10 Wheeler 1, biker 0

Dec 3, 2003
First I’m not writing this report to show how brave, stupid or “lucky” I am. I writing it to possibly help someone else who thinks “it can’t happen to me”.

I moved to Thailand November 5, 2004 after retiring from an airline after 26 years. I had been planning this move with my wife for over 2 years. I contacted Peter Reid at Siam Superbikes and went to see what he had. I really wanted something along the lines of a TDM and he had one that I liked. Peter delivered it to my house and the adventure began.

I also have a truck and was getting used to the traffic. I kept the bike in the rural areas till I had a feel for it. The TDM is a great bike. My biggest problems were slow turns and going slow. I started riding into to the city getting what I thought a good feel for traffic. I might add that the area I live has a lot of truck traffic and the roads look and feel like ice at times. The TDM has two big disks on the front and I tried to use them all the time, but I also didn’t want to do an endo. The rear disk would lock the back up quickly if I put a lot of foot into stopping.

I was coming home from the bank down a 6-lane road and everything was fine. I had opened it up a bit because of a big gap in the traffic. There was a warning light going off in my head, but I didn’t know why. Up ahead I saw a 10 wheeler in the middle lane stopped. Just as I got off the throttle he made his right turn to make a U-turn. I got on the binders an of course the rear lock up and I started to slid. There was also a 10 wheeler to my inside so I couldn’t go behind the first one. I got the bike in a side slide and as I like to say, I had full control right up to impact. I got slowed down to around 20kph and picked my point of impact. I came off the bike and thought about the traffic behind me as I was sliding down the road. Just as I was able to see, the second truck ran over my left leg and left hand with both right rear tires. That’s the part my wife doesn’t know about. As I laid there thing I was hurt really bad the Thais from the cars behind me ran and pulled my helmet off and started to drag me to the side of the road. I yelled at them to stop and I slid myself to the side. I got them to move my wounded bike. The cop was there quickly and I said I needed to go to the hospital. One Thai who spoke good English said he saw the truck turn from the middle lane and said he had told the cop.

Well off I go to the hospital in the back of a “rescue” pickup. It ended up that I didn’t break anything and after a couple hours my wife and I got a taxi and went to the copshop. To my amazement there were charging me with careless driving and had 3 eyewitnesses. I was not a happy camper and let the cop know it. He finally explained through my wife that if I paid 400bt everything would be OK and I could get my bike out of impound. At no point did they ask for ID or look at my driver license, which I had. So I signed my name or at least I think I did. I probably messed that part up badly. Called Peter and he sent one of his guys to pick the bike up.

The bike suffered a badly damaged tank and the fairings were ugly, but no frame damage. The exhaust didn’t even have a scratch on them. I sheared the vent off the top of my helmet, but that was it.

Here’s an important point. I was wearing all my safety equipment. The truck ripped my pants open at the knee, but my wife has made the necessary repairs. My left knee had some road burn on both sides and my hand was swollen. After 3 weeks I was as good as new.

Out of this pride swallowing I hope you new guys and old guys know that we are the bottom of the food chain and to slow down in heavy traffic. And the 10 wheelers will eat you alive and never stop.

When you guys see me on my re-newed TDM you can have a good laugh at my expense. I’ve slowed down and am enjoying the view. I nick named myself “crash test dummy” but my wife doesn’t see the humor.


"what's behind me is not important"


Feb 7, 2005
Another good reason for paying better attention, and reacting faster and safer to conditions... Inexperienced riders often get their 'experence' here the hard way...

Might is Right

Number 1 rule here. If you don't want to follow that rule, then don't drive here. You will be a danger to everyone... If you don't know how to use your brakes properly, practice away from any other vehicles until you do know how to stop quickly and safely.

Ride for conditions.

If there are vehicles around, create an invisible safety barrier around you, with an escape route planned for a worst-case scenario. What if he.....?
Always assume another vehicle will do something stupid, and plan for it happens by protecting yourself. Leave yourself PLENTY of room to stop or manouver away, and if that 'warning light' in your head goes off, it's time to react, not sleep awhile longer.. [:)]


Jan 20, 2003
This is a link to a site by Larry Wheeler about riding in Thailand.


The site has been around for a while, but still valid info and good advice.


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy shit...what a ride!"