Tips for renting and using a motorcycle in Asia

Renting a motorcycle is one of the cheapest, fastest ways of getting around in Asian regions such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Popular as they might be, using motorcycles in such regions is different from your home country and having an idea of how to rent and use them is paramount to your safety and wallet. It is for this reason that we at Travset huddled together with some of our most seasoned travel veterans to create this article.

1. Have a license

This goes without saying but having an international license is important when renting a bike. It demonstrates that you have the skills needed to drive safely and not be a danger to yourself and the public.

Driving without a license can also have you in trouble with the police.

2. Rent from a reputed rental

Renting your motorcycle from a reputed rental ensures that the rental is of good quality and has a lesser chance of scamming you.

Reputed rentals also provide better service since they cannot afford negative reviews, unlike the street hawkers who try to rent you their bikes.

3. Opt for an automatic

Manual bikes are more difficult to ride when compared to automatics.

We recommend renting an automatic if you haven’t much experience with riding motorcycles for your safety as well as everyone else’s.

4. Read the contract

Reading the rental contract from top to bottom is very important as some rental locations have certain clauses on the range the bike is allowed to be in and distance traveled.

5. Check bike before signing

Giving the bike a thorough inspection before signing for it is important as some rental agencies have been known to scam foreigners for damages.

If there are existing damages, point it out to the rental agency and take pictures.

6. Ask for a chain

Ask for a chain from the rental agency so that you may secure it, while not using it. You wouldn’t want your bike being stolen and having to for up for it to the rental agency.

We recommend getting a lock on your own as reports of rental agencies stealing the bike back in order to scam foreigners isn’t unheard of.

7. Wear a Hemet

This one doesn’t need an explanation.

8. Don’t get burnt

Getting burnt by the hot exhaust pipe of the motorcycle is a very common and painful accident.

Be careful and get off the opposite side.

9. Know your place

The road rules in Asia might be different from the ones you are accustomed to.

There is a pecking order where the biggest vehicle gets the lead and motorcycles are at the low end of this order.

So, do be careful when driving or overtaking larger vehicles.

10. Ride as others do

The traffic in Asia might appear chaotic but you will find your place in it with some experience.

Use your horn liberally and always follow other motorists as long as you deem it safe. Go slow, obey traffic rules and be attentive.