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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental to rent a motorcycle?

It is realy easy to answer this! Basically, we do everything to make sure you have a great experience with our motorcycles and that there are no surprises.We are the first and longest running motorcycle rental and tour operator in Ecuador. Our customers have given us a vote of confidence and we have earned the coveted "Certificate of Excellence" from tripadvisor year after year.   We have the best selection of adventure-raedy motorcycles in South America.  Other motorcycle rental companies advertise low rates but when you look deeper into what they charge, you will find all kiinds of hidden charges for helmets, for mileage, for processing charges, for gloves, etc. These little charges can add up and can give you an unpleasant surprise when you go to pick up the bike or bring it back. We don't play that game! We have a simple pricing structure and every charge is explained clearly. We include a lot for your money. The motorcycles we provide are late model dual sport motorcycles that are specifically designed for the types of roads and riding conditions that you will find in Ecuador. Our maintenance crew includes a master mechanic who has worked for several years on our brands of motorcycles and has tremendous experience in diagnosing and preventing even the most complicated mechanical and electrical failures. We exceed all of the manufacturers recommendations for service and maintenance intervals. We provide 24 hour assistance so that within hours, should you have a problem on the road, we can get a replacement motorcycle to you wherever you are in the country. (Please note that this does not apply to flat tires or running out of gas - only mechanical problems if they ever occur which we aim to make as rare as humanly possible). We provide a generous set of spare inner tubes, brake and clutch handles, tire repair kits and tools with every rental. We are an Ecuadorian company operated by a French / American management team with years of experience in customer service. We are bikers and we run this business passionately for bikers. We understand that our customers come first and that they are looking for quality and honesty as well as fun. We do everything we can to make sure all of our customers leave with a smile on their faces.

Why would I choose to ride on a tour with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental?

There are a few very important reasons to ride on a tour with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental.

• First and foremost, we are not like many tour companies that offer tours in countries all over the world - but are specialists in none. We are specialists in Ecuador. We know Ecuador and we live here. We don't ship bikes in from a foreign country and then bring in a foreign guide who is not familiar with local customs and roads and then try to show you around as best as he can. No! No! No! We know this country intimately and we love to share our knowledge and experience of riding here. We have contacts around the country that can help in an emergency and make things right. This means you will always get an "insiders view of the country."  Nobody has more experience than us in providing motorcycle tours of Ecuador.

• When we say "all inclusive," we really mean it! A lot of other companies will say they offer "all inclusive" tours, but don't cover things like meals and entrance fees. These little charges can add up and the tour costs a lot more than you thought it would. We include meals, gasoline, entrance fees, great first class single occupancy accomodations and more. We don't think its right to tell you its all-inclusive and then have you pulling your wallet out left and right. The only thing you will have to pay for are for your personal items you want to purchase along the way (souvenirs, etc) and alchoholic drinks (we don't think it would be such a good idea to offer unlimited, free alcohol on a motorcycle tour!).

• We are a small company and working hard to get established with a good reputation.  We have won the "Certificate of Excellence" from TripAdvisor.com year after year.  We want to generate business by word of mouth and this means we make sure that you are completely satisfied with your trip This also means that your tour groups will be small, usually up to 5 or 6 other riders only. Any more riders than that just make it too complicated - when filling up with gas, checking into hotels, etc.

• We provide accomodations that have been carefully chosen and provide single occupancy accomodations. We know that after spending a great day of riding with your companions, you may not necessarily want to sleep with them! We provide you with your own hotel room so you can have some relaxing, personal down time. Most tour companies do not offer this, or if they do, they charge a hefty fee for it.  We include this for FREE.

• We have great routes that have been tried and tested yet still take you off the beaten track. We know you are looking for great riding - and we know that taking the time to "smell the roses" is also what makes a motorcycle tour special. Our tours offer great riding but also adequate rest breaks and fantastic opportunities during the days off from riding so that you can enjoy other activities or just relax and enjoy Ecuador!


What time does your shop open and close? What days are you open?

-We are open seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm, including most holidays (we are closed on Christmas and New Year's Day).


What sort of motorcycles do you rent and how much are they?

-We rent late model, professionally-maintained, high-quality, dual-purpose motorcycles that are well-suited to the riding conditions in Ecuador. For more information about the bikes and prices, please see our motorcycle rentals page.


What age do I need to be to rent a motorcycle?

-You need to be 21 years of age or older.

Do I need an International Driving License?

-No, your driving license (with motorcycle endorsement) from your country, province or state of residence is all that is required.

What documents do I need to rent a motorcycle?

-You need your motorcycle driving license, a passport or identity card from your country of residence and a valid credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover or Diners Club) for the security deposit ($500 - $4000 per motorcycle).

I have a car driving license. Can I use it to rent a motorcycle?

-No. To rent a motorcycle over 150cc from us, your license must contain allow you to ride a motorcycle of over 150cc. If your home drivers' license permits you to ride a scooter or moped, you may ride a moped in Ecuador.

Is insurance included?

-The standard SOAT (Seguros Obligatorios de Accidentes de Transito) insurance is included with all of our motorcycle rentals. It covers third party damage and emergency medical in the case of an accident with another vehicle. We do not have other insurance available.  We do offer a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) program that limits your responsibility to $2500 (you must pay the first $2500 in damages).  The LDW is available for $30/day for most motorcycles except the BMW and Triiumph models which is $50 per day for the LDW.  We have several features which reduce your risk of costly damage to our bikes.   Most of our bikes are equipped with crash bars and protective vinyl stickers which reduce the risk of costly scratches and dents to the bikes.   Our motorcycles are also equipped with hidden anti-theft GPS tracking devices so that we can locate the bike if it is ever stolen.   We strongly recommend that you have third party travel and health insurance, .  We highly recommend that you purchase a travel insurance policy to cover trip cancellation and medical expenses.  We recommend getting a policy from Allianz insurance that includes medical and repatriation coverage.  You can get a free quote by going to  www.allianztravelinsurance.com and using agency code F203715.

Can I ride the motorcycle on unpaved roads?

-YES! Some of the best roads in Ecuador and the joy of riding is seeing some of the back country that you can only access using unpaved roads. We encourage you to explore - but please remember, you are responsible for damage to the motorcycle! We do not allow our motorcycles to be used on any race track or in any illegal manner. Our bikes are not to be used for stunts including jumping, wheelies or racing of any sort.

Do you charge rental per day or per 24 hours?

-We charge per 24 hours. This means you return the motorcycle at the same time as you picked it up. For example, if you pick the motorcycle up at 11 am on Friday and return it before 11 am on Saturday, we charge you for one 24 hour day. We do have per-hour late charges that are clearly indicated in your rental contract. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Do I need to pay a deposit to guarantee my reservation?

-Yes, to secure your booking you need to pay for 50% of your rental or tour. Please contact us and we will send you a PayPal request. With PayPal you can pay with any major credit card or with your checking account. Deposits are refundable minus 10% of the rental or tour price if cancelled at least 90 days prior to departure or pick-up. Cancellations are very costly to us as they impede our planning and ability to sell rentals and tours to other customers. Therefore, cancellations made less than 90 days before the pickup or departure date are not refundable nor may they be applied to a future rental or tour.  It is up to you to secure travel insurance that covers cancellations due to health problems, family tragedies or problems with flight departures, etc.   We do not provide travel insurance.  Our cancellation policy is one of the most lenient in the industry.  To get a free quote for travel insurance that will re-imburse you in case you must cancel your trip (plus provide medical and repatriation coverage in case of an accident), just go to www.allianztravelinsurance.com and enter agency code F203715 which will indicate to them that you are travelling with us.  It is always a good idea.

What is included with my motorcycle rental?

  • Unlimited Mileage 
  • Insurance (see above)
  • 24 hours rental
  • 24 hour breakdown and recovery service (does not cover flat tires or running out of gas, etc)
  • Maps, Routes and Advice
  • Helmets
  • Gloves
  • Tools, spare parts, first aid kit, and tire repair kits
  • High-Security Lock
  • GPS Satellite Tracking Anti-Theft System (not a navigation system)
  • Pre-paid cell phone

Can I take the motorcycle outside of Ecuador?

-We allow you to take the motorcycle outside of Ecuador under special arrangement and for a additional paperwork processing fee of $300. The minimum rental period if you want to ride outside of Ecuador is two weeks. Please note that Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental is unable to provide insurance, GPS mapping, technical or roadside assistance outside of continental Ecuador.  You must contact us in advance if you are planning to travel outside of Ecuador with one of our motorcycles.

Can I carry a pillion / passenger?

-Yes, you can carry a passenger. This is covered under our standard insurance. Passengers are not allowed on some of our "offroad" tours except as passengers in our support vehicle.

 

My friends and I want to rent several motorcycles. Do you do group bookings?

-Yes, please contact us and we will be very happy to arrange that!

Do you do guided motorcycle tours?

-Yes we do. Please see our guided tours page. A guided tour is when you join a group of other bikers and are led by an experienced tour guide. The group usually consists of other riders who are renting motorcycles from us and other guest riders who may join in for sections of the tour on their own motorcycles.

What is included in the price of a guided motorcycle tour?

-The price of our guided motorcycle tours are very comprehensive. They include single occupancy hotel rooms, gas, meals, experienced tour guide, fuel, entrance fees to parks and museums, and accomodations (generally 3-4 star hotels or B&B accomodations). The only things not included are snacks, alchoholic drinks, or any other costs you may personally incur on the trip.

How many miles per day does a guided motorcycle tour cover?

-Guided motorcycle tours typically cover 120-150 miles per day. We feel this is the right amount to give you time to see the sights, take adequate breaks and to enjoy the riding. This can be a lot of riding in Ecuador's twisty Andeam mountain roads. There are tours with some longer days, typically because we will be riding in remote areas and must cover distance to arrive at a decent hotel!

Do all of your guided motorcycle tours have a chase vehicle?

-We generally provide a free chase vehicle for carrying luggage on tours where we have 4+ riders.  

Where do your guided motorcycle tours start and end?

- All of our tours begin and end on at our offices in Quito.

Are your guided motorcycle tours available for dates other than those listed on the site?

-Yes. We can arrange a tour at any time of the year, with advanced notice. Please contact us if you would like to set up a tour for a date that is not listed on our web site.

I may have some friends that want to join me on a guided motorcycle tour. Can we get a discount?

-Yes! We offer special prices if you sign up additional people to join the tour. Please contact us for more information.

Do you do self-guided motorcycle tours?

-Yes! For more information about our self-guided motorcycle tours, please see this page.

What is a self-guided motorcycle tour?

- The concept of a self-guided motorycle tour consists of us giving you one of our rental motorcycles that is equipped with a pre-programmed GPS unit. The route for the day or each day of the multi-day tour is on the GPS and each night's accomodation is pre-booked and pre-paid (for our multiple day tours). There are no set dates so you can choose your own starting date. You can go alone or with a group of friends. You pay an all-inclusive price for the motorcycle or scooter rental, GPS routes and accomodations. All that you need to do is show up, safe in the knowledge that you will be riding some of the best roads in Ecuador and staying at comfortable, safe and biker-friendly accomodations while seeing the best parts of Ecuador!

What is included in the price of self-guided GPS tour?

-The price of our self-guided GPS tours include motorcycle rental, GPS routes, B&B, Hostel, or 4 star hotel accomodations (where applicable). Not included is fuel, drinks, ferries, tolls, entrance to tourist sites, fines, tickets, or any other personal expenses you may incur. Some meals are included with hotel accomodations (please contact us for more information about your tour).

Do your self-guided tours have a chase vehicle?

- No we do not provide a vehicle that will follow you to carry your luggage and assist you. We supply you with a luggage system for your personal affairs. If you have a breakdown our support and recovery vehicle is available 24 hours a day for roadside assistance. You are responsible for repairing flat tires with either the tire repair kits provided or with a "vulcanizador" which is a person who can fix a flat tire for $3 and located throughout Ecuador in almost every town and village.

What happens if I don't make it to my hotel on a self guided tour?

You are responsible for getting to your scheduled hotel on time.  Self-guided tours are provided for your convenience - we make the hotel reservatiuons and payments for you but we do not guarantee that you will arrive on time.  There are too many things out of our control.   Our self-guided tours are just that - you must be the guide and must plan and understand the route before you go.   If you decide not to go to a hotel on each night, we can not provide any refunds.

How do I make a booking (reservation)?

-For motorcycle reservations, go to the "Rental" menu at the top of the web page, select the bike you would like to rent and then contact us by email. Specify the dates you are requesting. We will respond to you regarding availability, usually within 24- 48 hours but sometimes a little longer if we are out running a tour. If the requested bike is available we will let you know and then ask you to guarantee your reservation by paying for 50% of the rental using PayPal. To make a reservation for a self-guided or guided tour, please contact us directly! The process is very simple and easy.

How do I pay for my motorycle rental or tour?

-You can pay for your motorcycle rental reservation deposit using PayPal. or if you prefer, by making a wire transfer into our bank account in Ecuador You may the balance in our office using a credit card (MC, Visa, Amex, Diners Club, Discover).  We issue SRI-authorized receipts for all payments.

Do you rent clothing and riding gear?

-Yes, we do have some jackets, gloves, boots and rain gear for rent. However, we do find that most people bring their own gear so we are very limited in the variety and sizes of the clothing that we have available for rent. We encourage you to bring your own gear to use but if you need to rent gear, please contact us prior to your arrival so that we can arrange to have what you need.

What gear do I need?

Ecuador requires that you ride with a helmet and with a special orange safety vest with the license plate number printed on it. We provide these with the motorcycles. You may, of course, bring your own helmet and riding gear such as gloves, rain gear, jacket, trousers, boots and sunglasses or goggles. Ecuador has a very wide variation in climates with some 22 different climactic zones throughout the country. This means that you should dress in layers that you can add and remove as you climb and descend in altitude - allowing you to accomodate changes in temperature and climate accordingly. In addition to riding gear we recommend that you bring insect repellent and sunscreen with you on your ride. For our offroad tours, we recommend that you wear protective gear such as a chest protector, shin and elbow guards.  Contact us for a list of recommended gear once you have made your reservation.

Do I need to bring a GPS? Do you have maps for my GPS?

-You do not need to bring a GPS unit. We have the most comprehensive and most up-to-date GPS systems available for Ecuador, the Ecuador CityNavigator(tm) from Garmin. We work closely with Garmin, the manufacturer of the GPS units, to ensure that the routes provided by their sytems are accurate and up to date. If you have a Garmin GPS, we can install a copy of the CityNavigator software for your unit for $150.

Can you help with route planning?

-Yes. We are always happy to help you plan your route once you have made a guaranteed reservation. Please contact us when you need help with planning! However, we are not a travel agency and we do not book tours to the Galapagos or make hotel reservations for you (except for our self-guided and guided tour customers). We are very happy to provide you with recommended hotels and places to visit - just ask!

Do your motorcycles have luggage?

-Our BMW,  Triumph Tiger and Suzuki V-Strom models have available hard luggage systems. For our other motorcycles, we have a variety of saddlebags and pannier systems available for rent at an additional charge. Please see our Accessories page for more information about the available luggage systems.

How do I get from the airport to your location?

-The easiest way is to take a taxi, which will cost $27 (fixed fare set by regulating authrority). Be sure to confirm the fare with the driver before getting in the taxi. It generally takes about 60 minutes to get to our location from the airport.

Can you store my excess luggage ?

-Yes, we have lockers available to store your luggage before, during or after your rental. Please bring your own padlock.

Do you have a mileage limit?

-NO! You can ride as many miles as you want.  

What if the motorcycle breaks down?

-Our motorcycles are all late-model, from high-quality top manufacturers that are professionally and meticulously maintained, so the chance of a breakdown is very small. If the motorcycle can not be repaired at the roadside we can send our 4X4 support vehicle to assist you and replace the motorcycle. Breakdowns do not include events such as flat tires, leaving lights on and wearing down a battery, or running out of gas - which are out of our control.

What weather should I expect in Ecuador?

-Since Ecuador is located on the Equator, there are very little seasonal variations in the weather. The sun rises and sets at approximately the same times every day, throughout the year. Weather on the Equator is more regulated by elevation than by season. It’s always warm on the coast and in the lowlands, and it can be surprisingly cool in the highlands. It snows year-round in the mountains, and can rain up to 500 cm (16.4 feet!) each year in parts of the Oriente. Ecuador is also the only place in the world where the equator passes through snow - on the shoulder of 18,996 foot (5,790m) Cayambe. The temperature in Ecuador varies by altitude and weather conditions. A cloudy day at 6,000 feet (1,800m) can be quite chilly, but down at 1,000 feet (300m) near Tena it’s warm on rainy days. Normally it’s sunny for part of the day and rainy for part of the day, but an entire week of sun (or rain) is not uncommon. We’ve yet to find any meteorologists with accurate weather predictions for Ecuador!

Is Ecuador Safe?

-South America in general is a great place to travel. Ecuador is a very peaceful democracy and has a much lower crime rate than most of South America and even some cities in North America! While traveling on your own in Quito, use whatever precautions you normally would in a big city. Don’t run around alone downtown after the bars are closed, or tour parts of town you don’t know with an expensive camera hanging around your neck. In the smaller towns like Canoa or Banos, we feel pretty darn safe day or night.

Are the police in Ecuador honest?

-We have done some extensive travelling in Central and South America and we can tell you from our experience that the Ecuadorian police are in general the most honest and free of corruption we have encountered. In other countries such as Peru and Honduras, we find police that will trump up charges in order for you to pay a bribe. This does not occur in Ecuador and Ecuador has an active citizen anti-corruption campaign to prevent this from occuring. The police, we feel, are honestly working for your safety. There are occasional police roadblocks where you will be required to show your rental contract and motorcycle registration as well as your drivers' license and passport. We will provide you with all of the paperwork to clear these roadblocks quickly and easily. There are no radar guns, red-light cameras, or speed traps in Ecuador! It is very difficult to get a parking ticket and motorcycles do not pay tolls on most highways in Ecuador.

How much money should I bring with me? What do things cost in Ecuador?

-In most other places you travel the advice is usually, "When preparing for your trip, lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Now bring half the clothes and twice the money!" However, here in Ecuador the advice is the opposite. You will need more clothes than usual because you will be travelling through several climactic zones, but you will probably need less money than you expect. Things are vey inexpensive in Ecuador. You can find a decent room in a hotel or hostel in most cities for $10 per person. You can still have a three-course lunch with drink included for about $2-3. Gasoline prices are set by the government at $1.48/gallon for regular unleaded and a maximum of $2.29 a gallon for premium unleaded. As of September, 2000 Ecuador's official currency is the US dollar. There are a number of currency exchanges in Quito if you don't have dollars. It is a good idea, though, to bring small bills. It is said that a man with a hundred dollar bill in Ecuador is a man without money.  You'll have trouble breaking a $20 bill almost anywhere in Ecuador, so be sure to travel with lots of $10s, $5s, and $1s. US coins will work here too, though Ecuador also mints its own version of coins, same size, different presidents on the front. Bank machines that accept credit and debit cards are common in the cities. Credit cards are accepted in some hotels and restaurants, but travelers' checks are basically not accepted anywhere in Ecuador.

How much does it cost to fly to Ecuador? How can I find a cheap flight to Quito?

Continental flies out of Houston, American out of Miami, and Delta out of Atlanta to Quito. From Europe, KLM and Iberia have direct flights to Quito from Amsterdam and Madrid. There are also numerous Latin airlines that fly from various European and east coast and southern cities as well (Copa, LanEcuador, LanChile, and Avianca). For some tips on how to get an inexpensive flight, check out our page that will tell you just what to do.

Will everything go exactly as you describe in your tour pages?

We make every effort to make sure things go as smoothly and as described in our tour descriptions. However as is everywhere, things can go wrong.  In addition, this is Latin America so things can be sometimes a little more difficult to resolve or organize. Additionally Ecuador has continuous problems with landslides and road closures that are out of our control and there is no national communication system to alert of road closures. We do not operate Disneyland where we can just strap you into the ride and you are guaranteed to come back smiling.  We do everything we can to that goal but it is not possible every time.   We just ask that if something goes wrong, that you help us resolve the problem by being calm, patient and undestanding. Our goal is to make things as fun as possible and we will do everything we can to achieve that goal!

What languages do you speak?

We speak fluent English, French and Spanish. Some of our staff also speak German, Quechua, Dutch and Arabic.   But feel free to write us in whatever language you are comfortable in and we will use online translation tools to understand you as best we can!