I’m an avid rider. I love riding motorbikes and scooters, and I love to extend my passion when I go abroad. What could be better or more of an adventure than riding around abroad. But there are certain things you need to know when riding around Bali on a scooter.
Make sure you have an ‘International Driving Permit’
Many countries will require that you have an ‘International Driving Permit’ in addition to your locally issued driver licence, to legally drive a car or ride a motorbike. In many cases if you’re thinking of riding a scooter or driving a car in Bali or generally in an overseas country you may not be covered by your insurer unless you have an International Driving Permit. So if you get into an accident in Bali you may be much deeper in a world of hurt financially.
An International Driving Permit must be issued by a local authority, and can often be obtained by your Automobile Insurance Provider. You can find some more information here.
Respect the road rules! They definitely apply to you!
One of the great things about Bali and Indonesia in general is that feeling of freedom. People are relaxed, and don’t get worked up about much. Make sure you learn a little bit about the local road rules. If you’re not sure ask your local hosts or friends to give you some pointers.
If you see locals riding their motorbikes and scooters without a helmet, or if they’re driving up the road in oncoming traffic, or driving on the footpath, these casual ignoring of the rules will most certainly not apply to you as a visitor or a tourist. If a tourist breaks the law it’s an opportunity for local authorities to give you a fine. It’s much easier to avoid this situation all together by respecting the local traffic rules. You can find out a little more on the rules here.
Make sure you do a small riding course before you go riding in another country
If you’ve never ridden before, there is a lot you don’t know about riding. Make sure you do a small riding course before you go riding in another country. It will benefit you immensely and maybe even save your life. Riding at safe distances, knowing how to break, and knowing your limits will help you immensely in avoiding putting yourself in dangerous situations.
Before you ride, check your bike.
Before you ride make sure you know everything there is to know about your bike. There was one time I walked past this lady at the hotel I stayed at and she seemed very confused and had been trying to start her scooter for 20 minutes. It turns out she had forgot to lift her bike stand so he ignition can be engaged.
Plan before you go somewhere.
Before you decided to ride to the nearest town, check with the locals about the road conditions, the weather and how long it will actually take. If google maps tells you that it’s only a 30 minute ride, it probably wont be. It doesn’t factor in your getting lost time, unusual road conditions (animals crossing the road, or a religious festival procession taking place). It is not uncommon to come along pot holes, road-side offerings, flooding, stray dogs, or even building materials placed on the side of the road.
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