Sometimes bike riders get into a situation where they have no option other than standing on the roadside waiting for the mechanic to arrive. It’s not unusual to get bike stopped due to one’s negligence or bad luck. Whatsoever, every bike rider must have sound knowledge about these issues so that he can resolve the common problems himself without getting frustrated or losing much energy.
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If you want to learn about the most common bike issues that people spending vacations in Phuket face, you’ve landed in the right place. This article will discuss specific problems frequently seen with bikes, i.e., flat tire, discharged battery, losing or breaking key, etc., necessary precautions, and the possible solutions.
How to Repair Flat Tire in Phuket?
You don’t need to worry much about a flat tire scooter or motorcycle in Phuket. You can easily and quickly get a flat tire repaired anywhere in there. Like any busy city, Phuket also offers a lot of bike mechanics and repairing shops at every corner. Remember that it’s not a problem for which you need to call a rental service. A flat tire can be a result of some instantaneous hit or lousy condition of the road, however, it is less likely since Phuket’s road’s are top-notch. Mostly, rental companies are not responsible for issues like flat tire.
However, some better rentals might provide additional service of repairing the flat tire. Thus, try talking to your rental service if you face this issue.
The rental company might compensate if the flat tire is caused due to old or worn-out tire; nonetheless, you should check for it and notify the company before renting the bike. However, if you forget checking earlier, and discover when the tire is punctured or flat, contact the rental company, and try to settle a deal with them. As stated earlier, you may get a new tire installed and taken a fixed cost for it from the rental company in such a case.
On the other hand, no rental company will agree upon paying any amount if you were riding on a flat tire. Riding on a flat tire is risky, which may damage other parts of bike as well.
So, the best idea is to thoroughly check the tire’s condition at the rental service showroom before renting the bike.Thus you must always be aware of how to check the bike before renting it.
Although repairing a flat tire is overall an easy process, it may vary a bit depending on the following factors:
- Size of tire
- Whether the tire is with tube or tubeless
It is less of an issue to ride on a tire with a different tube size or tubeless at all within Phuket at smaller distances, however the problem may arise for some non-standard exotic or higher CC bikes or when you have to travel long distances outside or inside the Phuket.
How to find a Mechanic for Scooter or Bike who repairs flat tire?
Finding a mechanic isn’t hard, even in a small town. You will find many of them in every nook and corner of the island; however, you need to ensure that the mechanic is confident of the problem.
Mostly mechanics at Phuket aren’t good at speaking English. Most of them even don’t speak English at all, that’s why it’s better to take a picture of a flat tire to explain the issue to a mechanic who cannot understand English. The image will prove helpful to the mechanic in understanding the problem.
You may see several mechanics for the issue if you are not satisfied with certain mechanics’ responses.
The best idea is to see at least three mechanics for an issue. Believe in what the majority says, and don’t take a step further until you are satisfied. Thais in culture can’t say no, so you’ll eventually find someone who’ll help you with it.
Is it OK to ride on a Flat Bike Tire?
No, never ride on a flat tire motorcycle. Riding on such a motorcycle is a significant risk, especially if you have to travel longer distances. It’s not a good idea since you may end up causing more damage to the tire that may be irreparable in some cases.
Even if it is repairable, you’ll need to get it changed from scratch. Installing a new tire can be very costly and challenging, especially if you have come across this problem after business hours.
We understand that pushing a scooter or motorbike on a hot day is hard. However, we recommend you get off the bike and push it using the engine to avoid asserting any extra pressure on the tire, avoiding additional damage until you get it repaired.
How much does repairing a flat tire cost in a scooter or a motorbike?
Most modern bikes contain tubeless tires that are relatively easy and fast to repair. However, some bikes like Dirt, Enduro, and classic bikes, or even some small and mid-size scooters, primarily those introduced before 2017, or specific models, i.e., Zoomer, Scoopy, and Filano, come with the tires that hold an inner tube.
Keep in mind that even the Honda Click models manufactured before 2018 will have a tube inside the tire. You can do further research on the tires of the specific model on the internet.
Best Scenario-Tubeless Tire with Small Puncture:
If you intend to repair a tubeless tire in Phuket, it’ll cost you the least. It usually begins from 100 THB (3 USD) in non-touristic areas to around 400 THB (13 USD) in the regions always rushed with the tourists, i.e., Patong. The average price is between 200-250 THB (7-8 USD). In the case of a tubeless tire, you can get the whole process done in around 10-15 minutes.
Small and Midsize Scooter with Tube:
Small and midsize scooters with tubes cost more when it’s about repairing a flat tire. You may need to pay for the new tube as well as the replacement charges. The new tube for a typical scooter will cost you around 200-400 THB (7-15 USD) while the average replacement charges are also the same, i.e., 200-400 THB. Thus, the whole procedure will cost you around 400-800 THB (14-27 USD), depending on the scooter type.
Bikes with atypical or non-standard tub size:
Repairing some bikes may be more difficult because of the unavailability of their specific spare parts. The same is the case with the tubes in the tires of bikes like dirt or enduro bikes, as it is hard to find tubes appropriate for them in small mechanical shops. Being bad at saying no, these shops will replace the tube with cheap 400-600 THB tubes that are unreliable and unsafe to ride on. A slight bump may damage these low-quality tubes immediately. However, they may support you for a while if you intend to get a better tube from some other place later. Nonetheless, the best idea is to patch up and repair the old tube.
If you have selected such a motorbike with non-standard tubes, high-end rental companies may provide you with the appropriate speared tube; you may replace the old tube with this in case of any damage.
The cost of this standard tube is around 800-1,000 THB for specific models such as Honda CRF250 or Kawasaki KLX. As per the rules of most rental companies, you are supposed to return the new inner tube or pay for the worn-out tube at the time of the return of the motorbike. It’s really worth taking it joyfully as it will save you for a minimum of 1 day, and sometimes even the entire weekend.
Tire Replacement in small or mid-sized scooters:
Thais usually don’t use automatic scooters; instead, they go for semi-automatic scooters with different wheel sizes. Thus, you may have difficulty finding tires for those scooters in case of damage. Nonetheless, it might be relatively easy and quick to find tires for small and medium scooters, i.e., Honda Click, PCX, Yamaha Filano, N-Max, etc. The cost of the new tire will depend on the following factors:
- Whether it is a rear or front tire.
- Whether the tire is tubeless or with the tube.
The cost generally ranges from 300 THB (10 USD) to 1200 THB (40 USD); front tires and tires with tubes are cheaper, while rear and tubeless tires are more expensive.
Tire Replacement in Maxi Scooter or Motorcycle:
Getting both front and rear tires replaced in larger scooters and bikes like Honda Forza, Yamaha X-Max may be a significant issue because of their non-standard size. It is hard to find and replace front tire of some non-standard scooters such as the Yamaha Tricity as well, however their rear tire is of standard size.
- New tires for larger scooters like Yamaha X-max and Honda Forza range from 1800 THB (60 USD) to 3500 THB (120 USD) depending on the brand of the bike and the front and rear. If you are away from the larger towns, you might look for a second-hand tire from some mechanic. Cost may be negotiable in the case of standard scooters and maybe around 500-1000 THB (15-30 USD).
- It is hard to determine the cost of tire replacement in motorbikes. The cost of the new tires usually begins from 2000 THB (65 USD) and may be up to 10000 THB (350 USD), but usually it is 5000THB (180USD) and can be up to 10000THB (350USD) for a single tire. There’s an issue greater than the price tag, and that’s the unavailability of tires on an urgent basis. The delay in the availability of tires is because these tires need to be delivered from Phuket town for common big bikes and scooters or from Bangkok in case of exotic ones. You can try contacting the rental company if you have rented a bike from a very good company as there is a great possibility that they keep the tires for replacement on an urgent basis. If not, check with the mechanic for used tires if you need them on an urgent basis.
The cost of one used tire may range from 800-2000 THB (25-65 USD) depending on the type of tire and its condition. Tires are completely unavailable even in second hand product markets for some rare motorcycle models.
Can you repair a tire yourself?
Although it is sometimes inevitable to change tires on your own; however, we don’t recommend doing this if there are other solutions since it may result in unforeseen circumstances.
How to fix a puncture in a tubeless tire?
The top tip is to keep the tire fix kit with you wherever you go. You may find them in bigger “supercheap” markets. You may either buy it beforehand or get it on rent if possible.
Lighter can be useful in heating up the rubber in the repair kit to make it softer and easier to fix puncture that makes process more convenient.
You will need to have an access to an air compressor that can be found in every mechanic shop or on the bigger petrol station.
Here’s a video on how you can do it:
How to manually patch a bike/scooter tube:
Although it is possible theoretically, you’ll need a lot of tools to get it done.
First of all, you have to get a tube fix kit that you can get from any bigger “supercheap” market.
Yet again, you have to get an air compressor that is hard to get in certain areas. But you can find it if you have bigger petrol pumps and mechanics’ shops around.
It is possible to patch the tube without removing tires on specific bikes and small scooters.
Here’s yet another video on how to patch a bike tube:
Getting a flat tire is not a problem if you face this issue around the main town. In this case, there will be a lot of mechanics and gas stations shops around to help you out.
However, it can be a big problem even in crowded areas if riding a non-standard bike. Rarely, some big rental companies will usually send you a mechanic with the extra tire/tube or even the support vehicle. Not to forget that it’ll be a paid service.
What to do if I get my Battery discharged?
The worst scenario regarding a discharged occurs when you leave the ignition turned on. It may happen in certain unforeseen circumstances, i.e., if you forget the keys. Thus, the rider’s negligence may be the sole reason behind the discharging of any battery, so the rental companies will not take any responsibility for such a mishap.
Deep discharging is even more devastating as it will result in an overall reduction of the battery’s lifetime or completely destroy it.
Let’s learn more about it in the following sections.
Is Battery Broken?
The battery’s condition and severity of discharge depend significantly on the time through which the battery kept on discharging. Let’s tell you how:
- If you have kept the ignition on for about 2-3 hours, you might not be instantly able to start the engine. However, it will most likely recharge itself over time.
- The issue aggravates when you have kept the ignition on for more extended periods, i.e., the whole night. In such a case, deep discharging occurs, and recharge might not be possible.
You’ll need to get a new battery if deep discharging occurs.
How to start a Scooter or Motorbike with a discharged battery?
You might find people somehow running their bikes with a discharged battery; well, it is possible if the battery has not been deeply discharged yet. Hence, you may start your motorbike or scooter in the one of following way:
- Using kick start again and again
- Bump start – push to start
- Recharging the battery
- Jump starting the bike
- Replacing the battery
First four methods may instantly start the engine if there is still some life left in the battery. Nonetheless, replacing the battery is the only option left if you have got your battery broken. It is so because even the jump-starting won’t spark the engine if the battery has already been deeply discharged. Get another battery as soon as possible, in this case, if you want to continue the journey without any delay.
Kick start- Easiest way if you have kickstarter:
Small scooters and a few motorbikes have a kick starter that offers the easiest way to start the bike. Here are specific few steps you can follow to kick start the bike or scooter in case of a battery discharge:
- Set up your bike or scooter on the central stand if it has one.
- Then turn on the ignition and try to start the bike.
- Put the gear on neutral, and then hold the clutch if you are trying to start the motorbike.
- You may use the kick starter to start the bike or scooter and in such a case, ensure that you are giving away your entire force in quick motions.
- The engine will eventually start and when it does, let it work for approximately 30 minutes before switching it off. However, it’s even better is to ride a bike keeping the engine working.
- It indicates battery damage if the engine doesn’t start and requires a battery replacement for proper functioning.
How to Bump start the bike - push to start
How long does it take to recharge a Motorcycle Battery?
Recharging a battery is convenient if you have some mechanic around as he will do it for you. Mostly the tourists’ main concern is time as they can’t stay at a particular place for more than a limited time. Therefore, let’s look at the timeframe that different sorts of scooters and motorbikes can take to recharge.
- Small scooters contain no greater than 6-8 Ah batteries, and hence a recharge time of one hour can take you a long way. However, it is much better to give them around 3 hours to recharge for their appropriate functioning. You can spend this time either on the beach, eating something, or simply exploring the city on foot.
- Bigger bikes and scooters have batteries with greater capacity, and thus you’ll need a time double to those of small scooters or even greater to get them fully charged.
As a general rule, the longer you get time to recharge the battery, the better it is.
How to Jump-start scooter or motorbike?
Some mechanic shops or even car drivers keep the jump start cables on hand. You can use them anytime to start your motorbike if your battery hasn’t been deeply drained.
Keep in mind that the voltage of both vehicles needs to be the same, i.e., you can connect your bike with a car or another bike, but connecting it to a big truck won’t do any good.
- The engine of the vehicle you’re connecting to should be running for a proper electricity supply.
- Connect the battery of your vehicle to the battery of the electricity supplier such that you connect ground to ground (black, negative terminals) first and positive (red) terminals later.
- Wait for 2 to 3 minutes after connecting the batteries.
- Allow engine to work for 2-3 minutes after starting the bike. Keep both batteries connected for a while even after your engine has started let both engines keep running.
- Then disconnect the engines following a specific order, i.e., disconnect positive terminals first and negative terminals later.
CAUTION: Be careful not to connect the positive terminal to vehicle’s ground or negative terminal as it may destroy the battery, fire, or even explosion.
The bike engine will start working with a jump-start even if the battery is broken, but it won’t start again after the disconnection.
How to replace the battery in scooter of motorbike?
There are two scenarios when we talk about replacing the deeply discharged batteries.
If you have a standard small or mid-sized scooter:
- You may either go to a mechanic or even do it on your own if you have got an extra battery and a simple tool like screwdriver is enough in most cases.
- You can buy the battery for most standard scooters and motorbikes at the bigger “supercheap” superstore; it will cost you around 600-900 THB (20-30 USD).
- The procedure of battery replacement won’t take you more than 15-20 minutes for a small or mid-sized scooter or bike.
- Here you will find the battery replacement instructions for the most popular scooters:
If a battery issue occurs with your maxi scooter or motorbike, this is what you need to consider:
- If a battery issue occurs with your maxi scooter or motorbike, this is what you need to consider:
- You will not be able to get the batteries for such vehicles in the supermarket; however, you are most likely to get them at specialized battery shops.
- The battery price for these bikes may vary from 800 THB (26 USD) to 3000 THB (100 USD).
- Some bikes that require a battery of non-standard size create a greater issue as the battery needs to be delivered from Phuket town or a bigger town like Bangkok.
- If you have rented bike from one of the best rentals, you may also ask your rental service if they have kept any spare battery as it is much likely that you’ll get a battery from them.
- A bonus point for big batteries is that they don’t deeply discharge as quickly as the smaller batteries.
- You might need extra tools to replace the non-standard batteries; however, a cross screwdriver, wrench size 10, Allen wrenches, and torches will serve you the best if you intend to replace a battery of some popular bike. All the mechanics possess these tools.
Getting your battery discharged is not a big issue if you are around a big town or in a populated area. Nonetheless, you may face a difficult situation if you are not in a populated place or if you are riding a non-standard bike.
Try contacting your rental company as they may send a mechanic your way.
What to do if I lose or break the scooter or motorbike key?
Losing a key is solely your responsibility, and you may face delays in your journey if you face this issue.
Rental companies mostly keep the spare keys, and you might get them if you contact the company. However, you’ll have to pay additional charges for the lost key in this case. These charges may also vary according to the distance they deliver the key.
How much it costs to get a spare key from a scooter?
If you need the typical metal key to start the bike, the new key cost may range from 300 THB (10 USD) to 1000 THB (33 USD).
The key-making cost for small Honda scooters is usually lesser, while that for Yamaha and other bigger scooters is more because of their complicated key structure.
How much does it cost to make a spare Key-less go Key from Scooter?
The key-less go key is usually harder to forget and lose, but a copy of this key is much more expensive if it occurs.
It may cost from 3000 THB (100 USD) for Honda Forza and may be as costly as 10000 THB (330 USD) for some models of Yamaha.
- Only the official dealership can make a copy of the key-less go key for you. You’ll need to take the spare key and bike to the authorized service.
- Companies don’t usually use the spare key until they produce its duplicate; only two keys can be paired with the bike. That’s why manufacturing a new key may cost your kidney if you lose the second key without having its duplicate.
- Duplication of the key takes one day, and hence, the reputable rental services will exchange the bike and get the process completed on their own.
How much does it cost to make a spare key from a motorcycle?
The process of getting a new key in the case of popular bikes is much more similar to the scooters. It can cost up to 1000 THB (33 USD).
However, duplicating keys from some big bikes like KTMs, Big Wing Honda, Yamaha over 500ccm, and Kawasaki over 650ccm can be very time-consuming. You need to order it from the Bangkok dealership, and it may cost up to 5000THB (160USD). Only the bike owner with the key card may request the official dealership for the duplication of key.
How much does making a spare key from a bike box cost?
- The cost of making the key from the bike box depends entirely on the brand of the box.
- Essential from a cheap box can cost up to 300THB (10USD).
- But those from more expensive boxes-like GIVI, SHAD, TTK, can cost up to 1000THB (30USD); keys from premium USA or German brands like Hepco&Becker or Touratech can cost up to (3000THB) 100USD.
- That’s why companies in Thailand usually choose domestic brands since making a spare key from them will be relatively cheap.
What if I break the key in the ignition switch?
You might break the key in the ignition switch sometimes. You might have an option to exchange the bike, or some rental services even send the mechanic on the spot. It doesn’t usually occur, and you may need to talk to the rental company if it happens.
No matter if your issue is the lost key or the key broken in the ignition, the first step is to contact your rental service. Using a popular bike with a standard metal key is an effortless and straightforward procedure to get the duplicate key made.
If it’s about the key-less go or a highly complex key, you might be asked to get the bike exchanged since it takes much longer than the simple metal key.
Reputable rental companies have a properly pre-planned procedure to deal with such cases, and they won’t take long to approach you once you have contacted them.
What to do with other issues which I can’t manage to fix on my own?
Whether the issue you’re facing is related to tire, battery, key, or anything else, your rental service will always help you out if you have rented a bike from a reputable company.
- The company will reach out to you if you are inside Phuket. They may send a support vehicle or exchange it for some extra payment. It depends on your distance from the rental service office.
- Discuss with the company beforehand if you need to go out of Phuket. If you face any of these bikes issues outside Phuket, the rental service might not help you more than giving information regarding the resolution of the problem.
If you aren’t responsible for the damage caused to the bike, the rental shop should organize a rescue operation as long as it is within the agreed motorcycle rental area.