Motorcycle Touring Destination Info

Laos

Laos flag

Capital City

Vientiane

Population

~ 7,750,000

Land Area

236,800 m2

Official Language(s)

Lao

Currency

Lao Kip (LAK)

Driving Side

right

Climate

tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Laos Fact File

Laos is a small land locked country in Southeast Asia which is becoming more and more popular with adventure riders due to its inaccessibility and the wild remote countryside it has to offer. On top of this, the lack of access has restricted development leaving great swathes of forest with small villages for riders to explore. The locals are very friendly and more than make up for the lack of amenities. It is really only accessible for touring during the dry season from December to April as heavy rains create swollen rivers and treacherously muddy conditions that prevent travel through the most interesting parts of the country. Many are drawn to the enigmatic Ho Chi Minh trail route which is well known for its role in the fight against the American troops and offers some rugged riding for experienced riders. This along with river crossings, small boat ferries, tiny forest tracks all make for an Indiana Jones type adventure.

Laos FAQ

Most travellers can get a visa on arrival or a visa exemption quite easily. This will usually allow a stay of 30 days and can be extended.
Many nationalities are exempt from visa requirements and many can get a visa on arrival. For more information use this website: https://visaguide.world/asia/laos-visa/
There are three ways that you can obtain a visa for Laos, depending on your nationality of origin.
-On arrival.
-At most ports of entry.
-Online. Through the official eVisa website of the Laos Ministry of foreign affairs.
-In person.
-At an Embassy of Consulate of Laos.
Again, the website above will give you more insight into this.
Laos has signed the 1949 Convention on International Driving Permits. Therefore, this is the one that you need.
There is no requirement to show any proof of vaccination against COVID to enter Laos. You should follow normal covid precautions.
The Laotians are well-known for their relaxed attitude to everything and this is also evident in their driving in many ways. Road rules are seen more as suggestions so expect the unexpected and be prepared. However, once you have acclimatised you will find that there is a slow paced logic and things generally move along just fine, especially in the more countryside areas.
Due to having less tourists things in Laos get booked up quite quickly. So, the further ahead you can book, the better.
Try to bring as much as possible. We will advise you on the weather conditions when you book your tour/rental and this will inform you as to what you should bring. Nearly all items are available here but the supply is sporadic and sizes tend to be more for the Asian market. Bring your helmet, jacket, riding pants, boots, gloves and waterproofs as these are essential and size dependant. We can provide a limited range of gear and sizes so it is best to discuss this with us in advance as we cannot guarantee to have what you need. There is NO NEED to bring bungees, waterproof bags, phone holders etc… unless you really wish to.
Yes, there is a moderate risk of Malaria in Laos. This is much less in the major cities such as Vientiane or Luang Prabang but if you are intending to tour with us, you will be in remote areas where the risk is higher. As such, we suggest you consult your doctor for anti-malarials.
As always in tropical areas, you should do your best to keep covered up and use a quality mosquito repellent. Preventative measures are usually the most effective.
Yes, the risk is far greater than that of Malaria but it is predominantly in the rainy season (May to September) which is possibly the worst time of year for riding so you are unlikely to be in country. There are cases of Dengue year round but the peak is between May to October. Once again, the main preventative measure is to to avoid getting bitten by covering up and using a good repellent.
Laos is generally safe for tourists but you do need to be careful of being overcharged and of petty crime such as being pickpocketed. This is mainly the case in the larger urban areas and when we are on tour we stay in a group so the risks are mitigated. It is not wise to stay out late at night and leave a motorbike parked unguarded as with many countries. It is better to leave bikes parked in the hotel which also means you are free to drink alcohol if you wish.
Yes! And No. UXO is a big problem in rural areas. Most, if not all, UXO in urban areas has been dealt with, which means we are safe in these areas. However, we ride in the countryside and as such there is a miniscule risk of encountering UXO. To reduce this risk we ride on trails that have been established over years and that have frequent traffic. The chances of UXO being on these trails is negligible. Naturally, there is a risk due to land shifts, erosion, building works and the like, but we keep a constant eye on these situations and make sure we are NEVER the first ones to cross any ‘new’ area. We never ride off trail for this very reason and any rider who does will be subject to possible expulsion from the ride, no refunds. This is because riding off trail poses a threat to everyone on the ride and, therefore, cannot be tolerated.
It is usually not normal to tip in Laos and can even be considered rude in some circumstances. Generally, Laotians do not tip unless they receive excellent service. Leaving 10% on top of a restaurant bill or rounding up to the nearest whole figure on a taxi bill or such like are seen as acceptable. At street stalls, leaving a tip will likely confuse the vendor who will try to return your money. If they do, accept graciously. To do otherwise would risk offending them slightly. There is not obligation, but can be welcome in a country where wages are low and life is hard.
If we are talking about the best time to tour, it is usually October to April. This is wehen the country experiences less rain and roads are easier to navigate. Outside of this time, you are likely to experience torrential rains and the associated difficulties with road travel on dirt tracks and river crossings and/or extreme heat which can make touring unbearably hard.

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4 riders

R.E. Himalayan 400

Royal Enfield Himalayan 400 motorcycle rental
Royal Enfield’s first adventure bike: the Himalayan is a reliable, capable all-rounder.

Engine Type

air-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC, 4-stroke

Displacement

411 cc

Bore X Stroke

78 mm x 86 mm

Ignition

Digital Electronic Ignition

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic, 41 mm forks, 200 mm travel

Rear Suspension

monoshock, 180 mm travel

Front Brakes

disc

Rear Brakes

disc

Front Tyres

90/90-21

Rear Tyres

120/90-17

Wheelbase

1465 mm

Seat Height

800 mm

Ground Clearance

220 mm

Kerb Weight

199 kg

Fuel Capacity

15 litres

Dimensions

2190 mm (L) x 840 mm (W) x 1370 mm (H)

Honda CRF 300

Honda CRF 300 motorcycle rental
The perfect balance between size, weight, power and handling.

Engine Type

single cylinder, DOHC, Liquid cooled

Displacement

286 cc

Bore X Stroke

76 mm x 63 mm

Ignition

Full Transistor Digital

Fuel System

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

43 mm Telescopic upside down

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

256 mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

220 mm disc, single piston caliper

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

120/80 18

Wheelbase

1455 mm

Seat Height

880 mm

Ground Clearance

285 mm

Kerb Weight

142 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.8 litres

Dimensions

2230 mm (L) x 820 mm (W) x 1200 mm (H)

Honda CRF 250

Honda CRF 250 motorcycle rental
Replaced in 2021 by the CRF 300, this bike remains a great choice for thrill seekers.

Engine Type

liquid cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke

Displacement

249 cc

Bore X Stroke

79 mm x 50.9 mm

Ignition

computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance

Fuel System

PGM-FI

Compression Ratio

13.9:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

49 mm leading-axle inverted, 12.2-inch travel

Rear Suspension

single shock with spring preload; 12.3-inch travel

Front Brakes

single 260 mm disc

Rear Brakes

single 240 mm disc

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

100 / 90 19

Wheelbase

1445 mm

Seat Height

875 mm

Ground Clearance

333 mm

Kerb Weight

145 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.7 litres

Dimensions

2,195 mm (L) x 815 mm (W) x 1,195 mm (H)

Honda XR 150

Honda XR 150 motorcycle rental
Inexpensive, comfortable and reliable, yet surprisingly capable off-road.

Engine Type

air cooled, OHC, single cylinder

Displacement

149 cc

Bore X Stroke

57.3 mm x 57.8 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

20 mm piston valve carburettor

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic fork, 180 mm axle travel

Rear Suspension

single shock swing arm, 150 mm axle travel

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

mechanical drum

Front Tyres

90/90 19

Rear Tyres

110/90 17

Wheelbase

1362 mm

Seat Height

825 mm

Ground Clearance

243 mm

Kerb Weight

129 kg

Fuel Capacity

12 litres

Dimensions

2091 mm (L) x 811 mm (W) x 1125 mm (H)

R.E. Classic 350

Royal Enfield Classic 350 motorcycle rental
Wide handlebars and upright seating position, with classic styling.

Engine Type

4 stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC

Displacement

349 cc

Bore X Stroke

72 mm x 85.8 mm

Ignition

Digital Electronic Ignition

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic, 41 mm forks, 130 mm travel

Rear Suspension

twin tube emulsion shock, 6-step preload

Front Brakes

disc, 300 mm

Rear Brakes

disc, 270 mm

Front Tyres

100/90-19

Rear Tyres

120/80-18

Wheelbase

1465 mm

Seat Height

805 mm

Ground Clearance

170 mm

Kerb Weight

195 kg

Fuel Capacity

13 litres

Dimensions

2145 (L) x 785 (W) x 1090 (H)

Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250 motorcycle rental
One of Honda’s older dual sport offerings, replaced in 2004 by the CRF 250.

Engine Type

Four Stroke, air cooled, SOHC, single cylinder

Displacement

249 cc

Bore X Stroke

73 mm x 59 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

32 mm Keihin carburettor

Compression Ratio

10.2:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

6-speed

Front Suspension

41mm telescopic, air assisted fork

Rear Suspension

Pro Link adjustable

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

single piston caliper, 220 mm disc

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

100/100 18

Wheelbase

1400 mm

Seat Height

920 mm

Ground Clearance

315 mm

Kerb Weight

104 kg

Fuel Capacity

9 litres

Dimensions

2110 mm (L) x 830 mm (W) x 1215 mm (H)