Seasonal Variations

Kiwi Cruiser

Ben Kemp
Staff member
May 26, 2007
Thailand has 3 defined seasons, each presenting challenges and causing road surfaces to offer different challenges. I've heard people say that Thailand only has 3 temperatures; Hot, Bloody hot, and This is Ridiculous! These temperature variations correspond to those 3 seasons. :D

Wet Season: Jun - Sept
Very smooth road surfaces, coupled with rain, compounded by hard cruiser tyres can make cornering feel a bit like learning the art of ice skating. If you don't learn to "feel" the surface as as you're riding, its very easy to get into trouble! For that reason, many experienced riders switch to more appropriate tyres for the Wet Season...

The distint benefit of the first heavy rains is the flushing clean of road surfaces! Adhesion improves noticeably with every passing shower!

Cold Season: Oct - Jan
By most holiday-maker's standards, Cold Season temperatures are pretty nice; still double-digit temps overnight, and high 20's in the afternoon. There is virtually NO rain for months... Main roads are dry, and riding is great. However, for bikes that sport hard tyres, that 15-20c temperature drop can make a big difference to tyre adhesion. :shock:

The other danger is lower sun angles, increased shadows... and many roads through forested regions have permanent "wet" sections where springs and seeps provide slippery patches that won't dry out for months on end. These are invariably in shaded sections, on corners that swing into gulleys! :wtf:

Hot Season: Feb - May
By Feb, it has not rained for at least 4 months. There is a steady build-up of dust, diesel fumes, oil droplets, tyre debris... Roads become progressively more slippery.

Annual "burn-offs" of rice stubble starts, and progresses into province-wide burning of forests. The locals burn the roadsides, leaf litter and jungle to enable then to find wild mushrooms when the first rains start... Its ridiculously hot - 38-40+ Celcius. There's a steady rain of ash and carbom particles and this also accumulates on road surfaces!

The consequence is, smooth-surfaced roads and town and city streets in the north are incredibly treacherous. So much so that even with heavy-treaded motorcycle boots on, your feet will slip when you stop at an intersection! Riding becomes quite dangerous - a little acceleration on a big bike becomes a wheelspin in a heartbeat. Changing down from 3rd to 2nd gear can easily lock a rear wheel... :wtf:


Jun 28, 2007
Well it's slipping time again, took the FJR on a short ride today and also went around the moat, roads getting greasy and slippery again, so all riders beware !! Ride safe, Franz


Nov 7, 2007
It rained all day yesterday in CM - great news as that's going to push out the start of the hazing season here in the north. Canal road in front of the house was washed nice and clean, sooty, slippery corners are gone.