Riding Tips by GT Rider

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Roadcraft Forum' started by DavidFL, May 10, 2009.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    https://www.gt-rider.com/motorcycle-ridi ... -tips.html


    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.


    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 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.
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  3. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Thanks for taking the time to post this David. Common sense can sometimes get forgotten in a new and exciting environment. I hope to put most if ths into practice next month


    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    Never forget =

    A biker is one dimensional !!

    Meaning : your speed can not be assed by a vehicle/ person heading your way OR waiting at a crossing !!

    Only two dimensional items can be "speed judged"
    In full day light e.g. , the speed of a car with head lights on can be much better judged. Far away, the 2 lights are one point, the faster the one oncoming light separates in two lights , the higher the judged speed.

    A bike with lights is still only one point in a distance, no way to know how far and and how fast it is.

    Nobody can accurately judge your speed, only yourself.
  5. ray23

    ray23 Ol'Timer

    Drag Satr has emergency flashers so I use them when passing or have an oncoming passer coming at me.

    Even in the states lots of accidents simply because it doen't register with a driver who is looking for a car.

    Things go bad lay it down, don't hestitate yuor probably going to come out of it much better.

    Like it or not guys we have a wonderful hobby but it is a dangerous one
  6. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    I can cotribute on this my side of the story of thai drivers(Car)taking U-Turn front of you

    I was doing with 2UP on saraburi 120Khh riding middle lane when car in the most left lane desided to make U-turn and just crossing 3 car lanes, we where just beside him doing 120 but luckily good reaction time and bike been heavy as it is we(Bike) substain only minor cracthes and we stayed upright,but pick-up continue speeding and could not care less what happen to us.

    Lesson learned was that when on want to over take, go to over taking lane as early as possible(Not just from behind) and flash lights maybe horn(long one) and then proper gear and speed up,, while side by side,, keep finger on horn button(If possible) and if you see any signs that he's gonna turn to you,, HORN long, that is what i do now days
  7. roaddhist

    roaddhist Ol'Timer

    I recognize my motorcyle as a machine that wants to KILL me every time I get on it and lose concentration for even a fraction of a second (not to say that it isn't some of the most fun I can imagine in this life). I begin each ride with a prayer and try to keep that prayer wheel turning the entire time I'm on the bike. So far, so good :D
  8. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Thanks David.

    As a follow up to Tony's post regarding the death of his friend Jim Anders:

    Trucks doing U-turns.

    Have experience with transporting heavy loads and big equipment to construction sites here.

    Basically, the transport trucks are specifically designed to carry and move heavy loads with Police escorts and roadside traffic control. That’s how we have to do it.

    Thai transport companies use the 10, 18 or 20 wheel trucks to move anything. They are invariably illegally overloaded and relatively short in length giving no flexibility.
    When these trucks are carrying these excessive loads it tends to lift the front end slightly; when they try to U-turn the drivers can only turn the front wheels very slightly and “inch” round. Turning the front wheels slightly too much or not driving at crawling speed ends up with the truck just going straight slowly destroying the front tyres.
    i.e. they require the biggest ‘arc’ possible at the lowest speeds starting at the furthest point ‘left’ curving right across all lanes of traffic. Totally illegal.
    I’m not at all surprised the truck owner got truck and driver out of the accident scene rapidly.

    I’m afraid I’ve seen the results of horrific accidents because of these trucks trying to U-turn.

    It is also very difficult to judge from a distance when driving on open highways approaching one of these overloaded trucks starting a U-turn.
    By the time some drivers realise what the truck is trying to do....................its too late and nowhere to go.
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Just a quickie


    1. Always watch the spaces, where you want to go. Don't follow other vehicles blindly or you won't see any road hazards ahead; + you will never find a way around or through the traffic. Watch the spaces.

    2. Don't ride in the traffic, but ride through the traffic. You can do this safely by keeping your speed slightly higher than the other vehicles. I prefer to be 10KPH+ faster than the other vehicles. On the open highway 15-20KPH faster is about right...
  10. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Can you please explain this a bit more. Is it to stay ahead of the run of the traffic, ride positively, or what.
  11. Deano747

    Deano747 Ol'Timer

    If I may;

    The eye senses movement much more readily than stationary objects. If you stay in the same relative position in traffic, you are essentially stationary. By maintaining a slightly higher (or lower) speed than the traffic, you are moving in relation to them, and become more visible. This technique was taught to me by a Queensland (Australia) motorcycle police instructor. It doesn't need to be much of a speed differential, 10kph would be more than enough.

    If you ARE forced to travel in a body of traffic, make sure you can see the drivers eyes in their rear view mirrors. (The vehicles in the lanes adjacent to the one you are in.) That way, you will avoid their blind spots, and if they bother to look in their mirrors before they move into your lane, they just might see you.
  12. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Thailand usually rear mirror is pointing in somewhere else as they don’t want to be blinded by blinking lights or for female riders it's for make-up

    my experience from Thai roads is that 20 out of 1000 drivers actually uses mirrors,, Day time HORN and Blinking high beam light, night time only High beam lights are way of communication, Sadly but true.

    That is on the roads and highways,, but again, this is what i have learned
    only 1 crash so far and several close calls, lets hope that y good luck continues
    :!: :idea:
  13. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Agree with David FLs suggestions for safe riding. Pretty much in line with Police motorcycle training manual "Roadcraft" & also in line with police advanced training.

    Also agree with two previous comments. Majority of mirrors are not used for rear view observation, but for brushing hair, squeezing blackheads & spots, applying make up etc.. The idea of riding slightly offside to the vehicle in front to project headlight on offside & rear view mirror is OK in theory in Thailand - but not very often in practice! Also even if you are able to see drivers eyes in rear view mirror - it doesnt mean there is a live, concentrating, alert human being behind them.
  14. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Great tips.

    Very much agree with David's "always watch the spaces". It is so important to always be aware of your path and not to focus on the obstacles for too long. A very quick glance is all the (awake and aware) human mind requires to judge the speed and direction of travel of an object. It is better to always be aware of your path and very importantly; your possible paths and escape routes. Does it not help to keep the mind focused and aware by devoting a portion of your attention, at all times, to find what 'outs' you have available to you.

    I still suffer the affects of attempting to avoid another car that pulled directly in my path, managing to hit perfectly centered on a metal light post, with not a single obstacle was around in the surrounding 200 feet, at a speed of 50-60 km/h.
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ouch! Hope you're ok & still able to ride alright. BTW how's the Kawa bike? Any photos to share of the damage?
  16. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Opps, meant add whilst driving a Datsun well in my second year of university, 25 years ago, hurrying to meet an unbelievably gorgeous gal I’d just met the night before - :wink: Target fixation is the correct term…..
  17. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

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