No experience on a bike in South East Asia? Us neither. Here is how we got on riding scooters in Bali.

Day one riding scooters in Bali

To give you an idea of the situation, my only previous experience riding a vehicle with two wheels was a monkey bike that I crashed into a tree during my teens. I was obviously very apprehensive to take to the roads in Bali especially with Lorna riding along on the back.

 Scooters in Bali - Our first experience on two wheels, Matt on the bike, Two-Souls-One-Path
Me on a bike in Nusa Penida

After a quick solo scoot, I returned to the homestay, feeling like an extra from sons of anarchy. “Easy, I got this”… okay, maybe not but I was feeling more confident than before that’s for certain. We then headed out for breakfast coming into contact with more traffic and more junctions that began to test us. This really was a team effort. I was genuinely surprised how much Lorna on the back had an effect on the steering, especially when going slowly in traffic or at junctions.

View from the back seat

When you arrive in Bali there are scooters everywhere with crazy riders making the whole process look somewhat easy. Hectic, but easy. That didn’t seem to be the case. I’m not even a driver but just trying to balance on the back with a heavy tech-filled bag on my back was stressful enough.

It was easier to relax after Matt got the hang of it

The area where we were staying in south Bali called Uluwatu seemed to be very hilly. For some reason there were also heaps of speed bumps which filled me with dread on approach every single time. I don’t know if our bike was particularly worse than others on the road but it definitely felt that way when three people on one bike zoomed past and over the speed bumps without a problem. No matter how slow we went the bit between the wheels seemed to scrape along the floor and while we were trying to drive safely there were people here there and everywhere beeping and trying to overtake.

The verdict

Matt did well considering but that did not stop the back from being slightly terrifying. I felt as though I had no control whatsoever and the bike didn’t feel remotely stable. I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t contemplated what would happen if we were to fall off.

Scooters in Bali - Our first experience on two wheels, Matts scooter game face, Two Souls One Path
Matt’s scooter game face in his star wars esque helmet

There’s no doubt the same fear resided within myself. As the driver you feel the responsibility. But in the end confidence is the key to being safe on these unpredictable roads. Leave space between yourself and the car/bike in front to give yourself more time to react. Take no chances, but do not hesitate. A tight line to tread. But hopefully one that gets you back in one piece.


The difference between the first time we got on the scooter and the second day was huge. Matt had got the hang of driving on the roads of Bali in no time and I could feel how his confidence had increased from the way he was driving which put me at ease. Overall I don’t think anyone’s first time doing most things in life is plain sailing but we got there in the end and that’s the main thing.

Matt demonstrating how to ride a bike #donttrythisathome

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Scooters in Bali
Hi, we're Matt & Lorna. Two travellers on one path hoping to share some of our experiences with you.

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