Riding Position / Bike Placement on the Highway

Discussion in 'Roadcraft' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Forget everything you learnt at "home" about the importance of riding as far to the left as possible. Here in Thailand, thats about the most dangerous place to be!

    Nearly all roads have a narrow motorcycle lane down the left edge. You DO NOT want to be in or near that lane because traffic entering from driveways, side roads and sois (lanes) will pull out into that lane WITHOUT LOOKING. That includes both scooters and pickup trucks... Riding anywhwere near that left side of the road invites trouble, because it automatically implies that you're on a slow scooter... Thats where the majority of serious or fatal accidents occur... Many scooter riders are 11 to 15 years old, with no license, no safety training, minimal awareness of danger and extremely poor judgement...

    Thailand has millions of motorcycles - but a very small percentage of big bikes. From 200 metres away, a 1000cc road bike doing 120kph looks just like a 110cc Honda Click doing 60kph... UNLESS YOU DELIBERATELY PROJECT A DIFFERENT ASPECT!

    Overall, a lot of people here seem to have great difficulty judging motorcycle velocities, and even when you'd think you're close enough for them to figure it out, they will blithely;
    - u-turn in front of you
    - change lanes
    - ride, drive or walk from one side of the road to the other

    TWO LANE ROADS
    In general I always ride 1 metre to the left of the centreline because I think its the safest place;
    - to avoid vehicles blindly entering the road from your left
    - it projects an impression that I'm on a big bike to oncoming traffic
    - it reduces the chances of oncoming vehicles overtaking into my lane
    - its the best place to avoid tail-ending songthiews (pickup taxis) that stop without warning

    FOUR LANE ROADS
    In general I always ride 1 metre to the left of the right lane because I think its the safest place;
    - to avoid vehicles blindly entering the road from your left
    - it projects an impression that I'm on a big bike to traffic I'm gaining on
    - it allows fast overtaking vehicles to flash past without me needing to move from my line
    - its the best place to avoid tail-ending songthiews (pickup taxis) that stop without warning

    How do YOU deal with these bike placement issues? :?:
     
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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Ben asked "How do YOU deal with these bike placement issues?"

    I believe I keep a constant eye on what is ahead of me and position my bike to be as far away as possible from any likely hazard. That means if I am riding near the centre line, as Ben advises, and a car is coming toward me, I will pull left to give clearance, as long as there is not another hazard, like a small motorbike, ahead on my left, if so I may well reduce my speed, in case the motorcy, weaves about. I always give them a wide margin. I am also glancing in my rear mirror, quite often and if , something is approaching from behind, I will move to the left.
    I will use the bike lane sometimes, eg, if the road surface ahead of me is broken (a hazard) and the bike lane is better, again as long as there is no hazard in the bike lane.
    So its constant observation and keeping as far as possible from possible hazardous events. Also very important especially when overtaking on a dual carriageway to realise that a lorry or pickup, may suddenly for no apparent reason, turn into your lane. It happens very often when their lane has bad surface or bumpy repairs or ruts. So if the road is like that and the fast lane is smoother, watch out for it happening.
     
  4. Not on a Yamaha

    Not on a Yamaha Ol'Timer

    If stuck behind a vehicle. Stay to right of that vehicle. That way you are filling the driver's rearview mirror!
     
  5. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Good advice Ben. I've always been horrified when I Thai friend is riding a big bike, cruising in the 120 to 140 kph range, ever so tight to the left of the road; scary stuff. First time a fishing buddy rode my D-T, I caught up with him in the truck and he was doing 130, and man did I freaked. We have since done a few fishing trips, shore fly fishing for Jungle Perch, and on a rental D-T his positioning on the highway is inline with your post now.
     

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