I NEVER thought riding a moped could be so much fun. I recently travelled to Bali with Richie, a good mate of mine. Our main intention was to ride a motorbike in another country and have a bloody good time.
Our first mistake was not getting an International Licence before we left Australia. A mistake many of us overlook. We could have gone to the NRMA/RACV, paid $35 and had a six-month International licence.
We tracked down a couple of mopeds, 40,000 rupiah (AU$5) a day and rode (unlicensed) to Denpasar to sit for our Indonesian licence. We had to sit through a half-day course plus a riding skills test (and a bribe to encourage a couple of people). Six hours later we were out of there, fully licensed.
With our 100 cc mopeds it was time to explore. We went to check out some of the local chopper shops and they blew us away.
The first one we visited was Kickass Choppers where we found some real fine gear, from single-sided swingarm builds to long (and I mean long) and lean choppers as well as a few old school Sporty builds. These guys were so friendly and knowledgeable. They sat down with us for a chat then showed us a few of their future builds; absolutely awesome stuff.
We then visited Chopper Heaven. They have a few choppers for rent around AU$100 a day; not a bad deal. They have a lot of merchandise and cool stuff in their shop; nice place to visit.
The more we rode around, the more fun we had. We found the Balinese rule is: if it fits on your bike and you can ride it, off you go. We saw some unusual sights: surfboards, furniture, stock for shops, even whole families, four people at a time. Food vendors even load up their mopeds with woks, boiling pots, enough food for the day, and off they go — fresh food on the go.
The bikes you see are amazing, a few WLAs, BSAs, even Nortons, but mopeds are the most common form of transport due to their easy manoeuvrability on these crowded streets and lanes.
All bikes imported into Indonesia are hit with a 100 percent import duty tax. So if your bike is worth $15,000 in Australia, you have to pay a further $15,000 to bring it into the country. It makes it a bloody expensive motorbike.
I found one of the first model Buells for sale in a shop for AU$18,000. Geez, I can buy a new one here in Australia for that. Even still, getting parts imported to fix it would be another headache.
This island is full of narrow lanes and pathways. The old saying, ‘Don’t like my riding then get off the footpath’ literally applies over here. We were constantly on the footpaths. Not many road rules apply here but if a foreigner breaks one they can be up for a bribe (I mean fine).
We had a ball riding around every day and partying hard every night. Us Aussies have a lot to live up to in Kuta. Aussies are very well known to be the party animals.
Richie even had time to get himself some dreadlocks, and I caught up with a mate Tyas from Tyas Tattooing in Kuta and got myself a new tattoo. That story will be in a future issue of Ozbike.
I thoroughly recommend riding bikes to Bali to anybody; you don’t need many riding skills, just a good sense of humour.
Pics by Gazza & Richie; words by Gazza; fun by all.