How to Ride a Scooter Thailand

How to Ride a Scooter

If you are confident enough to learn, then try and practice on a nearby road that is quiet. We are assuming you have an automatic scooter. Near the Tik Scooter hire we have a quiet road for practicing. Knowing how to ride a bicycle helps a lot towards knowing how to balance. A scooter will have a set of handle bars with breaks each side for each hand, the right side will have an accelerator which twists with your right hand at the same time your fingers operate the brake. The left side break and hand are more lazy. Most new scooters the breaks operate in sync for front and back.

Sit on the bike and get comfortable with the breaks and accelerator, these are what cause people to crash immediately when getting on a bike. Accelerator and brake are on the handle bars, you will need to multitask with your hand between breaks and accelerator. Many people panic and accelerate while trying to break and it’s a crash or fall as an escape to control the bike.

Some tips are, feel the weight of the bike while sitting on it, holding the handles bars with feet on the ground, lean the bike left and right, this helps you understand the weight of the bike. The weight of the bike catches people out when stopping and relying on there feet as stands, the bike weight is misjudged and you will lose balance when you come to a stop.

You want to be as safe as possible during your first ride.

  • Sit on your scooter and adjust the mirrors—you should be able to see behind you with both mirrors.
  • Ride on the left side of the road.
  • Keep your speed under 40km/hr.
  • Keep to the shoulder, allow people to pass you.
  • Do not pass cars until you are fully confident with the speeds and balance.
  • Do not use your shoes as a balance when riding around corners, remember on bicycle your feet are pedaling. Using your feet to balance going around a bend can lead to a bad accident.
  • Wear a Helmet
  • Dont wear headphones, you need to hear your surroundings.

Learn to ride the scooter

Starting the scooter, sit on the bike, raise the stand of the scooter, if the scooter stand is down the scooter will not start. To start engine the procedure is :

Turn the key to right and you will see the dash board light up

Check stand is up

Hold both breaks very tight

On the left side below the handle bar you will see a button, pressing this button will fire up the scooter.

Let scooter just tick over.

Now if you release the breaks the scooter will not move.

When ready , gently pull the throttle and prepare to move forward.

A slow speed will be difficult to balance, but its good practice, to balance and accelerate slowly.

Basic skill is master the throttle (accelerator). There are break levers on each handle bar, one for each hand. Then accelerate a tiny bit and listen to the engine noise. So release the throttle and listen to the engine noise calm down. Once you feel confident to move, gently release the break and then gently pull back the throttle a tiny bit listening to the engine. You will begin to move forward at the same time balance like you are riding a bicycle.

Basic skill here is to balance while controlling the throttle just enough to move you along the road, as you feel the speed increase ease off on the throttle… The slower you go the more difficult it is to balance the bike, so keeping at a reasonable speed of 30km you can ride and balance. Once you release the throttle and let the bike come to a stop, you will then know when its time to use your foot keep the bike standing. Once you have mastered the throttle, balance and break lever you half way there to riding a scooter.

Worried or Scared

A tip for those people who have never ridden a scooter or motorbike. Here in Thailand we have motorbike taxis, these guys wear an orange jacket with number on the back. They are motorbike taxis, they are relativity cheap service to get from A to B. This is a good introduction to getting on a scooter and feeling what its like, you will be a passenger on the back. Although the taxi rider will be in control, you get a general idea what its like to be on a scooter. A good starting point for some scooter experience. Alternative to this is too get a friend or instructor who can show you.

Riding with an extra passenger

Riding with a passenger on the back is a new experience and the feel of the scooter or motorbike changes compared to when it’s just one rider. The passenger needs to sit still and not lean when you go around bends. They are meant to just relax and be as still as possible. A good scooter rider can feel the turn of a passengers head on a scooter. Any movements from the passenger like leaning or changing posture, moving awkwardly is felt by the rider. A passenger can sway scooter, just by moving their body left and right. Most cases the rider can cope with all the movements, but it’s something to be aware of in difficult situations on the road. Your passenger can react differently to events on the road, like hitting a puddle, your passenger may jump or move awkwardly and force you the rider lose control.

Would Getting Motorcycle Insurance Help Me?
I’ve researched insurance options for renting a motorbike in Thailand and found no good options. The universal answers are as follows:

You need an international motorcycle license to file a claim. Most Western licenses, such as the American Class C license, specifically exclude motorcycles. An insurance company would not pay a claim for you operating a motorcycle or scooter without a license.
Insurance companies do not offer scooter insurance to international travelers—you are expected to pay for damages out of your pocket.