Renting a motorbike on Bali (and anywhere else)

The best way to explore beautiful Bali is by your own motorbike. You are flexible, not dependent on taxis and buses (quite a hassle on this Indonesian island) and you are with a motorbike perfectly able to reach the best Bali beaches and other places. We did it twice; for two weeks and for a whole month. Bali by motorbike is among our most adventurous and romantic memories! Your motorbike Bali adventure starts here. 

We will tell you what to do, and not to do on your motorbike in Bali. This is a small guide about how to rent a motorbike on Bali, and how to drive around. Don’t miss our ins and outs of renting a motorbike in Bali. In 10 steps your are ready to hit the Bali road!  

# 1 Cost of renting a motorbike on Bali – motorbike Bali mini guide

We didn’t mention this yet, but renting a motorbike on blissful Bali is super cheap! Especially when you compare it with travelling by public transport, taxi or the costs for car rental. Your daily costs will be ten times lower (and your fun and convenience ten times higher, so do the math :). The average prices lessors will mention at first is 60.000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) per day. That is the equivalent of 4,5 American dollars. And it can be even more cheap when you make a deal for a few weeks or even a few months. We made a deal for IDR 45.000 per day for a whole month. Be careful not to rent your motorbike for Bali online from the comfort of back home. Your costs will be at least five times higher than when you rent on the spot.

#2 Where to rent your motorbike in Bali – motorbike Bali mini guide

You first port of entry in Bali will probably be Kuta (arriving at Denpasar international airport). There are a lot of guesthouses around, and most of them will rent out a motorbike, or at least know someone who does. The first place where we rented a motorbike is Kupa Kupa guesthouse. Another one, even more satisfactory to us, is Jenny Bunker Homestay. They have a few motorbikes available and they maintain a high service level. We recommend renting your Bali motorbike with one of these guys. But of course there are more trustworthy opportunities out there.

#3 Do we ride on our own, or together? – motorbike Bali mini guide

Then the question; do we drive together on one bike or do we take two? It depends on your preferences of course, but we as a couple prefer to only rent one. It saves a lot of money, it is more cosy because you can talk and are close together, and everything – including a light pack – fits perfectly together!

Motorbike Bali - on our way to Amed
Of course we ride together! – driving around on Bali

#4 Beautiful places to visit by motorbike when you are in Bali – motorbike Bali mini guide

Finally you can go out there, after you have arranged everything. Driving out of Kuta / Denpasar on your motorbike rental is quite thrilling. The roads are busy and you have to concentrate on finding the directions. But after one hour of driving Bali gets so beautiful. Lush green nature, bright green rice paddies, cute little villages, friendly mountains and hills. What to visit?

Amed area and gunung Agung

Amed is the name of a strip of villages at the north eastern coast. Wherever you settle down, many times a day you are rewarded with a magical view on the volcano gunung Agung. Spend your day (learning to) scuba diving, hiking the volcano or just relaxing on the beach, you will have a good time for sure. Enough touristic facilities, but not too busy, Amed is highly recommended.

Motorbike Bali - Amed beach
View on Gunung Agung from Amed beach

The ride from Bubunan to Selemadeg through Bali’s interior

Take a ride through the interior of Bali to experience untouched and rural Balinese life. One beautiful route is from Bubunan in the north to Selemadeg in the west. But also driving from Singaraja to the south will tickle all your senses.

#5 Dealing with cops in Bali – motorbike Bali mini guide

One common frustrating phenomena in Bali – especially focused on tourists – are very active cops. They make use of arresting tourists driving around on motorbikes for the sake of gaining some extra pocket money. Nothing terrible will happen. Just be mentally prepared you might run into one. What to do? Know the traffic rules, the cop might not be right. Showing your international driving license helps. In Ubud; be aware that some streets are one direction only streets.

Don’t be / look intimidated. Ask the question; “what can we do to solve this now?”. And now the bargain game will start. They will use phrases like “bring you to court”, “take your motorbike” etc. Our first time we ran into cops in Bali while on our motorbike they asked us for IDR 1,5 million. We were overwhelmed because we didn’t know what to do and felt intimidated. We bargained 50% off. Still too much. But it was our first experience so we paid learning money. We ran into other cops at another place and this time we paid IDR 100.000. The learning money helped a lot! Don’t be blown away by their performance and the amounts they mention. IDR 70.000, maximum IDR 100.000 will do. Pay and leave.

#6 International driving license obligated in Bali for driving a motorbike – motorbike Bali mini guide

It is smart to bring an international driving license to Bali if you intend to drive around on a motorbike. You are legally obligated to have one while driving around on your motorbike in Bali. Your driving license from back home is not valid. You can also arrange a temporarily driving license at the police station in Denpasar, in exchange for around USD 30,-.   

#7 Check your insurance – motorbike Bali mini guide

What do we need to say more; check whether your travel insurance covers a motorbike accident. Motorbike accidents happen. As tourists are not used to driving on sometimes steep roads, not used to driving a motorbike at all, or are not used to driving at the left side of the road.

#8 Bali motorbike road rules – motorbike Bali mini guide

Driving around your motorbike on Bali is very different from doing the same thing in the US. Or Europe. You get my point. You share the road with pigs, chickens, other motorbikes and different types of interesting traffic (trucks without lights for example). The one driving in the back is supposed to anticipate on the driving behaviour of the one in front of you. Although traffic rules might be offended. Always horn to warn someone when you overtake. Also horn when you go through a curve. Roads can be steep and maintenance neglected. Make sure you drive slow and never drive when you have been drinking.

#9 Take pictures of damage before you leave – motorbike Bali mini guide

When returning the motorbike there might be some confusion about whether you caused the damage or little scratch on the motorbike, or the person before you. The way to prevent this kind of situations from happening is to take pictures of all the damage before you leave. Nobody will argue with you afterwards.

If you would like to have more certainty, you could draft your own little contract about the conditions. For example; the price per day, when to pay, the eventual damage, your maximum own risk in case of an accident, the dates, etc.

#10 How to pack? – motorbike Bali mini guide

You can easily fit one small backpack on your motorbike between your legs. Don’t bring too much, as you want some room for your legs too. We managed to pack all our stuff for a whole month in one backpack. The lucky thing about Bali is, whatever the season is, you don’t need a lot of heavy and warm clothes. One sweater and long pants for the mountains will do. Look at the picture and you will see how we managed the backpack. It is super easy. Just between the legs.

Motorbike Bali - renting a motorbike
Two persons and a backpack perfectly fit on one motorbike

We wish you a lot of adventure and fun while exploring Bali on your motorbike. With these ins and out about driving a motorbike in Bali you will be sufficiently prepared to make your adventure a huge success!

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