How to Ride a Scooter in Bali: Tips to Stay Safe!
Bali, a popular tourist destination, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and lush green landscapes. However, when it comes to riding a scooter, the island can be quite challenging due to the busy roads and intense traffic. In this article, we will provide tips and tricks on how to ride a scooter in Bali, especially in the Badung area which can be notoriously busy!
How to Ride a Scooter in Bali: Quiet Areas to Learn in Badung
If you are a beginner, it is essential to start learning to ride a scooter in a quiet and safe area before venturing out into busy roads. In Badung Regency, you can find several quiet areas such as the Car parks and quieter residential roads where you can practice your scooter skills. It is important to stay clear of the main roads while you are learning.
We highly advise learners to steer clear of main roads, especially around Berawa, Batu Balong these can be quite busy and congested. Not to mention there are a lot of dangerous riders here who can impact your confidence as you learn the ropes.
For people staying around Seminyak, there is a very good car park you can learn located nearby Kayu Aya where Aussie Brazilian BBQ is this is an ideal area for learning to ride as it is very quiet during the day times and has little car activity. Click Here for a link to this Location on Google Maps.
How to Ride a Scooter in Bali: How to Get Started on the Scooter
Riding a scooter is very much like riding a bicycle, the balancing is exactly the same. Once you are in a good location to learn. You should first begin by straddling the scooter with your legs, then gently applying the throttle very lightly, move forward slightly, then release the throttle and come to a stop.
This will give you a gauge of how much throttle you need for your bike to move, and allow you to balance yourself as you move forward. The next exercise you should perfect is setting off with some throttle, picking your legs off and into the feet area of the bike, and gently moving forward until you get the hang of moving in a straight line without your feet hanging to stabilise you.
The next step, is to begin to incorporate turns. Pick a slight bend or an object with not too tight of a turn angle, and drive towards it, then turn around and stop where you begin. You should do this in both directions so you are both used to turning left and right.
You should be able to steer your bike by shifting your body weight as well as turning the handles – make sure you are comfortable with both types of turning before venturing out onto the roads.
Now once you feel confident with controlling your speed, and turning around obstacles from any direction using the handles and your body, you need to understand how the breaks work.
Never slam both breaks to come to a sharp hault. – This will cause your tyres to lose traction and you will spin out to the sides and likely fall. It is always much safer to gently pump on the back break and ease the front breaks. A gentle pumping action is a good way to ensure that you are not stopping too suddenly.
Avoid road sides with of gravel / sand or wet uncertain terrain – these can often be found along the sides of the lesser developed road. If you do find yourself driving along this kind of terrain it is important to remember that you should try to avoid breaking on this type of terrain. It makes it far more likely to lose traction, so keep off the break and steer yourself to normal pathing before slowing down if you need to.
How to Ride a Scooter in Bali: Road Safety Tips in Bali
Here are some road safety tips that you must keep in mind while riding a scooter in Bali:
- Always wear a helmet: It is mandatory to wear a helmet in Bali, and it is also essential for your safety.
- Follow traffic rules: Always follow traffic rules and signals while riding a scooter. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and signal before making any turns or lane changes.
- Stay alert: Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, and any obstacles on the road.
- Drive slowly: Bali roads are often congested, and it can be challenging to navigate through traffic. Drive slowly, especially in busy areas, and always give way to other vehicles.
- Check your scooter before riding: Before starting your scooter, make sure to check the brakes, lights, and fuel levels to ensure your safety.
Another huge must when you are learning to ride is to always make sure that you are riding within your means! This may seem silly, but on holiday it is often the case that groups of people will rent bikes together and are at different comfort / experiance levels. If you are less confident or skilled as another ride, DO NOT try to keep up with that person. It is okay to fall behind and you can arrive slightly later. Your body will instinctively tell you if you are not riding within your means, you will feel adrenaline and uneasy, this is a sign to slow down and be sensible.
Do Not Drink and Drive! – This is the #1 problem in Bali which causes the most amount of road accidents and at times deaths. Even the most confident drivers should not do this. It can be fun and convinient to bring your bike with you when you go out at night. But we implore you to just leave your bike at home and use the many bike taxi options , this could save your life.
Always remember it is safe in Bali! So even if you take your scooter out and have a few too many. You can simply leave your bike behind and pick it up in the morning.
When carrying a passanger, you have twice the weight and twice the responsibility, so only carry a passanger on your scooter once you are totally comfortable and feel safe on the roads. It is not rude to refuse to take somebody if you do not feel confident enough to drive well with double the weight on the bike.
Differences: Bali compared with the Rest of the World
The driving culture in Bali is different from the rest of the world. Here, scooters are the preferred mode of transportation, and the roads can be quite busy, especially in tourist areas. Drivers often ignore traffic rules, and it is not uncommon to see scooters riding on the wrong side of the road or even along the pavement. It is essential to be extra cautious while riding a scooter in Bali and to be aware of oncoming traffic from many different areas.
Riding a scooter in Bali can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be dangerous. By following the road safety tips mentioned above and practicing in quiet areas, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable scooter ride in Bali. Remember to always wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, stay alert, and drive slowly to ensure your safety while exploring the beautiful island.
The biggest tip once you have got the hang of riding your Scooter, is to make sure you are riding in a way which is predictable. Large jerky actions or impulsive turns are the largest probable cause of accidents as Bali.
Once you have got the hang of driving your Scooter around Bali, a great first trip would be checking out Some of the best places to eat in Seminyak! You could also check out a Day trip from Seminyak to Nusa Dua
Is it easy to ride a scooter in Bali?
It is easy to learn how to ride a scooter. The larger challenge is to learn how to ride safely and navigate other beginners and poor Drivers.
Do I need a License to ride a scooter in Bali?
You do need an international driving license to ride a scooter in Indonesia. These must be purchased inside of Indonesia. Externally issued licensed must be validated by authorities and may not be valid.
Are scooters in Bali automatic?
The majority of Scooters in Bali are automatic. Learning to ride a manual Motorcycle is a much more involved process and will take a lot more time.