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25 Survival Tips for Renting & Riding a Motorbike / Scooter in Bali - by Expedition Bali Tours

Updated: Dec 2, 2023



25 Survival Tips for Renting a Scooter in Bali

There are some unwritten rules we've learnt along the way since we came to Bali in 2015.


This booklet is an attempt to keep you alive whilst riding around the 5780 square kilometres of Bali – The Island of the Gods. If you’re planning on renting / hiring a scooter and getting out in the traffic of Bali, this 25 Point Survival Guide will go a long way to keeping you alive. Some people are way to scared to get out on a scooter and see all that Bali has to offer. Some think it’s a cake walk and are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the roads of Bali. It’s true that renting a motorbike or scooter is a wonderful, and cheap way of getting around and seeing everything Bali has to offer, including all the Bali tours on offer. However, we trust the booklet will help keep you safe on your travels. If you don't have time to read this because you're getting on a flight to Bali right now, or you want this on your computer for any other unforeseen reason, we made a booklet of this article for you do download here free.

25 Survival Tips for Riding and Renting a Motorbike in Bali
.pdf
Download PDF • 11.00MB

Gift it to anyone you like to remind them of how safe they need to be whilst in Bali on a motorbike or scooter.

Arrogant Tourist

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Rule #1: Your Own Country V's Bali's Road Rules

Bali's road rules are not an adaptation of your own country's rules. Your country may have better rules, leave that thought in your country.


This country (Indonesia) has some very different and sometimes arguably some very dangerous rules. They work here, your rules from your home country wont work here, and are unenforceable here. You won't change 270 million people to your way of thinking.


Get it out of your head that you are some how superior in riding and that the rules here somehow don’t apply to you.


Always wear a helmet, always wear a shirt, and show some respect. (despite what you see in Canggu)

Travel Insurance

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Rule #2: Travel Insurance


If you have travel insurance and you think you're covered to ride a scooter, think again. Most insurance companies won’t cover you to ride a scooter or motor bike unless you have an open class licence in your country of origin or have specifically been asked to be covered to ride a scooter / motorbike. Some will cover you; in my case, the insurance company I used to have said I couldn't ride anything bigger than a 200cc motor bike. The insurance I have now says as long as I am licensed in my country of origin, and I have an international licence, I'm good to go.


Always check your travel insurance policy PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) before getting on a scooter or motorbike in Bali. Travel insurance doesn't cover damage to the motorbike either. Nor does it cover the other person if you injure someone. Travel insurance covers you only.

Three Strikes

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Rule #3: Three Strikes


There are three things your travel insurance will not cover you for if you hurt yourself on a scooter or motor bike:

  1. Unlicensed

  2. No helmet

  3. Intoxicated

Any one of those, and you're on your own.


NO INSURANCE


A medivac flight back to where you came from can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Get an international drivers licence from your own country. Wear your helmet, even to the shops or just down the road to the beach or off to your favourite Bali tours. Don't drink and ride. Please don't rely on the hospitals in Bali. They don't have neurosurgeons. It's not rocket science. It's survival of the less stupid here.

Bali Speed Limits

Google Image Rule #4: Speed Limits


There are no real speed limits in Bali, except at some school crossing zones that no one ever enforces that we’ve seen. They don’t have handheld speed cameras in Bali. Everyone in Bali rides to their ability and their environment. (the known dangers of the area).


Don't ride like an idiot, take your time, you're not from the area. 40km per hour is a good start, and probably the average speed in Bali.



Bali Scooters

Rule #5: Might is Right


Yes, where you come from, the pedestrian is probably the most protected when it comes to the law. When you leave your country, the rules from your country don't apply in Bali. The Indonesians have the"Might is Right" rule. It's a simple rule really, the smaller you are, the more likely you are to be killed, so get out of the way of anything bigger than you. Put another way (so that you really get this rule.) This rule is crucial for your survival.


Shaking your fist at a car that has just pulled out from a side street and nearly taken you out, is stupid here. The Indonesians think “My car is bigger than your scooter, you should’ve gotten out of the way.”


Trust me, I’ve driven cars and scooters in Bali. When I drive a car, I think ”These scooters are like flies, they’re always around me, getting in the way, they’re a menace.” Then I ride a scooter on the same day and my thinking switches to “Man, these cars are in the way, they take up too much space, their too slow, oh… there’s a gap, I’ll get into that gap, the car will have to brake, but that’s his problem, I’m in front now, why do people have cars in Bali anyway.” Seriously, this is the mind set from both sides and I can’t stop myself thinking either way.


I’ve done over 60,000 kilometres on my scooter in Bali, (the island itself is only 5780 square kilometres) and here is my take on who owns the road starting with the biggest and baddest of them all:

Pertamina Truck

Google Image 1) Pertamina Truck 2) Coach / Tourist bus

3) Tipper style truck - usually a light green in colour

4) 4WD or 4x4

5) Car / Van

6) Big (over 500cc) motor bike

7) Under 500cc motor bike

8) Scooter

9) Cyclist

10) Pedestrian

If you're an "8" riding a scooter, and you see anything looking remotely like any of the seven vehicles above you, and you want to live, get out of the way. - If it's bigger than you, coming towards you, get out of the way and you'll be able to dodge the next one as well. Don't get out of the way, and you will die. It really is that simple. Worst case scenario, they'll be wrong, (in your world) and, you'll be DEAD right, and heading to the next world.



Tourists - No Helmet

Google Image Rule #6: Roundabouts


This is Bali, the rule for approaching a roundabout is not the same as anywhere else on the planet we have driven or ridden. Locals don't use roundabout correctly and they know it. They don’t even do the same at each roundabout for consistency. The roundabout is approached differently because this is the way it’s always been done in that area. Old habits die hard even in Bali.


We would advise you to do the same as the local. If you see the locals going across the face of the round about from the left lane to turn right lane without going clockwise around the roundabout, do the same. You're not going to be able to change 270 million Indonesians by inflicting your driving knowledge of how to use a roundabout correctly. That said, very occasionally you come across a roundabout that is being used the way you were taught. Do it the correct way in that case. This is more the exception than the rule. We heard there was a big advertising campaign about this some years ago advising locals how to use roundabout's correctly by the Indonesian government. It made not a scrap of difference. Summary: Unless you’re very familiar with the area, approach all roundabout with caution.

Uncontrolled Intersections of Bali

Rule #7: Uncontrolled Intersections


Uncontrolled Intersection are “many” in Bali. You'll be riding along, and you'll see an intersection that you could be on the side street, or the people approaching from the left and right could be on the side street. There is no stop sign, no give way sign, and no lines on the road. Everyone thinks they have the right of way. If you think like that, you'll die. Take it easy, slow down, look left and right, let people cross, smile in the knowledge that you're still alive.


Summary: Take it easy and read the traffic.



Bali Tourists with No Idea.

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Rule #8: It's Your Fault


“It’s Your Fault”… Yes, it is every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. If a kid runs out onto the road because he is chasing a ball and you hit the kid, or the ball, your fault. If a guy is riding the wrong way up a one-way street and you hit him, your fault. If a local is driving backwards, doing 60km p/h with only three wheels on his car, a dog in the passenger seat, a pig in the back seat, with his three kids on his lap whilst he is texting his wife that is also sitting in the back seat, and you clip his wing mirror. STILL YOUR FAULT.


We'll tell you why, and there is a simple logic to this that Indonesians have. "If you weren't here, (in this country) this wouldn't have happened" In other words if you didn't come to Bali, the accident wouldn't have happened. Can you argue with that logic? No. Sorry, your still at fault. We’ve had this said to us; four times.



Bali Motorbike Accident

Google Image Rule #9: Auto Insurance in Bali


It goes like this:

A local hits you, that's your fault remember? Everyone will get out of their vehicles. After a quick check that their okay. (They will not care if you’re okay.) The conversation will immediately turn to discussing money, and before the next wave of traffic catches you, an amount will be agreed upon, you'll pay, and everyone is on their merry way. Just pay, how do you think it would go in court in Indonesia with you saying, "It's his fault" in English, and the local guy saying, "itu kesalahan dia" (It's his fault), in Indonesian to an Indonesian judge? You are the auto insurance policy, and no, your travel insurance doesn't cover the vehicle you are driving, or the vehicle that hits you or you hit. Pay, but don't get fleeced. 200,000rp will cover it in most cases. “Auto” is “Automatic” meaning you will automatically be at fault and have to pay.



Bali Bus Accident - Slide on it's side.

Google Image Rule #10: Traffic Accidents


For some bizarre reason, Indonesians will try and hold your vehicle after an accident; like they can stop your vehicle (4x4, car, motorbike, scooter) with their hands. We’ve been in a couple of minor accidents. Each time locals have put their hands on the car or motorbike like they’re going to be able to stop us driving away. Don't get angry, it's just their way. Sure, you could accelerate out of their grip, however, a local could grab your door handle and get dragged under your car, or off their bike, and again... you'd be in trouble for something else, because rule number eight... "it's your fault”


Parked Cars in Bali

Google Image Rule #11: Parked Cars on the Side of the Road in Bali


Cars parked on the side of the road are super dangerous. Doors often fly open as people that get out of the car don't stop for just a second to think who they could collect as they open the door to get out of the vehicle and don’t check their wing mirror before getting out.


In most countries we’ll crack the door open just a bit and take a look. Here, they will 9 times out of 10, fling the door wide open. If you get hit by the jam of a door, (The leading edge) they will be wrong, and you'll be dead. You'll be right though, they shouldn't have opened that door, however there is that little fact that, you’re still dead.


Always leave enough room for a fully extended door when riding past parked cars on the side of the road, otherwise go past at a slow enough speed that you can evade that carelessly swung open door. This has happened to me personally at least four times that I can recall where after I went past the door that was flung open, I realised that the door could have easily gotten me in the chest had I been 30cm's closer to the car. Doing 60, and coming to a complete stop on the edge of a car door... yep, still dead. - Wide birth parked cars.



Tourists On Scooters in Bali

Google Image Rule #12: Tourists on Scooters in Bali


Yes, you're dangerous. Many locals will keep away from a white person (bulé) riding a scooter. Not because they want to give you the space and are being polite, noooo, they simply don't want to die.


Tourists do the stupidest things on scooters. "Oh, let's go there" stop, U turn into on coming traffic, laugh when a pile of traffic have to stop whilst the tourist holds everyone up, as they go back to the place that isn't what they thought it was anyway.


People that have lived here in Bali all their lives can tell when you haven't been on a scooter long. People that have been in Bali a year can tell when you haven't ridden a scooter for very long. You’re the menace on the road. Remember that.



Bali Footpaths

Google Image Rule #13: Foot Paths in Bali


Footpaths are a recent edition to Bali's landscape. A few years ago, all of these red footpaths you see on the sides of roads where open drains. So, under the footpaths are drains.


Footpaths are great for scooters to get around cars. However, sometimes these footpaths have a few big areas missing. When there is an area missing, they drop straight into a drain that could be as much as two metres deep, or as little as 50 cm's deep. Slow down if riding on the foot path especially at night-time. If you think you’ll be able to sue someone if there’s a hole in the side-walk and you hurt yourself, think again. Not a chance in hell will you be able to sue someone here in Bali. This is not the US.


If you're a pedestrian on a footpath / sidewalk and you bring your "I have the right of way here, I'm a pedestrian on a footpath" You’ll at the very least end up in hospital. Pedestrians on a foot path, stay vigilant. You are a 10. (see point 5 "Might is Right” above) You have 9 things to watch out for. Sorry, this is Bali.

Livestock on the Streets of Bali

Rule #14: Livestock


Dogs, chickens, cats, pigs and cows: Yes, at some stage you will encounter all of these on Bali roads. Dogs will lie down in the middle of a road during the night confident you'll go around them. The dogs expect you to go around them. We are sure dogs call meetings at between 11.00pm and 3.00am on the streets. Packs of them all lying around, like they’re a bunch of teenagers that have snuck out to meet up for a cigarette. Chickens, yes, we have taken out a few, not deliberately, however the point is, don't swerve to miss them, or you'll die. Cats, not so often, but yes, these have been taken out as well, again by accident. Don't swerve. For these animals keep riding, unless you have plenty of money to have exploited from you by a local


Cows. Now cows are a little different, they are a sacred animal here in Bali. You stop and give way to the cow. Truthfully, stop, or ride around with caution. You damage, mame, or kill a cow, and you could spend some serious time in jail. - Don't swerve for animals, stop for cows. I've seen cows walking across the traffic, then against the traffic down the main Sunset Road of Bali. The cow has right of way. If you hit a cow, you’ll likely come off second best anyway.



No Licence, No Worries, if you're a Bali Local

Rule #15: Local Riders Most local Indonesian riders don't have a license, (or what the locals call a ‘Sim'). Some riders are aged around 6, and some look like they’re 106. Most have never had a lesson; most have never attempted a driving or riding test. You have (or are supposed to have).


The locals will pull out from side streets and go left without even looking to their right, and there are a number of reasons for this. One of those reasons is they have had their scooter blessed, so their Gods will protect them. They’re protected, you’re not.(true story, Hindu Indonesians get the motorbikes blessed and they believe this will bring them luck and protect them.) They don't wear helmets either. You need too. Common sense where you come from doesn't apply here to locals. Wear a helmet so you don't die. Remember your basics from your riding lessons. The unofficial stats are that on average 120 riders die per day on Indonesian roads. That’s right, 120 PER DAY. Don't be one of them. Tomorrow you'll be forgotten.

Fuel in Vodka Bottles in Bali

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Rule #16: Fuel Don't buy petrol / fuel / bensin from a small shop known as a warung. Buy it from a Pertamina Station every time. The price is the same all over Indonesia at Pertamina stations, because Pertamina is government owned. You buy fuel in Indonesia, you're buying it from the government, there is no competition for them.


Warung’s mix fuels, and you'll pay more for that crap fuel. Those Vodka bottles they sell the fuel in not only have varying colours of fuel, the bottles are not one litre. They say the price is the same as the Pertamina petrol station. Say 10,000 rp per litre. The bottle is 10,000 rp per bottle. The bottle is 750 mils. Not only are you getting ripped off for 25% of the fuel you could buy at Pertamina, you're also getting fuel mixed with something else. Nasty.

Pertamina Fuel Station

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“Premium Fuel” is not Indonesia’s ”premium" fuel. There is an order for fuel. Starting with the best fuel, here is the list of fuels available in Indonesia:

1) Pertamax Turbo - 98% octane 2) Pertamax - 92% octane - Best we could get for about four or five years

3) Pertalite - 90% octane - Not much better than 'Nasty'

4) Premium - 88% octane - Nasty


Can you see why "Premium" is not 'premium' now. If you’re using Pertamax Turbo and you go back to Pertalite... OMG you can feel the difference on a scooter. On a scooter by Pertamax or above. Even Pertalite is not that good. 10% of Pertalite is “other than octane” (Who knows what that other 10% is) That’s not reliable for you to get around on.


If you have a Diesel Car, well that's a whole different ball game:

1) Solar (Yes, that's right, it's diesel fuel that's called "Solar") is the lowest of the dirtiest diesel. It is really bad fuel and burns badly. Smoke everywhere.

2) Dexlite - This seems to work okay in a 4x4

3) PertaDex is the good stuff. We use this in our 4x4 for or Bali tours.


Oh and "Air" at a petrol station isn't "air" like we think it is. In Indonesia, "Air" is pronounced differently (eh - ya) and means "water" so don't ask for "air" in your tyres, or you'll be riding around on a waterbed.



Wing Mirrors - Optional

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Rule #17: Mirrors

These are merely decoration on motorbikes for tourists. The locals have a simple theory that works.


"If everyone is looking forward, no one will get hit, don't look backwards because you're not going that way"



This simple theory works really well, you keep an eye out in front of you only, the person behind you looks only in front… how can anyone get hit. - You watch where you're going, they'll watch where they're going (Unless of course they're texting, and they hit you. Your fault remember?... ) Who needs rear vision or wing mirrors if you’re only looking forward right?


You’ll be looking at a local’s motorbike thinking "There is something different about that bike" and you won’t see it. You won’t be able to pick it. Look at the wing mirrors. They won’t have them. They are useless to them, so they take them off.

GoFundMe Logo

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Rule #18: Free Insurance A "Go Fund Me" page is NOT your back up insurance policy.


The amount of people that drink themselves stupid, get on a scooter without a helmet and are found badly hurt or even dead in a ditch five hours later is phenomenal. Don't ask others to cover your sorry arse when you've been an idiot. It's just plain embarrassing.


Picture this, you're in a Bali hospital, with an international news crew filming your busted up body, tubes hanging out of you everywhere. You’ve been drinking, you were not wearing a helmet, and you really expect people to just send in money? It happens, you'll find a sucker or two that will feel for you.


Really... buy travel insurance before you leave your country, wear a helmet whenever you're on a scooter, have an international licence before you leave your country, and don't drink and ride. Please, no more GoFundMe pages to get you home. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel.

Boulder on the Road

Rule #19: Bali Roads


You know those old country roads in your country of origin. No, not the roads that are long winding and beautiful, not the long ones maintained by the government. We’re talking about those roads that could be long driveways, all the way up to a farming property, over a cattle grid, potholes, wind rows so the water can escape. Imagine riding on that driveway when it's raining, on a scooter. Great you're ready for riding on Bali roads. Minimal curbing, potholes most places, bad water run off. The only thing missing is a cattle grid. But they don't need those here because the cows are sacred; you're stopping for them remember.


If the roads are flooded, and there is a pothole in the road, you won’t see it. If you come across that same flooded road and you see a stick with some leaves sticking out of the flooded road, or perhaps a chair in the water that looks in the middle of the road, that means there’s a pothole there. They rarely have a traffic cone in place anywhere.


The picture featured was us coming around a bend during the day seeing this immovable boulder. Imagine coming around a bend and seeing this boulder, at night.

Overloaded Motorbike - Bali

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Rule #20: Bike Capacity If you're a foreigner, the rule for you is only you and one other on the bike. For locals it's, "whatever you can fit on the bike". We have seen massive things on bikes. I’ve personally seen a medium sized fridge strapped to the back of a bike seat; bolt upright. A pig, a dog, three family members, and countless chicken hanging by their feet under the fridge, upside down still alive heading to the market, all on one scooter. ALL on one scooter. None were wearing helmets, and that's okay. You and one other on a scooter with helmets that is your only option. Your drunk mate will have to use Go-Jek

Bali Locals on a Scooter

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Rule #21: Indicators Yes, it's true most bikes are fitted with Indicators. Our personal opinions are that 90% of the indicators in Bali have never been used, not even once. Don't trust that an indicator will come on if a local intends to turn.


Where this is at it's worst: You’re overtaking someone on their right, the locals don't use their mirrors, and they’re of course protected by the Gods, and they're turning right... across your line, whilst you’re accelerating to overtake, and they’re not indicating. You have to watch for this. Indonesians are unpredictable because they have never been formally trained how to ride a motorbike. You have, so watch the bike in front of you.


There is what we call the "kill zone" that second or two, where if the person riding their bike slightly in front of you to your left decided he wants to go right to a shop, he will just turn right, without indicating, and without checking his mirror, and a "shoulder check" hahahahahahah, this never happens.... and there is nothing you can do about it except try to brake in time. It’s scary and I’ve been taken out at least four times that I can think of in this exact way.



The Streets of Bali

Google Image Rule #22: Brake Lights

There is only one brake light on most bikes. A hell of a lot of these bikes have brake lights that don't work. When following someone look for signs their brake lights may not be working.


Bali might be as high as 30% of brake lights not working. In other places such as Makassar, we would put that figure at around 70% of brake lights not working.

Trail Bikes on Bali Roads

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Rule #23: Trail Bikes There are a lot of registered and on the roads trail bikes in Bali. They generally don't need a brake light when being used as a trail bike, so often they don't come with brake lights from the factory. They don't have brake lights, so don't wait for a brake light to come on.


Trail Bikes = Probably No Brake Lights.


You hit one because he brakes and doesn't have a brake light; your fault, you have to be looking forward.


Trail Bikes also have one other thing that has caught us out once. Trail Bikes sometimes have huge kick stands that stick out of their left side past the standard lines of the bike. When the trail bike rider brakes hard, if you're close to the left-hand side of their trail bike, (because you’re in a crowd of bikes,.. this happens) watch out for this kickstand, they’re black and hard to see. No brake lights, huge kick stand, how these things ever got registered for the road in Indonesia we'll never know.

Headlights on Scooters

Google Image Rule #24: Headlights In the cities, nearly everyone will have a working head light on their scooter. In some cases, we’ve seen a flash light / torch strapped / taped to the front. You'll see the bike, because the streets are lit up, even if they don’t have a working head light.


It’s not the same in the rural areas. Many times, riding back from Banuwangi at night .... many times..... a bike rider had gone past us in the opposite direction, and we haven't seen them until they have gone past us. They flash past in your head lights… you get no warning, major roads are not lit up, and when they pass you within centimetres, honestly, this will scare the crap out of you. It will happen many times on country roads. One time a bike with no headlight passed between two of us riding side by side on the left side of the road. This other bike had no headlight and rode between us going in the opposite direction. We couldn’t see them until they went between us. They took a risk as we could have been a car. Still... This could happen to you.



Idle Stop

Rule #25: Idle Stop


This feature is particularly good for saving fuel. It works like this:

"Idling" means the motorbike or scooter will idle when sitting at a set of lights. Pretty standard stuff. "Idling Stop" or Idle Stop, means that when you're sitting at a set of traffic lights, the idle will stop. The motorbike or scooter will switch off. The motor bike or scooters engine will stop, however the motorbike or scooter is ready to go, all you have to do is twist the throttle as if to accelerate, and the bike will spring to life and away you go.

There is one word of warning that we can only help you with trusting that this will stay in your head should you have an accident with Idle Stop "on" This has happened to us a few times, and only after a few minor crashes as we are now aware of this and know what to do. You've had a minor or even a major crash. Your bike is lying on it's side on the road. You've essentially dropped your bike. You check yourself, you check the other person, you've done what you can for now, and you need to get the bike out of the way, perhaps just off the road. As you approach the bike, everything is off. the engine isn't running. You pick the bike up, and before you know it, the bike has taken off again and is ghost riding down the road a few metres where it falls over and comes to rest again. How did this happen? You pick up the bike like any time you move the bike, by the handles. The trouble is, Idle Stop is on. As soon as you go to pick that bike up you twist the throttle, the bike jumps to life and wants to take you somewhere. Trouble is, your feet are on the ground as you lift the bike. Here is the lesson we learned the hard way. (At least three times between us) Turn the key off first, then pick the bike up. You see the light flashing on the dash... it's green on a Honda Vario, turn the key off, then pick the bike up. KEY OFF, BIKE UP. In that order. The first time this happened to me, the bike went down a foot path and crashed into a shop. Luckily no damage to the shop, or any people. (unfortunately more damage to the bike) The next time this happened the bike went back onto the road and narrowly missed a car. Could have been a whole lot worse. Just more damage to the bike.

Bald Tyres on Scooters of Bali

Your Hiring Checklist - 12 Points to seriously consider


Don’t take the first scooter the guys at the scooter hire place roll out. Check everything. If you're not happy, ask for the next bike. It's your life on the line

Use this checklist to ensure you have the basics covered:

1. Check the front brake and the rear brake.

2. Check the brake light.

3. Check all four indicators.

4. Check the head light.

5. Check head light’s high beam – important

6. How much fuel is in it?

7. Get a helmet that fits. Better still, buy one down the road that fits you well.

8. Ask how to lock the helmet in the seat.

9. Tyre Wear… extremely important. See picture attached from a hire bike.

10. Tyre pressure before you leave: Rear 33PSI, Front 29PSI. This is extremely important for fuel economy and the way the bike handles. Trust us, do it.

11. Ride the bike and brake hard to ensure it stops

12. Last one. Don’t give the correct address of where the bike will be left overnight. The hirer will have a spare key. There was a period where the hirers would get your recently hired scooter at night knowing your address because you gave it to them. You would then come and say the scooter was stolen. Then, the hirer would hit you up for enough money to buy another scooter to replace the so called “stolen” scooter. – True verifiable story from 2016

Taman Agung Honda

Getting your Motorbike or Scooter Fixed: If you break something on your bike, don't worry parts are cheap here in Indonesia. (Well, at least, they are for Honda's.) I have smashed all of my panels on one serious accident I had. I didn't break the headlight, however I damaged the forks, needed, a new seat and every plastic replaced. In Australia I'd be better off buying a new bike. Here, 3 million IDR, and that was 800,000 for new forks. Let's put that in perspective. A new plastic exhaust cover runs into the hundreds of dollars here in Australia. In Bali, they're original Honda parts and cost less than $5.00 AUD or 50,000 rp each. Get your bike fixed at a dealer, always.

Balinese Locals on a Scooter

Recap


So, lets recap on how to survive on a motorbike or scooter in Bali:

1. Check your insurance policy allows you to ride a scooter

2. Always where a helmet.

3. Get an international licence.

4. Look forward only whilst riding.

5. Don't drink and ride / drive. – Common sense that’s not so common.

6. Don't be a "tourist" on a bike. Think about your actions.

7. Buy Pertamax or above fuel, from a Pertamina station only.

8. The Gods are protecting the local riders, and no one is protecting you.

9. Don't swerve for animals, however, do stop for cows.

10. Foot paths are fair game for scooter riders.

11. Ride wider than a car door can be fully opened next to parked cars.

12. It's your fault every time, No exception. If you were not here….

13. You don't have auto insurance. You are the Automatic Insurance.

14. Be careful when approaching roundabouts.

15. Might is Right, get out of the way of bigger vehicles.

16. Go Fund Me – is not cheap insurance.

17. Check your own brake light.

18. Trail bikes don't have brake lights.

19. Hardily anyone indicates.

20. Head lights are optional, especially in country areas.

21. Go through the bike check list before riding off on a bike.

That’s about it. Ready to hire a scooter now?


We here at Expedition Bali Tours are genuinely interested in keeping tourists safe as this protects the overall reputation of Bali’s tourism. Obviously, we have a vested interest in keeping tourists safe. We keep you and your crew safe, you’ll be back, and more importantly, you’ll tell your friends how much fun you had in Bali. Safe fun. This safety ethos spills over into our Bali tours. My name’s Russ, and I’m the Customer Experience Officer (CEO) of Expedition Bali Tours. I’m an ex-safety manager from Australia. I take a personal approach to safety, “Would I let my family do this tour?” is how I approach all of the Bali tours we create. All of our vehicles are safe, all of our tours have been put through stringent safety standards, and we’re one of the few tour companies in Indonesia that has passed through the SGS Safety Test for the global tour giant Tui Musements. We also won the Luxury Tour Guide for Service Excellence for all of Indonesia in 2021/22. We have great travel partners. We’ve been around since 2012, and have been in Kintamani doing volcano tours longer than anyone else; we know this because we cut the original tracks.


We also know great people to hire a motor bike / scooter from. Someone you can trust to give your real overnight address too. Contact us for their details and more information on our Bali tours.


Cya when you get here. Russ Tuff CEO – Expedition Bali Tours

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