You’ve embarked on your vacation and you’re enjoying your stay in a foreign country. While tour buses, taxis, and rental cars are the most common options, one of the best and most fun ways to explore a foreign destination is by using a motorcycle. It’s full of thrilling fun and there is literally no place on land that you can’t get adventurous using motorcycles.
What tourists should know before renting motorcycles
But then again, bringing your own bike into your vacation can be marred with numerous difficulties and lengthy procedures, not forgetting the costs involved. Buying one in your destination country has never been inexpensive either. This means that as a tourist, renting is the best option you have if you want to explore your foreign destination with some cycling fun and adventure added to it.
But it also comes with certain responsibilities and some things that you have to consider before renting your scooter or motorcycles. The last thing you want is to be faced with inconveniences such as getting stuck in the middle of nowhere after your rented motorbike breaks down or getting involved in an accident just because you were too sloppy to check that the brakes are not working properly.
Considering that you’re in a foreign country, things could get uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for you. To avoid the worst cases of scenarios, here are some pointers you want to look at on what tourists should know before renting motorcycles.
1) Accidents do happen, make sure you’re protected
While most cases of road accidents involve passenger vehicles, motorcycle accidents are also fairly common in many places. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you have protective gear first before you even think of renting a motorcycle overseas.
Additionally, it’s always advisable to ensure you’re licensed and you have adequate motorcycle insurance coverage before renting one and using it for exploration in a foreign country. Terry Bryant from Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law asserts that it’s important to find out how the particular insurance coverage can protect you in case you’re involved in an accident. This way, you can be sure that your rights are protected and with the help of a good accident lawyer, seeking compensation for injury and damages can be less stressful even while away from your home country.
You’ll also need to know what types of insurance are required in the country you’re exploring. In Europe, for instance, third party insurance, which covers damages to others is a mandatory requirement. Some motorcycle rental companies will also charge a fee for theft insurance, fire insurance, and such, in addition to the standard motorcycle insurance that covers damages and injuries resulting from motorbike crashes. Most importantly, if the rented bike is insured, be sure to ask the rental company about the extent of coverage held.
2) Always check the bike’s condition
This one sounds pretty obvious, but due to excitement and anxiety from the trip, it is not uncommon for tourists to overlook the importance of inspecting a motorbike before renting. Before you decide on your two-wheel ride of choice, be sure to check the condition of parts such as the engine, tires, brakes, the lights. Ensure that they’re all functioning properly and there’s no damage is evident. Regardless of how cheap the offer may be, don’t ever settle for a faulty bike. It can be a huge, costly disaster, especially in a foreign country.
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3) Do mileage and bike age matter?
You’ve already looked into insurance and confirmed that the bike you intend to hire is in good condition – well, it doesn’t end there. It’s important to consider the bike model and how long it’s been after its release on the market. But unless you’re looking for one of the latest motorcycle models out there, the bike’s age shouldn’t be much of a concern. What matters most is the level of care and maintenance it’s been given. All the same, you’ll want to inform your rental company of the mileage you intend to cover, so they can decide if some upgrades such as installing new tires or changing the brake pads are necessary.
4) Pick up and return time
In many places, you’ll find that the costs of renting a bike are determined by the amount of time you’ll be spending with it, in addition to other factors such as the make, model, mileage, and so forth. What if you want to pick up the bike at 3 AM, will the rental company be available to sort you out? Better still, what if something causes delays and you’re not able to return the bike at the time agreed upon? Will the company reimburse you for any time you spend waiting for them to deliver your bike at your specified pick-up point?
In a nutshell, it’s all about your convenience and your travel itinerary. Some companies actually have an option for one-way motorbike rentals, where the return or drop-off location is different from the pick-up location. In most cases, however, you may have to pay more for one-way rentals.
5) Understand the booking process
To avoid mishaps and delays that could disrupt your travel schedule, it’s wiser to book your rental motorbike at least a few days before the days you intend to use it. However, the booking process may vary from one motorcycle rental company to the other. For instance, some allow you to book only, whereas others require you to walk to their physical offices to place reservations. Payment options and other issues such as cancellation may also vary between motorcycle rental companies.
For instance, some may require you to pay a cancellation fee for any reservations made and canceled abruptly within a few days. While some companies may require you to pay in full or a certain amount upfront when making the reservation, others require you to pay nothing at all. This makes it important to do your homework and understand the booking process involved in and out before placing reservations with a particular motorcycles renting company.
No experience beats the adventure of touring a foreign city, state, or country with the two-wheeled automobile like the motorcycles. The thrill is real, and you will hardly miss any worth seeing along the way. Whether you’re traveling alone or in the company of a loved one, the above tips can help ensure that you’re safe and having fun without impeding on your convenience or disrupting your travel schedule.