There’s no better way of discovering the true beauty of Bali than by motorbike. Imagine the fresh morning breeze touching your skin as you cruise by the lush green rice fields or the assortment of colors, scents, and smiles as you drive into the many winding, narrow roads that connect the island. Renting a motorbike in Bali is a highlight in itself, and a must-do while you are visiting the Island of the Gods but there are a few things you need to be aware of before you hop on a motorbike. Remember; Bali is a lot of fun but when you run into trouble… not so much.
Check out Ayu’s tips you need to know before renting a motorbike in Bali
1. Know what type of drivers license you need!
The beauty (or a curse, depending on how you look at it) is that in Bali nothing is ever as clear as it seems. People tend to go with the flow and enjoy the sweet side of life. However, things are pretty straight forward when it comes to permits. Just to rule out one of the greatest myths about driving in Bali right away; NO it is not enough to drive around on your drivers’ license from your home country - even if you have a permit to ride a motorcycle. You need to apply for an international license in your home country and always carry both (your original-, and international drivers’ license) with you while riding around the island on a motorbike. If you fail to do so, it is just a matter of time until you get stopped and fined by the police.
2. Make sure you are covered!
This one’s a biggie, and something everyone should be aware of before jumping on a bike. Most rental companies in Bali don’t offer insurance with only a few exceptions. I can’t emphasize enough, not only make sure you have insurance BUT make sure you are covered in case of an accident. Before you leave, check in with your insurance company to see whether you qualify for full coverage when riding a motorcycle in Bali as some companies only cover motorbikes up to 125cc and only if you have the appropriate permits and licenses.
3. Wear a helmet!
This one is a no-brainer. Always wear a helmet, no matter how short of a distance you are riding your bike. For all Bali newbies; yes, there are a lot of people riding around without wearing a helmet, and yes, most of the time nothing happens, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, your insurance won’t pay a dime if you got into an accident and they find out that you weren’t wearing a helmet.
4. The Police in Bali
Ahh, the famous topic! Don’t worry, the police are generally very nice and if you have everything in order (licenses, helmet, proper motorbikes) you’ll be on your way in no time (most of the time). The police tend to stop tourists in popular locations like Uluwatu, Canggu, Seminyak, Ubud, etc. and come up with whatever excuse to get you to pay a fine.
They usually try to tell you that you have broken the law and you are in big trouble - or at least something along those lines. But don’t worry, everything will be fine, just cooperate.
When you get stopped, just relax and smile, show them your license. They might let you go but most probably will ask you to pay some money to cover for the offense you (have not) committed. Don’t let them see your wallet or cash - or there is a high chance they are going to milk you for whatever you have. Always bring small money (50k - 100k) and keep it in your helmet compartment, sock or shirt pocket. Tell them that this is all you have and you’ll be back on the road in no time. Important; keep your cash and ATM cards somewhere safe!
5. Price differences and quality of the motorbikes
The price will depend on the type of bike you are after. It is worth spending the extra buck or two on a bike that has been properly maintained and the usual suspects like tires, brakes, lights, and indicators have been tested. Don’t rent bikes from uncertified vendors or your neighbor down the road as there is a high chance that you will run into trouble, riding around on a poor quality bike. Motorbike accidents happen very often here in Bali and some of them are fatal. Using a faulty bike not only puts you in danger but everyone else on the streets too.
6. Reliability of the vendors
There are plenty of motorbike vendors in Bali and the number of bikes available on any given day is never an issue. The quality though is another story. To be safe, only rent from an official rental company that has all the proper paperwork in place. Dodgy vendors are constantly trying to scam their clients and it’s not something you’ll want to deal with while on holidays.
Don’t know where to find trustworthy vendors and top quality bikes?
Download the Melalie app. All Melalie vendors are certified and go through a screening process before they can advertise their motorcycles. All custom bikes, scooters, Vespas, etc. are no older than 2016, properly serviced and maintained.
Travel Safe, Discover More.