Routes: Route 102
Nearest Towns: Sg Koyan / Ringlet
To get to the start of this route from Kuala Lumpur, you have to drive right in front of my grandmothers village house. As a kid, that’s where I spent the bulk of my time, looks like it was a sign from the very beginning. I had no idea one of the most picturesque roads in Malaysia (maybe even the world) was located just a few kilometers away from my Grannies crib. This is the holy grail of bikers and a frequent route for a few other high end driving groups. Even the likes of Lotuses and Porsche GT2’s have known to have run the route, and the first-hand accounts of those drivers got me day dreaming about that stretch for a very long time. And when the planets did align, we used the GrandTurismo event to run this route.
What to Expect?
This road, unlike the twisty windy bits of Kelawang and KKB, is wide, and fast flowing. We clocked higher speeds than that you can clock on Karak Highway up here. The plus side of this roads is that it was built from the ground up only recently. I understand that it used to be an off road trail. And since the route was constructed recently it’s not limited by the contour of the earth. Fast sweeping corners, straights, yes actual straights up in the mountains, bridges that come out of the mountains and go back in, this is basically how the route lays ahead.
The start of the route will be the Sg Koyan Felda that can be reached via Raub from Kuala Lumpur. The route from Raub to Sg Koyan is entertaining in its own right, with constant bumps and crests akin to that of the 1000 lakes rally (I never drove there but can you blame me for fantasizing it?), only with palm trees on either side of the road. A random T junction will appear at the end of the stretch, the left turn will lead you to the route.
It’s not a technical route, but not short of entertainment. All I can say to promote the route is, scenery, scenery, and scenery. I was advised to get here just after dawn, and the team did get here on time. Initially the route goes through plantations and gradually ventures into secondary forests. As the elevation picks up, so does the pace weirdly. There is one other junction that turns into a settlement, but beyond that is where the true beauty of the route comes in.
On mostly the right side as you’re climbing up, all you can see is hundreds of mountain peaks, barely piercing through the clouds, as far as the eyes can see. The roads itself at one point is totally shrouded with mist. I really felt like we were literally racing thought the crowds. In short the entire route felt like the starting part of the Pike Peaks course.
This route is best suited to big capacity NA engines, as you can really stretch your engine out here, gear after gear. And you really do want to hear the ricochet of the NA intake and exhaust sound to echo through the mountains. Oh yes, Targa Top, drop top, this is your paradise route right here. I don’t have much to say about this route, all you need to do is clear your schedule, fill up your car with 97 Octane, and just shut up and drive.
It’s a new route, so this stretch is prone to landslides. We did have to cross two land slide incidents, so watch out for that. For this reason, try to resist carrying too much speed around the bends, as you won’t know what’s around it.
Bumps mid corner
There are some rather nasty bumps mid corner, set your car too stiff or lean on your outside tyres too much and you will be facing the way you come. But traffic is really scarce up here so you won’t get others into trouble. Just ensure your convoy is not following each other too closely.
It’s in the middle of nowhere. Break down or crash out here, and good luck bringing your car back. And there’s no mobile reception, emergency phone, PLUS Support truck, or tow truck runner. Maybe a monkey, but that’s it in terms of breakdown support up here. And the occasional truck or car. Don’t break down here guys.
There’s a massive dam construction taking place just outside Ringlet so be advised when approaching there. There will be trucks and workers criss-crossing so just go easy.