Renting...Are you crazy ??

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by edwin, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. edwin

    edwin Member

    Nearly all rental bikes here are unregistered.i can't believe you would be insured in any way.The rental shop has your passport and you can be sure they will get any money owing to them and more if you damage the bike.What happens if you have injured a Thai national or his property? Also the rental bikes seem to be fairly well shagged with bad tyres and brakes.So you often have a fairly inexperienced rider on a dangerous bike riding in dangerous conditions with no insurance whatsoever and his passport usually lying in an unlocked drawer in a shop.And another thing,rental bikes are nearly the same price as renting a fairly new car which carries first class insurance.You can get four of five people plus luggage in a car and you are out of the sun.Why not hire a four door pickup and you could put a few bikes on the back.Then drive somewhere and ride a bit off road.I love bikes and have ridden them for years but I would really urge people to think long and hard about the realities or renting and riding here.I often see tourists wobbling up the road on their rental bikes complete with ill fitting helmet pushed back on their heads and a nice pair of worn out nearly flat tyres.it really does worry me and I would never ever recommend renting a bike here.
     
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  3. Rider

    Rider New Member

    1. 3rd party insurance is required on bikes. This covers medical only. You will have to pay for property damage and bike damage. That is why they keep your passport.

    2. You can get insurance on an unregistered bike.

    3. Most rentals will have a sticker showing valid insurance.

    4. Decent, well fitting helmets can be purchased inexpensively.

    5. Where can you rent a "fairly new car" with "first class insurance" for 600 baht per day?

    If someone with no experience rents a bike, does not check the condition, does not check for insurance, does not get a proper fitting helmet, rides without proper protective gear, etc, etc - so what? His choice, his problems.

    If an experienced rider rents a properly maintained bike (and they are available), has a current insurance sticker, is properly kitted out with gear, etc, etc - he has a great time.
     
  4. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    I think you are in
    A; the wrong country
    B; the wrong website

    Cheers! :)

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
     
  5. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Edwin,

    I believe the word is accountability. Any problems that happen with your rental motorbike due to mechanical issues or ill fitting equipment is your own choice for accepting those items. Nobody is holding a gun to ones head to hop on a clapped out rental. If you choose to do it you must also accept the variables that come with it.

    Please don't try and place the responsibility on somebody else like the shop owner. Grow up.

    Also as Rider points out some of your statements are incorrect.

    Welcome to Thailand but please keep you outlook firmly in your homeland, I for one relish the time spent away from such attitudes.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Re: Passports
    I have had my passport ID page scanned & reduced to ID card size with my one year non-imm B viza on the reverse and laminated.
    I have had no problem with leaving this with the rental shops I have used in both CM & Phuket.
    Re: State of bikes 4 hire
    I have always checked them out b4 accepting them, even if they look good.
    Don't accept a dog!
    Skid-lids
    Always travel with my own when I know I'm renting. The plastic tubs in Phuket would make a construction site bone dome worthy of Arai.
    ATB
    Rhodie
     
  7. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Edwin,

    I will go against the grain here, and agree with you...

    Generally the people who hire bike in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, and all the other places in the world where you can hire a bike as long as you have the cash to spend are doing something quite dangerous.

    FYI you can hire bikes in much the same way on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, in what I am told is the second most litigious place in the world after Los Angeles, America... Lots of people do, and lots are introduced to the pleasure of road rash...

    If you read my recent trip report you will see that I am about as inexperienced a rider as there is… I hired a bike without inspecting it myself, because I wouldn’t have a clue what to look for…

    I did take out insurance on the bike for damage, which basically sets an almost reasonable excess that must be paid, instead of being held over a barrel for whatever the shop decides they can get out of you…

    That said, control is still totally in the riders hands… If a novice rider is very careful and cautious like I was, I believe that riding is very safe… don’t take chances, be very very aware of everything going on around you, and importantly, ride well within your personal limits, and I believe YOU can make it quite safe…

    Buy a helmet that fits for the equivalent of 1 day’s rental…

    Personally, despite the fact that I am a State Champion Rally Driver, I would feel much more at risk in a car that can not maneuver out of the way as easily when the red bus swerves in front and stands on the brakes to pick up another fare… In a car all but one of your senses are almost completely isolated, and the one that is left, sight, severely restricted…

    I would love to bring a Rally Car to Thailand and open it up on some of the roads… I believe that personally that would be far more dangerous… I am a good driver and can drive a car on the very limit of it’s abilities… if I came unstuck I would probably be doing about twice the speed I would on a bike, and I would have 10 times the weight to try and control…

    To my mind, it is probably far more dangerous for an experiences rider in Thailand, because chances are they are going to be going much much faster, and much closer to the limit of the bike and their ability…

    And in the end, up to them…

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     
  8. dowd

    dowd Member

    Just in reply, I'm what you would call an "experianced rider" 30 years on bikes, have a 748 Ducati and a WR in the shed at home, ride every day. But I was quite happy to sit on 90 - 100 kn/h from Phuket to where I have just arrived in Chiang Mai, its all about the journey.

    I have also seen inexperianced riders hiring big bikes and watched them wobble out into the traffic in Patong but they had a smile on their face a mile wide, to them their living life on the edge. Its what memories are made of.

    I also just had a look at a bike hire shop in Chiang Mai, XR's all looked ok, good tyres, brakes etc. I'd throw a leg over one.

    And if anyone is into trucks I'd recommend the No4 highway from Phuket to Bangkok...

    SD
     
  9. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

  10. dowd

    dowd Member

    To do it on a bicycle well.... each to his own.

    Phuket up to Bangkok was a long trip, for a rider mainly straights not much of interest . I think I ingested Oz whole carbon quota in diesel fumes. I'll have to write up my trip notes, 9 hrs the first day weaving in and out of trucks which i suspect just had their fuel injectors drilled out with a 9/16 drill bit.... Or maybe they were laying down some type of smoke screen??

    Then finding yourself in darkness.... ahhh yes now I remember what XR lights are good for!! Asking at a 7/11 for a place to sleep for the night. The young girls smiling and laughing say you go that way ok. Ok I say

    Find a place heaps of lights a nice lady comes out and asks what you want? I say a room for the night, sleep. She say OK you come in. You ride bike in, What into the front door?? She say yes yes, so I ride up throught the front door into what looks like the lounge room. park the bike. girl comes in says "you want massage??"

    Glad I'm in Chiang Mai with the mountains in the background.

    The next week is what this trip is all about

    Cheers big ears
     
  11. edwin

    edwin Member

    Well,that's me told . I was actually trying to act grown up.A few snidey responses and someone suggesting where I should live . Yes I have seen good tyres on XR Hondas . On superfours I am not too sure as at it's not that easy to see the wear .And finally back to the insurance question : I presume you are talking about the legally required Thai insurance which I know you can buy cheaply for an unregistered bike and I think it covers third party damage to the other person.I think it is about 90,000 baht cover .So don't cause some family in a merc to drive off the road . Now tell me this .An unregistered bike is usually one that has come from japan as second hand bike parts to avoid paying duty .They are then reassembled and make their way up here.This bike can,t pay for and display a curent road tax certificate and nor will it have had its annual test to show it is fit to be on the road.So do you really think the government insurance is goig to pay out . I think you can get real insurance on a bike that is registered and tested and taxed. So in a perfect world would it not be nice to be able to rent a fairly new motorcycle that is fully road legal and insured .That would give me peace of mind when riding about .It would also be good to be able to hire a range of decent bikes like enduros , motocrossers , supermotos , sports bikes , choppers ... and then someone might come up with the idea of renting real helmets out ( some even have washable od disposable linings ) or decent gear. Of course in this perfect world money would have to be spent and the profit would not come so fast and easy.. and gone would be the days when the unregisterd and untaxed assortment of second hand bike parts from japan is paying for itself every two months or so.. but what do I know ?
     
  12. Rider

    Rider New Member

    Here are some facts:

    " I presume you are talking about the legally required Thai insurance which I know you can buy cheaply for an unregistered bike and I think it covers third party damage to the other person.I think it is about 90,000 baht cover"

    Thai insurance costs 645 baht per year for bikes over 125cc. It covers 50,000 baht for the other person, and 15,000 for you.

    "An unregistered bike is usually one that has come from japan as second hand bike parts to avoid paying duty .They are then reassembled and make their way up here."

    Almost all larger bikes come in this way, because the import duty on a bike is 100% plus, while the import duty of parts is 30%. There are a few big bikes legally imported, like BMWs in the last few years.

    "This bike can,t pay for and display a curent road tax certificate"

    You can get a plate for these bikes. You have to have a plate to pay the road tax and get the sticker. A quick search on this site will give you many stories. Getting this plate will cost 50-90,000 baht - which is why rental bikes around Chiang Mai won't have them.

    " and nor will it have had its annual test to show it is fit to be on the road."

    After a bike has been registered in Thailand for 5 years, they require an annual inspection before paying the road tax. They check the frame and engine numbers, lights, turn signals, horn, exhaust emmissions and volume. Nothing at all is checked to see if the bike is roadworthy.

    "So do you really think the government insurance is going to pay out ."

    I know of several cases where the insurance was paid out - and on unregistered bikes. Usually, the insurance company will pay the first 15,000 direct to the hospital. The remaining 35,000 must be paid first and you get reimbursed. They will continue to pay after several years until the limit is reached.

    " I think you can get real insurance on a bike that is registered and tested and taxed."

    You can get better coverage on all bikes - higher medical, property damage - but still only 3rd party. Insurance companies will give first class coverage on new bikes for the first year, but no renewals except on BMWs and some Harleys.

    " So in a perfect world would it not be nice to be able to rent a fairly new motorcycle that is fully road legal and insured .That would give me peace of mind when riding about ."

    I have no idea where your perfect world might be, but it certainly is not in Thailand. Consider this:
    Only in the north are they lax in enforcing the registration laws. Try riding a bike without a plate in Bangkok or points south, and you will find out in a hurry. Consequently, try finding a rental bike in those places. There is very little available, and rental prices are higher.

    "It would also be good to be able to hire a range of decent bikes like enduros , motocrossers , supermotos , sports bikes , choppers ... and then someone might come up with the idea of renting real helmets out ( some even have washable od disposable linings ) or decent gear."

    Do you know of anyplace in the world where such rentals are available? You really have to consider the laws of supply and demand.

    "Of course in this perfect world money would have to be spent and the profit would not come so fast and easy.. and gone would be the days when the unregisterd and untaxed assortment of second hand bike parts from japan is paying for itself every two months or so.. but what do I know ?"

    When you compare the cost of buying the rental bike and maintaining it to the price that you can charge for it, payback time is usually several years - not 2 months as you claim. Not too many rental shops are getting rich.

    You say that you are "actually trying to act grown up". I would suggest that you stop throwing out what you "think" and "presume" as facts.
     
  13. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Sorry if I sounded cynical Edwin but in Thailand as with most countries, you get what you pay for, actually the beauty of Thailand is you get relatively more bang per buck! My partner and I rented a bike in Chiang Mai and had a ball, http://brat.info/buell/page5.htm and we're now planning to bring our own bike http://www.brat.info/buell/ back in December this year, can't wait. Whatever you hire keep your speed and expectations relevant to what you pay and all will be great!
    Cheers
    Chris Moore

    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!"
     
  14. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Hey Rider, why do you sound so much like BobS?

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
     
  15. edwin

    edwin Member

    When rider says it would usually take several yaers for a rental shop to recoup the purchase price of a rental bike I sincerely hope this is a fact and not just someone having an opinion.You can buy a superfour or a Honda Baja for 50,000 baht.Imagine you were to rent it out for two years at 700 baht a day.lets say you only rented it out for one year out of the two.That is about 250,000 baht in rental fees.Take off 50,000 as the original pirchase price.So it is going to cost 100,000 baht per year to maintain?That should be a fairly well set up bike.Anyway I,ve now been told I am in the wrong country , on the wrong forum and definitely not allowed to have an opinion and can only write down scientifically proven facts.So on that note I am going to leave Thailand tomorrow and never look at a computer again.But then again I am thinking of having my own forum and I am going to be the only one allowed to post messages onto it.
     
  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Edwin
    How come you know so much, but dont appear to be an active motorcyclist with experience of the motorcycle touring scene in North Thailand, only hearsay?
    99% of people who come to ride and tour North Thailand have an enjoyable experience - no matter what they ride. They "all" check their bikes & make their own decisions before they hire them & take em out.
    You obviously are not in that group, probably never having ridden here (if you have you've never contributed anything), as it's not good enough or you're too scared of the possible consequences of any sort of accident?
    You might be quite experienced back home, and think that you know it all and want to apply your standards from back at home, but this is Thailand / S E Asia & the same western standards & life style do not apply. We dont even have earthquake proof houses here. If you want to enjoy life here you might want to make some positive attitude adjustments. Perhaps get out and ride a motorcycle in North Thailand and enjoy yourself, and then speak from local experience, not hearsay. Otherwise yeah, your own forum might be a good idea.

    Davidfl
    Keep The Power On
     
  17. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    If you had a bike shop where your fleet of bikes was rented out every other day you must be in Heavan. I don't beleive rental shops are anywhere nearthat lucky, or else we'd all be opening rental shops.
     
  18. Hmmm. That's it "Fearless Leader", you tell him!! I agree on all points from you, Rider, Racer55 and most others. And you sure are right there Silverhawk, Rider's writing does bear an uncanny resemblence to that of a chubby little American we all know and love.

    If your a wanker don't bother me!!
     
  19. madjbs

    madjbs Ol'Timer

    Hi All
    I havnt posted on this forum before but this thread has prompted me to submit a reply.
    Just to let edwin know me and my friend who are 17 and 19 years old are currently touring round the north of thailand on RENTED XR250 which as it happens have perfectly roadworthy tires and brakes!!! My friend who is 19 has only had very limited bike expirience back in farangland but suffice to say he has soon adapted to the driving style here but suffice to say we are having a great time and enjoying the great roads the LOS has to offer. We understand the risks perfectly well (infact my friend knows more than most as he was involved in a exremely serious road acident in the uk where he was in hospital for 4 months!). It sounds like to me that you simply cant cope with any type of change from what you are used to back in the west. At the end of the day this is not your country so what gives you the right to say how things are run arnt acceptable. If thai people were unhappy with the state of things then they would change it. What percentage of thais do you see here using roadworthy cars/motorbikes etc.. . And to turn things around what would you think if some tourists came to your country and started complaining and criticising the way you go about things. If life was all safety safety then none of us would ever have fun and ultimatly you could never move forward in life.

    Jake
     
  20. edwin

    edwin Member

    I suppose I am a bit tired and jaded and I apologise if I rattled a few perches .Maybe I have been here too long.Of course I like the feedom and lawlessness of the roads here.I know what it is like to blast about on the roads.My friend ,a year round biker from the U.K. did the maehongson loop with me and he only wore a pair of shorts and flipflops." Because he could " was his justification.I also know what it feels like to slide up these grippy roads wearing T-shirt and jeans.I know what it feels like to break bones and lose skin and then have to wait for months for it to heal.I also know how sometimes even a helmet can feel too hot never mind protective clothing.I know how ineffectual a single disc on a trail bike with knobbly tires and long travel suspension can feel when compared with a twin disc set up of a road bike.I know how that feeling of freedom and invincibility can end in a flash and have you cursing your own stupidity for years to come.So yes David, I am scared of an accident and I can still conjure up real memories of the pain.
    As regards the rental bikes and assuming we are all happy to ride unregistered bikes then it's a shame there aren't a few more fresher models ( the same applies to the Spotlight ).It is 2006 and I would love to rent out a 400 Fazer or a R4 or even a DRZ Suzuki.
    And of course I want those two young lads to enjoy their ride on the XR's.I just don't want them to get hurt.But as some of you pointed out you should try and be aware of the bikes' and your own limitations.
    I do know that the number of young people killed and injured on bikes in Thailand is absolutely staggering but because I am a foreigner in a foreign land then I should just accept it like everyone else and I suppose I will just have to accept it when I see babies and children on the back of bikes.I know I have said I know a lot, so that probably does make me a know it all.I am sorry if I have gone on, but if it is wrong to be affected by needless deaths and injuries then I hold up my my hand.
     
  21. Fiddy

    Fiddy Ol'Timer

    I know what your saying, I'm living in Taiwan, home of 23,000,000 people and 13,000,000 scooters. I've seen many scooter crashes, heard of many more including freinds deaths. The norm for helmets here, if they're worn , is 3 dollar u.s. batting helmet clones and against my better judgement I actually wear one too, I guess, because I can. I also rode without in the States that had no requiremanets when I crossed, although I made my girlfreind wear hers. It's strange , in the states you see dudes riding 30,000 $ Harleys with 10.$ helmets all the time.
     
  22. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Edwin,
    Do you work for the RTA or equivalent (Roads and Traffic Authority in OZ)?You seem very aware of safety and that is commendable... in the West.
    Why do you think most of the people who ride bikes in SE Asia are all half nuts (including me!) We have a few things in common, freedom, adventure and the right to do anything we want within the law of the country and with respect for the people and their property.
    If you hurt yourself thats Karma mate.
    I did 38,000k's thru SE Asia in 2004-5 with no insurance (naughty boy) and maintained my own bike sparing no expense. I rode with David Unkovich who rented a 400cc honda from Mrs Mechanic,and had no problems. I seen numerious accidents with ferangs, experienced and inexperienced.
    But I seen far worse in Aussy with the weekend warriors out for a sunday ride on their $30G Harleys.
    Mate I reckon Thailand and most of SE Asia (excluding bloody Indo) is safer than riding around Sydney! Even with registered bikes and Insurance.

    Once u go Asian, forget about Caucasian
     
  23. oldster

    oldster New Member

    Edwin

    IMHO riding a motorcycle is potentially dangerous!!! End of story!

    This has nothing to do with insurance status, geographical location or road laws ....

    It has everything to do with the rider!

    In the West we are given a false sense of security by the 'Nanny' State ... In Countries such as Thailand pure individual 'common sense' applies ...

    If you are not able to apply a level of skill sufficient to minimise the danger to an acceptable level (a largely individual judgement) then don't get on a bike, wherever you are.

    Also, surely you can potentially do far more damage to 3rd parties in a car than on a bike, where the most risk is just to yourself.

    It's your choice [:)]

    Andy
     
  24. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Well said. I couldn't agree more. I have ridden thousands of miles here and in Laos on many different bikes. I have ridden with Davidfl, and many others. I am one of the farang that Tom Forde mentions having an accident on one of our rides. The accident was totally my own fault and I was extremely lucky to walk away unscathed. That's life.

    I drive a pick up truck here also and it has been hit 4 times by Thai drivers (whoops sorry, one time was actually another falang and he did the most damage). I ride a bicycle and yesterday heard of a falang being killed on his bicycle not far from where I live.

    2 falang recently died while rafting in Thailand. Many have died while swimming in Phuket. So what are you going to do? Take your chances and enjoy life and don't worry about the Stingrays, or stay home, bored, and maybe die in an earthquake or Tsunami?

    Get out and enjoy the ride!!!!!!!!!

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
     
  25. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Seems like the adoption of aliases has become popular over the past couple of months - "Rider", "Camelback" and "Mysterious Aussie" - we will not be fooled!!!

    BTW, good ride off road from Mae Win to Samoeng today with Racer55/Camelback & SilverhawkUSA, only one minor stack and that was from me, a 43 yr old, 25 yr experienced, 30 fags a day, uninsured Brit who hit a fence coz he was knackered! And Edwin, guess what - it was GREAT FUN!!!

    Cheers,

    Pikey
     
  26. GTNZ

    GTNZ Ol'Timer

    Deleted
     

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