Every motorcycle sold in Thailand – whether a gearless scooter, an economy commuter or a fancy sportsbike -comes with two side-view mirrors as standard equipment. Why then do a large number of riders remove these from their motorcycles?
Granted, these side-view mirrors are not the most attractive parts of the motorcycle; they appear to be mostly afterthoughts and no real consideration seems to have been given to make these as attractive as the rest of the motorcycle design. However, there is no denying their utility and the essential role they play in safety. By definition, a motorcycle balances on two-wheels, so any aids that help to make the ride safer are only welcome. How can a rider justify taking a turn, changing a lane or even moving ahead without knowing what is approaching from behind or looking behind without seeing where he is headed? Riders quote absurd reasons like 'the air-flow around the mirror is disturbing', 'they look horrible', 'they broke/became loose', 'I always look behind before moving', 'they were stolen' and many others, not stopping for a moment to consider the immense danger they face without the mirrors.
In Thailand side-mirrors are a legal requirement to ride on any public road, and you can be fined for not having mirrors. I hope that this writing will go some way in compelling riders to change their behavior and in making roads a much safer place to be.