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Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Sydney, Australia
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Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Renting a motorbike in Bali? Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Posted on August 19, 2013 by balisurfstories

I’ve been riding and racing motor bikes since I was 16, traversed most of Australia’s deserts and bitumen roads, some routes multiple times. Ridden through South Africa [ inc Lesotho ] and Nelson Mandela’s homeland .. Even done the return leg of the Australian Safari @ 150 – 60 kph every day for 4 days, on the dirt .. I actually stopped riding bikes in Bali in 1979 because at that time there wasn’t much traffic and we used to go fast, I could get from my house in Poppies Lane to the office Denpasar in 10 – 15 minutes. The danger was not so much from myself but from dogs running out but mostly other people being careless.. The danger was [ and remains ] that we are not in our homeland where quick, emergency response might help. I bought my first Land Cruiser in 1979, got rid of the bike and felt safe.

I do have a trail bike in Bali but only really use it to take my Son up and down the hill to school, we go along a dirt back track. sometimes I might go and visit Steve at Padang2. Three weeks ago I had to go down to Kuta as my wife had the car. By the time I returned home to the Bukit I was very relieved and thankful of surviving the trip ! I can honestly say that it was the scariest couple of hours I have ever spent on a motorcycle. No matter how I tried to keep up with traffic [ I don't split lanes ] there would be idiots [ both locals and invincible tourists alike ] coming through left, right and centre like there was no tomorrow. I will never ride down there again.

Of course I understand that motorcycles are an essential tool for the visiting tourist & surfer, besides the expense, if everyone used a car then the traffic would be even worse than it is. What I URGE everyone to do, no matter how experienced, is to realize that in Bali riding a motorcycle is a very risky business. Use a safe [ approved ] helmet and at least wear shoes. I cringe every time I see surfers & tourists alike riding bikes with the crappy helmets undone in singlets [ or nothing up top ] and in thongs. just inviting grated toes [ I've seen grated toes, it ain't a pretty site and you can completely lose a few in seconds ]

My long term drivers wife died after she fell off her motorbike and hit her head, there have been countless people die the same way. I heard that on the night after the party that Al (surfboard shaper Australian Allan Byrne died recently in a motorbike accident) attended another guy also died coming home from the same party, fell off his bike and hit his head.

PLEASE, respect yourself .. respect your family and loved one’s, don’t be too cool for school by believing you are invincible. Just think about how long you might spend in an ambulance in a traffic jam should you have an accident ? I guess if your dead then it makes no difference but what if you are not ? get the Medivac insurance because if the crash don’t kill you then the incorrect treatment might.

Don’t take your kids on a bike without the proper helmet and footwear, if you want to kill yourself then I guess that’s your choice but how many kids have i seen on bikes who probably didn’t have a choice .. That really makes my blood boil.

Gold Coast
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1. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Great advice. Definitely heed it!!! I have been riding here also in Oz for 25 years and wouldn't even contemplate riding a bike/scooter in Bali.

Perth
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2. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Excellent report and I hope people take notice of your advice. I don't know why people ride scooters in Bali there is plenty of cheap transport available. On our first trip in 2009 we came across a nasty accident on Sunset Road where a tourist had had a nasty accident and was laying in the road obviously dead, will never forget it.

Newcastle, Australia
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3. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Well said. :-)

Sydney
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4. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Hi 20Colin35

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this. It is indeed invaluable advice for those thinking of hiring and riding bikes in Bali. There are far too many people taking risks on bikes in Bali - I see them all the time and the words 'you are not invincible' go through my mind each time! I am also going to keep bumping you post to the top so that it gets read by as many TA members as possible.

Thanks once again.

Cheers

Bali, Indonesia
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5. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Another good piece of advice is not drink and drive which causes many tourist and expat casualties.

Bali, Indonesia
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6. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Very very, important and sound advice. One day coming from Ubud to Denpasar I saw 5 serious motorbike accidents within a one hour stretch. ..I would be surprised if any of them escaped serious injury or perhaps even death.

If you ask any Indonesians you probably won't find anyone who hasn't had a bad accident themselves or lost someone due to a motorbike accident.

Beachmere, Australia
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7. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Such good sound advice. I live, part-time, on a laneway outside Ubud that is frequented by ex-pats on motorbikes who also live in the area. Every single day I see mothers with baby strapped to their front, toddler standing in front of mother and then maybe another child riding pillion - mostly with nobody wearing a helmet. Of course, its not just the women - I see whole ex-pat families riding like is, how long will they stay "whole families"? For goodness sake! This makes me so mad, I just want to shake them and wake them up to the reality of what they are doing.

Ilab - great idea to keep bumping this post!

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Thanks for the positive messages but I did not write this. As noted at the top it was a post on the Bali Surf Stories blog. My only intention was to highlight the dangers following the tragic accident involving surfboard shaper Allan Byrne.

Sydney
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9. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Hi

Well, thanks for taking the time to post this!! I will still keep bumping it to the top as it is such good advice :)

Cheers

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: Advice from expert resident motorcylists…

Great post, thanks for sharing.

It has to be said time and time again that riding a motorcycle in Bali can be very dangerous even for an experienced rider.