As a self confessed petrol-head, this was one activity I could not wait to try. I knew of a few operators who could offer an enduro bike tour in Pattaya, but after some research I discovered Enduro Madness who have been operating dirt bike tours in Pattaya for many years and have built up quite a reputation.
Before I went ahead and booked a tour, I popped into their office and nerve center on the outskirts of Pattaya near Lake Mabprachan. I was immediately greeted by friendly English speaking staff who explained exactly how the tours worked, they were also more than happy to show me the bikes, quads, and around the workshop. After a quick inspection of the bikes, I had seen enough and was ready to book a tour for the following week. The staff at Enduro Madness recommended that I book online as I would receive a 10% discount and a free t-shirt, great! So that’s exactly what I did.
The Full Day Enduro Bike Tour
I went for the full day Enduro bike tour. When you book, you have to tell them what level of riding you are at, they have a 4 level rating system, and unless you can pull wheelies, donut’s, and 20 foot jumps, you will most probably be either level 1 or 2. Its best to be honest with your skill level as they will team you up with similar riders, and if you over enthusiastic with your skill level, you will soon get found out!
I turned up an hour early for the tour at 9am, (I was eager to get going!). I was greeted by a Thai guy called Lee, the thing that immediately struck me about Lee was his great English, and somehow he knew my name before he even spoke to me! It turned out that Lee is one of the tour guides, he also takes bookings over the internet, and is extremely well travelled.
After a quick coffee it was time to get kitted out before the other guys turned up, there were 5 others on the tour who were getting picked up by Enduro Madness’s minivan. I was instructed by a group of attractive young lady’s to “remove all of your clothes”, they certainly weren’t shy and expertly fixed me up with all the gear which consisted of motocross trousers/pants, top, boots, helmet, and full body amour. All of the gear was branded and in reasonable condition with plenty of sizes to ensure a comfortable fit. It is also worth mentioning that all of the helmets have GoPro mounts so if you have a GoPro its just a case of clipping it onto the mount on the top of the helmet.
The quality gear supplied is a must for these adventurous enduro tours
After the rest of the group arrived, and a quick briefing on do’s and don’ts, it was time to fire up the bikes and get going. The bikes had been prepared for us and were lined up waiting, they were all Kawasaki KLX 250’s. I did notice they had a few Honda CRF 250’s as well, they looked more hardcore and newer, so I guess they were for more experienced riders. I was more than happy with the Kawasaki though, it looked a few years old, but it was in good condition and looked like a proper dirt bike, ready for some hard action.
KLX 250’s lined up and ready for action, the bikes were in surprisingly good condition
We started off on the road near to the Enduro Madness headquarters, but we were soon on the trails and the start of this exciting adventure. I will be honest, I was a little slow to start off with, the group left me behind, but as there where 2 guides, 1 at the front, and 1 at the back, I was never left alone. I had pretty much no off-road experience, but I could ride a geared bike (just about!), that made me a level 2 on the Enduro Madness skill level assessment. I’m usually quick to learn when it come to things like this, and within 10 minutes I was giving it some gas and could easily ride with the rest of the group.
The day was spent on the endless dirt trails on the outskirts of Pattaya. The terrain was a mix of sand, gravel, rocky sections, hill-climbs, decent’s, multiple river crossings, and a few jumps thrown in for good measure! There are different routes depending on your skill level, the route we took was perfect for our group. We all had a similar riding ability and found it tough at times, which was great fun and brought the group together.
Navigating a tricky, deep river crossing, I somehow managed to keep upright!
Our 2 guides, Lee and Koong were great, they could clearly handle the bikes and were always on hand to fix any minor niggles with the bikes and riding gear. The guides also took photo’s of us throughout the day, including all of the technical sections like the river crossings and jumps. The next day I received an email with the photo’s attached, this was a really nice touch.
By the end of the day, I was really getting to grips with the Kawasaki
The riding lasted around 6 hours and included a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, I ordered some Thai food, Pad Krapow with a fried egg on top, but some of the guys had steaks and french fries. By the end of the day we were all exhausted, riding these bikes on the dirt trails is demanding, it really does take it out of you. And it was hot too, I mean really hot! We had plenty of breaks though throughout the day and we each carried a small backpack, provided by Enduro Madness, with plenty of water packed in to keep us hydrated.
A well earnt tasty lunch with the friendly guys I met on the tour
As I mentioned earlier, I was pretty slow to begin with, but after lunch, I was really flying (at least I thought I was!) This was the best part of the day for me as I really got to grips with the bike and trails, I even managed to get some air on the jumps, and power through the water crossings without stopping or falling off. There were also some long stretches where you could get some good speed up, this was a real adrenaline rush, as was the whole day.
I can confidently recommend Enduro Madness to anybody who loves anything adventurous. They have been established now for 7 years, and this really shows in both the level of service, and the little touches that make all the difference. In any business, you are only as good as your staff, the staff at Enduro Madness are great, they cater for all of your needs and more, which is a credit to the owners of this company who clearly look after them and train them well.
A few clips from the day, using the handy GoPro mounts on the Enduro Madness helmets. Ok, I’m not exactly Ricky Carmichael, but it was a real adrenaline rush!
Photo’s of tour which were emailed to me the next day by Enduro Madness
Enduro Madness is located on the outskirts of Pattaya near Lake Mabprachan. Highway 36 is very close which joins onto motorway 7 for easy access to Bangkok.
If you are staying in a hotel in Pattaya, Enduro Madness will pick you up in the morning and drop you off after the tour in their air conditioned minivans.