Photo: On the road to Banlung.

Motorbiking in Asia forum

Hiring motorbikes in Laos

Posted by tsargood on 23/4/2009 at 03:50

Hi all, Its been a while since I posted a thread here. I'm planning a trip around Laos, I want to hire a motorbike while Im there. Anyone who has done this might be able to help me. What kind of bikes are available? Im looking for the newest biggest bike I can get, what kind of brands and models are available? and where can I get them from?
I have been around Cambodia on a bike before but all I could get was a Baja 250, not quite big enough for 2 people!
Any advice appreciated.

#1 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87

Posted by brucemoon on 30/4/2009 at 17:45


You'll love Lao roads, NOT!!!!

At times there are bitumen roads, but with many massive potholes. At other times, graded dirt (and slop) is the go, many, though are dirt (with all that that entails).

I hired at Luang Nam Tha. Though the regulations say otherwise, you can get at Luang Prabang (more expensive because of the regulations), and I know you can can get in Vientiane. It depends on your place of entry.

Some rental agencies want your passport, others just a copy. Some say only so far from town, others don't care.

THE recognised bike authority is:

But there are plenty of others, try:

- - - - -

And, there are motorbike tour groups:



#2 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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Posted by seagypsy on 30/4/2009 at 20:35

tsargood--are you seeking one large bike for the 2 of you to tour Laos? If so, then I think you best bet is to start in Vientiane where there's a larger selection whereas in the other cities and towns in Laos tend to offer mainly the Honda Dream 110s or 125s.
Right next to JOMA Bakery in VTE is a market called Phimphone where they have a significant selection of larger bikes for offroad motoring. But inspect the bike well, take photos, and make sure everything is working right before you take off or you might get hit up for any problems the owner feels you've left behind. Bring to the owners attention any concerns you've got and probably good to have it written down so there's no surprises at the end. If you're heading up to Luang Prabang, just be careful to abide by motoring rules or you might meet a policeman seeking some tea money since technically, the rental of bikes in town is illegal and foreigners are supposed to be licensed.

#3 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by brucemoon on 1/5/2009 at 06:50


I had an idea that may also help...

Let me first explain my thinking...

You don't say how long you want to rent for, but! In Laos, the price of newer or good repair bikes don't appear to be readily negotiable. So, say you want one for about 3 or 4 weeks, then it's likely you'll pay as much to rent as the bike is actually worth.

Another aspect is that I only saw the 110/125 type (Japanese or Chinese / Korean equivalents), or 250 Baja types. That doesn't mean they weren't there, but it was only those two types that were apparent. This then brings up the question of maintenance. If you plan to be 'out there', ask yourself what sort of repairs / spare parts you might be able to get in the back of beyond for a bike no-one had seen.

Another option may be to actually buy a new bike when you arrive, and sell it when you leave.

I saw many pamphlets in GH's in Vietnam by people who'd bought and were now selling their freedom machine. This brings up the idea that maybe you might be better served to buy in Vietnam (with ownership papers, etc.) and ride into Laos. You may be able to get a better quality bike for less in Vietnam than Laos. I say 'may' because I don't know and you'll need to do your own research.

Though a bit dated, Travelfish have a story on bike purchase in Vietnam:

As for research, please email GT Rider with your questions. I've inquired there and the owner knows heaps about bikes in/around Laos. GT Rider has better maps of Laos than anyone, and apparently the Laos gov't copies the GT Rider maps for their own use!!

ps. GT Rider means Golden Triangle Rider, so the focus is nthn Thailand, Myanmar, nthn Laos, etc.


#4 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by julesclassic on 14/7/2009 at 18:40

maybe it's a little bit late but if not, have a look at this website:

we have Transalp 400cc and SLR 650cc


#5 julesclassic has been a member since 14/7/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by Captain_Bob on 26/10/2009 at 15:37

There's a very good sticky thread on GT-Rider about rental outlets in Vientiane along with trip reports in Laos and Thailand etc.

And yes of course Jules Classic Rentals next to the Phimphone Market.

#6 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by acidliam on 11/1/2010 at 21:59

I'm hoping to hire a baja or something similar in Luang Prabang, anyone recommend anywhere?

#7 acidliam has been a member since 29/10/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 11

Posted by acidliam on 17/1/2010 at 13:28

I managed to get a XR 250 which is well looked after. It has a jules classic rentals sticker on but the place didn't seem to have anything to do with the plae in Vientaine. (Probably an ex rental of thiers) It was a small garage on the road to the airport on the right, they had a baja but I went for the slightly smaller XR as I've only got Weiner legs.

Its a good bike, they gave it a service before hand and I've had no trouble with it yet. We're planing a road trip from Luang Prebang to Vang Vieng and Phonsavan then back in a few days so hopefully it will hold up, I'll report back if I don't die.

#8 acidliam has been a member since 29/10/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 11

Posted by julesclassic on 18/1/2010 at 10:01


the bike rented in Luang Prabang is one of Jules Classic Rental bikes. It happen sometimes that our clients drop a bike in Luang Prabang and some lucky guy can take over. We have a mechanic there who's is checking the bike before giving it back for another rental. But we don't have bike permanently posted in Luang Prabang.


#9 julesclassic has been a member since 14/7/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by jamesdueeast on 24/2/2013 at 05:23

I'd like to reboot this topic a little. I'm thinking of renting a geared motorbike around 125/150cc to travel in Laos on for a couple of weeks. Good idea or bad idea? What's the updated status on the condition of the roads right now? I know that the main tourist route is tarmacced but what about off the beaten path? How is it?
Is it possible to rent a bike from say Luang Prabang and drop it off somewhere else in the south? I know Laos isn't Hertz-type rental but maybe there are some dealers who have cottoned onto this type of travel.
The other added problem is that I don't have an international licence, only my UK driving licence. I'm also not fully licenced in the UK to drive motorbikes either. I only just passed my CBT last summer. Can I get away with renting a bike at a flash of the UK driving licence?

#10 jamesdueeast has been a member since 18/2/2013. Posts: 13

Posted by caseyprich on 25/2/2013 at 06:47

I'll take this in parts -

(1) No problem renting a bike without a proper license, but they are either going to want a really big deposit or to hold onto your passport.
(2) So either way, from what I know you usually need to do loops - such as the area around Luang Nam Tha, Khong Lor Cave or Bolavan Plateau.
(3) And your travel insurance probably won't cover you if you get in an accident and you are not properly licensed.
(4) However, people in Laos drive very relaxed, there usually isn't that much traffic just after you get to the edge of town, and trucks and busses are very good about warning you that they are coming up.
(5) But, cows and dogs and chickens and kids can just pop out from anywhere so be careful.
(6) And there are a variety of road types, with the Bolavan big loop being mostly great roads, and the dirt road cutting back to Paksong being very nice for a break . . . except for the construction we ran into half-way which wasn't very pleasent.
(7) And even the off roads are just dirty and full of holes but they certainly aren't busy so you can take your time cruising around and going through villages, searching for waterfalls and the like.

#11 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by grandmasterchan on 6/2/2014 at 02:26

Looks like Jules is closed. No sign of them anywhere and they stopped replying to my emails weeks ago. Too bad, was looking forward to doing the Vientiane-Luang Prabang trip.

#12 grandmasterchan has been a member since 6/2/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by julesclassic on 3/3/2014 at 03:50

Hi guys,

sorry for the inconvenience but we moved our office and change our webpage as well.

During these operations our webmaster put our new location at the wrong place...

We are still operating and have new bikes as you can see on the website updated.


#13 julesclassic has been a member since 14/7/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by grandmasterchan on 3/3/2014 at 06:35

Thanks for the reply. I wish I was back in Laos! Where is your new location, Jules?

#14 grandmasterchan has been a member since 6/2/2014. Posts: 2

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