When touring a new country or city, the issue of convenient transportation will always crop up. You need a means of transport that is reliable and safe. You would also love to explore all the top spots at your own pace. This allows you to really take in the beauty of the scene without worrying about missing your bus, train, or other means of travel.
Well, renting a motorcycle will give you the freedom to do all that. With a scooter or motorbike, you can plan your tour to meet all your needs. You decide when and where to stop. You’ll also be able to visit and tour remote areas.
Many travelers agree that renting a motorbike is the best way to explore Chiang Mai. In fact, you’ll find many shops that rent out motorcycles.
What type of scooter can you rent?
If you’re a beginner, you should select an automatic bike. Other options include semi-automatic and manual motorcycles. The biggest difference in these bikes is in the gears. Automatics have no gears. The manual motorcycle will have 5 gears and a clutch. The semi-automatic will have gears but no clutch.
Experienced riders prefer the semi-automatic because they feel more in control. It’s a great bike for rough mountainous terrain. You can learn to ride it within a day.
Go for bikes with a higher CC Rating. You’ll get more power with a larger engine. It will also be more comfortable if you’re on the heavier side and are planning to travel long distances.
Though older bikes may be cheaper, you should prioritize the newer ones. A relatively new scooter will have thicker tires, better brakes, and more power. All these translate to better safety.
How to inspect the bike before you rent it
A thorough check is important before you sign any contract to rent a scooter.
- Take photos of any existing damage
- Check the thread and thickness of the tires
- Try adjusting the mirrors
- Wear the helmet to see if it fits properly
- Take a test ride to check out the brakes and acceleration
- Make sure you can sit comfortably on the back without your knees sticking out
What to do in case of damage
Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance of a small accident or a flat tire. You must assess the damage. If the scooter breaks down completely contact the rental shop immediately. Depending on whether or not they have insurance, both parties can decide on the way forward.
On the other hand, you can fix minor damages at many of the repair shops. Though, it’s always best to take the bike back to the dealer. You’ll be required to pay for the price of repair. Some dealers may take advantage of this and overinflate the repair costs. This is why you must choose a reputable scooter rental like Happy Days shop.
Where to rent a motorbike
Most of the rentals are located in Tha Phae Gate. Though, some hotels or hostels may have their own bikes which you can hire. In case you are using travel agency services, you can check if they offer ride services.
If you have to walk around to find a shop, you must be careful in your selection. Here’s what to consider before choosing a motorcycle rental shop:
- English-speaking owners or sellers – you must be able to communicate clearly about your needs and safety
- Quality of bikes – most of the bikes should be relatively new and well serviced
- How long the business has been running
- Reputation and feedback from customers
With proper precautions, riding a motorbike in Chiang Mai can be a fun experience. You can rent a scooter for up to a month and take your time exploring the city in style.