Motorcycles Are Fun, Until Someone Gets Hurt – Things To Consider Before Renting a Motorcycle on Vacation
Whether you are exploring the Amalfi Coast on a Vespa, traveling through Vietnam on a vintage Honda Win, or touring the Blue Ridge Parkway on a Harley-Davidson, some destinations are best experienced by motorcycle!
But before setting off on the trip of a lifetime, it is worth remembering that driving a motorcycle abroad is not a risk-free experience – and riders involved in an accident are 30% more likely than car passengers to report fatal injuries.
Here is what you need to know before renting a bike on your next vacation.
Only Rent a Bike if You Are an Experienced Rider
If you think that the risk involved with riding a motorcycle is already high, don’t forget that driving abroad or through unfamiliar roads can make your journey even more dangerous. Your vacation destination might have lower road standards, unenforced regulations, or higher accident fatality rates.
That is why you should not overestimate your experience or capabilities as a rider and make the safest choice. If you have a valid driving license and riding experience, you can lower the risk by opting for easier-to-maneuver models, such as automatic or semi-automatic scooters.
If you don’t have experience, renting a bike for the first time on your vacation might just not be the best time to hone your skills. Consider opting for a bicycle or electric bicycle instead!
Review Local Driving Laws
Laws and regulations might change when driving abroad, and it is important to review the local road system’s guidelines before setting off on your bike tour.
Some steps to take include:
- Learn more about the local road signs
- Always check the speed limits – they might differ from your home country’s standards
- Avoid drinking and riding altogether, especially if you are not sure about allowed alcohol limits
- Carry your ID, driving license, and insurance certificate with you at all times
Find a Reputable Rental Agency
If you have the experience necessary to rent a bike while on vacation, make sure you are doing so from a reputable rental agency.
To find the right rental company, take your time before your holiday to review each company and compare rental rates, mileage allowance, included equipment, and additional services. Then, visit the rental agency’s physical business location, speak to the personnel, and get a feel for their customer service, safety, and quality standards.
While the process might seem time-consuming at first (you should be on vacation!)Choosing your rental service wisely can save you more than one headache on your epic motorbike trip!
Take The Bike For a Test Ride – and Make Sure It Comes With All Safety Features!
Once you have found the best rental agency, it’s time to pick your ride! As a general rule, you should opt for newer models that have been well looked after and maintained. The rental agency should also be able to answer your questions about fuel efficiency, expected costs, and allowed mileage.
After selecting your bike, make sure to take it for a test drive. After all, each rider is likely to have different preferences in terms of driving experience, available safety features, and comfort.
- Pro tip – reputable agencies will also include protective gear like helmets, knee guards, jackets, and gloves.
Invest in Insurance
There is nothing as important as having a comprehensive liability insurance policy when driving abroad. Usually, rental agencies will make sure that you have medical and personal liability cover when driving their motorbikes. However, in some countries, this part can be overlooked.
Make sure to ask for a comprehensive insurance policy. In the best-case scenario, it will offer you unparalleled peace of mind on your road trip.
Know What To Do if an Accident Happens
No matter how responsible or cautious you are on the road, accidents can happen. And, if you are involved in a motorcycle collision when driving abroad, you should not think twice about getting in touch with a specialized accident lawyer.
An attorney can help you navigate the legal journey ahead, secure adequate compensation, and facilitate the liaising process with the other parties involved. If you don’t want to deal with the stress of having to find a lawyer while abroad, make sure to research suitable law firms before going on vacation and carry with you their contact details.
Drive Responsibly – and Be Aware of The Extra Risk
Driving abroad can be risky – even for the most experienced rider. Make sure to drive responsibly and avoid riding your bike if you have been drinking or you feel tired.
What’s more, road and weather conditions might put you out of your comfort zone. This is not the time to test your limits! Take a break or turn back where you feel safe – and don’t forget that, after all, you are on vacation!