Earlier this year, I headed out to SE Asia for a little trip that was suppose to have lasted only 30 days. I visited Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and of course Thailand. But this Covid thing has sort of rearranged most people's schedules and that trip got extended to 8 months. I was stuck mostly in Thailand during the pandemic (and I use the word "stuck" in a positive way as Thailand had pretty much no Covid-19 the entire time I was there).
One day, I stopped by the local Ducati dealer in Chiang Mai, Thailand just to drool over the sexy motorcycles that had in their showroom. But I come to find out that they instead converted their inventory in to a tour company, offering tours around Thailand on beautiful Ducati motorcycles. They call themselves - D.A.R.T. which stands for something like Dream Adventure Rides of Thailand.
Thailand from top to bottom is about the same distance as it is from Seattle to San Diego. So it is bigger than most people realise. But with borders sealed shut, and being there for a total of more than 7 months, I was looking for things to do. I absolutely love riding motorcycles in Thailand, especially in the North. The roads are just awesome in every way. Both pavement and dirt, there is something for everyone…
At the end of the day, I couldn't have been more happy how things were going. The guides were cool and fun. The bike was running great and made me giggle like a little girl when riding it. And we certainly got enough riding in that day. Then, at dusk, we rolled in to this fancy resort and I thought… Really? How can they do all this for the price of the tour. The Baja tours I've run haven't been 5-stars.....not even 3.
I honestly have never stayed in such a nice place the whole time I have been coming to Thailand. I would have been happy camping or staying in abandoned resort but a nice bed and shower will always be welcome in my books.
When I booked the trip, I was only thinking about riding Ducati motorcycles, but doing a tour like this, there is much more to consider. This was our first lunch stop at a nice resort out in the countryside. I would have never found this place on my own and the food was excellent. The other thing was they had called ahead so the food was already prepared and waiting for us. And that meant more time on the bikes later!!!! These guys were on their game!
The best part about doing this Ducati tour in Thailand was we got to switch things up.
I chose the Hypermotard 939 but I was also able to ride the Multistrada. The engine is identical but the Hypermotard was faster because it had less weight. The Multistrada carries a lot of its weight up high so it was able to flick into corners but not with the same sort of road feel and stability as the Hypermotard.
It reminded me a lot of my BMW GS. It is a nice all around bike I prefer the style of bike that is the Hypermotard style… What ever that is.
The Scrambler Desert Sled was a big surprise for me. The bike doesn't look impressive. But looks are deceiving and the engine was perhaps my favourite part about the bike.
It wasn't as fast as the Hypermotard but it was still plenty fast enough to put a smile on my face. And then that old air cooled L-twin growl is addictive when you rev it at each shift. And the bike handled pretty amazing too. And our tour leader, Pepper, showed everyone its capabilities leaving everyone in the dust when he wanted to.
I wouldn't mind having one of these in my garage one day. It was certainly the best all around bike for touring around Thailand, especially when you include some dirt roads in the mix.
Extracts taken from advrider.com forum here.