Dangers of renting a motorbike

Driving and riding in Hua Hin and Thailand, all topics on cars, pickups, bikes, boats, licenses, roads, and motoring in general.
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Dangers of renting a motorbike

Post by jdc » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:15 pm

Here a month. Gonna rent a scooter to get from Cha am to HH. I am 70. Wife 66. But I've driven in ChiangMai. Fared OK. Wife screamed a lot. Latest readings suggest that this plan is a poor one. But I hate being without a set of wheels. Waddaya all think? Probably one ride a day...off to dinner...that kind of thing.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:03 am

I ride a scooter and am VERY cautious. I would NOT ride on the road to or fromCha am at night. There is a strange problem in THai. I ride slowly and close to the gutter closely watching the traffic passing me on my right. The danger is other scooters coming towards me , riding in the wrong direction on the wrong side of the road and sometimes without lights.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by kendo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:20 am

Soi dogs will be a hazard also.
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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by MDMK » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:32 am

Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn't ride a scooter on a month's holiday. It might be different if/when we move there and I had much more time to get a better "feel" for the traffic, you just don't get that in a month, plus you don't "know" the way around properly so you're concentration is split with watching the traffic and trying to work out where you need to turn left or right or where whatever soi actually is.

like the people above said.... the long dark road to/from Cha Am, night time, soi dogs... day time in and around central Hua Hin I would find hair raising enough, the added difficulties already mentioned would be a massive no no for me.

I've just been on the BUDGET car rental website and the smallest type of car (1.5 Toyota Vios) is not too bad. I think it was just over 17000 thb for 3 weeks. Or if you wanted something sturdier the pick up truck (Toyota Hilux Vigo 2.5) was even cheaper at just under 15000thb for 3 weeks. I found some slightly cheaper rental prices but not from any of the big international names.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by MDMK » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:37 am

Oh just to clarify...the pick up price above is for a 2 seater version of the pick up.... not the one with a proper back seats, that was a lot more expensive. The 15,000 baht one just has driver seat and passenger seat with a little luggage storage area behind the two seats. But the bit at the back (where the seats would be in a baht bus) is hard top.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by Gregjam » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:05 am

If you are want to rent a scooter it is probably best to limit yourself to daytime riding initially to get familiar with the area. Even after years here I avoid driving at night unless I have to. Taxi's are not expensive for evening excursions and if you want a drink with your meal they are a much safer option. The scooter for daytime use allows you to explore farther afield and although the main road is as dangerous as any there are more interesting options to get from Cha Am to Hua Hin such as the Klong Road.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by joelle » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:07 am

My husband and I have been riding our scooters since living here which is 7 years and we still won't ride it at night unless extreme necessity and we definitely not use the side roads like the Khlong or canal road at night as it is not safe during the day no problem
but then it is up to you if you feel confident enough ! not sure your wife would appreciate it !

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:13 am

Make sure your Insurance covers you - too many appeals for people stuck in hospital after riding a scooter uninsured and having an accident, and can't afford vital treatment.

I've made my feelings known many times about people coming to Thailand, feeling they are above the law and hiring a scooter. I won't bother repeating them. If your wife screams regularly, I guess you fall into the bracket I've talked about.
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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by RCer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:18 am

I've been riding motorbikes of all kinds since 1970. I would not recommend it. There are plenty of Taxi type vehicles running around.

I like the Tuk-tuks.

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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by StevePIraq » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:15 am

On top of that it is not exactly comfortable riding a scooter from Cha Am to Hua Hin and back
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Re: Dangers of renting a motorbike

Post by buksida » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:44 am

Some sound advice above. If you have limited motorcycle experience don't do it. Hua Hin is a hellish place to ride, the traffic is horrendous and you will get pulled over multiple times and fined if you don't have a Thai license or the bike is the wrong colour.
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Re: danger or fear mongering?

Post by Homer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:12 pm

Big Boy wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:13 am
Make sure your Insurance covers you...
There are 2 conditions to check. Does your insurance cover motorcycle accidents. If yes, does riding without a valid license void the coverage.

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Re: Dangers of renting a motorbike

Post by Ralfredo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:39 pm

I've been to Hua Hin many times, and like you, I hate to be without wheels. I live in the "suburbs", and it just wouldn't be feasible to call a Tuk Tuk every time I want to go somewhere. Therefore, I and my wife always rent a scooter. No that's not true, we rent two scooters.

It would be very bad if one of you got hurt but think of the disastrous situation you would be in if you both ended up at the hospital. Who would take care of all the practical things for example?

That said, would we go to Cha Am? Yes maybe once or twice in the daytime, of course absolutely sober. At night, maybe after dinner with some beers. Never!

A side note. If you're planning to go to Hua Hin more or less every day, why don't you stay in Hua Hin?

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Re: Dangers of renting a motorbike

Post by jdc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:28 am

Thanks, guys. I am going to modify my approach because of your input AND because hunger got the better part of the argument last night and gave us a quick lesson on the local flow. We jumped on and 'gave it a shot'. From Ch to HH and back with a stop at the Makro. Like idiots, we left at dusk and returned at deep night (not remembering exactly where we were headed). Summary? We were fine. But it was a bit nervewracking. Just a few screams. Chiang Mai is easier for some reason...maybe it is the pack you ride with there. Like a school of fish. Here? Well, it seemed the road was clear one minute and a melee the next.
Result? Figure out a way to tuk tuk around when going to HH. Continue to defy the odds while in 'hangin' in Cha am.

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Re: Dangers of renting a motorbike

Post by RCer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:12 am

Glad you're ok and good decision.

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