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From bike to scooter advice (riding in Thailand)

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by razorcat, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. In a couple of months a friend and I are planning on a a trip to Nepal, India, Thailand and Malaysia. We will be spending a week in Phuket and plan to hire a scooter for that time as we are staying outside of Patong on a quieter part of the island.

    I have been to Thailand and Phuket several times but have never hired a scooter. I am fully aware of the traffic conditions there and the risks that come with hiring a scooter. I will be getting the required permit and have checked I will be covered by my insurance so the legal and medical stuff will not be an issue.

    I currently ride a VTR250 and have been riding for just under two years. I'd like some advice on how scooters handle differently to bikes. I have no idea how scooters work except that they don't have gears and no rear (foot) brake. Is that the same for all scooters? How is the best way to brake? I imagine cornering on a scooter would be pretty shaky, how hard is it to stay upright?

    Any tips I can get from anyone who has ridden both bikes and scooters would be great. Especially if you have ridden overseas. Or any general tips on how scooters work would be useful as well.

    Thanks :)

  2. Your weight is different. Lower to the ground. E braking is simpler, just mash front and back equally. One thing to be careful of is that rear brake is where the clutch is on a motorbike, so don't try and mash it when accelerating.
  3. Just ride it like a bicycle. I found cars quite considerate to 2 wheel vehicles and if you don't ride it like a dickhead, you'll be fine. Also don't give your passport details when hiring. I hired mine from the hotel I stayed at so ask the reception if there are any there. They'd have MT bikes as well for cheaper so you won't have to readjust to the hand/foot stuff you're used to right now.
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  4. Get shitfaced drunk and talk to an Australian reporter before you ride away
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  5. You can ride a motorcycle. Presumably you can also ride a bicycle. SE Asia style scooters (Honda Waves etc) are in between, maybe closer to bicycles, ergo you should not have any problems except for Thai driving which is quite duff and makes Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia seem quite sensible.
  6. My workmate rode a scooter like he rode his Triumph and ended up scrapping the sides when going around corners.. they are very low..

    what about test riding a scooter at a dealership before you go? Might give you the feel for it (y)
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  7. thanks for your replies. I guess I'll just pretend I am on a pushbike with low footpegs. And try not to use the brake as a clutch!
  8. Scooters have little weight on the front wheel, going from a motorbike it is very easy to lock the front, especially in the wet. Try to brake and turn at the same time will put you on the ground.

    Obviously the other difference is the wheel size which react worse to bumps, they will get thrown off line by some bumps, take this into account when choosing entry speed and line. Try to choose a scooter with the biggest diameter wheels even if they are skinnier.

    Oh and you cant hold onto the tank so hard braking means bracing with your arms.

    When you crash jump off and surf the scoot to a stop.
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  9. I rode this Honda Click for 400 Baht / day. Honda Waves (MT) were 350 Baht/day

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  10. If you get over 200cc most standard travel insurance won't cover it, you need to buy one without that restrictions. Worldcare offers it for all displacements.

    You don't need more than 200cc really though.
  11. They are much more sensitive to potholes, much easier to get airborne and ride down stairs. Weight is the biggest difference. Wheels lock up easily (which can be fun). Mash the rear BMX style if you’re game. Just take it easy for a few minutes first.

    Be wary of scammers tampering with your ride to charge you for repairs when you ‘damage’ it. Always make sure the tyres are full of air and brakes have pressure. Same same but different.

    Also, the count down traffic lights make dragging heaps of fun :)
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  12. And do the light checks. My friend who also hired a scooter didn't have brake lights but agree with making the basic roadworthy checks before they leave. That scooter above had issues with the indicators so it made it hard to indicate at all but that's why I recommend hiring from the hotel you're staying as they're "less likely" to screw you for repairs given they have a deal going with the hotel.

  13. When? Not if? :nailbiting:
  14. I rode a scooter once. They do surprisingly good monos but its really weird not being able to grip the tank with your knees.
  15. I have riden a scooter in Bali, Thailand, and Malaysia. Be careful riding around corners, trucks will just come over to your side of the road, because they can. I had a truck come over to my side of the road, and I had no where to go but a ditch, so I jumped off the scooter, and left my pillion (my husband) to fend for himself. LOL I didn't have any injuries and he had a minor injurie and bike had a scratch on the back of the side mirror. Definately check tyres, and lights before you go. Take a photo of the scooter too, before you hire it out. Don't leave your bag in the basket at the front, as will likely to be stolen. Even if locals are not wearing helmets make sure you wear yours. When you return the scooter, make sure that you are with them when they check it for any damage. In Thailand scooters are called "Motor si" other Asian country's they are referred to as motorbikes.

    Mainly scooters ride in the emergency lanes in Thailand, and filtering is expected. Some of the traffic lights do a count down until you can go.