A Lesson learnt

Sep 19, 2006
Well Said Franz and some of You other Guys! As Franz said in His opening Post:
"Know your own limits and respect them" is the basic rule while biking.
I doubt that Doing Wheel Stands and Power Slides in the Hills presents as much Danger to the Public as the Local Village Idiot in a Pickup :crazy: Or the Local Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue etc Cab Drivers along with the Tuk Tuks etc etc. Quite Possibly the Worst most Selfish inconsiderate Drivers in Thailand :thumbdown:
Now if I had the Skill and Ability to Do Wheel-stands, Slides and any other Stunts I could think of I would no Doubt be doing them at every available Opportunity :thumbup: Bloody Good Fun and one of the things that Make Riding here in LOS so much more Enjoyable than at Home in Our Own Over Policed and Over Restricted Countries :clap:
I would guess that anyone Who can't do any of the above could Harbour some form of Jealousy, I know I do :wink:
At the End of the Day We all end up in the Same Place so Be Mature enough to Ride at Your own Speed not be Suckered into a Make Believe Race? At No Time on any Ride have I ever been Questioned on why I was Slower or Faster than anyone Else and I Rode at what I was Happy with! I am Sure that most all the SSR & GTR Guys couldn't cared less Who was first or Last to in the Group? Have Fun Guys. Good on the SSR Guys and Sorry I couldn't have Joined You, Maybe next time.

Kiwi Cruiser

Ben Kemp
Staff member
May 26, 2007
Oops - apologies if I've struck a raw nerve (or two) there... :D
- my comments were made in the spirit of the original Topic Post by Franz... quote;

Need to post these thoughts of mine on the forum, of course all are my own experiences // opinions and might not match yours, so any critisism given and returned is nothing serious but just one's own opinion but will give us some possibilities to rethink our own view of things for maybe // hopefully our own good.
Franz's post expressed a variety of opinion's on riding, safety etc, as a result of a sobering experience... He called for comments and opinions. I agree totally with everything he says about "rethinking / age" and I also agree with his closing comment;

Better to take it a little slower but safe and still I enjoy the ride !
Its kind of important to remember that the sheer volume of incompetently operated vehicular traffic in LOS means that in many cases, "The mistake that kills you probably won't be Yours! Of course, when you're dead, it won't matter a fat rat's bottom how awfully good you were at stunt riding, or that the right of way was most certainly yours, as this video shows! :wtf:
[youtube:jwieqgm6] /youtube:jwieqgm6]

If any of this irritates or offends the adrenalin junkies, hey - don't be thin-skinned... You are just as entitled to express your own particular opinion and riding style as the more cautious are to ride and think their own way... We are a disparate group of people, united by a passion for riding motorcycles in one of the planet's best venues. Riding extra-fast is great fun, but there is a time and a place for everything. Many people think "stunts" ought not be performed on public roads... Those with opposing views are of course free to disagree - but its going to be a much harder position to defend... :lol:

The important point here is that on any public road, innocent people are ALWAYS coming the other way... maybe not right at the precise moment someone is showing off, but thats only a matter of timing. Stunt riding is best performed where the rider is the only one at risk. Thailand is a VERY free country indeed compared to wherever "Home" is but even so, there are limits to what constitutes commonsense riding behaviour.

As Luke's carefully-reasoned post rightly suggests, there are demographics... The more experienced "locals" know what group their skills and riding style will best fit in with. Birds of a feather flock together, as my grandmother was fond of pointing out. Regardless of what (or how) we ride as individuals, we should always be able to mix together, enjoy having a beer and a yarn or two. There's always been an implicit understanding that there will sometimes be differences of opinion on what's hot and whats not... Freely sharing opinions within a diverse group helps enlighten others (and outsiders) on what is normal, acceptable, tolerated or perhaps even frowned on etc. As far as I can see, there has always been a mutual respect for and tolerance of other peoples peculiarities, pecadillos and persuasions... :thumbup:

As Tony and others say, there's certainly the freedom to select your companions, and pick and choose the rides you participate in. As a responsible adult, any recklessness is always entirely optional - everyone has the personal responsibility to decide on his/her own actions in response to those of others...

As Mark correctly states, the original post was not specifically about dangerous driving... but perhaps the majority of mature and responsible riders around the world would regard the performing of wheelies and slides on public roads in that light? A brief look around on YouTube for "motorcycle stunt accidents" demonstrates the potential consequences... Click the Youtube icon at bottom right of each video and look below the "Highest Rated Comments" - you'll see that the consensus of opinions expressed by other riders and the general public are not exactly positive and encouraging of the activity... :)
[youtube:jwieqgm6] /youtube:jwieqgm6]
[youtube:jwieqgm6] /youtube:jwieqgm6]

Ian suggests that some people, himself included, might be envious of other people's ability to pull wheelies etc. :) In my case, I uster-could, back in my 20's when I had that awesome, beastly geared-down ankle-breaker of a Honda XR500. In my 30's, my Suzuki GS1000 could certainly lift and hold a front wheel up - but scared the daylights out of me on the ocassions that it did so! Fortunately, I outgrew any inclination to perfect the wheelie art, before I ripped the bum out of my favourite "bell-bottom" Wranglers... :) 25 years ago, protective clothing was very primitive compared to today!

Closer to home, and more to the point, here's a brief compilation of accident reports on GT-Rider forums...


We crashed our Scoopy - Need to fix it in CM

Chong Mek crossing procedure for first timers
ATTN David Uncovich

Marco in hospital
Farrang Killed last night in accident Udon?

short trip to Phrae another accident

Bloody hell....this is chaos !!!!

Accident rider from Udon Sunday
Just been knocked of my Ducati and involved in a fight
Caution: Houei Xai - Luang Nam Tha - Oudom Xai - LPQ
ER6N Rider killed?

January 2010
Nan, Phu Chi Fa, Crash Tour!!!
D-Tracker Rider Killed

December 2009
Ride carefully
Improved Roads Exact A Price

Siinthai Nasty Accident

Drinking and Riding
Death of a rider

Mae Sai Fatal Accident Rumour?

February 2009
Rumor control please
Road Blast - Hua Hin To Cha Am

Older Posts
canadian HD rider killed in Pattaya and cause carnage.
Bikers death in Chaing Mai ?
Page Error | GT-Rider Motorcycle Forums S.E. Asia
Another GT Rider down (but not out)
Fatal Accident. Loss Of A Gt Rider

Safety Related Posts...
Riding Tips by GT Rider
Riding Safely

Food for sober thought and reflection in there, surely?

Will any of this help anyone, or achieve Franz's goal of;
"rethink our own view of things for maybe // hopefully our own good?"
Who knows??? I like the GT-Riders I've met... and its depressing to see the name of anyone I've met, or whose posts I've read, appearing in a report like those above... Therefore, if my opinions or comments make even one person pause for sober reflection, its worth taking the time to contribute to the original post by Franz...

Not convinced yet?
[youtube:jwieqgm6] /youtube:jwieqgm6]
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Aug 31, 2009
Well, is this a way to be fishing for compliments? I bet few would keep up with Franz if they were wearing Japanese style "aging suits" to make up for years plus then bringing their weight to 105 kg. :wink:

Many a GSX-R / ZZR / Fireblade rider might mature and beging a love affair with say a 1098 Ducati with its glorious mid-range power and incredible sound. The bike which impressed me most was - a Moto Guzzi. A living, snorting, gurgling, shaking, rumbling and wheezing living beast as engine! Even at 10 mph, it was a very emotional experience! It broke down constantly and was not even a big one, it was their smallest V-twin made in the 1980s.

Take shoes - some shoes feel right. Comfort matters. to me, riding is mostly a solitary activity. Like KZ, I want to do as I please and stop whenever I want.

Some stick to older bikes, not because they cannot afford the latest KTM or whatever high performance bike.

There is one thing I'm convinced of as universal truth: one can have loads of fun on smaller, slower bikes, too! At least, I cannot revive the joy, the passion and the way I responded to the experiences riding a bike brings to all senses I had when I was riding the smallest BMW twins, R 45s.

Imperfection might be part of the emotional package? Turbine like fours aren't my cup of tea. But hey - we are all on a journey. We are all seekers. We are all fancying many bikes simultaneously and death might be just around the next corner.

Let's be here now and not worry about our pot bellies, bald crowns, shrunk dicks after XX hours in the saddle and look at the bright side, shall we?



Dec 18, 2007
Its this post and so many other great posts and reports that makes me happy to be a GT Rider.

I love this post; I've read every response; I understand every view and I agree with every viewpoint.
I'm not one of the quicker riders and I'm happy and comfortable with my riding style.
But...................I do get a real 'kick' out of watching the boys like the SSR going through their paces. I've ridden with them and Franz and I love it.
If they start 'going for it' its great fun to watch from behind them without any feeling or need to emulate them.
I've always had great fun with them, and Franz, and have always found them to be aware and considerate to the slower riders.

One safety point that I've learned on group rides, and David FL covered everything else, is to avoid getting lazy by just following the bike in front without thinking for yourself. Sorry if I can not explain this better; for instance: Do not let your vision get fixated on the bike in front and following/copying all it does. Best example is when approaching a bend you have to kind of put that bike (in front) in your peripheral vision, judge the bend by yourself and pick your own line through 'entry', 'apex' and 'exit'.
Just following/copying without thinking for yourself you may find yourself already leant over on a line you may not take normally. Not nice.

Keep it up guys. I think its great that we have different bikes, different riding speeds and styles, and that we can still ride together and have incredible fun.


Jun 28, 2007
Chris, no one fishing here for compliments, we all could have done so at our little 'party' after the ride...... :mrgreen:, have been with the quick SSR boys several times and always enjoyed it very much !!
It's much more that I was looking for soulmates who also realise that with coming age you need to come to the conclusion that your bodily functions get a little slower, less endurable and the reaction also misses by some seconds. At the beginning this is frustrating but while realising yourself that you are not able like younger riders anymore you then enjoy the same way you did 20 years before.
There's also some looking for the "perfect riding partner" which means speeds and daring are a little similar....... :thumbup: , before his leaving Peter Dougal was a near perfect match, also his loving for some ciggie/coffee stops.........555555
I really love the quick pace the SSR guys are on their trips, but as Dougal stated, go your own pace and don't follow the one up front as your reaction isn't that good anymore while younger riders still can react in time to any mistake happening.......
All this is hard for a moment to come to a conclusion that you are getting older and less able, you notice while doing a break that you get more and more exhausted and need more time to recover. It's the same like having too much booze, you start getting afraid just of the 'day after' as it takes more time for your body to get rid of the remaining alcohol and you physically and mentally suffer more, so you realise and give it an earlier stop...... :mrgreen: .
Keep the comments coming...... :angel: .......Franz
Dec 27, 2007
Personally I think Franz is being a bit hard on himself- and there's certainly nothing wrong with being critical of oneself, but in his defense I'd like to point out that he was riding sick and medicated which is probably the cause of the leg cramps and not feeling 100%. He left CM at 0530 to rendezvous with us in Mae Sariang so probably didn't get much sleep and already had a lot of KM under his belt by the time he joined us. And he was on his DR650 with a 19" front wheel - not easy to go fast on such a setup! I'd have also been very frustrated if I'd been on that bike trying to keep up with Mark and Luke and John. It's good to be honest with oneself but don't be too hard on yourself Franz! You're still crazy fast and smooth (for an old git!) :lol-sign:
I hope when I grow up I can ride half as well as you do! :happy5:
Happy Trails!

Kiwi Cruiser

Ben Kemp
Staff member
May 26, 2007
Hey Franz

You are rightly a "Revered Old Git" in the eyes of the motorcycling fraternity. You have a reputation as a fast, safe and smooth rider, are a wonderful host, and a generous and caring all-round "good guy." You've added 990+ posts on this forum since June 2007... Many posts - like this one - are thought-provoking and stimulate useful debate. The resulting discussions and exchange of views make a valuable contribution to the knowledge and experience available to new riders! You are always supportive of other riders points of view, always encourage other riders, and your kind words on other's posts provide the encouragement for guys and gals to continue writing trip reports, asking questions and offering knowledge. Hell, you're a legend already!!!

We'd like you to be around and keeping up the good work for a long time to come! If that means slowing down a bit when you're feeling the need, thats a mature and sensible way of dealing with the feelings and thoughts you've expressed so eloquently in that first post.

A little bit of self-analysis and reflection is never a bad thing, but as others have said - don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone I know respects and admires you, and to all of us you are a valued friend and a leading contributor! You set a fine example to others, and its greatly appreciated by all who know you...


Jun 28, 2007
Ben & Tony, thanks and enough of the good words..... :smile1: :smile1: , didn't want this to be a hand clapping session, just the opposite this post becoming a discussion as it already did......I do what I do and I love it......never regretted anything in my life.......and will keep going like always before maybe a litten bit lower.......Mark made me an offer I can't resist, just trying one of his DRZ400's 17"/120 rims instead of my 21"/90 on the DR, just await parts from Chan and then it's rebuild time again. Oh by the way, would like to have been on a trip yesterday with Mark, Luke and Nick but my innards are not healed yet, so hopefully next weekend......
Everyone loves a little sunshine, but please stop it as unintentionally I got it and it puts me now into this situation: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: ...........
Think I fire up the noisemaker/dog&Wavescarer and do a little Samoeng in the afternoon and the join some of you at Ian's X-Center for some F1........cheers, Franz


Feb 16, 2007
Davidfl wrote:
I’ve pulled a Jap rider out from going over the edge on R1234, the Kiu Sataa – Doi Mae Salong road. He suffered a broken back. Within 24 hrs we had him in Ram hospital in Chiang Mai & operated on. 6 weeks later he was walking & back in Japan. He was the best rider in the group, but the last one at the time & we think was trying to catch up, not knowing we had stopped up the road to wait. He misjudged a corner & over the edge he went. I had to get the police, an ambulance, 2 nurse + 6 Akha guys with machetes to find him; then follow up at hospitals in Mae Chan – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai, all in 24 hrs.
Standing at the spot where the rider went over the edge, you would never know that a rider & motorbike had crashed through there - no marks whatsoever! So stay in sight of one another.
Check out these photos...



Ughhh! That is one of my nightmare scenarios when riding solo and in some isolated territory. Being badly injured and laying down there for days suffering is a pretty horrifying thought. One reason to always try to tell someone your planned route. Also have your cell phone fully charged and ON. At least over here in US, they can ping the phone to get a relative fix on your position if you turn up missing and you're too badly hurt to call or answer calls.
Dec 27, 2007
feejer wrote:
Ughhh! That is one of my nightmare scenarios when riding solo and in some isolated territory. Being badly injured and laying down there for days suffering is a pretty horrifying thought. One reason to always try to tell someone your planned route. Also have your cell phone fully charged and ON. At least over here in US, they can ping the phone to get a relative fix on your position if you turn up missing and you're too badly hurt to call or answer calls.
Yes, but don't forget that some of the best bike roads in Thailand have no cell phone reception. I did most of my touring in the US solo, but in the US and the rest of the "West" you can generally count on decent emergency medical response / care in the event of an accident. But here in Thailand I find it prudent to ride with friends who can help each other out and watch you back in case things go sideways...

I'm curious- when David had his terrible accident with the bus that sliced his leg open- how long did it take for medical care to arrive? He's quite lucky he didn't bleed to death on the spot!

Keep her shiny side up!


Kiwi Cruiser

Ben Kemp
Staff member
May 26, 2007
Good points, Mark...

Regarding my expressed personal preference to NOT ride with known lunatics; that was actually not aimed at exponents of wheelies & slides, or very high speeds etc. I've ridden with you (once) without any issue at all, never with Luke, Tony etc. That particular point should perhaps have been more specific because at the time I was actually thinking of;
- the known wierdos and whackos
- those who usually have beers for breakfast
- and especially those who smoke "happy baccy" at rest stops... :)

There are very few guys in this category, they are probably not going to appreciate or respond to any well-meaning advice, and they represent a severe risk to anyone and everyone riding with them. On the other hand, youthfull enthusiasm or "new to the region" is most defintely not the same thing and will, as you've pointed out, usually respond well to a bit of coaching and mentoring...

As for group rides, there's obviously VERY different dynamics and requirements depending on whether its;
- a managed tour group
- an organised club group, or sponsored ride e.g. Yamaha etc
- a non-organised group of people who don't really know each other
- an 'informal ride' with friends of known ability

Actually, I've just asked David if;

Given the comments “A Lesson Learned” on safety, riding safely etc, I was wondering if we should add a new forum within General, devoted solely to that topic? We could move THAT post, plus older “buried” posts e,.g.;
https://www.gt-rider.com/touring-informa ... fety-tips2
up into that, and invite individual riders to share their personal views on;
- how they personally set out to ride safely
- general techniques for cornering
- advice on different roads surfaces
- seasonal variations that impact safety
- specific advice for “newbies” - either new to the region/Thailand, and/or to motorcycling
- tyre choices for tropical riding in different seasons
- advice on potential local traffic problems; other vehicles / drivers
- TonyBKK/Franz et al might like to comment on how to stay safe at higher speeds
- bike choices for local conditions, and why they are safer / better etc
- advice on safety equipment – horns, lights, helmets, jackets & pants etc
- safely gear and where to buy it / recommended suppliers etc
- links to external sites with safety info

Overall, I think its great to give topics like this an airing. We all have different backgrounds, experiences in different countries, different riding styles and different bikes. Some have extensive local experience, gained and added to on a daily basis. By sharing thoughts and views, there's a chance for all of us to gain something from the exchanges.

In my case, all I know about motorcycling is based on personal experience, learned the hard way! I've never ridden on a race track, never had any "formal" motorcycle skills training... I've taken Defensive Driving courses in NZ, as part of driving fire appliances etc, the skills learned there sure have been useful here! I'd like to know what specific skills and techniques other people think work best here...

Any other comments on the value of this? :?:
May 6, 2009
I agree with Marks Rossi's views on riding in groups but it depends on the “Group”
If you have 20 odd Harley Davison mounted riders then this rule may make sense. As they are basically riding for the pose value and not to use their bikes for more than transport from A to B.
I am talking of riding in open country areas. Not the fringe of the city or on heavily trafficked main high ways.
Applying that rule to a small group, say 4 to 8 bikes which are all sports bikes, riding as fast as the slowest rider can and more times than not, will have the opposite safety affect.
If I were with a group that was not varying their pace to suit the roads, I am sure I would be so bored that I would take off alone to have my fun and then stop alongside the road to let them catch up. Then do it over again.
I would probably lose interest in riding with a group like this and ultimately I would look to ride with a group that rides and thinks like I do so likeminded riders eventually ride together which makes the whole riding experience safer.
I believe as a group it is far safer to vary your speed considerably as long as you ride off set and have a decent gap between bikes and also for the fastest rider to lead. This will eliminate any chance that fasters riders will not run up the back of a slower riders should they misjudge their braking points or lines.
In my experience, sports bike riders usually do not maintain a constant pace.
The speed is varied if a tempting section of road is encountered. If we use the ride to the slowest rider theory and the slowest rider is doodling along it may provoke the riders behind to become bored. Especially if that slow rider is slow through corners. The worst place to pass on a two way road!
And that could mean the whole group pulling out and passing the slowest guy so they can enjoy the corner. That pass could be ok for the first bike but being the last bike in the group the view ahead could be restricted. It’s an unnecessary risk.
My experience has also shown that there usually is no constant leader when you have fast and experienced riders together. One person will suddenly accelerate off and one or two may give chase. Maybe even all may up the pace.
However, usually there will be a couple of riders who will be of equal ability and be so close that they may take part in their own little race. But the remainder will be strung out and there will be a decent gap between them. Sometime hundreds or meters, so relative safety is maintained.
This burst or speed will end at some point and the leading guys drop back to a much slower speed to allow the others to catch up. This Yo Yo affect is what I have experienced in many, many rides.
I always wonder what a lunatic rider is. How do you define a lunatic?
I would categorise that as a person that does obscene speeds through heavy traffic along the center line or on the wrong side or the road. That is just plain stupid. His time is limited and riding this way I am sure he would spend most of his time alone or waiting for people to catch up. Because a sensible person in not going to copy him.
I would be ok with this type of rider as long as he is a long way in front of me and not just behind me.
Others would say it is a person who rides around in jeans and no shirt. Just look at You Tube and you can see all sorts on lunatics like this. Look at the motor cycle X games riders. They could be regarded as lunatics. Other would say it’s a person who does wheelies or stoppies.
Other than the person speeding through traffic, I personally don’t class any of them as lunatics and I would ride with every one of them. I just wouldn’t take the risks they take if they are faster than me.
Dec 27, 2007
brian66 wrote:
My experience has also shown that there usually is no constant leader when you have fast and experienced riders together. One person will suddenly accelerate off and one or two may give chase. Maybe even all may up the pace.
However, usually there will be a couple of riders who will be of equal ability and be so close that they may take part in their own little race. But the remainder will be strung out and there will be a decent gap between them. Sometime hundreds or meters, so relative safety is maintained.
This burst or speed will end at some point and the leading guys drop back to a much slower speed to allow the others to catch up. This Yo Yo affect is what I have experienced in many, many rides.
Wow- are you sure we haven't ridden together? You've described our dynamic on SSR rides perfectly. :happy5:
Ride On!

ps. I think Ben's idea of starting a thread dedicated to motorcycle safety is a good one! I considered myself a fairly 'experienced' biker when I came to Thailand and have been really amazed at how much I've learned while riding with GT Rider guys here over the past few years. If I've learned anything, it's that you never stop learning! And someone who thinks they know it all.... Well... I'll hold my tongue but you know where that usually ends up :mrgreen:

Sep 4, 2007
Wow Franz did you know what you were kicking off here. A great collection of individual views on why we ride, how we do it, and how to keep doing it safely.
I agree with the majority of views stated here and thats one of the great things about GT-Rider site..... there are people with different views and we can co-exist and enjoy socialising and sometimes riding together. The Recent Wednesday evening get togethers at Miguels have brought people with different bikes, styles and ideas, all have been enjoying the chance to share ideas, and also a chance to agree future rides together.
I will not repeat the many good principles and ideas already posted, just say thanks to those who contributed, a lot of food for thought.
I will say one or two things I think not said, I ride at different speeds on different bikes with different focus groups and generally enjoy each of those scenarios.
One thing I have repeatedly found out is that it is more difficult to give 100% concentration when riding slower, this can be dangerous. When I am going fast, particularly alone, I am totally focussed on the the road, the bike, the traffic etc, constantly assessing the road a long way ahead. I make fast progress and feel almost invunerable, because I feel on top of everything happening. (May be delusional, but its been OK so far). When riding with a group the pace is normally slower, apart from all the above things to look out for, I have to keep an eye on the guy in front and also an eye on the mirror for the one behind, there are frustrations, because progress will not be as smooth as I am used to alone. I find that sometimes my thoughts wander because I am travelling at a pace that, because I am normally quicker, some part of me feels i do not need all my concentration. Hard to explain, but it happens. So I feel concentration is the key, not speed. Travelling slower is not always safer, especially if you are constantly enmeshed in traffic and have fast cars regularly trying to squeeze past.
I had a great trip this week KK to CM, a few days in CM and back to KK on Brians R1. I will post my thoughts about it separately. Changed my ideas about the R1 as a long distance, and also an about town bike, enjoyed both. My average journey speeds, probably 25kph higher than my other bikes. Actually felt safer, loved the power available, and the great acceleration and flickability, braking etc. Did not corner too much faster than normal, but overtook a lot more cars a lot more easily (and safer!!!) Enjoyed hammering through the gaps, like a roller skater on a fast moving rink.
I am different from Luke in that I do not get enjoyment from wringing every last ounce of performance out of a smaller bike. For me I want to be in the smooth operating range of the bike, with power available instantly if I do call on it. So this week, I travelled a lot quicker on a much faster bike, and enjoyed the adrenaline rush, however I am glad I was alone, I would not have wanted to fight the urge to compete with the quicker boys, just because i had the machine to do it.

A brief one about wheelies, stoppies, burn outs (Trent), on public roads. Well of course you do these things where there are people to watch and applaud and admire. The key point is that you must be in control of your bike at all times, if the rider is in control, it is great fun and lifts the spirits, its good to see. If he is not in control and just showing off, then he should be doing it in a large private car park. Last week a certain gentleman whose initials are MR, left the XCentre pulling a wheelie, for a couple of hundred metres, totally in control, no danger to anyone and causing a lot of smiles. That was fun. Surely thats what we all want, safe motorcycling with the fun factor, and what is fun for some, will be fearful for others, but at least it lets them see what is possible further down the experience road. Long may it all continue.

Kiwi Cruiser

Ben Kemp
Staff member
May 26, 2007
The new "Safety" forums are now active, awaiting your input... :mrgreen:

This is located in the General forum, see: Riding Safely in S.E. Asia

Under that, there are now 5 sub-forums;
1- Advice for Newbies: advice-for-newbies-f101.html
2 - Group Riding Concepts: group-riding-concepts-f100.html
3 - Local Variables: local-variables-roads-seasons-tyre-choices-f103.html
4 - Roadcraft: roadcraft-f102.html
5 - Safety; equipment, links: safety-equipment-links-f104.html

Those who have already posted their thoughts on Group Riding are welcome to re-post those comments in the Group Riding Concepts forum, and it would help if you specified what type of Group ride you are expressing an opinion on; commercial, club, informal, close friends etc.

Moving Safety-Related Posts:
- Moved this topic to the " Riding Safely in S.E. Asia" forum....

If you have previously written a 'starter' Topic on any of the 5 sub-forum themes above, and think it should be moved to one of those listed (or a new one) let me know the URL and I will do it for you.
Sep 4, 2007
daewoo wrote: [quote quote=johngooding]When riding with a group the pace is normally slower
Khun John is referring to me specifically :D
Not at all Darryl, I thought our small group of riders was well matched, bearing in mind we were mostly wanting to see the scenery as well. I was thinking of much larger and slower group rides. Of course I know you were also taking great care to run in Mr Beer's new Ninja, so keeping the revs down!!!


Jun 28, 2007
Hello fellow bikers, now 3 years later I can feel now that I got older and the consequences are let's say more severe. I had a serious infection of my spine and still face some troubles with some of my vertebrae & discs, so now things have changed because of this.
I sold all bikes in Thailand except the Nouvo 135 which is only 2 years old and with low kms, but with this scooter the main poin is the comfort I have, have only seen one more bike that was quite comfortable too: the Honda Click 125, the Mio 125 of my partner would already be too small as are the PCX'ses; I am 180 cms tall and mainly have troubles with my knees while going to sit on the scoot. So the Nouvo will stay for short haul and into-town runs.
As a second bike with 500 cc's and 2 cylinders to give me decent power and speeds on longer tours I decided on the marvellous T-Max 500, got a GIVI Trekker 52lts topcase too and that should do the trick finally, got familiar with bigger scooters in the EU as my 75 years old father still runs his Honda SH300i scoot on a weekly basis.
As I stopped all alcohol intake a year ago (except a good glass of french or italian red wine every other week) there's no more danger of me going down on the road or worse or into the BiB locker because of drunkeness (never did and never could happen now), nor do I smoke anymore so no need to stop for a puff but now stopping for having a look and enjoying the beautiful landscape in LOS.
I am looking very much forward early next year to go and visit our customers in Lopburi, Saraburi (also visit & stay in Khao Yai) and then down to Chonburi and Rayong (stay in Rayong), now for the Samut Prakarn ones I will keep the T-Max in the Hotel I use in Rayong and get an early limousine to BKK and their plants/offices/HQ and a late one back the same or the next day, with this I avoid all the trouble in going into BKK & surroundings. You'll never see me on any vehicle during 'Jam times or at Jam places', such as 31st Dec or 1st January neither during Songkran-I had already my share of splashing 21-23 years and 1-17 years ago, nor do I like to drive//ride during Loei Krathong. Also good for my nerves.........

I do not need to proof anything anymore (which I was wrong in thinking, looking back to what I posted in some other posts years back), I will be happy to make some tours but with more moderate speeds and on a real comfort bike, enjoy my life and preserve my health and damaged spine as much as possible, will be happy if I reach 75 like my dad and still being able to safely ride a big scooter. And as a final comment, traffic has also very much increased in Northern Thailand and I never enjoyed queing on an open road neither do I get a kick out of looking for a smaller space to park my scooters, because parking them is usually easy, that's one of the reasons I bought them, next to being able to flip through lanes packed with cars, especially in front of Robinson Airport on Saturdays between 11:00 and 19:00., next to financial and the resulting 'green' considerations, no need for A/C for half of the year in CNX so bikes are the way to go as more frugal with petrol consumption than cars (Anyway all car-manufactorers lie concerning fuel consumption, some european testing associations already stated very clearly in some reports and NO car manufactorer was spared) Cheers, Franz


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
A bump for an old GTR thread that caused a hot debate, with a mention of that 2003 accident I helped sort out & recently mentioned here

Definitely an interesting thread - thank you Franz. :thumbup:

Some of my thoughts on the main GT Rider website
https://www.gt-rider.com/touring-informa ... fety-tips2

I don't doubt that we all know how to ride, but riding in a group is not the same & requires extra consideration.
• You don't have to prove anything.
• It is very important when riding as a group to look after each other & make sure everyone gets there safely.
• Some of us ride better than others & some worse than others.
• We all have a limit & on public roads there’s no need to ride on the limit. Keep that for the race track. On public roads there is little room for error & the consequences can be extremely serious for not just you the rider, but also other innocent people – riders / pedestrians / vehicles.
• Someone stuffs up & the whole group is held up sorting out the problem, not just the rider who goes down.

RIDING AS A GROUP (something I wrote a long time ago.)
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.

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.
• One rider (the leader?) Should wait for the other riders to arrive before turning off the road.
• 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.

Years ago I was leading a motorcycle tour in Nan & the 3rd rider in the group cut a corner & had a head on collision with a young Hmong guy on a motorbike. The Hmong guy wearing, shorts, T-shirt, flip flops, & no helmet heading home from the fields was killed instantly. The tour customer wearing full body armour suffered a broken collar bone, and concussion. He was lucky as he missed the first bike with 2 young Hmong guys on. I had to call the police, hospital, then go with the injured rider, police & dead Hmong guy to the hospital. At the hospital I had to sit on the injured rider to hold him down while they stitched up his head! After coming out of surgery there were 13 Hmong guys waiting to negotiate with me over the death of their dead brother. Not a very pleasant experience I can tell you, especially when I found out his 20 year old wife was 7 ½ months pregnant with her first child. Within 24 hrs “we” had negotiated a settlement with the police, & next of kin. 130,000 baht cash was paid after an ATM whip around between riders & everyone was “happy.”
I was not responsible & became friends with the Hmong on R1148, but no more motorbike tours with big groups for me.

It is a terrible feeling having to ride back for a missing / lost rider. :wtf:
I’ve pulled a Jap rider out from going over the edge on R1234, the Kiu Sataa – Doi Mae Salong road. He suffered a broken back. Within 24 hrs we had him in Ram hospital in Chiang Mai & operated on. 6 weeks later he was walking & back in Japan. He was the best rider in the group, but the last one at the time & we think was trying to catch up, not knowing we had stopped up the road to wait. He misjudged a corner & over the edge he went. I had to get the police, an ambulance, 2 nurse + 6 Akha guys with machetes to find him; then follow up at hospitals in Mae Chan – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai, all in 24 hrs.
Standing at the spot where the rider went over the edge, you would never know that a rider & motorbike had crashed through there - no marks whatsoever! So stay in sight of one another.
Check out these photos...
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Moral of the story: in a group ride extra safely, especially when you don't know everyone & have not all ridden together before. You never know what is around the next corner & you could literally have a mess to sort out.
You can’t ride faster than the slowest rider. Keep the rider behind you in your sight; & if you lose sight of him, slow down & wait to make sure he is still coming & ok.
You want everyone to get home safely with a smile on their face. :D

I hope this a help for any future group rides GT Riders / SSRs plan. Enjoy you rides but take care & be responsible to the group as a whole!