SEA HOG RALLY
Hi All, on Thursday the 3rd of June I flew to Singapore arriving early Friday morning for the inaugural Sea Hog Rally (South East Asian Harley Owners Group Rally) that was jointly organised by the HOG chapters of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand ably supported by the Harley dealerships of Singapore and Malaysia with 2 mechanical support vehicles (5 Harley mechanics) and followed by a full size touring bus and luggage truck.
I was booked into the Swissotel The Stamford by the Singapore rally organisers. Riders came from far and wide 2 from Australia, Hong Kong, USA, Scotland and the whole Asian region. Over 200 Harley- Davidson motorcyclists were registered but generally only about 150 took part in the ride.
The ride started on the 5th of June in Singapore after attending a rip roaring party the previous night on the 71st floor called the New Asia Bar of the Swissotel that went into the early hours.
After a tour of the island state on a humid rainy Saturday morning we headed off towards the Malaysian Border where we were met by a large contingent of Malaysian riders with full police escort and ambulance following also. The police blocked off all arteries to the freeway to KL and kept passing traffic well away from the convoy that was riding in the overtaking lane at an average of 125km/h in a tight staggered formation, overtaking was prohibited as was changing sides of the lane. The passage through KL to our hotel was so swift and painless with police manning all intersections to give us clear and un-interupted passage.
All food, fuel, and accommodation was include in the package that cost me about $1250 plus an extra $560 for a private hotel room instead of twin share plus bike hire of some $2100. I also noted that very few of the locals wore protective clothing, most wore long sleeved shirts and leather waist coats and jeans on account of the climate.
We stayed in KL for 2 nights and then departed for Krabi, Thailand (same parallel as Phukett). Border crossings were a hassle as was the humidity. It was showery on most days and getting wet was a pleasant relief from the heat.
Malaysia was quite picturesque with rubber and palm oil plantations lining the freeways and manicured grass and shrubs in between. Singapore of course was manicured and orderly with manageable traffic.
Toll gates were a plenty in Malaysia but fortunately bikes mostly did not have to pay. In Singapore there are plenty of tolls also but they are not visible, payment is made by an electronic box bolted onto the handle bar with debit card inserted, quite painless.
As soon as we passed the Thai border the scenery remarkably changed to rice paddies, farm land and the like. The drivers in Singapore and Malaysia were very good. In Malaysia quite arrogant and pushy, in Thailand they were poor drivers but courteous when they saw us but I am sure that often they didn’t.
After KL we overnighted in Hat Yai and then on to Krabi, fortunately the closer to Krabi that we got the less riders we had in convoy because quite a few made their own way to our destination.
Once in Krabi rides were organised everyday to various places of interest or boat trips were made. A couple of guys decided to ride to Phukett for the day.
Personally I had friends fly in so I did my own thing.
Krabi is such a picturesque holiday destination with mountains rising vertically out of the ocean I highly recommend a visit if you have never been there.
Most riders made their own way back but I joined 10 Singaporean riders for the journey home (without Police escort) which took 2 days including 1 night in GeorgetownMalaysia.
The ride home was a total of some 1200km with 2600km on the clock for the whole duration.
I take my hat off to the way this rally was organised, they made everyone feel special.
By the way , if the Singaporeans want to go for a Sunday ride they have to cross into Malaysia (border check, border check, border check, customs check) how well off are we?