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Reactions mixed to the impending bike ban in Bali as calls for a rethink grow

While local businesses will be impacted, the sensible majority are crying foul over Bali's new ban on renting motorcycles.

Many businesses in Bali will be affected by the proposed ban on renting bikes.

Following a recent spike in traffic offences including tourists driving mopeds without helmets, clothes or licenses, Bali Governor Wayan Koster recently tabled a legislative change banning all foreigners from renting motorcycles in Bali.

Koster said: “So those tourists have to travel, walk and use cars to travel. It is no longer allowed to use a motorcycle or anything that is not from a travel agent.”

The ruling has been met with a mixed reaction from locals and tourists. Whilst there are valid safety concerns, as dozens of tourists end up in hospital every year after traffic collisions on motorcycles in Bali, the impact of the ban also affects many motorcycle rental businesses which depend on self-driving tourists for their income, particularly as many families in Bali are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

The increased number of cars on the road would cause further traffic chaos in the busy areas including Ubud and Seminyak.

Locals are concerned the ban would lead to a dramatic increase in cars on the road.

In 2019 prior to the global shutdown, 6.2 million foreigners visited Bali. As of 2018, Indonesia's Central Bureau of Statistics reported there were 3.9 million licensed motorbikes in Bali. The increase of cars on the already overcrowded streets would be significant.

Local leaders are now asking Governor Koster to consider the impact the ban will have on local businesses and the tourist experience.

Klungkung DPRD member Gde Artison Andarawata asked that the ban on tourists riding motorbikes in Bali be reviewed.

"Just apply the rules that already exist properly," Gde requested.

At present, the proposed change has only been tabled and has not yet been brought into law. It is still legal for tourists to rent motorbikes, but there is a crackdown on traffic offenses. Ensure that you understand the local traffic laws, have an international drivers license, wear appropriate clothing and a helmet before riding a motorbike in Bali.


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Written by: Jenny Evans
Published: 26 March 2023

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