Still, a Kawasaki Z1000 looks bad to the bone; the profusion of edgy-slashy lines and those massive exhausts give you propah street cred, and with 125 bhp coming out of its 1-litre inline-4, it’s not exactly a procrastinator. In fact, the thing is quite mad if you want it to be, yet docile as a drugged kitten when you’re not in the mood to scare yourself silly – and it’s very comfortable, as a bonus. All kitted out, and the mandatory group photo done with, I fired Big Z up and then we were all on the road. Our first stop? The Nakhon Nayok province, about 175 km north-east of Bangkok.
I hadn’t been on a long ride in quite a while, to be honest, and it took a little time to get used to the convoy system, but some excellent shepherding by the boys on the bigger bikes, and the fact that people in Thailand don’t act like lunatics on the road meant that all of us were maintaining a healthy pace soon enough. Once out of the urban sprawl of Bangkok (it’s a huge city), the going was fast and smooth – until it began to come down in buckets. Helpfully, the rain liner that Kyle had graciously lent me was in my bag, which in turn was in the pickup truck ferrying our luggage, so I was thoroughly irrigated in about 10 seconds.
The thundershower wasn’t about to dampen our enthusiasm, however – brushing aside all suggestions of stopping, we rode on, through lush green countryside, until we came to a lovely lake, nestled among the rain clouds. The cancer sticks came out en masse, and after everyone was suitably warmed up, we cracked open the throttles and bazzed our way to the Vang Kata Resort, set in a very Bridge-On-The-River-Kwai type location. A massive, traditional Thai dinner awaited us, and we retired to our rooms in a much better state of repair.
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