Guided Motorcycle Tours and Motorbike Adventure Touring in Northern Thailand

The Facts

Thailand and the Thai people

article-facts-the-thai-peopleThailand is a kingdom and the King is the most revered person by all the population. Despite this the politics are somewhat mixed with a military coup overthrowing the elected Prime Minister in 2008, on the grounds of his alleged corruption. The military coup was not evidenced in any way by soldiers on the street. The only political unrest has historically been in the south near Malaysia where Muslim activists have stirred up trouble. We don’t go further south than Bangkok.

The Thai people are extremely friendly and good natured, and whilst keen to sell you their wares are mostly easy to deal with. They are keen to sell you a variety of things you don’t necessarily need or want, but they are gracious in your bargaining and accepting of a firm but polite “no”.

Political events caused the main airports in Thailand to be shut down for 10 days in November 2008. Whilst this was an inconvenience for many travellers it was totally peaceful and polite, almost apologetic to those who had their travel plans disrupted. However it did achieve the objective of causing the unpopular prime minister to resign. Just recently the "other side" have attempted to have the former Prime Minister reinstated. We, like 99% of the Thai population avoid politics and the areas of discontent. In the North where we spend our time, there are no signs of the military or the police.

Trip Logistics

Our trips are organised well in advance and may be likened to an Iceberg: what you see above the surface represents just a small part of the logistics which have been arranged well in advance. For this reason, much of our logistics and planning are well structured and we have our route, accommodation and activities well refined and organised. You will find every day is different in terms of what you see and what you do. This brings variety and interest to all. You will meet some interesting people such as a German Hotelier running an amazing resort in what appears to be the middle of nowhere, and a retired Canadian schoolteacher passing his latter years in comfort with his new Thai wife. Our local guides are enthusiastic outgoing local people with motorcycle and guiding experience as well as intimate local knowledge.Our Thai guides accompany us, bring our luggage in the support vehicle, speak good English and assist us on our travels in a variety of ways. Occasionally we may visit locals' homes and perhaps enjoy a real home-cooked traditional Thai meal, and get a good insight into how ordinary Thai people live.

Motorcycling in Thailand

We have recently changed our hire bikes to modern low mileage cruising type Kawasakis and Hondas. The mainstay of the fleet is the modern Kawasaki ER650 with ABS brakes, which participants enjoy either 1 or 2 up. We even had a 3 up ride recently for a few kilometres, which you can see in the photo gallery. The alternative is the Honda CBR 250cc single, which is also a modern bike, or even a Kawasaki KLX 250. Both these smaller bikes come with a $250 price reduction. We no longer use the older CB 400 or CB 750, 4 cylinder bikes. In Thailand any bikes over 200cc are reasonably rare and subject to high import taxes. Whilst in the locals’ eyes we are viewed as kings of the road, the bikes are maintained to a lesser quality than they are at home. They are still capable of good speed and great fun and have the potential to get you into trouble if you aren’t careful.

We recommend that you ride in proper protective clothing including Draggin' jeans, sturdy boots which cover your ankles, gloves and arm protection. We have seen minor spills with guests in shorts and T shirts, which have given skin scrapes that don't heal well. We also recommend an open faced or flip-top Helmet. It is very, very uncomfortable riding in leathers, or heavy protective clothing in 30 degree heat. If you prefer to be well covered, make sure your riding gear has lots of air vents. Past experience has proven that proper motorcycling clothing will protect you in the event of a tumble.

Pillion riders or partners are no problem on this trip, and they can travel in the air conditioned support vehicle whenever they want. Our optimum group size is 12.

The weather in October and November is mostly fine and balmy, but our spring is the end of the Thai rainy season. We would anticipate that there may be a few days where it might rain for an hour or so when we are riding, so we recommend you bring a rain-proof suit for this event. Some riders prefer to have full wet weather gear and waterproof boots. The other option of course is to stop at the nearest bar or café, and relax while the rain passes. In any event, the hotel swimming pool at the end of the riding day is a very welcome spot.

Customised Tours....

If you would like to do a Northern Thailand motorcycle tour, but our dates don't suit, or you have less than a week to spare, our customised tours may work for you. We offer great choices of 4 or 5 day customised tours tothe Golden Triangle, or the Mae Hong Son Loop. These tours make it easy for you as they are fully organised, include motorbike rental and costs, quality accommodation and food, as well as English and Thai support crew. In this way you can have a fantastic motorcycle experience taking in the best route and experiences along the way.

Costs are from $1000USD per person share twin with a minimum of 4 persons. Please enquire for more details.

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Our Standard Tour Ride...

We are on the bikes for 10 days and cover around 1600km. This may not sound a lot but we are generally on the road for 6 or so hours each day. The roads are not dissimilar to NZ West Coast or Coromandel Peninsula, but in slightly poorer condition. We tend to ride at around 90kph, due to road conditions, traffic, and also the desire to see what we are riding past rather than racing to the next destination.

In Thailand we ride on the left as in NZ and Australia. In the north there is not a lot of traffic (other than 125cc Honda scooters) especially as we are going to somewhat remote country areas. Virtually all the riding is on sealed roads, but for twisty fans, there will be lots of fun. Our bikes are capable of passing most traffic which is fairly light, except around major towns such as Chiang Mai. In the towns the bikes are easy to manoeuvre but are sufficiently large and different not to be a target for thieves, since bikes over 200cc are imported and rare. As tour leader, I am equally happy on a 250cc Kawasaki KLX as on the big Kawasaki ER 650.

As a result of past experience we have riding guidelines which will minimise the risks of getting lost and also form the basis of a safe and enjoyable riding experience for everyone.

article-facts-the-cost

What’s included in the $4500 Cost...

Our price for the trip includes:

  • High Quality hotel accommodation (3-4 star), usually with swimming pool, on a share twin basis
  • Fantastic meals every day as specified, excluding drinks
  • Kawasaki ER650 Motorbike Hire, all fuel and any repair or maintenance costs
  • Comprehensive motorbike insurance including 3rd party damage(subject to excess)
  • Support vehicle with friendly local guide and interpreter
  • Airport transfers & National Park entry fees

Should you choose to opt for the CBR 250 or the KLX 250, the total trip cost is reduced to $4250 for all the items above.

We are happy to assist you to make travel arrangements to / from Chiang Mai, which are at your cost. There are many choices of airlines and fares some starting as low as $1200 for the return trip to Chiang Mai. The items which are not included in our fee above are:

  • Economy airfares Australia or NZ –Bangkok- Chiang Mai return , + taxes
  • Individual’s travel insurance with any medical or motorcycle extensions
  • Single accommodation supplement
  • Variations / upgrades to the airfare
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, massages, laundry etc
  • Entry fees to selected attractions

Other optional extras may include Chiang Mai cooking school ($35), scooter hire ($10per day), elephant training camp with ride in the jungle ($30), entry visa to Myanmar ($10 US). To give you an idea of personal costs, the following may help:

  • Singha Cold Thai Beer $1.75, bottle of cold spring water $0.50
  • Reasonable quality open faced motorcycle helmet $35
  • Laundry per Kilogram $2
  • T shirt $5, Polo shirt $6
  • Latest DVD $4
  • Traditional Thai Massage $7 per hour
  • Another cold Singha beer only $1.75

This trip can be enjoyably completed on an overall budget of around $6000 plus $500 spending money for the 16 day trip.

Single Supplement.....article-facts-single-bed

Should you wish to have a single supplement and not share accommodation with a mate, a partner or another member of the group, we can arrange single accommodation for you. Historically this has added aroud $500 (approximately $30 per night) to the trip cost.

Add a few extra days at the Beach......

You may also choose to add a few extra days at a Thai Beach resort or spa at either end of the tour. This would cost around $650 for a 2 night stay including quality accommodation with breakfasts, and transport to / from Bangkok on a share twin basis.

Payment Terms.....

Our trips fill quickly. We require a $500 non-refundable deposit with a further $1500 payable 3 months prior to departure date.

The final pricing and payment will be required 6 weeks before departure and may include adjustments due to any major currency adjustments greater than 5%. However once final payment is received, the price will not change, nor will there be any refunds for cancellation, so we advise you to have the trip cost covered by your travel insurance.


Email us if you have any queries - we are happy to answer your questions >