There is a lot to be said for motor touring in Southern Thailand on a classic-style motorbike. Being immersed in your immediate environment thrusts you quite literally into the moment. I love the sensation of the wind against your skin, the sound and vibration of the engine, and the sheer thrill of feeling at one with a machine on a sweeping corner is pretty hard to beat in my books.
I think motorcycle touring adds a whole new element to travelling. Travelling by bike, especially a stylish classic one like a Royal Enfield, makes the journey for me as rewarding as the destinations I visit. I just got back from a three day tour of the south of Thailand on a gorgeous retro-motorcycle and I’m still tingling from the experience.
I took off with my friend Eric, who owns Royal Bike Tours in Thailand. He lent me one of his immaculate retro-classic motorcycles, an army green Royal Enfield Classic 500. The bike turned heads wherever we went.
He took me to some of his favorite places on quiet, secondary roads. We visited secluded mountain top temples, waterfalls, small villages, bustling market places and remote beaches. I’ve never been so excited about going somewhere. This motorcycle touring thing has definitely got me!
I think the ritual of getting ready to ride is part of the magic of travelling on a touring motorcycle. Slipping on the boots, putting on your gloves and jacket, and fastening the helmet on does feel kind of cool. The riding gear makes you feel safer, but you also feel different to other travelers.
I appreciated having Eric as my guide on this road trip. He’d been living in Thailand for almost two decades now. It was great to be led to places I’d never hear or know about otherwise, let alone get to visit on a super cool, retro-classic motorcycle.
I’ll never forget rolling in to the Takua Pa market on our bikes. The roar of our engines seemed to alert every local to our arrival. A few even pulled out their phones to take a photo with us.
The Thais we encountered really did seem to like our classic-looking bikes. I guess they genuinely are a rare sight compared to the everyday scooters you tend to see most people (including tourists) using around here. I for one, am stoked to have had the chance to experience this beautiful country on a beautiful bike.
By the time we arrived back to the Royal Bike Tours clubhouse in Khao Sok, I felt different. It’s like something had shifted in me during our epic road trip on a touring motorcycle. I was no longer just another tourist. I was a biker on an adventure.