For many motorcyclists exploring a foreign country on the back of their favorite motorcycle is an opportunity too good to pass.
However, going through the trouble of shipping a motorcycle to far-off locations and across borders, as well as, dealing with customs and a whole bunch of paperwork is quite a taxing, expensive, and time-consuming ordeal.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do that anymore. Renting a motorcycle is now a lot more convenient and affordable than it once was. But can you rent a motorcycle in a foreign country? And how difficult is it?
Luckily, we’re here to answer just that and guide you on how to best rent a motorcycle when traveling to a foreign country.
What Do You Need To Rent A Motorcycle Abroad?
As long as you have a valid license and passport, you’ll easily be able to rent a bike in most countries around the world.
While the specific rules of motorcycle rental may vary from country to country, to rent a motorcycle, you must, at the very least, have an international driver’s license (which includes a motorcycle endorsement), a passport, and a credit card.
You may also need to submit a security deposit when renting a motorcycle just like you would a car. This may include depositing your passport, your credit card, or both, as collateral against the motorcycle you’re renting.
When you return the motorcycle, your documents and/or security deposit will be returned to you.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure you do your research and rent your motorcycle from a reliable and trusted vendor.
What Motorcycles Can You Rent In Foreign Countries?
While motorcycle culture runs deep in many places around the world, it isn’t as strong as it is in North America. Thus, your choices of rental motorcycles will be a lot more limited compared to what you might find in the US.
For example, if you’re traveling to European countries, you may be able to find a Harley-Davidson available for rent. However, other American brands such as an Indian Motorcycle, would be nearly impossible to find.
Even when it comes to Harley-Davidsons, your choices will be limited in terms of the models available. In European countries, for example, it will be a lot easier for you to rent BMW, Ducati, Honda, and other Japanese and German motorcycles than the grand tourers we are used to here in America.
In South Asian countries it will also be hard for you to rent touring bikes. However, you’ll have no shortage of scooters or 125cc motorbikes that you can rent out and take for a spin. These motorcycles are a lot cheaper to rent, have tiny engines, and are made to withstand the wear and tear of driving on pothole-ridden roads.
Where To Rent A Motorcycle When Abroad?
You’ll easily be able to find a lot of vendors that rent out motorcycles. For example, in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc, there’s a motorcycle rental shop seemingly at the corner of every street.
However, before walking into a rental shop, we would recommend taking advantage of modern-day technology and visiting some online forums to get in touch with the local motorcycle community to help find you a vendor.
Being so tight-knit, members of the community will likely jump at the opportunity to help out a fellow biker, and who knows, you might make a new friend to accompany you on your motorcycle trip across a country that is completely new to you.
Finally, you can check for any online rental websites, apps, or platforms that can help you find car and motorcycle rentals near you. This is, by far, the most convenient way of finding a trusted motorcycle rental.
Precautions To Keep In Mind
No Experience, No Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle is risky even in countries with developed infrastructure like the United States. However, when you’re traveling to places where roads are a little less developed, that risk increases tenfold.
It should go without saying that if you don’t have experience riding a motorcycle, then you should first maybe get as much practice as possible before taking to the crowded and chaotic streets of a foreign country.
If you are a beginner, you definitely shouldn’t be riding around in a foreign country unless you are with a group of experienced riders.
At Explorify, we offer guided tours to Americans wanting to explore different parts of the world which makes these types of journeys a lot safer and a lot more manageable.
Be Prudent And Keep A Record Of Everything
Always remember to carefully read the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. Keep copies of it just in case you lose the original. The copies will come in handy during any police stops or checkposts.
The next thing you should do is to thoroughly check the bike for any damage or faulty parts. Check the brakes, tires, shift lever, and handlebars. If anything seems off, do not take the bike and ask for a replacement immediately.
If all the parts are working just fine and there’s damage on the bike from wear and tear, then take a detailed video of the bike, recording it from every possible angle. This will avoid any unpleasantness if the vendor starts to blame you for any wear and tear that was present on the bike before you picked it up. Also, make sure to record the license plates and any other identifying marks.
Get To Know Your Bike
You should never set off on a journey before familiarizing yourself with your rental motorcycle. Take a day or so to get familiar with your bike’s control and feel. Only when you feel you have got the measure of your bike should you take to the highways and lesser-known paths.
Take the time to educate yourself on what you should do in the event of a crash, theft, or breakdown. Being in a foreign country, it pays to educate yourself beforehand to make sure you don’t run into any bigger issues.
Renting Motorcycles Made Easy With Explorify!
When renting a motorcycle in a foreign country it pays to do your research. Whether you are looking to ride solo or with a group, Explorify can help you make all the right decisions with our coveted guided tours and self-drive tours.
You can also explore our collection of travel guides to find the perfect itinerary and the best places to stop on your next riding adventure!