Know what you are starting with when driving a bike in Indonesia. Roads might not be roads as expected (there might not be roads at all). Are you already driving? It will mean you will soon notice the bumps and holes in the road. Please try not to drive into those. Your bike may take a few but it is not that good for the suspension.
Depending on where you are from, it might take some time before you get used to the traffic driving on the left side. Try to watch your speed and adjust according to the road conditions. Watch always the road, but in Indonesia watch them twice! Keeping the roads maintained is not the best skill of Indonesians.
When you drive a motorcycle you might not want to drive in the rain. For sure you will encounter some heavy showers that will make you wet until your underwear. Are you sure you don’t mind to wait when there is a long rainy shower? And even after waiting for the rain to stop, you might not feel safe driving anymore. The thing is that wholes I just mentioned in the paragraph before…, they are full of water and they are almost invisible… please drive slowly and watch the road like an eagle!
It makes a world of a difference if you drive through a sawah (rice field), over a mountain, through a kampong (village), town, and everything in between. Especially when you start driving I don’t recommend driving on a mountain or in the city. Driving through a sawah or village is fine. Just know that the skills of drivers asked in the city is a lot higher than in the kampong or sawah. Your driving skills should be ‘’level expert’’ before you even think about trying to drive there.
“In cities like Jakarta, Surabaya or Malang it’s just too busy to drive like a tourist.
Without knowing the unwritten rules and way of thinking of Indonesian people you can create some pretty dangerous situations for yourself and them. You will also notice a big difference between the people that come from the city and the people that usually stay in and around their kampong. In general the people from the kampong can’t drive that well as the people from the city (it is just because they don’t need to be that good). So remember when you drive in the village they may show different behaviour in terms of following the ‘’traffic rules’’ and their anticipation.
> Read: the unwritten rules of traffic in Indonesia
Driving a motorbike means you will get dirty. Besides getting from time to time a rain shower you will also regularly experience the pollution of the other traffic, warungs (that sell sate) and factories. You might want to think about using long clothes. Wearing long clothes will make you less dirty and protect you against an unexpected fall. Also a must is a buff, scarf or mask because if you are often on busy roads you will experience the heavy pollution of trucks, buses and all other traffic. When driving you might not feel the pollution immediately but when waiting for the traffic light you will for sure notice it.