When you book a motorcycle tour with us, we provide you with Tour Specific Guidance Notes that give you detailed information about what you need to know to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on our motorcycle tour. Here are some of the questions that we often get asked before a rider makes a booking. If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us and we can set up a one-to-one meeting.
What riding experience do I need?
This tour is suitable for a good road rider, with previous experience of touring. It is also suitable for experienced two-up couples. Traffic conditions in Chiang Mai are very busy and quite chaotic. Once outside of these major cities, the main roads are quieter but please be aware of slow trucks on some of the great twisty roads. You must ensure your overtakes are safe and progressive. Remember that riding is on the LEFT in Thailand (as in the UK).
Do I have to ride in a group?
We do not make you ride in convoy. We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride. We give you a road book, with recommendations for lunch or coffee stops, fuel stops and hotel information. You also get an SD card with mapping, custom routes & GPS co-ordinates to download to your GPS. You can use these tools to self-navigate. Most riders prefer to have this freedom, so they can stop where they want and for how long they want without feeling under pressure. However if you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Tour Manager, then you can do this. They will give you a time to start in the morning, so please be prompt and ready to ride with them. Each day you can change between riding on your own, or with a small group of other riders or with the Tour Manager. We like to have a very flexible approach.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 8 – 10 riders (some riders will have passengers), up to a maximum of 16 riders. 6 riders is the minimum number to confirm the guaranteed departure of the tour.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
Absolutely. This is a popular trip for couples and we always have couples riding two-up on this tour. Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer. Your passenger must ride the motorcycle each touring day – there is no option to sit in the support vehicle as this is only for participants who are ill or injured, or unless the road conditions are too difficult for a rider and passenger to attempt two-up. You are able to place luggage (see below) in the Support Vehicle and the standard of accommodation is also very good.
Is there a support vehicle?
Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver. The support vehicle will carry one piece of luggage per person, up to a maximum of 60 litres each. Your luggage should be dustproof and waterproof and we recommend soft bags such as Ortleib. Hard suitcases or baggage with wheels are not recommended. You are able to leave luggage in Chiang Mai for collection on your return.
Tell me about motorcycle rental
Riders must be age 25 years and older, with a valid, full motorcycle licence. We work with the local motorcycle rental agency, Bike Tour Asia based in Chiang Mai, who are BMW Approved. We act as an agent for them and your contract for the motorcycle rental is with them and not with us (you can request a copy of the contract from us in advance). Your rental fee includes:
- All motorcycle rentals include side panniers at no extra charge.
- Should you require a top box, tank bag or GPS unit please request this on booking. There is an extra charge and it must be specifically requested.
- All BMW R1250 GS rental bikes are fitted with a Garmin/BMW Nav cradle.
- All motorcycles have third party and motorcycle damage and loss insurance subject to an excess of up to US$1,500 – US$2,500, depending on the motorcycle rented.
- On arrival at the start of the tour, you will be required to sign the local motorcycle rental agreement and provide your credit details as a guarantee against damage. You must ensure you have sufficient credit limit for the damage deposit.
You are free to book motorcycle rental direct with Bike Tour Asia and not through us. Their details can easily be found via google.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit. In addition you must have travel/medical insurance (compulsory requirement). As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and can be complex, with constantly changing requirements, we would direct you to our appointed visa agency for advice. www.thevisamachine.com
What about flights?
For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights. Once we have confirmed that this tour is a guaranteed departure, it is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the start and end point. We do not refund flight costs if you have booked flights for a tour that has not been notified as a guaranteed departure. Once we have sent you written confirmation, you need to book an outward flight to our start point, Chiang Mai to arrive no later than around 2pm on the official start date. The earliest leave date is any time on the official end date from Chiang Mai.
British Airways, Thai Airways and EVA Air all operate direct flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, from where you can book a domestic flight to Chiang Mai.
What is the weather like?
January & February is a great time to visit Thailand. It is in the middle of the dry season and you should expect average temperatures of around 27C degrees. On this basis, make sure your riding gear has good venting!
What about my health when I am abroad?
You need to be physically fit and healthy and also take the necessary health precautions. It is essential for you to consult your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date medical travel information prior of travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. For up-to-date medical advice you may wish to use the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad “MASTA” https://www.masta-travel-health.com/, the NHS website http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx or NaTHNaC https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/.
You will be obliged to disclose any medical condition or medication that you are taking to GlobeBusters in advance and to your Tour Manager at the start of your Tour, for health and safety purposes. We provide you with our Emergency Details Form for this purpose and to collect information about who to contact for you back home in the event of an emergency.
Please note that once outside of Bangkok, Thailand does not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to. In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times. Please do not book this trip if this unduly concerns you.
First Aid Training
It is not a requirement to be first aid trained to participate in this expedition. However, we do strongly recommend that you consider doing a motorcycle first aid course. If you, or a rider you are with, are involved in any accident, whilst not riding with or not close to the support team, having first aid skills may make a significant difference to an injured party.
Travel / Medical Insurance
It is a condition of you travelling with us that you are adequately insured. Your insurance policy must cover you for the costs of any medical expenses, medical treatment or repatriation needed, due to injury or illness on this trip, including those that occur whilst motorcycle touring, either as the rider or a passenger. It is important that your insurance company understands that the MAIN PURPOSE of your trip is motorcycle touring, using your own large capacity cc motorcycle or a rental motorcycle. Your insurance must cover you for the full duration of the trip and for all countries we travel through.
In addition, we strongly recommend that your insurance policy has cover for loss or damage to your personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation and curtailment.
We also strongly recommend that you take out your travel insurance at the time of booking your trip as cover will commence for pre-departure cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious injury. We do not refund your deposit simply because you failed to take out insurance in sufficient time.
Official Travel Advice
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FDCO) (www.fco.gov.uk/travel) monitors overseas destinations and provides destination travel advice for UK nationals. GlobeBusters monitors the advice from the FDCO and any decisions taken regarding a Tour’s safety and security will use the vast experience of the company’s 16 years of operating as well as the FDCO advice. In the interests of your safety and security, changes may be made to your tour based on any FDCO warnings given.
We strongly recommend that you read the information about the country you are planning to visit to be fully informed – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety & security, local laws & customs, entry requirements and health, and road conditions.
There are currently entry restrictions in place for travel to Thailand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We assume that by the time of travel these will have been withdrawn.
If you are not a UK national please make sure you have checked your own country’s travel advice for your destination/s: The US Department of State: http://travel.state.gov Canadian Foreign Affairs: www.voyage.gc.ca Australian Government Travel Advice: www.smartraveller.gov.au NZ Government Travel Advice: www.safetravel.govt.nz.
What about local currency?
The base currency for this trip is any major currency. All can be readily exchangeable for the local currency, the Thai Baht. It is easy to get local currency from ATMs using your debit / credit card in all towns and cities. Cards are readily accepted by hotels, restaurants, fuel stations. The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.