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  1. #1 Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Senior C-Moto Guru ZMC888's Avatar
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    Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide

    I've known quite a few new riders who have been hurt in China, some with just cuts and bruises, others more seriously, requiring hospitalization. The following is what I would liked to have told them:

    Obviously all riders vary in their skills and experience. New or inexperienced riders especially, thinking of riding in China or even intending to learn how to ride here could seriously consider riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle/scooter extensively for a few months before attempting to ride a motorcycle, to fully appreciate the local road habits. Even experienced riders are well advised to be cautious when adapting to Chinese road conditions. Learning to ride a motorcycle without instruction anywhere in the world is fraught with danger, but in China the risk of potential injury is much greater. Those intending to learn to ride in China or that have limited experience are advised to find a very quiet wide area and learn how to handle the bike effectively, including emergency stops, gear and clutch use, until it becomes natural and leaning the bike until the tires are worn from edge to edge or as much as the peg height will allow. Some reading about advanced motorcycle techniques on the internet or asking more experienced riders for tips or tuition would certainly be useful.

    On the Road

    Road Hazards - There are many more road hazards in China than western countries, many are obvious, including but limited to objects on the road surface, overloaded trucks, gravel, dirt, drying crops, open man-hole covers, inconsiderate/drunk/incompetent drivers, and so on.

    Protection - Adequate protective clothing, at the minimum reasonable quality riding gloves and protective padded jackets, trousers and motorcycle boots or over ankle high boots are needed. Full face helmets are best, if not only to protect face from insects, dust and grit.

    Undertaking/Using cycle lanes - Chinese bylaws attempt to force all motorcycles and cycles into the far right hand lanes on most bigger roads. This can improve road safety, if properly marked and divided, however many Chinese drivers will turn right often without signaling or looking, so caution when using these lanes. When outside of, or on the edge of a city, in some circumstances, it may be safer to keep out of the cycle/emergency lane altogether. These days many Chinese cities force buses down these side lanes originally for cycles which can cause havoc if bus passengers do not look properly when they are getting on or off the bus.

    Don't follow too closely - Don't follow other riders too closely, remember that any hazards on the roads are specifically each rider's problem, stay back far enough to see road hazards, such as dropped stones/bricks/dirt/holes/trenches/animals/pedestrians etc. Do not rely on the path taken by any other rider or road user.

    Generally Chinese road users have no idea of the concept of major/minor roads or right of way, or just completely ignore the concept preferring some kind of system based on vehicle cost or size or perceived personal status, regardless of the law. Being on a major road and traveling at a constant speed in a straight line will not mean other road users will treat your road position with any respect, and may cut you off and try to force you to yield to them even though it is your right of way.

    Be Defensive, but also Aggressive - Possibly keep engine revs higher than in western countries to allow better engine braking, and keep front and rear brakes and gears covered at all times so that emergency stops can easily be performed at any time. Be aggressive, don't be afraid to honk, flash lights or rev the engine loudly to alert any other road users to your presence on the road. The Golden rule: Never Assume You've Been Seen. Kernalpanx: '
    Think that all drivers have tunnel vision do not know how to use a mirror or work a signal'. ...have a exit plan at all times.
    Think about using some kind of small helmet camera to record your rides, great evidence of idiotic driving.

    The Bike

    Many cheap Chinese motorcycles are so poorly manufactured that they can be dangerous, with very poor frame welding and quality control issues including nuts and bolts not being tight enough or very cheap components. Buying new Japanese branded bikes such as Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki that are made in China avoids most of these pitfalls. There are also well made Chinese bikes, so do some research on mychinamoto.com and don't buy something just because it's cheap or looks good. Lighter weight small capacity bikes up to 250cc are a good choice. Dual-sport bikes are favored as they allow better rider view, handling and durability on many types of road surfaces.

    Most bigger bikes, almost all that are unregistered, are of questionable background. Many are a few bikes put together, possibly even of different brands and may have been crashed and repaired, whilst looking good, could have a bent frame, incorrect shocks, forks, or wheel/tire sizes etc, so potentially be dangerous.

    Some links....

    http://www.mychinamoto.com/forums/sh...lue-Truck-gaah

    http://www.mychinamoto.com/forums/sh...me....in-China

    http://www.mychinamoto.com/forums/sh...riving-License
    Last edited by ZMC888; 06-11-2013 at 01:58 AM. Reason: New quotes
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  2. #2 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    SabineHartmann SabineHartmann's Avatar
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    thank you for this thread!
    this is a very good beginning, now somebody should add all the answers about bike licences, driving licences and a bit of basic laws and MCM has a post which will answer a lot of "newbe`s" questions
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  3. #3 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Senior C-Moto Guru ZMC888's Avatar
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    A few examples of accidents on Chinese roads involving foreign riders. If you are a new rider have a read, and try to avoid the same thing from happening to you. If you have had an accident and you think that someone else could learn from what happened to you or a friend, put in a reply.

    China Accident example 1

    A moderately experienced rider was riding in a small city at night. Unknown to them a small truck had dropped a brick in the road. Unluckily, the rider didn't see the brick and hit it at 50k/mh, rider dropped the bike and wasn't wearing much protection other than a helmet, and suffered moderate cuts and bruises.

    China Accident example 2

    An experienced rider was riding on his side of the road, minding his own business at approximately 80Km/h. An oncoming car swerved to overtake the car in front. The rider presumed he'd been seen but in fact the overtaking driver had not done, which resulted on a near head-on collision, where the rider ended up in a ditch with broken bones and a few weeks in hospital. The police decided that it was the driver's fault. Even though the motorcyclist did not have a Chinese license, this only effected his level of monetary compensation negatively, and got in no trouble of any kind.

    China Accident example 3

    An experienced rider was riding on a street which had been previously designated as for pedestrians only, but in reality was used by motorized vehicles. It was raining and the surface was very slick on a fake ornamental marble surface that the rider lost the front end at slow speed, and the rider's leg fell down a metal grate designed for an ornamental fountain, needing 8 stitches in their shin. Road surface was so slick that it was almost impossible to even walk on without falling over.

    China Accident example 4

    An experienced rider was riding through village at 40-50 km/h when a young girl ran out in front of him. Despite his best efforts he could not avoid her and hit her leg, but not severely. Despite the bike and rider being completely legal including insurance, the rider was forced to pay 10,000 yuan by the local police who just saw a money making opportunity.

    China Accident example 5

    An inexperienced rider wearing minimal protection was riding a curve, closely following his companion at approximately 60 km/h. There was a large pot-hole on the road, the first rider saw it in time, his following companion did not. His front wheel hit the edge of the pot-hole hard. He fell off head first and the bike landed on top of him severely injuring his kneecap, in fact his kneecap almost became detached from his leg entirely requiring one month in hospital.

    China Accident example 6

    An experienced rider was riding in a city at approximately 50km/h. There were a set of traffic lights, these were flashing amber, indicating that as he was on the major road he had right of way. However a car driver did not see him, or did not understand the concept of minor/major road and did not stop. This resulted in a collision that resulted in moderate damage to the bike and cuts and bruises. Basic costs were covered by the car driver's insurance.

    China Accident example 7

    An experienced rider was riding a twisty mountain road and having fun on the switchbacks. However immediately around one corner was a huge mound of sand left there for nearby building work. With an oncoming car the rider was forced into the pile of sand resulting in a few bent bike parts, but no injury to the rider.
    Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in reality you can take any time -- whether past or future -− as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to all potentialities.
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  4. #4 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZMC888 View Post
    A few examples of accidents on Chinese roads involving foreign riders. If you are a new rider have a read, and try to avoid the same thing from happening to you. If you have had an accident and you think that someone else could learn from what happened to you or a friend, put in a reply.
    China Accident example 8
    A very experienced rider rode through a village on a pretty wide and new, still unpaved road, at around 30-40 km/h. An oncoming motorized three wheeler just cut into his lane to make a left turn. The collision was unavoidable so he crashed into the side of the vehicle. The pillion rider flew across the three wheeler and the rider impacted the drivers access "door" The pillion rider stayed uninjured, while the rider got some stitches on his upper cheek, right at the spot from the local doctor.
    Both were wearing full protective gear, what may have saved their lives. The rider had a Chinese motorcycle driving license and the bike was fully legal.

    The right foot of the three wheeler's driver was seriously injured by the BMW's brake disk as he was only wearing slippers.

    Local authorities ruled that the driver of the three wheeler was 100% responsible since he was drunk, had no license and the vehicle un-registered and no insurance. However, my friends didn't get any compensation, neither for medical treatment nor for the bike, which was seriously damaged.

    My friends (rider and passenger) are foreigners, the opponent is Chinese. I did not witness the actual accident because I was a kilometer or so ahead and arrived the scene some minutes after the crash.

    Last edited by chinabiker; 05-30-2010 at 05:02 AM.
    Andy
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  5. #5 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Moto Scholar moilami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinabiker View Post
    China Accident example 8
    An oncoming motorized three wheeler just cut into his lane to make a left turn.
    Darn that kind of things makes me mad. Makes me think that the best vehicle in China would be sidecar motorcycle equipped with heavy machinegun. Then only some trigger happy passenger in it would make things perfect. As a matter of fact even I could consider sitting in the sidecar by then zooming at the potential threats

    EDIT:



    That would do! Then it would just be a matter of asking "so, ye wanna try milking crash compensation $$$ from 'em?"
    Last edited by moilami; 05-30-2010 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Pixxx.
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  6. #6 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Moto Scholar moilami's Avatar
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    Here is a good vid of what can happen in more "developed" countries in crossroads as well. For some reason there just is an age verification, I don't understand why because the vid is good educational material about the dangers in the streets. Drive safe and don't forget to check your six among the other things.

    http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?ne...%3D-qvXbIenivk
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  7. #7 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    (Potential) China Accident example 9
    Riding on a 4 lane road, 2 lanes each way with metal fence in the middle. I am doing 80 in the outside lane, about to overtake a slower car in the inside lane. The car driver suddenly remembers he wants to make a left turn through a gap in the fence and swerves across both lanes without looking. Too late to brake, i swerve left too and aim for the narrowing gap between the car and the fence. I miss the car by what feels like 2cm, but it really could have gone either way.

    (Potential) China Accident example 10
    Driving slowly, coming up to a red light which has the count-down timer. There are only a few seconds left til green, so you set your speed so that it will turn green just as you are rolling through. There is a big truck stopped at the light, you plan to undertake it as the light turns green. However, hidden by the truck is a bike/ebike/car that has sped through as the light was turning red for them, and is hoping to just make it past before the big truck starts to move. You undertake the truck and just as you reach the front, BAM!

    Intersection advice: Never assume that a green light means you have a clear path through. Always slow down at lights to see who may be going through with their eyes closed/texting on their phone/forgot they're on a public road/trying to save petrol by not stopping etc...
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  8. #8 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix View Post
    (Potential) China Accident example 10
    Driving slowly, coming up to a red light which has the count-down timer. There are only a few seconds left til green, so you set your speed so that it will turn green just as you are rolling through. There is a big truck stopped at the light, you plan to undertake it as the light turns green. However, hidden by the truck is a bike/ebike/car that has sped through as the light was turning red for them, and is hoping to just make it past before the big truck starts to move. You undertake the truck and just as you reach the front, BAM!

    Intersection advice: Never assume that a green light means you have a clear path through. Always slow down at lights to see who may be going through with their eyes closed/texting on their phone/forgot they're on a public road/trying to save petrol by not stopping etc...
    Jeez, that is how I broke my arm last April. Ass over teakettle after I hit the front brake to avoid an ebike that was trying to shoot through the intersection before the traffic started. Now I always make sure to wait till the other traffic is moving before I enter the intersection. Always have to remember that the other drivers here are insane, no matter how good you are its always best to let them go first so you can see and avoid them.
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  9. #9 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Local dumbass driving a ute/pickup truck in the compound where I live, cut the corner one morning as he drove in to make a delivery, I was as far to the left of the road inside the compound as I could be 15cm more to the left I'd be riding my bike in the grass. I use a 11 second scan technique... anyway this corner was blind with trees blocking the field of view on the corner. Well fcuk me, there's a ute being driven about a foot away from the edge of the road. BAM, after I'd locked the brakes doing about 30km/h, it was a large eScooter after all. Small graze on my forearm... dude looks shocked... I call my wife or try to, but no answer... eventually she gets the message and appears as do the compound management. The driver is dabbing a tissue against the small 5cm graze on my forearm... dumbass.. you apply pressure to grazes/cuts/blood loss...

    Another time, I was riding my big motorscooter a couple of years ago first day of the may holidays, I'd been riding all day in some famous mountain ranges about 60km from where I live. The road up the summit of one mountain was littered with lots of small nose-to-tail accidents that naturally caused the typical frantic dash to pass that ensues such accidents in PRC. Lets all cause a big bottle neck by using all the available road space... If they didn't talk so loud, I'd swear they'd be animals, since animals rely on herd mentality! Anyway me and the scoot I'm think oh yeah it's all good I got past all those crashes without much drama. Rode all day... came down into a nice flat area from a mountain around 4-ish just as the peasants and the like were coming in off the fields etc. I slowed down and used the horn a bit, I was straddling the centreline as I rode through a village when a ute/pickup truck appeared. I was 50m away, the dumbass driving just drove out not even attempting to look left over his shoulder, wife sitting beside him and his kid in the rear seat (yep it was a dual cab), no time for nothing, brake and hang on. BAM hit his front left guard, pssssst from the radiator of my bike and there is all the nice green engine coolant on the road. Long story short, I got to transport my poor scoot home, even though the damage was superficial - having banged the radiator put that idea to bed. Cops came, my wife who was 7 months preg came by ute being driven by a neighbour/friend to help transport the scoot. Insurance people came, agreed I could take the bike back home since it was same province and I was a foreigner (and therefore more likely I could be trusted than a local). The driver was at fault... but the total inconvenience... couple of trips back to sort out the driver paying me... begrudgingly I might add. Chinese people don't give a shiet for anyone else except themselves, their immediate family, their boss and perhaps someone that has some kind of influence over them directly.

    always, ALWAYS use the horn... I don't give a shiet what some local law might say/be in a city or town... I use the horns on all my vehicles... all the time... driving/riding past groups of cyclists, ebikes, pedestrians, other road users or potential ones... they get an earful... and I replaced all the horns in my vehicles that are so pathetic... with nice loud ones.. whenever I drive or ride in mountains or villages or towns or whenever there are people etc around it's hit the horn button... sometimes for long periods or just a couple of times... no matter you think someone may have seen you, fcuk em, use the horn to be almost certain. For all those that complain, about the horn use here, get real... come ride or drive with me sometime... a horn is used here as a notification and warning device... to announce, hey I'm here... it's not used in anger the same way as it is often used in developed countries.
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  10. #10 Re: Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    question: what is the ideal vehicle to use in China,
    answer: a tank, with tracks, gassed and fully loaded. you'll get respect then...
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