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  #1  
Old 15 Jan 2010
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Question Advice on bike hire in Chiang Mai, Thailand

First time I have used this site....so fingers crossed!

My missus and me are going on holiday to North Thailand in mid February (2010) for 19 days. We've been to Bangkok and Phuket before but this time we are having a biking experience

All we have done is book flights to Chiang Mai - the rest is all to be made up when we get there. We want to do the Mai Hong Son Loop and then maybe down to the sea or ....?

Can anyone give some advice on where (or who) to hire on road/off road bikes from (125cc for missus and something like a 250/400cc for me)?

How much is a reasonable price for bikes that are in good condition for 19 days? Should we book before we arrive or is it easy to find the right quality bikes at the right price when we get there?

I've read that we may be asked to leave our passports for security when we hire them. Is this true? We think we will need our passports for booking into hotels and changing travellers cheques - please advise any solutions to this!

Thanks in advance to any well informed biker traveller!
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Old 16 Jan 2010
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Have a look on GT Rider:

Motorcycle Rental - Chiang Mai, Thailand, S.E. Asia | GT Rider
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Old 16 Jan 2010
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Hello Caporider,

For up to date information on hiring bikes in Chaing Mai look for David Unkorvich's site, I think it is Motorcycle Touring & Maps: Thailand : Laos : Golden Triangle, standing for Golden Triangle rider. Not only does his site recommend hire bikes companies but it has loads of other relevant information as well for touring in the North. In the 125 range you may only get a scooter, but many Thai's use them for off road, they cost about 150 Baht a day. A 250 or 400 will cost you considerable more.

It is true about leaving your passports, due to a few farangs stealing the bikes and taking them over the border into Laos. You could try offering them some other valuables instead such as you airline return tickets [will not work if they are e-tickets], or a very large cash deposit or ???.

Don't think you will make it down to the sea in 19 days, unless you want to be on the road nearly every day. Although the police are fairly relaxed in the North you are supposed to have international driving licences in Thailand.

Enjoy the trip, it is a fantastic country.

Joyce
UK living in Thailand
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Old 16 Jan 2010
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A big thanks to Mike and Joyce for quick replies to my thread.

I went on to the GT rider site (Motorcycle Touring & Maps: Thailand : Laos : Golden Triangle) but when you fill in online enquiries for bike hire the site freezes. I tried looking up company's like Joe's Bike Hire in Chiang Mai to book direct after this, but I cannot find websites or emails.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Clive
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Old 16 Jan 2010
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If you have your heart set on a specific and rare bike, better reserve ahead and keep up communication so that your reserved bike is not rented out.

Otherwise, you should be ok with arriving and renting a bike like Kawasaki ER6. If one place doesn't have it, another will. Gt-rider lists only 3 places to hire 'big bikes' but there are plenty more here. You can just wander around.

Anyway, I rented Kawasaki Er6 on weekly basis at 1000BHT/day. I had to leave my passport at the rental place. I have yet to be stopped by police/checkpoints, so I can't comment on whether this will be an issue or not.
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Old 17 Jan 2010
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Joe has quite a good selection of bikes for rent, but it's better to book in advance or you have to take what's left. We rented an XR250 1 1/2 years ago @ 800B/day.

Yes, you need to deposit your pp, but that's not a problem: just copy the ID and visa pages and show them where required. If you want to cross into Laos or Cambodia you obviously need your pp. In that case expect to pay double the rental. Not all companies will let you do that. Not all bikes have plates, for that matter. Also, there often is no insurance. You break it you pay.

According to this page Joe's email is tole [at] loxinfo.co.th. Web searches will turn up phone and fax numbers.

If you have only 19 days I wouldn't advise to go South. The good riding is in the North, particularly along the Burmese border and around Nan.

I would rent two similar or identical bikes, otherwise things might get frustrating on the road.
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Old 17 Jan 2010
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Caporider,

You could try this website Mr Mechanic Motorcycle Rental - Chiang Mai - Thailand we have rented from them in the past, they are the shop that accepted our airline ticket instead of our passports.

Cheers

Joyce
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Old 17 Jan 2010
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Thanks

Thanks for further advice and tips posted by Joyce, witold & Beddhist.
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