Renting a motorbike in Chiang Mai
As we always say at Dust and Noodles, there’s no better way to explore Thailand than on a motorbike.
The first thing I always do whenever reaching a new city is renting a bike to get around and start exploring the city.
In smaller cities, there isn’t usually that much choice, so the pick is easy (and if you go somewhere really remote, I also recommend that you do your research in advance so that you won’t be left without a bike), but in Chiang Mai, there are about a gazillion shops where you can rent a motorbike.
However, be extremely careful in which bike/shop you pick since the quality of the bikes varies a lot from shop to shop. Sure, you may save a few bucks by going to the cheap-ass shop next to your hostel, but is it really worth it?
Average price for renting a bike is about 200-250 THB / day for a semi-manual, 300-350 THB / day for an automatic and 700-800+ for a bigger bike.
To avoid getting a bad bike, here are a few tips:
- Always ask for a test drive – even if the bike is clean, there’s no other way to see if the wheels are well aligned / the brakes are working.
- Check the air pressure and make sure the tires are in good condition.
- Check the odometer. Though the km will in most cases be quite high since they’re rental if a bike has 100,000+ km, there’s a higher probability it will break down at some point.
- Check the ignition – there’s nothing more annoying than being stuck with a bike you struggle turning on.
- Check the helmets – a shop with good / semi-good helmets is more likely to take good care of its bikes. it may sound weird, but I’ve observed a high correlation.
After trying a few shops in Chiang Mai over the years – I recommend you save a bit of time searching for a good bike and go straight to Mr Mechanic. Don’t judge them based on their website, it’s ugly but they specialize in bike rental not in web design 🙂
Their service is great, the bikes in good condition and they’re very responsive: out of 10+ shops contacted via line/phone for an advance booking, they’re the only ones that actually got back to me to confirm the booking. They have a few shops around town, good helmets and a very large fleet of scooters (semi-auto and auto) as well as bigger bikes and cars.
They have a few shops around – but this one is most likely the most convenient to reach as it’s very close to Tha Pae gate. Fear not, though they have only a few bikes on display there, just inquiry them and if your bike is not available, someone will magically appear within a few minutes with your beloved bike.
Phone: 082 762 8302
Show this to your taxi driver: 127/3 ถ.มูลเมือง, ต.ศรีภูมิ อ.เมือง จ.เชียงใหม่, 50200 ศรีภูมิ เมือง 50200
or just ask to go to Tha Pae gate and walk from there (map below)