Long term rental from Bangkok?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by carey, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. carey

    carey New Member

    I'm going to be in Thailand for about a month and a half - arriving in the beginning of June and leaving in mid July. During this time, I'd like to tour as much as possible, but use Bangkok as a base to start out from, as my significant other will be working there. What's the best course of action for this length of time: rental/purchase? What kind of bike and where? The Honda AK-1 seems to make sense, but is the Baja that much better? And what kind of gear is best suited for this time of year?

    I've got about 6,000 miles under my belt on an '86 Honda VF400 Interceptor and a '00 Duc M900. Long distances won't be a problem, but dirt bikes and trails will be novel. Money is tight, as I'm in grad school and most of the overflow goes to pay off the Duc, but I'd rather be safe than stingy. I'm 5"7, and have no problem getting my feet down on the ground with the monster or interceptor, but have had issues with a BMW K750 that I rode one afternoon.

    As far as gear goes - should I bring a leather jacket, or will a perforated armor one suffice? Aerostich pants, or would jeans be a better alternative? Leather gloves, my full-face helmet? The latter two seem recommended, but what is one generally comfortable in while doing long stretches during the day-light hours?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. StanGayuski

    StanGayuski Ol'Timer

    Much better to base in Chiang Mai. Long tern rentals are available for lower daily rates. You are arriving in the rainy season so the leather jacket may be better served with rain gear and a good set of tyres. BKK is no fun with the traffic and congestion but if you can drive in Boston you may have an edge. Jeans are good but I'm serious about the rain gear. Helmets are available but there is nothing better than your own of course. Helmets come with the rental and are required by Thai Law but this law is not enforced.

    Thailand allows for a 30 day stay without a visa. You can extend however. More later.

  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    For a cheap bike, Joe at Joe's Bike Team / Goodwill motorcycle hire in Chiang Mai has a couple of licenced Honda AX1 250s for sale. Off-hand price was 45,000 baht (I think.) I reckon you cant beat that deal. I'm in Mae Hong Son right now & have not got the address / phone nos with me, but the address is on the bikes page of my web site.
    As far as riding gear goes - bring it ALL with you. If you dont use it so much, don't worry. But if you want to use it & have not got it here with you, it will be a problem.
    For a road bike in Bangkok you might want to try Peter Reid at Siamsuperbike to see if they have anything cheap going, that might be in your budget.
    Hope this is a help.

    Keep the power on
  5. jake

    jake Ol'Timer

    At the end of the day personal preferance and money make the wheels go round. AX-1 I'm still not convinced even after owning two of them -not the real deal when off road, not enough grunt when on?!?!?. As the Boss looper says bring your own tackle and you won't be disappoited with the lack of fish. It's going to rain soon be fore warned. Have a good flight - later.....jake
  6. Tirak

    Tirak Member

    Where can I rent a bike in Bangkok?

    I have searched the site and looked everywhere on the internet and cannot find any information about renting a bike in Bangkok. I have traveled through the North (Chiang Mai) and rented a bike there..... it was great... I even went south and rented a bike in Patong.... also great.... I'm heading back again in Dec.... But I am considering renting a bike in BKK and traveling east possibly into Cambodia... and am looking for input on renting a bike... preferably a big bike..
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    In Bkk your best bet is do a deal with Peter Reid from Siam Superbike.
    Contact details are
    Siam Superbike
    58/4 Soi Ekamai
    Sukhumvit 63
    Tel 02390 0500
    Mobile 070238795

    Pls let us know how you go.

    Keep the power on
  8. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    An internet search does turn up a few places in Pattaya that rent larger bikes. One that rents Harleys says that they are available in Bangkok as well.

    Your problem will be getting a bike that you can take out of the country.

    Go to this topic on the board:Link removed

    It is by Maarten, who found it easier to buy a bike and resell it. There will be fewer problems crossing the borders if the bike is in your name.

  9. Tirak

    Tirak Member

    I looked into Pattaya and there are plenty of rentals there. And this would work, but I contacted Siam Superbike and I think it will work best for me to work out a deal their. He has the bikes I would want and I will have papers that get me through the borders.

    Thanks for you input.
  10. Peter R

    Peter R Ol'Timer

    There are small bikes available to rent in Bangkok, BUT few that rent Late model bigger bikes (That I know of) There is(was) a place opposite the Emporium that rents bikes but at high prices, from memory, 1500 baht per day for a 400 Honda Bros, at that rate a months rental would buy the biike + change.
    The problem for rentals is that, its just not a viable business unless you do charge a rate comparable to the rates you encounter overseas. In Pattaya / Phuket the rates are very reasonable but usually the bikes are not registered and they make their REAL money off people who damage the bikes, either mechanical or crash damge, by charging big money for repairs.[:p] As well if you take the bike out of these centres (without owners permission) you can be in trouble. (the police are "looked after" to recover these bikes). The best solution for medium term rentals is to buy the bike with a buy back agreement.
    But, understand that getting the bike in your own name can take time. Although you can still take the bike over borders with a written permission from the owner, as long asthe bike is legally registered.
  11. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    I am not sure why you claim that transferring a title takes time. If the bike is legally registered, and all the paperwork is signed, the transfer itself should not take long.

    Three years ago, I bought a used bike in Chiang Mai. Took all the paperwork to the vehicle office. The bike had to go as well, to have the frame and engine numbers verified. Picked up the registration the next day.

    This was before the system was computerized, and paying the road tax took overnight as well. Now, you wait ten minutes and the computer prints it out. I would guess that the title transfer is faster as well.

    Is the system that much slower in Bangkok? How long does it take - providing the paperwork is correct AND the bike is 100% legal?

  12. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer


    Helmets are required and it IS ENFORCED in Chiang Mai lately. At least whenever the police need to acquire some quick funds. I was also stopped recently and asked to show proof that my road tax had been paid. Be forwarned, you never know when they are going to enforce but it seems more often than not recently.

    Dave Early

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

    hansdeckers Ol'Timer

    I would like to know how long it takes to transfer a bike in your name. I bought a bike in January 2004 from Peter at Siam Superbike and I am still waiting. Does anybody have experience that it takes that long ?

  14. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

    If the bike has never been registered before, it can take quite a while. My last one took almost a year to get done. Mine was bought through Joe's Bike Team in Chiang Mai, from an importer in Bangkok.

    Silverhawk can tell you about his long drawn out process with a bike purchased at Red Baron.

    If the bike had been legally registered, it is a very quick process, can be done in one day.

  15. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    OK, seeing as Bob volunteered me.

    I bought a TDM850 from Red Baron in BKK last December. I was promised a legal book and plate with the bike. After about 7 months I finally received the book and plate and I was happy as could be. That is until I had someone read the name,which was in Thai,and found that it was actually registered to the owner of Red Baron and had a number plate out of Chantaburi. He assured me this was legal and I had no worries. We would change it later.

    I insisted I wanted it registered in my name and sent the book back to Red Baron. After a few more hassles and paperwork, I just received the book and plate transfered to my name about a week ago. Total time 9 months. However it is still registered in BKK. I will wait until it expires before attempting to transfer it to Chiang Mai.

    Red Baron was fairly cooperative through the whole matter and I really do not think they were trying to scam me. They seemed as frustrated as I. They kept saying the Govt. was making it more difficult and they were just slow in processing. Red Baron said it was their policy they would buy the bike back if they could not register it. I threatend them with that at one point and he actually called my bluff and said they would in fact still buy it back. Of course that is not what I wanted.

    It is not an easy process and certainly does not move at a pace that westerners are accustomed too. Oh yeah, he said he paid extra and got me a "Lucky Number" on my plate. So if you see a TDM with '777' thats me.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  16. Peter R

    Peter R Ol'Timer

    Bob, The problem of time taken to transfer occurs when 1.The new owners is unable to supply the required visa, ie O type or WPermit and 2. when transferring from one centre to another. This seems to take weeks and sometimes months, I have tried to understand the paper route and failed. I can tell you as a shop owner that the biggest single frustration (by a factor of at least 10) for both myself and customers is getting a bike its first time registraion and getting titles transfered. Mind you It all becomes a lot easier if its Thai to Thai but when a Westerner is involved, its "more difficult".
  17. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    Three years ago, I bought my first bike in Thailand, up in Chiang Mai. The bike was owned by a falang, but registered in the name of his Thai wife.

    At that time, I was here on a 30 day tourist visa. All I had to come in with was a consulate form stating an address, and the papers signed by the seller. The registration was changed overnight.

    According to the Bangkok Riders Club website, the registration law was changed in 2001, allowing foreigners to register vehicles in their name if here on a tourist visa. Here is a link to that info. http://www.geocities.com/bkkriders/law/registration.

    The problem may be with the required residence form. A US citizen can get the consulate form on a tourist visa. You just have to come up with a local address. According to the BKKriders, some consulates will not issue a residence certificate on a tourist visa. They list Japan as one country that will not. Buyers would have to check with their own embassies.

    If you do have a non-immigrant visa, you can get an residence form from immigration, rather than a consulate. The immigration form is a lot cheaper. My last one was 300 baht, compared to the $55 USD that I paid three years ago at the US consulate.

    I agree with you that the first registration can take a ridiculous amount of time, and can be a nightmare for a shop owner. But transfer of a bike with a valid registration should not, as long as the residence form is there.

    Transferring location of registration can take 4-6 weeks. I am going through that with my current bike. It was legally registered (after almost one year) with my name and a Chiang Mai address in the book. But the plate was from Chantaburi. I am getting it changed to a Chiang Mai plate.

    BUT, if I was willing to pay the road tax by mail, I could have left it with the Chantaburi plate, and been perfectly legal. I wanted the Chiang Mai plate so I could pay the road tax in person.

  18. hansdeckers

    hansdeckers Ol'Timer

    According to what I read on this site it should not be a problem to transfer to my name:
    1. I have a work permit
    2. I am registered in Chiang Mai
    3. I have a 1 year marry visa based on a non-immigrant visa

  19. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    From your previous posts, it appears that you are waiting for a NEW registration, not a TRANSFER of registration - correct?

    You are qualified to register a bike. So was I, and so were the others that have had the same long wait for the registration. Here are a few of the things that slow down the process.

    1. Your MOTORCYCLE was never imported into Thailand. The PARTS to build it were imported, because of the lower import duty on parts.

    This is true for almost all of the big bikes in the country. For the last few years, BMWs have been legally imported as complete bikes, and I have been told that now Ducati is doing the same.

    2. Getting it registered is not a straightforward legal process. What they are doing is changing a pile of parts into a licensed bike. The registrations are not done in Bangkok, but in offices outside of Bangkok. And they are done on the weekends.

    3. This quasi-legal proceeedure is why the cost of registration is so high. Mine was 1500 US dollars for the plate, and I am sure yours is about the same. You can guess where the money goes.

    4. Earlier this year, the Thai government switched to a different sized license plate. The new one is much larger. I was told that this change slowed down the registration process as well.

    I bought my last bike in June of 2003, and got the plate in May of 2004. Your situation is not unusual. From all reports, Peter is a reputable dealer, and your plate should come through. But he can only monitor the process - he cannot do much to speed it along.

  20. hansdeckers

    hansdeckers Ol'Timer


    My bike is not a new registration. I bought the bike from Siamsuperbike and the previous owner was a friend of Peter living in Thailand. Bike is registered already !

  21. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer


    I can't tell you exactly what the problem is. As I said before, my transfer 3 years ago went through overnight, at the office in Chiang Mai.

    Here are some possibilities, but Peter will have to tell you the actual reasons for the delay:

    1. The original bike registration is not 100% legal, and has to be made legal.

    2. The bike registration is legal, but was never transferred to the current owner. They would have to find the previous owner, and get him to sign the papers. Is the name in the book the same as the person who sold it to you?

    3. The owner is not in Thailand anymore, or can't be found to sign the sales papers.

    4. What residence form did you furnish - embassy or Thai Immigration? The ones from Thai Immigration are only good for 3 months. You may have to furnish a new one. This happened to me on my last registration.

    5. When I did the transfer, the bike had to go to the office to verify the frame and engine numbers matched the registration book. They actually took a rubbing of the two numbers. Where is the bike, and where is the office that they are using for the transfer?

    6. If the bike is 5 years old, it needs a vehicle inspection to transfer it. In Chiang Mai, there is an inspection station next to the transfer office.

    6. TIT - this is Thailand, and the office in Bangkok interprets the law differently.

    If you and the bike are in Chiang Mai, you should only need the signed paperwork to transfer the bike. As I recall, I had a bill of sale, a title tranfer form from the office (in Thai) signed by the seller, and a signed copy of the seller's ID card. The seller never had to show up. When I say seller, it means the person who was the last to register the bike. Fees were minimal - road tax and a fee for the stamp.

    If you have the bike, by law you are required to have a copy of the registration book with you when you ride it. If so, take the copy to the local office and ask them what documents you need to transfer the bike. If you don't have a copy, you can be fined.

    Again, I am not an expert in this - I am only telling my own experiences, and what I have read about the vehicle laws.

    Good luck

  22. BobS

    BobS Ol'Timer

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