Motorcycle driving basics

Should I rent a motorcycle in Thailand?

Motorcycle in Thailand is a convenient way to travel. But before riding a motorcycle, you should think about safety.

If you came to Thailand for a short time and/or you have absolutely no experience of driving a motorcycle, then I would recommend using a taxi service.

See also: How to call a taxi in Thailand and Bangkok. Applications for calling a taxi

Taxi drivers are better versed in local traffic rules and traditions of their observance.

What you need to know about driving a motorcycle in Thailand

1. Wearing a helmet while riding is mandatory for both driver and passenger.

2. There is a fine for driving without a license. Thailand accepts international driving licenses but does not accept foreign driving licenses. You can apply for a Thai driver's license, or you can get a Thai driver's license based on an international driver's license.

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3. In Thailand, driving is on the left. This means that forward traffic is on the left lane, and oncoming traffic is on the right lane.

4. In Thailand, as a general rule, it is allowed to turn left on a red traffic light. But at some intersections, this is prohibited – in these places you will see the corresponding signs “To turn left, wait for the green traffic light” in Thai and English.

5. In Thailand, most of the road signs and geographical signs are written in Thai and dubbed in English.

6. In addition to knowing the rules of the road, you need to take into account the local specifics and traditions of driving vehicles.

7. Try to avoid riding a motorcycle in the rain and on wet pavement, or do it very carefully.

8. Do not count on strict adherence to the priority of transport when leaving secondary roads and during maneuvers. Be prepared to brake when vehicles enter your lane. Give way to maneuvering vehicles regardless of priority. The main rule: be as careful as possible and be prepared for anything, regardless of the priority of your motorcycle and other moving vehicles.

If you decide to rent a motorcycle, then please be very careful while driving!

The following are tips for absolute beginners. If you are one of them, then before driving a motorcycle in the city, it is highly recommended to train on desert roads.

Tips apply to motorcycles with automatic transmission using the Honda Click motorcycle as an example.

Motorcycle device


The kickstand that holds the motorcycle (side stand) is located next to the left foot.

The motorcycle will not start if the kickstand is extended to support the motorcycle.

If the kickstand is extended while the engine is running, the engine will stop.

Motorcycle brakes

The motorcycle has a front wheel brake (activated by the handle on the right side of the handlebars) and a rear wheel brake (activated by the handle on the left side of the handlebars).

Most drivers use the rear brake. If the rear brake on the rental motorcycle is worn out (brakes poorly), then use the front brake.

Use the front brake with care! Braking too hard can cause the front wheel to lock up (if the motorcycle is not equipped with ABS) and lose control. Sudden braking with the front brake at high speed can cause the motorcycle to roll over.

In some motorcycle models, for example, in Honda Click, combined brakes are used, when one brake is pressed, both wheels actually brake.

Accelerator handle

Turning the accelerator handle increases the fuel supply and the motorcycle goes faster.

Be extremely careful with the accelerator handle, as this is an extremely sensitive control of the motorcycle, with a sharp turn of which the motorcycle immediately begins to accelerate rapidly. But at the same time, it is part of the steering wheel and serves to hold the motorcycle and control it.

Do not attempt to lift a motorcycle with working engine! If the motorcycle has fallen, first stop the engine and then raise it.

In case of panic, try to release the accelerator handle as quickly as possible and apply the brake.

High beam button

Do not use high beams on illuminated streets!

On unlit streets, switch to low beam when there is oncoming traffic so as not to dazzle drivers.

Horn button

Use the horn button only to prevent an accident!

Turn signal lever

Don't forget to turn on your turn signals before turning and manoeuvring.

Also, don't forget to turn them off after completing the maneuver – turn signals on a motorcycle do not turn off automatically, unlike cars.

Try not to be distracted by the turn signals and switch them blindly without looking at the turn signal lever.

Rear view mirrors

Rear-view mirrors on a motorcycle are just as important as those on a car. Before riding, adjust your mirrors to your height so that you have maximum visibility behind and to your sides.

Passenger footrests

Each motorcycle is equipped with footrests for the passenger of the motorcycle. If necessary, unfold or fold these footrests (e.g. when parking).

Ignition button

Motorcycles with a battery start with a button.

To start the motorcycle, insert the ignition key, turn it to position !, hold the brake lever and press the ignition button.

In motorcycles equipped with an anti-theft system, before starting any action (opening the trunk or starting the engine), you must first press the ignition button.

How to start a motorcycle engine

How to start a motorcycle equipped with an anti-theft system

The alarm remote should be close to the motorcycle, for example in your bag or pocket.

Get on the motorcycle.

Fold the kickstand holding the motorcycle.

Press the ignition button.

Turn the key to “!” mode.

Press the brake.

Press the ignition button again.

Slowly turn the accelerator handle to smoothly start the movement.

How to start a motorcycle engine that is not equipped with an anti-theft system

Get on the motorcycle.

Fold the kickstand holding the motorcycle.

Press the ignition button.

Turn the key to “!” mode.

Press the brake.

Press the ignition button.

Slowly turn the accelerator handle to smoothly start the movement.

How to open the motorcycle trunk under the seat

Insert the ignition key into the lock.

Turn the key to “SEAT” mode.

Press the button next to the ignition key.

Idling stop mode

In Idling stop mode, the motorcycle will turn off the engine during stops and instantly start it when you turn the accelerator handle.

Using the Idling stop mode is not difficult, but takes some getting used to.

You can turn off the Idle mode with the specified button.

How to start a motorcycle if the battery is dead

See also: How to start a motorcycle if the battery is dead (video and step-by-step instructions using the Honda Click as an example)

With a dead battery, the motorcycle can be started using the kick start lever.

To do this, instead of a kickstand (side stand), use a center stand (located at the bottom of the motorcycle near the rear wheel).

Turn the key to “!” mode.

Unfold the motorcycle kick start lever.

Press the kick start lever with your foot.

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