Probably the easiest and quickest way to get around the island of Lembongan is by motorbike. It’s a great fun way to explore this tiny slice of paradise and relatively inexpensive. However, looking at the number of people sporting bandages after an accident and hearing we wondered whether they put much thought into both hiring a motorbike. Having hired motorbikes in some of the craziest places in Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and in beautiful Lembongan we thought we may share a few tips for hiring a motorbike.
Finding a Motorbike to Hire on Lembongan
Finding a Motorbike to hire on Lembongan is quite simple as there are motorbike hire shops everywhere, jut head towards the closest village and there will be plenty to choose from. Also most of the resorts, hotels and accommodation have motorbikes to hire or will arrange on your behalf although this does limit your choice and ability to assess whether it is ok as once delivered it is harder to say no.
What is it going to cost?:
Cost of motorbike hire on Lembongan is around 70,000 Indonesian Rupiah per day which is roughly $6 Aus or €4. However, prices can be cheaper for a longer hire period or for good hagglers, remember though don;t start haggling until you actually see what you are haggling for. Once you have agreed a price it is an unwritten contract so if you are just haggling without seeing the bike you my be left with a lemon.
What documents do I need:
As Lembongan is a small island everything gets on and off the island by boat. With this in mind many motorbike hire places don’t ask for licences, passports etc. They just ask where you are staying, then they negotiate a price. So it is up to you to decide whether you are covered by your travel insurance .
Will I be covered by insurance:
Usually no insurance paperwork for the motorbike is raised. The general understanding is “you wreck it, you’ve bought it” rule applies. However, at this stage it may be wise to check your travel insurance. Travel insurance generally won’t cover accidents where you are riding a vehicle not covered by your licence so if you d not have a motorcycle licence you probably will not be covered for both damage to the bike and damage to yourself. Also if you choose to ride without a helmet and are involved in an accident your insurance will be void even if you have the correct licence. In Australia almost monthly there are stories about people who have hired motorcycles, had an accident and discovered their insurance does not cover them. Gofundme makes a nice profit from all the pages set up to support people who didn’t check their insurance and have ended up with huge medical bills.
Choosing The Right Bike:
Currently the most common motorbike to hire on Lembongan is a Honda Vario. It’s probably a good name as it comes in various degrees of roadworthyness. The Honda Vario is a hardy little motorbike with a 150cc engine and automatic transmission. It’s capable of carrying some outstanding sized loads . On the roads of Lembongan you’re sure to see locals trying to set Guinness World Records for the amount they can carry on one little bike. It’s the family workhorse which carries goods all day then after work mum, dad and three kids, no problems.
One of it’s best features is it’s easy to ride. Even for the most inexperienced rider. Simply squeeze the hand brake and press the start button to start it. Then ease the brake off and twist the throttle and you are away. Yes it’s that easy.
Can my motorbike carry a surfboard?
One of drawcards of Lemdongan is it’s surfing so many of the motorbikes for hire on Lembongan feature a surfboard bracket. The surfboard simply slips into the bracket and is held safely and securely. Just remember when carrying a surfboard on the bike the surfboard can be affected by crosswind so ride to the conditions.
Simple checks before hiring a Motorbike:
As always let your gut be your guide. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. That said if you don’t know what you are looking for here are some things you may consider.
- Find the newest bike. It will probably be in the best mechanical condition.
- Take a walk around the bike to check for signs of damage.
- Check the tyres have lots of tread are properly inflated and show no signs of damage.
- Check the brake levers work correctly and are not damaged from being in previous accidents.
- Check the bike is clean, doesn’t leak oil or blow blue smoke.
- Check the gauges, lights and indicators function correctly. Start the motorbike and check front and back handbrakes actually work. If they squeak or crunch, find another motorbike.
- Check the throttle operates correctly.
- If you are worried about getting asked to pay for existing damage to the motorbike at a later stage, maybe take a few snaps on your phone for later reference.
OK I’ve hired my bike now what? What are the road rules?
On Lembongan people generally drive on the left hand side of the road (well apart from the odd tourist who forgets). The roads are quite narrow and many are simply rough service roads full of potholes.
However, the biggest vehicles are usually small 1.5 tonne trucks such as Suzuki Carry’s or 4wd’s. The general rule when confronting these vehicles on the road is “give way to anything bigger than you”. Or simply self preservation at all times.
The best thing about Lembongan is generally the speeds are quite low due to the road conditions. Generally people putt along at about 25 kms per hour so there’s no chance of a high speed collision.
Hiring a Motorbike in Lembongan really is a great way to explore the island so get out there and have fun. Just make sure you do your checks first.