Riding a motorcycle is a great way to get around in Thailand, and it is the preferred mode of transportation for many local residents. This method of travel enables you to enjoy the fresh air while taking in the beautiful scenery around you, whether you stay in major cities or venture out into the country. Here's what you need to know before renting a motorcycle in Thailand.
Your Riding Ability
While some rental outlets provide riding lessons, this isn't common practice. Because of this, it is a good idea to bring at least some riding experience to the table. Take a few lessons before you visit, or go out riding with a friend who is more experienced to ensure you understand the basics of how to operate and control the bike.
Don't forget that Thai's drive on the left side of the road. While this might be a bit confusing at first if you are unfamiliar with this driving pattern, you should have no trouble with it after riding for a few hours. If you are unsure how to navigate the streets, a good rule of thumb is to just follow the driver or rider in front of you.
You'll have to abide by the local rules of the road wherever you are riding. Many bike rental shops can advise you as to some of the more common laws, but it is a good idea to do a bit of research on your own before you head out. You don't want to ruin your trip by getting pulled over and having to pay a steep fine. Keep in mind that many locals don't necessarily follow the laws, so you don't want to take all the cues from others on the road.
In order to rent a bike, you'll need to be at least 18 years old. Your passengers can be of any age, as long as they can reach the footrests for the passenger seat. Some rental outlets require you to have an International Driving Permit, but others will accept your driver's license from the U.S. and other countries. Be sure to check with your chosen rental provider to ensure you have the right documentation.
You'll also need to provide a copy of your passport for additional verification. Some rental companies will ask to keep your passport until you return the bike, but you should try to avoid this if possible, as it could make it difficult for you to return home after your trip if there are any complications.
Most reputable motorcycle rental shops will offer you insurance for the bike. It will add a bit of extra cost to your rental, but it is well worth it for your peace of mind. In the event that you do need to make a claim, it is important to note that you will have to cover the costs of the repairs initially. The insurance company will reimburse you after the fact, so make sure you have the funds available in case of emergency.
Quality of the Bike
Before you head out, take the time to thoroughly inspect the bike, checking for any damage. Be sure to take photos of any scratches or dents before you leave so that you don't get charged for damage that was already there. Remember to choose the class of bike that matches your experience level.
Beginner Riders should choose a size S bike that is not more than 125cc, since these are easier to handle. Amateur riders can go for the bikes that are up to 250cc as they have more experience. Veteran or experienced riders can choose from any bike they like within the range available all the up the large bikes at 800cc. Remember, just because it’s a bigger and more powerful bike, it doesn’t give you a license to break speed limits.
Test the shock absorbers and gear shifting as well to ensure that everything is working properly. Finally, make sure that the bike you are offered is the right size for you. You should be able to reach all of the controls comfortably, and your knees should hug the sides of the bike closely.
Rent a Motorcycle from Rental Bike
At Rental Bike, we are proud to offer high-quality motorcycles to visitors from around the world. We have outlets in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket; when it comes to renting a bike in Thailand, we have you covered.