From http://www.gt-rider.com/motorcycle-ridi ... -tips.html THAILAND MOTORCYCLE RIDING TIPS Ride at a safe speed the locals drive slowly and assume others do too. If you travel at twice their speed it will get dangerous. Three Thai Driving Conventions: • If there is a space on the road use it • First in first served and • The bigger the vehicle the more right of way. Motorcycles, taking less space, are quicker and more maneuverable than other vehicles, have a big advantage where rules number one and two are concerned, but they often lose out badly with rule number three. So, always allow yourself plenty of room and time to maneuver should an accident situation suddenly arise. Remember, with the correct gear, speed and position you should not have an accident. Oncoming Vehicles Overtaking dangerously can be a problem on narrow roads or in traffic on straight sections of road. This is most irritating, especially when the other vehicle only needs to wait one or two hundred metres until you have gone passed after which they could complete a safe overtaking maneuver. But unfortunately rule number three (the bigger the vehicle) rules the roost here. Note that in practice the vehicle charging out will often flash his headlights on and off several times to give a warning that he is coming through and everyone else had better get out of the way. But never fear (totally), this warning can work to your advantage. If you see a line of oncoming vehicles coming towards you and are concerned that one of them might try a kamikaze overtaking maneuver forcing you off the road, you could try riding past with your headlights flashing on and off. This has the effect of serving notice that you are there on the road and intend to hold your position. More often than not (99% of the time) it works, and other vehicles will not come out dangerously. Trail Riding Keep to the left, the same as on normal roads. Head-on collisions can happen on the narrow winding dirt roads in the mountains. These roads are not always deserted and you never know what is coming around the next corner - an elephant, a buffalo, or a group of hill tribe people carrying bamboo and walking down the road, so keep to the left. Riding with a full-face helmet on, you might not be able to hear another vehicle coming; so don't get careless and forget that someone else might come. We know of a couple of messy incidents between motorcyclists in remote areas that should not have happened. Don't speed through hill tribe villages, or run over their chickens crossing the road. They don't appreciate it & you'll only be ensuring that you're not welcome next time round. THE SMOOTH RIDER Is the easiest person to ride with. He: 1. Paces Himself evenly, rolling on & off the throttle & avoids heavy braking as much as possible. 2. Adjusts His Speed to his immediate riding environment. He does not accelerate or brake hard suddenly. 3. Judges Corners Beforehand & doesn't go through them under brakes. As he approaches a corner, he rolls off the throttle, touches the brakes a little (if necessary), & then rolls on the throttle to put the power back on smoothly & go through the corner with the power on. This keeps the weight off the front wheel, allowing the most control of his machine. 4. Enters left-handers from the right side, & right-handers from the left side, looking to see clearly around the corner, to plan his exit line and where he'll end up. The exit line should preferably be close to the centre line. 5. Doesn't Hang Out over the centre line to get his head knocked off by an oncoming vehicle. 6. Overtakes Carefully he does not come up on other vehicles suddenly, but rolls off the throttle as he approaches. As he catches up to a vehicle in front he flashes his lights on & off a couple of times to be sure that the driver in front is aware that he is behind & preparing to overtake. In traffic he studies the general flow & checks for any other vehicles that might want to make an overtaking maneuver before he does. Before he starts his overtaking maneuver he makes sure that the way ahead is clear & that there is enough space for him to pull-back-in comfortably. He allows sufficient space for any oncoming vehicles, so as not to force them off their line of travel. Ride Smoothly & Earn The Respect Of Your Fellow Riders RIDING AS A GROUP Riding in a group is an art, which you learn with experience. The important element is to ride responsibly, with consideration for the other riders, both in front of and behind you. The following tips are for safe riding on public roads. 1. Ride At A Steady Pace one that is comfortable for all. 2. Stay In Sight of one another, but don't ride too close together. There should be at least 4-6 bike lengths between each bike at low speed and at least 10 bike lengths at speed. 3. The Leader must know where he is going. Don't get in front and lead if you don't know where you are going, or where you should stop. The lead rider has a greater responsibility to the other riders and should ride accordingly. 4. Ride Staggered not directly behind each other. The lead bike should be positioned close to the left of the centre line, the second bike on the left closer to the road edge, the third bike back close to the centre and the fourth bike near the edge and so on. In sudden stops this helps riders avoid running into each other concertina style. 5. Riding Behind someone, ride so that you can see the face of the rider in front of you in one of his mirrors. He should be able to see you at all times and not have to worry about where you are, cutting you off, or whether you might run into him from behind. 6. Keep Your Position in the group. At junctions or stop lights, stop in pairs (if possible) and leave in the same order you arrived. Don't jockey for position to get away first and create silly accident situations. 7. Ride With A Mate (in pairs or threes) be responsible to each other should any of you have trouble and need help. 8. Turning Off The Road wait for the rider behind you to catch up and see what is going on. He in turn should wait for the next rider. OR One rider (the leader?) should wait for the other riders to arrive before turning off the road. OR If stopping for fuel / food / drink, park one bike alongside the road for the other riders to see. This bike should be beside and at right angles (if possible) to the road. It is easier to see a bike parked this way than when it is parallel with the road. 9. Making Turns stop before the turn, not around the corner after you have made the turn. This avoids other riders going past the turn and then someone having to chase after them to bring them back. 10. Overtaking other vehicles, do it in order. The rider in front has the right of way. Don't overtake other riders the same time as you are overtaking a car, this is dangerous if the other rider is not looking for you to overtake both him and the car. Look ahead to make sure the way is clear and there is a room for you to pull-back-in. Always allow oncoming vehicles enough space, don't force them off their line of travel. Don't overtake down the left hand side or going into a bend. Always allow sufficient space and time to overtake and pull-back-in, plus enough distance for any oncoming vehicle which you might not yet see, to complete the overtaking pass safely with room to spare. 11. Bike Service check your bike’s - chain, oil & tyres - both in the morning before departure and at the end of the day’s ride. Don’t do it during the day and hold all the other riders up. 12. Departures arrive on time at the departure point, with a full tank of fuel, ready to go. If you are late and the group is ready to leave or has even gone, it is your problem (not the group’s), and up to you to know the route and catch up. 13. Fuel Stops base these around the bike with the shortest fuel range. 14. Long Distance Rides recommend stop, fuel up and take a drink every 150 - 170 kms. This should be after approx. 1 1/2 hrs riding, and is helpful in the heat or if you need to ride more than 500 kms a day.