Motorists think they are kings of the road.

If you’re a motorist who’s never ridden a motorcycle in your life, you probably wonder why motorcyclists are so reckless, have no respect for traffic rules, and are so inconsiderate of other road users. You’ve probably developed a prejudice against them, seeing them as hooligans who’ll never amount to much. You avoid coming into contact with them as much as you can.

What you have to realize – and soon – is that economic conditions are worsening and there’s no guarantee you’ll still be in your comfortable, air-conditioned car a year from now.

“But I can always use public transportation,” you protest. But you’re not thinking straight. The way things are going, with even bus and train fares increasing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement promising to change every aspect of life as we know it, there’s no cheaper, realistic means of transportation than a motorcycle. So get off your high horse and pay attention because the day of reckoning is nigh.

I used to be a motorist like you, but the day came when I realized I was spending half my salary every month on fuel, tolls, parking and repairs. That’s when I decided to invest in a kapcai moped and was forced to put myself in a Mat Rempit’s boots.

After making the switch, I learned several lessons about the relationship between the motorist and the motorcyclist. Perhaps the most important of these lessons are that motorists are seldom aware of their surroundings, much less of those poor sods on those two-wheel death traps.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I nearly fell off my motorcycle or got close to landing in a hospital bed just because some idiot decided to suddenly change lanes without first checking his side mirror, or some fool tried to make a sharp turn so he wouldn’t miss his exit. I mean, “Hello, do you see me here?”

Malaysians are truly Asians when it comes to driving on the road. We’ve got drivers who act like the roads belong to their grandfathers, drivers who can’t even see the road yet refuse to get a pair of glasses because it makes them look like squares, and drivers who should be at home enjoying their retirement.

Meanwhile, motorcyclists are getting the rough end of the stick. They have to ride on hard leather seats that’ll make their bum numb by the time they home. And unlike you, they’re completely unprotected and exposed to the outside elements. At 100km/h, even raindrops feel like fire. But on top of all the troubles they’re already forced to face, they also have to think about the reckless and inconsiderate car drivers who have no respect for traffic rules. Sounds familiar?

If a motorcycle hits you, you’ve got a dented hood or a broken bumper, at worse. But if you hit a motorcycle there’s a good chance that the “Mat Rempit” isn’t going to be able to get home to his wife and children. So for the kids’ sake, the next time you’re changing lanes, keep your eyes open.


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