Hi, I know you can hire scooters and mopeds on the Islands, but can you hire larger bikes eg XR650 Honda or the like? I am looking for something bigger for 2 people to do some exploring on. Also , is it best to bring my own helmet etc?
If anyone has done any island touring on a bike? comments would be much appreciated.
Yes, there are bigger bikes available for hire. They tend to be a lot more expensive than say your average 100cc Honda Dream, but even so they are a good bargain. I saw bikes as large as 650s for hire in Chiang Mai, and 400s on Samet, but I don't remember seeing things quite that big on Samui. Still, even a 250 on Samui means your bike is twice as powerful as everyone else's.
Helmets are a personal thing. If you plan on doing quite a bit of riding, then it might be worth having your own helmet. We just used the helmets available at the motor bike hire shops. They didn't fit too well, we're not exactly comfortable, and didn't seem like they'd protect much in a serious crash, but for the few days we hired bikes in Thailand it seemed like a better option for us than carrying our helmets around for two months.
Samui is really great for motor bike riding. The island isn't all that big, and you can easily drive all the way around in less than 2 hours. But the motorscooter gives you the chance to get to other beaches, stop off at waterfalls, and check out lots of other things quickly and easily and inexpensively.