The 2017 Phuket Bike Week started as Songkran proper ended on Friday 14th April. Literally set on Patong Beach, on the west side of the island of Phuket, motorcyclists from all over S.E.Asia came to enjoy a party in the sun. Good live music from a variety of bands, stands with motorcycle clothing and accessories, and Thai food shared with friends old and new, made for an enjoyable long weekend.
Set under the palm trees towards the north end of Patong Beach the Bike Week was centered on a main stage with tables and chairs for food and beer from a multitude of Thai food stands.
Close to the main entrance was our friends Rider’s DNA with a wide selection of jewelery, accessories and their famous custom painted helmets.
Adjacent to the Rider’s DNA stand was the launch of Bike Touring Thailand’s (BTT) new “Happy Cheeks” motorcycle seat pad. Combining British design, Thai ingenuity, and a cheeky sense of humour (sorry!), the seat pad has been developed and manufactured in Thailand. It felt very comfortable and is an easy way to improve long distance rides.
Open from 10am to midnight, the Phuket Bike Week was long and hot but it had something for most kinds of biker. Many people appeared to visit after 4pm and it was truly busy once the sun had gone down. Lots of food stands at both ends of the show area meant plenty of delicious Thai food was available, and two areas for live bands kept everyone entertained. And of course there were lots and lots of bikes. Everything from full custom bikes to Harley-Davidson cruisers to BMW touring bikes to 1000cc road bikes to the Yamaha 150cc, 17″ wheeled under-bone bikes favoured by some brave souls who had ridden from Malaysia.
I asked one group of Malaysian motorcyclists on 150cc bikes how long it had taken to ride to Phuket. “Twenty-nine hours,” they said, “Without sleep.”
We are delighted to announce that Lukas Matzinger is Assero Gear’s first sponsored rider. He is an obvious choice, not to mention charming and handsome (so say the girls!).
In 2012 Lukas, together with a Walter Colebatch and Barton Churchill, formed the Husaberg Adventure Team and set a new World Record for high altitude motorcycling at 6,361m/20,869ft. In 2014, Lukas set off to Around the World with LukasM on a KTM 690, swapped out for a 690 Factory Replica race bike in Mongolia.
It was from Mongolia that Lukas had ridden when he visited us at Assero Gear HQ in Java. While he repaired the rear wheel that had a serious rim dent from a pothole in Sumatra, we made some running repairs to his gear and replaced his broken 3DO armor with our SAS-TEC protectors.
Before departing to join a group of Indonesian riders enroute to Flores a quick kit inspection revealed a very tired tool roll which we replaced with the Assero Tool Roll 1. Finally we equipped the intrepid adventurer with some Assero Helios Pro Gloves, and slapped some stickers on the bike (which after its’ first wash for three months was looking much better).
Finally, our youngest daughter insisted on adding an obligatory Hello Kitty sticker. There goes Lukas’ street cred…
When considering a round-the-world ride many people ask, what is the best motorcycle for such a ride? One of the most experienced long distance riders, and a long distance racer of some renown, is Lyndon Poskitt. He began riding aged 10, and has participated in races all over the world including the Baja 1000, the UK’s Big Bike Rally Challenge and the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Since completing the Dakar Lyndon wanted a new challenge. Why not ride around the world while competing in races on the way? Races To Places was born as was a very special motorcycle.
Lyndon chose the KTM 690 Rally Factory Replica with a host of modifications. He wanted a bike capable of racing and complete reliability, suitable for touring some of the world’s less travelled routes and yet which could be stripped of its touring gear and raced. In his words,
“…the advantages of the 690 Rally over that of the 690 Enduro. I see this breaking down into 5 categories:
1) Suspension and chassis set-up
2) Fuel Capacity
4) Simplicity of systems
5) Ergonomics and durability.”
While the specific component level details are applicable to the KTM 690 Rally, the logic and thought behind each choice can be applied to other bikes. A recommended read if you are considering a round-the-world ride.
You can find the full list of the KTM 690 Rally Factory Replica modifications at Adventure Spec.