ride on and reach Pang Term and just after this, I turn right at this junction, thinking it is the one on the GTR map which will take me to Om Long.

This road soon turns to dirt and goes up and up and up. So high in fact I am at times above the smoke and the air is a lot clearer.

At this point I was so happy to be riding this bike that I didn’t care where I was, I just enjoyed how the bike handled and wondered what all this talk about it apparently being underpowered was all about.

And as for tyres, the stock rubber on this bike gave me no worries all day, either on tarmac, loose gravel, large stones or talcum powder dust. It was all dry mind you, so maybe if it were wet, I would have had a problem or two!

I was now becoming aware that I was not on the GTR track which would bring me to Om Long. I had my GPS with me and was finding my route to be heading north west and definitely north of Om Long.

Eventually I emerged into a village where a truck was the centre of attention, selling Mango’s to the crowd of village folks. I stopped and asked if they could direct me to Om Long and although several of them laughed, one guy took great trouble to study the map and tell me there were loads of tracks missing and their village wasn’t on it.

I was in Kil Sua.

But the good news was, after a general consensus, they pointed me in an agreed direction to find Om Long.

After quite some time, I emerged into early civilisation and from various family gatherings, sat around steps of their houses chatting, I derived I was still on the right path towards Om Long.

I think I am in a place called Na Koo and near Mae Wae and riding a little further, I reached Yang Moen, a much more stable road and a long ride down hill to Om Long. This road is the 4029 and at the junction of this and the 5032 in front of me, I recognise the yellow shelter roof from cm_das’s post when they rode up here last month.

I turned left onto the 5032 and rode down into Samoeng and after topping up with fuel, hit the south section of the loop and the 1269 back to Nong Kway & home.

Today was a trial of this bike, for me to decide if I should swap it for my Honda Wave. The answer is clear. This bike is a treat to ride, handles very well, I managed to get 71 mph (114.26342400000001 kph) on a straight and the stability was fine.

When I do buy one, I would ensure the angle of the gear change is down slightly, rather than horizontal and possibly change the bars but for the money, this bike would suit me very well.

Having ridden the Wave in the same conditions, I can honestly say that the D-Tracker handles everything better. But one would expect that, the Wave is not in the same class as this bike but to me, it is an ideal replacement for it.

**Note the quality of images on this ride are poor due to a naughty little smudge on the lens from a dog licking it yesterday ! Not to mention all that dust.**

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