Extending your mobility for most people in Thailand means buying a motorcycle or scooter, Thailand has therefore one of the highest number of 'new' motorcyclists – people who never touched a two-wheeler when visiting Thailand rent or buy a motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle is easy, but still lots of people will agree with me that it seems easier than you first expected. Therefore it's a good idea to follow our tips before you get started with riding a motorcycle.
The first tip is to read a few books, magazines, and visited a few motorcycle websites and forums, like the one you're now looking at and find out what's hot and what's not in motorcycling. Decent publications will have advice on a lot more than motorcycles. Motorcycle gear, safety, riding technique and mechanics will all be covered. Get into motorcycling with a friend and with the help of another friend. You'll have experience on tap and friends to share experience of learning with. You can also join one of the many motorcycle clubs in Thailand.
So you may as well reacquaint yourself with the traffic code. There's maybe some new stuff in it, and we bet you've forgotten most of it.
You can also do some advanced training on road and track as soon as you can. Honda and Kawasaki organize motorcycle trainings for big bikes, I'm not sure about Yamaha – but I think the motorcycle training from Yamaha is limited to small motorcycles and scooters. You need to understand that Bangkok is nothing like the average European or American town, traffic is very unpredictable and dangerous if you think that you have the right way...
A good tip is to not go out with the mindset that you want to go out for a 'hoon'. Chances are you're in the wrong frame of mind – overly aggressive! Go out to ride well, smoothly and calmly and it's more likely that your ride will be much more rewarding and swift.
When you first did motorcycle riding training, you learnt the basics off the Honda or another manufacturers training track. Go back to a car park, abandoned road or somewhere quiet, throw a few cones down and learn the skills of low-speed steering, hard braking and accelerating. Better to learn what it feels like here, that when you grab a handful in the wet for the first time. Ask yourself: 'How many emergency stops have I practised since passing my test?' Learn to lock the front and rear...
It's not recommended to buy a brand new motorcycle when starting out. You'll drop it as sure as eggs make omelettes when they're broken. Do budget for decent motorcycle gear and a good quality helmet. Don't think of motorcycle garments and gear as an afterthought. From touring to trackdays, get the right motorcycle gear for the job.