10 useful tips for driving a motorbike in Bali
As I said in my previous post, driving a scooter in Bali for the first time can be quite a challenge. But if you are the adventurous type, you will give it a chance for sure. Being one of the most popular means of transportation on the island, motorbikes offer the best way to explore it. Narrow streets of Kuta, Canggu and Seminyak, rice paddies, Hindu temples or hidden beaches, all waiting for you to arrive.
Here are my recommendations for a safe and fun scooter ride:
!Tip 1: Let’s start with scooter rental. Although you have many options around the island, I recommend you to book through your hotel so you get the best price and probably a better scooter. They are all happy to assist you in any matter. Prices start from around 4-5 EUR/day;
!Tip 2: Depending on the places you want to visit and the distances to arrive there, I suggest renting a bigger scooter, for at least 125cc, if not 250cc, even though you pay a bigger price. If I recall correctly, we paid around 150.000 IDR for a new Yamaha TMax 250cc meaning around 9 EUR/day;
!Tip 3: When you rent the scooter, they will rarely ask you about the driving license. Still, if the police stop you, you will definitely need to have an international driving license from your home country. Indonesian law states that you should also have a temporary Balinese driving license which can be obtained from the police station in Denpasar within a day. I must admit we did not ask for it, but ssht! Don’t tell anyone!
!Tip 4: Safety first! Always use your helmet in Bali or you will risk a fine for not doing so. As a plus, “scootering” around can be dangerous so the helmet is mandatory;
!Tip 5: Do not forget to use your horn when going around curves on mountainous roads so you can alert others that you are coming. They often drive on the middle of the road when they do not have enough visibility;
!Tip 6: Be aware that locals rarely use signals lights, they just raise their hands to indicate if they are turning right or left. So, if you have a passenger in the back, he or she can also point to your direction;
!Tip 7: Try not to plan more than 30 kilometers by scooter due to the hard traffic conditions and be sure to take a raincoat with you because weather is pretty unpredictable;
!Tip 8: Petrol stations are easy to be found on the island. A full tank should cost around 20,000 IDR.
!Tip 9: Roads in Bali can be quite dirty and dusty. So in order to protect your eyes, I recommend wearing sunglasses all the time. Also, a scarf or a mask placed over your mouth and nose could come in handy.
!Tip 10: If you want to avoid sun burns, you should not forget to apply sunscreen before using the scooter. Even though you cannot feel the heat, believe me the sun is going to love your unprotected skin. And I bet you do not want to look like a crab in your holiday photos, right?
That being said, happy scootering in your amazing Bali holiday!