How to hire a motorbike

Published: May 29, 2014

Renting a motorbike is a great way to explore while travelling to your destination. The open road and the freedom a motorbike gives is a feeling like no other! This option is ideal if you don’t have a motorbike of your own but still want to enjoy the thrill of riding a bike.

Of course, renting a bike needs to be done properly. Here, we explore a few tips on hiring a motorbike, especially when abroad, so you can stay safe while enjoying the ride:

Know the country you’re in

It is very important to familiarise yourself with the area you are in before you ride your bike anyway. Renting a motorbike has its risks and accidents are always a possibility if you don’t know the local road laws or customs, or you are not properly prepared.

It is also a good idea to have an international drivers license. If you have one, you are more protected if the worst happens and an accident does occur, or you get pulled over for whatever reason.

Check the bike over

Before you decide to hire any kind of motorbike, make sure that you check over the bike and ensure that it is in good condition. This includes the following:

  • Carefully check over the bike to make sure that it meets all necessary requirements, for example, check that the brakes are not worn at all. Remember, if you feel anything wrong with the breaking, this could signal a problem with the rotors which is not a good sign. If you are unsure, avoid the bike is completely and do not let the rental company tell you otherwise.
  • A reputable company will be happy to rent you any bike and talk to you about the motorbike in some detail.
  • They should even let you take the bike for a quick spin down the road, so that you can check both the front and the rear brakes and the general handling of the bike. Make sure that the bike rides in a straight line and that the lights and the horn also work.
  • Check over the tyre and make sure the tyre pressure is good. Look for any scuffs or deep marks in the tyres.
  • Also check the chain, and ensure that it doesn’t have too much slack in it.
  • Listen to the engine. Much like you would with a car, any inconsistencies might signal a problem with the workings of the engine and the motorbike should be avoided.

Of course, you want to avoid accidents for your own personal safety and the safety of others, but you will also want to avoid the bike breaking down and being stuck on the side of the road for the sake of your own time, as well as the financial issues of renting a substandard motorbike which means that you have wasted your money.

Check the contract

After you are happy with the bike, you will need to check over the contract so make sure that you read this in some detail. The main things that you want to consider is whether you need to fill up the tank with gas on returning the bike, the insurance policy on the bike and what would be the maximum amount of money that you would need to pay if the bike was stolen or damaged. It is very easy to skim over some of the small print in the contract and then find yourself in a difficult situation on returning the bike. Try not to rush this part of the process.

Taking the bike out on the road

Make sure that you have a phone number of the rental company so that you can contact them if you have any problems whilst on the road. Take a copy of the rental agreement as well.

Make sure that you wear a helmet, even if the local laws do not make this compulsory. You may also want to wear some sunglasses to protect your eyes whilst on the road.

If anything happens whilst on the road, such as you damage the bike in any way, you may want to think about contacting a different motorbike shop in order to repair the issues. If you return the motorbike to the original owner, they may charge you extra for rectifying the bike. Because they probably have your passport or credit card, they will have leverage over you and may charge you above the odds. Bear this in mind if you do damage the bike in any way.

Enjoy renting and riding your bike wherever you are, it can be a great experience and an enjoyment like no other!

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