Please inquire rental rates by email.
95 octan unleaded gasoline is 3870 Ariary ~ 1.14 € (May 2017) per liter and must be paid by the customer. When renting a bike, a deposit of 1500 € (bank transfers prefered, checks accepted) will be requested. This equals the amount to be paid by the customer in case of damage caused by him.
Our motorbikes were chosen and are equipped for large tours around Madagascar, mostly using main routes, but including side trips into villages, as well. Our tour page suggests a number of tours. For tours with a predominant off-road character, you are advised to rent a more light-weighted, one-cylinder, off-road motorbike elsewhere.
We maintain our motorbikes as well as possible to ensure maximum reliability. This contrasts with the country's custom to do repair work only when needed, which means on the road side, after a break down. Of course, we cannot totally prevent break downs from happening. Due to the absence of adequate infrastructure, if a break down does occur, the customer depends largely on himself and on assistance available locally. This being the case, travelling with a companion has its advantages. Drivers of other vehicles are generally willing to help, within the limits of their capabilities. To communicate with them, a good command of the French language is required.
Technical problems: Here, the on-board tool set, the driver's manual, technical understanding, the ability to improvise, and inner peace could help. Perfectionism is not needed; rather, getting the bike going. Better to be two together.
Weak batterie: Should not happen anymore as acid batteries have been replaced with maintenance free ones. No more acid can be spilled.
In 2006 we installed new oversized chargers, to avoid the problem of overcharging.
Engine is not started any more, one only hears a klicking, Batterie seems ok: Relais isn't working. This little piece normaly starts the starter, when the start button is pushed. You will find it to the left of the batterie, resting in a rubber case. You can start the engine by bridging the two large contacts (with screws on). Pushing the bike will work as well, use second gear.
Tyre failures: We always provide tube repair spray, which should work in a number of cases. Those who wish may take along some tools (if one knows how to use them), in case they are needed. Tire repair workshops (atelier de vulcanisation) can even be found in smaller places. One could take out the wheel and have it repaired elsewhere, provided there is a partner remaining with the vehicle. To futher reduce the risk of tube punctures, we use extra thick tubes, whenever available.
If you run out of gasoline, you can ask the drivers of other vehicles for some. Of course, you need to pay for it. However, in most cases, Malgache people will be asking you for some.
Mud: Driving on muddy roads is one of the most difficult jobs for a bike rider. Wet laterite is slick and quickly fills the grooves in the tire tread; thus, it does not provide good traction. And because water drains poorly from this road surface, small creeks and ruts develop. The trip may be over at anytime. Sometimes it helps to reduce weight by carrying the luggage out of the worst mud. If you manage to make it to a village, it is best to stay there until conditions improve, as the sun is quite powerful (especially in the rainy season). Another option would be to try to find a means to transport the bike. The best advice is to stay away from muddy roads.
Sand: The deeper the sand, the more difficult driving becomes. You will feel the heavier weight of a Transalp compared to an off-road bike. I managed once to cross a sandy river bed by simply walking beside the machine. Even in remote areas, you are likely to find helpful hands to push you. In general, they will expect a tip.
Falling over: This is not unlikely to happen on dirt roads and in the sand. The customer is responsible for any damage caused, such as broken handles or mirrors. With the boxes removed, one person can lift the bike back to its feet.
Nothing goes: If the bike will not move any more and a solution on the road is not in sight, it is the responsibility of the driver to organize the transport of the bike and driver to the next city that has a telephone, in order to contact us. You will have to wait patiently for a bus or truck to pass by that has room for you and the bike. He who leaves alone the bike, has practically lost his deposit. However, if you are travelling with two bikes, you would only need a rope, so one bike can pull the other one into the next settlement.