While traveling abroad, there are many upsides of renting a motorcycle. It is pretty cheap, in fact. Besides the financial issue, it is also about being able to set your own schedule, and go wherever you want at any time. Renting a motorcycle allows you to avoid a bunch of things such as waiting on buses or trains or joining a tour group to see those (boring) stereotypical tourist attractions.
If you’re on the way to Bali and looking for the best way to explore this stunning island, hire a motorbike!
Photo by Alex
About the price
Throughout most of the Indonesia, a motorbike would cost you from about $2 – 5/day in rent, and the longer you rent, the cheaper it will be.In addition, fuel costs even less than that.For example, if you travel 400km from Jogjato Surabaya, which is about 7 hours, it would cost less than $5 of fuel. On the other hand, a train ticket is worth $20 and it takes you only two hours or less, but then you wouldn’t have the chance to meet any cool locals along the way.
Get a driving license + a helmet(with a tinted visor)
Balinese police are notorious for pulling foreigners over even when you're doing everything right. And then,they will instantly come up with a reason to give you a ticket.
So, how to deal with this?
First of all, always wear a helmet when riding a motorbike in Bali, and stick to the traffic rules.
Photo by http://www.greenerbali.com/
Secondly,bring along your International Driving License. You can get one for around US $15 plus a little extra for postage through AAA, even when you are not a member.
And finally, carry some small notes in your pocket in case you have to pay the fine. It is advised that you pay no more than IDR 100,000, and smile even if you feel upset on the inside, coz it will surely make the negotiation easier.
Ride with your lights on and use turn signals
Often at night, you’ll see locals driving around without their lights, which is very dangerous. The easiest way to avoid this is to turn your headlights on when you first get on the motorbike and never turn them off. They can shut off automatically when the motorbike off so doesn't worry about draining the battery.
And remember to use your turn signals as well. It is the only way for people around to know which direction you are planning to go to.
Don’t mind using the horn
In other parts of the world, honking at other drivers is quite a disrespectful gesture. Not here in Bali. It is considered courteous and respective to do so, especially when you think other drivers might not see you. Use it when passing trucks, buses, cars, bicycles, and even people walking alongside the road. It is just a warning so that people know you are coming.
Don’t ride fast and slow down before bridges
Some of the roads here can be a little bit bumpy as potholes, sinkholes, and gaps are likely to be found, even on the pavement.Bridges, however, are not that bad. Some of them are actually quite smooth,but you might still find rough bumps at the beginning and ending. So, just to be safe, don’t ride too fast and slow down before reaching one.
Pay attention to the green road signs
You probably won't need GPS or a smartphone map to travel long distances in Indonesia. Instead, just follow the green road signs. They will list the upcoming cities and point you in the right direction. Follow that instruction and keep riding until you see the next sign. Simple, right!
What could possibly be better a way to discover the paradise island of Bali other than riding on a motorbike with the wind running through your hair,and being free to stop and go whenever you want?