Renting In Chiang Mai

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by Kyle, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Kyle

    Kyle Active Member

    As I plan to sell my Super 4 next month, still debating whether or not to take it on my planned Chiang Mai-Rai-Laos trips.

    Can anyone give me a rundown of the best bikes for Northern travel available for rental. I read they have Super 4s a plenty and many Bajas. Anything else interesting to rent? Don't plan on any dirt riding.

    Also, where is the best place in CM to buy David U's book?

    thank again,
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  3. StanGayuski

    StanGayuski Ol'Timer

    Gecko Books (used) Just east of TaPhae Gate on Chang Moi Kai Rd - Very Short easy walk.

    Don't know about Super 4s but Mr. Mechanic on Moon Muang Rd has lots of big bikes - Also check the resources on this web site, lots of good info on here.

    -When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It.
  4. woolman

    woolman Member

    I just rented few bikes from Mr. Mechanic recently, and their CB400's are getting very old-few can't even go 90 KPH! And their CB750 also just about due for overhaul. But they have few nice "chopper style" bikes, and those are nice.

    Brihan Woolman
  5. Kyle

    Kyle Active Member

    I had the same problem, rented and went through a few different Super 4's with Mr. Mechanic. Can't really open it up around the ol' moat, but out in the hills I was pretty sad when I was getting out hustled by Phantoms, chickens and little boys on bikes.

    I stuck with Mr. Mechanic because of his good reputation. They are good for service (even gave me a Wave free for 3 days) but some other shops near by have better Super 4's.

    Hey Dave, when will someone open up a shop in CM with bikes a bit more on Pattaya's caliber (newer, more powerful, sportier)?

  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Don’t like your chances of someone in Chiang Mai opening up a big new rental shop with "newer, more powerful, sportier bikes" a la Pattaya, as they all struggle to make enough money to survive.
    The bike shops here can only make "real" money in the high season, which roughly runs for just a few months November - February.
    Rental prices in Cnx are cheap, with supply generally exceeding demand.
    Then in the North the bikes also cost more to maintain as they actually get ridden for hundreds if not thousands of kilometres while out on hire. Compare this to Pattaya & Phuket where they are probably just used for cruising from bar to bar = not much wear & tear so less cost to maintain & more money to make.
    Riding in the mountainous North also costs more. The endless twisties mean you are constantly on & off the throttle chewing out tyres & chains & brakes much more quickly. Compare this to simply cruising down the flat straight highways with a nice steady throttle & Pattaya is cheaper to run a bike.
    So good luck to anyone who opens a big bike rental shop in Chiang Mai & the North.

    Keep The Power On
  7. Darx

    Darx Member

    hi all... I'd like to ask to Kyle if he's gone to Laos with his rented bike, and if so, if he have some advice for me. I'll be in Thailand this month of august, and I'd like to tour with a rented bike most is possible. I don't know if there are some problem to cross border with not owned motorcycles or if it's easy or not find a rental who provide for documents and agreements.
    Another doubt I have : like most part of tourist I'll reach Thai at Bangkok, is it better rent in Pattaya or in CM? And also, I've not understood the plate tricks. Someone can explain it to me?
  8. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    If you go here, and follow the link, it will explain the laws regarding registration, plates, insurance, etc.

    You may be able to get away with breaking these laws - sometimes.

    1. All bikes in and around Bangkok have to be plated, or they will get in trouble. There are many rental bikes in Chiang Mai without plates, and you can usually get away with riding them. But occasionally you will get stopped.

    2. You should have a copy of the registration book with the bike. This is rarely asked for, but needed for crossing borders.

    3. All bikes must be insured. You can insure a bike without a plate. If your rental does not have a current insurance sticker, you may get in trouble with the police and you WILL be in trouble if you have an accident.

    4. All registered bikes must pay road tax every year, and display the current sticker.

    5. You must have a plate to cross borders. If it a rental, you will need copies of the owners ID card, and written permission to take the bike out of the country.

    6. SOMETIMES, you can cross into Laos with an unregistered bike at Chiang Khong / Huay Xai. You will need additional documentation showing the legal import of the MC parts that turned into the bike you are riding.

    7. Legally, you need an international drivers license. Again - rarely asked for, but required.

    Also read the GT sites:


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  9. Darx

    Darx Member

    thanks Bob! I'll post my experience when I'll back!
  10. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    My bike is legally registered but I consider the "book" too valuable to carry with me. Instead I just carry a photocopy and I have crossed to and from Laos many times without any question. I have NEVER been asked for a license crossing the border or in Laos.

    Today, returning from a 3 day Golden Triangle loop I was stopped at the police check point just south of Chiang Mai before the turnoff to hwy 108. This in itself was a little unusual. They DID ask for my drivers license and my passenger's Thai ID. They were stopping many stepthroughs also. They asked if my bike was rented and I told them "No". They also saw my 5 year Thai drivers license and their attitudes seemed to improve. We were then sent on our way with a salute and a smile. They didn't check anything as far as bike paperwork. Not sure what that was all about.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  11. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    I had one of those license checks last year, close to Sukhothai.

    They actually copied down my license info. They were stopping cars and trucks as well. TIT


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  12. 2Up Chiang Khong

    2Up Chiang Khong Ol'Timer

    During the past 2 months and 10,000+km we've been stopped maybe 4-5 times. I show them my five year lic.... they smile, we chat, and only once has my wife been asked for ID and that was when they did a luggage search too. They also did a light body search on both of us; a lady police officer doing the search on my wife. We seem to be asked for a lic. check more in the Northern reaches - when we ask why the check(s) they tell us that a lot of speed pills are flowing down out of the very North. At one check point ALL police were wearing flak jackets, which we've never seen before.

    The above listed checks, do not count the military check points along the Burma and or Laos border areas where they ask to see your ID and then record it in a log book as you go in and out of sensitive areas.

    The police have always been Very polite!!

    David and Mai
    BMW 1150RT
  13. Darx

    Darx Member

    Hi all, I'm in CM now, very interesting place.
    All bikes rental since now said that their bikes are not allowed to go outside province of CM, and anyway can not cross the border. I add to your rental list

    DANG Bike Hire
    (Opposite Thapae Gate)

    20 HONDA AX-1 250cc. in good(seems to look) conditions
    and others big bikes.

    They give me an address in chang mai, they said hire bikes for long tours (far from chang mai)
    theri bikes (I don't know why) is's only for neighbors tours.
  14. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    Darx, have you looked at the "Bikes" page on the GT Website?

    There are rental shops listed, and some will let you tour.

    Dang Bike hire is already listed.


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  15. Darx

    Darx Member

    Hi again. I've tried all rental in chiang mai, also Goodwill Joe's Bike said that his motorcycles are for Thai only. Every rental give different motivations but at the end I've understand that is because danger for them is too high. simply they doesn't wont. Someone admit that there are no problem crossing with or without plate (better with), but they don't trust to give documents to a stranger... (and I sadly can only agree with them) deal is possible only buying motorcycle.
    Only the lovely lady of Mr.Mechanics said to me that there are no problem, just I have had to rent one of their chopper 200cc because they have the plate. The deal was almost done... Today I was ready to go. She said me Laos not so bad, other people do that before... and so on... I've tried motorcycle, I've buy a new helmet for me, I've changed money and payed for three weeks with insurance... but...
    when I've asked for documents, her boss call me in his office to say same things (read above) and only way for me to go outside Thai was pay 80.000B to became owner of motorcycle and documents. He proposed to me a buy back deal... but he did not seems to encourage me in that. He spoke about a road in very bad condition, cost of spare parts, lot of risks... so that wasn't a great deal buy and resell a bike after Laos...
    End of my tour he day of departure!
    Mr Mechanics has been anyway gentle and polite, and i can see his point (the same of any other rental).his bikes are the well mantiened in CM (or just are the newer...) so I've rented the 200cc. for a shorter period for touring thailand. when I'll go in Laos I'll try again there.
    Now I'm in Pai whit this honda shadow, ..ehmmm.. is not a monster..., but was the only model that can carry my baggages. At the next, and thanks to all !
  16. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    I rented from Tony's Big Bikes (Chiang Mai) last November and got a metalic Gold Honda 400 four, it had no sticker, plates etc, I left my passport with them, my girlfriend (aussie)and i did the Mae Hong Song circuit back to Chiang Mai in one day, and we had it for a week after that, did the 3 day home stay at TECC, the bike didn't miss a beat, got it back to Tony and he seemed suprised! :)! I read that Tony's had closed for a while, pity! We're heading back over there soon, we are doing a rock climbing/motorbike trip that involves riding from Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam (leave bike on Chinese border) China, Vietnam (pick up bike), Laos, Thailand, storing the bike in Bangkok and should take us at least 4 months. thanks to the info on this site it's given us a heads up, we'll now bring a Yam 175 over so we can get into Vietnam, beats walking, thanks heaps!

    growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!
  17. Tuur

    Tuur New Member


    I want to make a tour in Northern Thailand in early November and i'm trying to make a reservation for an Honda degree and a Honda Baya by e-mail. What is the best Rental and does any body know what the e-mail adresses are.

    Gr Tuur[:D]
  18. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    Joe's Bike Team has Honda Bajas

    What is a Honda Degree?


    By the way, this is the 3rd time that I have posted this link ON THIS THREAD ALONE!!! Try some basic reading BEFORE you ask questions that have the answers already available.

    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  19. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Well Bob, maybe they don't like your answer? :eek:)

    growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!
  20. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    Well, I guess that these guys that want all the answers handed to them get offended when they get told to do a little work.

    So far, they have gotten polite answers from the guys on the board. But before too long, the answer is going to be:

    RTFW - Read The Fxxxing Website!!


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  21. Tuur

    Tuur New Member

    Hey Guys,

    I did read all the pages......and two of the shops had a e-mail adresses (i already send some mails for information)......but maybe some people have e-mail adresses of the other shops.

    And this is a Honda degree (for my wife....not as high as a Baja)
  22. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    Yamaha has a similar model - the Serow, a 225cc short frame dual sport. I have seen a few of those for rent in Chiang Mai, and I actually have one for sale.


    "The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right."
  23. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Yeah BobS,

    Piss the guys off and then try to sell them your bike ;>)

    Dave Early

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

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