Bali Tips : renting & riding scooter in Bali


  • Before you can rent a motorbike in Bali, you must first be able to present a valid international drivers’ permit that specifically covers motorbikes. If you don’t have one, you can spend the morning at the Denpasar Police Office to get a temporary motorbike permit. The procedure involves a written test. The temporary permit is valid for three months after issue.

  • Motorcycle rental costs vary, and are often negotiable, depending on how long you need it and the shape the motorbike’s in. Motorbikes tend to come with 100cc or 125cc engines. You don’t need more than 200cc to go thrashing about Bali on two wheels. The roads (and the traffic) don’t encourage speedy driving, anyway.


  • Keep your motorbike keys on a chain or lanyard. Ageing motorbikes often have loose keys, so they sometimes fall off the ignition while the motorbike is in use.


  • In Bali, the rules of the road are more like suggestions; the usual rules of right-of-way don’t apply, or they apply very loosely. In fact, right-of-way practically belongs to the bigger vehicle on the road. You need to honk at blind curves, because an oncoming vehicle might be taking up the middle of the road as it careens into sight. And because many of the tinier lanes have only one-way traffic, you may need to go around a long way to get back to the same point.


  • Be careful at intersections. It’s not uncommon for drivers to not look carefully when turning into your road. Also, many drivers speed up when the yellow or red light go on, increasing the danger for drivers unused to relaxed traffic rules in Bali.


  • In Bali, the larger vehicle has right of way. So when it’s you versus a truck… the truck wins.


  • Honk your horn when negotiating blind curves, as it’s not uncommon for drivers to drive in the middle of the road when approaching curves.


  • Get a decent helmet; don’t get one of those glorified bicycle helmets often foisted by rentals on unsuspecting tourists.
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