How fast can a Daelim scooter go?

14 Feb

By Dean

Kampong Cham to Stung Tren

I’m sitting in the lower level of the Samapheap guest house in Stung Tren, laughing my ass off at the goings on. There are a bunch of little Dailem scooters parked in here with me, along with a dozen tables and chairs because this is usually a restaurant.

Laurence is sitting next to his bike beavering away at it, muttering something every now and then about the mechanical prowess of the Cambodian moto repair shops. It’s not pretty. Matt has just returned from a repairer who adjusted his valve clearances because they’d closed right up and the bike wouldn’t start anymore…

“i have bits hurting that haven’t hurt for a very long time” just tumbled out of Sam’s mouth as he sat next to me.

That’s probably because we rode 280km today, as fast as the poor little bikes would take us, which is only about 75km/hr.

After the sequence of loose bolts and broken things that defined the first day of the ride, today started with a quick check of the bikes, along with a trip to the nearest moto repairer for some tlc. We had a couple of bikes being repaired and the rest ready to leave, and given the long ride ahead of us, the decision was made to split the group. So those ready to leave took off while the rest waited half an hour for the repairs to be completed. We figured more than one of us was bound to break down during the day anyway so we’d probably end up leap frogging each other all day.

Along with this split, Frank and John decided to take a shorter paved route to Siam Reap so they could spend some extra time at Angkor Wat, the rest of us will meet up with them there in 2 days time… all things going well.

We had wanted to ride along the Mekong all the way to Strung Teng, so we crossed the bridge looking for a turn along the river, but no joy. Five minutes later there was still no turnoff and we’d well and truly left the river behind by then. Our group stopped at a turn off the main road that had a sign pointing to Strung Teng, consulted the map and decided to try it. I sent a message to Dave in the second group so he knew which way we were going and off we went.

The main road that had led us to that turn had been chaotic, not the sort of riding we have been looking for at all, so i was happy to see the level of traffic drop right off and could relax a little and look around at the village life scenery that flowed past us as we motored down the little roadway. Bit by bit through the day the villages became more and more sparse until we were in open country side and starting to ask a little more of the little 100cc Dailem’s.

This ended up with Paul, Sam, Matt and Myself riding at full speed (70km/hr), sometimes nose to tail, for basically the whole day… Although we did stop for though at a typical Cambodian rural restaurant on the Mekong, lovely meal for $1.25!

Arriving in Stung Treng we were all shattered – it had been a long hot day, so we parked up in front of a roadside stall on the river, ordered a few beers and relaxed soaking up the atmosphere. Still a few more beers passed and Matt decided to eat one of the local delicacies, a partially incubated, steamed egg. Yes that’s right, an egg with a partially formed baby chicken in it, steamed and then eaten with pepper and lime juice.

Paul physically couldn’t look at it, but to his credit Matt got it down and even went for a second one later on. I tried it, and to be fair it want really bad, but it wasn’t that great either (the idea alone made me wretch) so i left half of it behind.

We’d been in sms conversation with the other group consisting of Dave, Gary and Laurence so we knew they were not far behind, but after the fifth round of beers they hadn’t shown up so we were starting to worry a little. Another message from Dave confirmed that they were stopped with a puncture, poor Laurence he hasn’t had much luck with the moto so far.

Eventually they all made it to Stung Tren, which brings me back to where i started, a bunch of little moto’s in various states of repair, some of them in shops which seem to be everywhere and able to resolve absolutely anything for just a few dollars.

Good thing that!

Tomorrow we set out for Tbeang Meanchey, a little town a couple of hundred km’s from here, the map shows some tracks leading to it, but nothing on the GPS.

I’m a little nervous…

Houses on the side of the road


This photo is for those who thought that heavy westerners and our gear would be to much weight


Working boat on the Mekong River


Greetings from Cambodia


The bamboo bridge in Kampong Chang


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