Indonesia

Discussion in 'Asia' started by T-REDZ, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. period3

    period3 n00b

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    Worked last Saturday (shame on me). About 4pm I hopped on the Yamaha Scorpio and decided to head out for a bit of a ride.

    Sidebar: The Scorpio is a cheap cheap cheap 225cc commuter bike with standard suspension and cast 18" wheels. In most western media and forums it is disparaged as a cheap (but not good) first bike or a cheap (but not good) commuter for those who don't want to ride scooters.

    So headed north from Balikpapan.

    Reality no.1; until you get out of town, the traffic is horrendous and unless you are on a small bike / scooter the overtaking opportunities are limited.

    About 40 mins out of Balikpapan, the traffic disappears and the towns become further apart. The roads don't get any better, people still walk out in front of you, locals on scooters and bikes (invariably without helmets) still just pull out. Between Kijangs (the local Toyota people-mover driven with abandon and without common sense) attacking from the rear and overladen lorries struggling up hill at 20km/hr (20 km/jam in local parlance) then a ride even on "good" roads in exciting.

    As the sun fell lower, and the shadows got longer, the logic to turn around increased, but the urge to do so decreased. I passed the point of my geographical knowledge (without a map hahaha) and continued on. Across small and large rivers with fishing boats galore. Through small towns where people stared (because of my sexy Scorpio, or the crisp crackle of the exhaust, or because of the big white guy with both beneath him, i could not tell).

    Sidebar: I ditched the massive standard exhaust system with the 15mm exhaust exit for effectively an open sports pipe exhaust 40mm dia. Oh, the pipe and fitting, Rp 350,000 or USD 37. Actually too loud for my sensitive ears, but apparently loud pipes save lives… Actually, total defensive riding in Indonesia will minimise risk, but not save lives. Loud pipes just draws attention to the big white guy…

    So I travelled too far north. I got lost. I entered a small town (not located on google maps) and slowly weaved my way through a Saturday night market blocking the entire road with inqisitive stares all round, (nb: i was on the main road to the Capital of the province…).

    Reality No. 2… Out of town, I was constantly dodging potholes. Not those small pathetic excuses for potholes in Australia. I am talking 3 - 6ft dia and 18 in - 2 ft deep. Real drop in and "lose your smile" potholes.

    Sidebar: I am still awaiting my gear from home so I am riding in denim jeans, short sleeve polo shirt and $14 open face helmet. Yes yes yes, I know…


    As I got closer to Samarinda (unbeknownst to me, I was lost) I was dodging a beautiful electrical storm. Coming into Samarinda (from bumf*ck nowhere) the road was a series of prelaid concrete pavement (typically 2 - 5 km in length with 300 - 600mm earthen ramps up to the block of concrete sticking out of nowhere - i really wish I took my camera for this) in between dirt / mud roads.

    Reality No.3 - Alerts to road works are not world class. I ended up travelling 500m down the wrong side of a dual lane highway. Dodging the 2nd semi alerted me to my stupidity.

    Coming into Samarinda, I dodged the tropical rainstorm but the roads did not. There were kilometres and kilometres of mud, and we had to dodge bogged semi-trailers (lorries) and cars and pick-ups that were not coping at all. My Rossi boots are screwed with mud and my jeans were likewise caked.

    Reality No.4, shabby roads in the tropics = mud mud mud...

    By the time I got to a hotel in Samarinda it was 9:15pm. As I walked into the cheapest, big, hotel I could find the smirk was classic. "Sorry sir, we are out of standard rooms; only Rp 1,350,000 suites available" ($135). This is a hotel I am pretty sure I will pay $45 next week on business. hahaha. nope.

    Reality no.5, walking up to a hotel for a room is horrendous. An expat doing it in SE Asia is just asking to be gouged. If I could have found an internet cafe, I would have booked something...

    So I decide to head for the 110km ride back to Balikpapan. Winding road. slow trucks in front. Maniacal cars behind. Fortunately the road was in better condition than I anticipated. Total time from Samarinda City Centre to Balikpapan City Centre was just shy of 3 hours (12:17am back to home).

    Reality No. 6, that's 3 hours for 110km… And you need that power for what?

    But here is my point to shying away from big bikes.

    1. I hit 90km/hr once, but most of the time i was riding between 50 and 70 km/h. even my 80km/hr cruising speed wasn't comfortable and I dropped back.

    2. Roads, other road users, pot holes and the mud, mean that you won't average much higher, even with the daring of Evil Kniieval.

    3. The Scorpio (read side bar for disparaging remarks) on shabby broken road is comparable (hmmm) in utility to my DR650 back home. Given an appropriate speed the ground clearance is sufficient and the stability is awesome. On road tyres, the work through the mud was superior to comparable experience on my DR650 or BMW GS650.

    4. Everywhere I went there was some helmet-less local on a scooter or underbone whipping my arse. Speed on Indonesian roads is (in decreasing order) a function of; 1. Disregard for self preservation, 2. lightness of bike, 3. skill of rider, 4. power of bike.

    5. Large fuel tanks not required, if you can buy the fuel in glass bottles from homes along the way (I think a GS needs premium, so bad luck GS riders)… then you are OK. Some of the best conversations happen when buying fuel from roadside bottles…

    Conclusion…

    1. I am about to get punished, i am ready. No one disparages the bigger is better mantra (anything under 100 HP is a ladies bike)!

    2. I own an F800GS at home (Sydney) and have owned a stream of dual sports (DR650 is favourite). Here in Kalimantan, I would buy a KLX250, but the Scorpio is a reasonable alternative (more below). My DR6650 would be OK. The F800GS a PITA. R1200GS a lot of weight to pick up...

    3. The Scorpio is as stable off road and in mud as the DR650. 18" wheels are not to be underestimated (and neither is weight - this is easier to ride on dirt than my 220kg 17" wheel Bandit - who'd have thought…)

    4. Given the road conditions, the mud, the fuel supply, the pot holes and the traffic, anyone on an R1200GS or KTM Adventure 990 (or any dual sport > 650) would have a miserable time by comparison. If fact, I believe that in the conditions here in East Kalimantan, a 650 would be overkill (not good at a cruising speed is about 70km/hr). Anything bigger, PITA.

    5. Why not a KLX250? Well, KLX150's are cheap (but not great for hauling 105kg riders). KLX250's are $7,700 and have a 4 month waiting list. I figured I could buy a scorpio, trash the thing, have a good time and still go everywhere I wanted to go…

    I intend to do more trips and actually take some pics, as soon as my gear arrives and I can extract my a**hole boss from my a**hole ("you should be doing 6.5 days plus" hahahahahaha) and do some rides I want.

    In my final defence… I have read some overland stories from guys on Honda 110 step thru's. I was cynical. But now, being here in Borneo, I know that the sensible SE Asian overland option is to buy the smallest local bike you can buy, fill it with fuel out of glass bottles beside the road and get the local workshops to fix. Importing a bike is hard work. Riding a big bike is harder work.

    I actually laugh when I see an expat on a harley, or a z1000 or a BMW. It is truly is style over substance… and not the least bit satisfying as a rider given the road conditions and other road users.

    I am changed. Less is more. My ultimate overland ride involves local bikes that can be repaired by local mechanics, tyres from local workshops and replaced with simlarly cheap local bikes.
  2. blackcap

    blackcap Been here awhile

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    welcome to the land where a mans penis isnt measured by the size of the engine between his legs. i spent 10 months in indonesia on a DR650 and the number of times i wish i had a 125cc honda GL max was ridiculous. wet through 3 clutches dragging its heavy arse through the worst roads while small bikes zipped and bounced their way past me. no to mention taking the DR to a suzuki shop and no one has even heard of a DR650 there so better bring your own tools haha.

    if your staying in indonesia for a long time get out to flores. the main road was in pretty good condition when i passed through and there is only one straight section on the whole island. think looking at straight line distances between places on the GPS being 30km while the road distance is 90km and the traffic there is 1/10th of java.
  3. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    :rofl:rofl

    Funny story. This story and other foreigners' experiences here makes me wonder if it's really hard and dangerous to ride here. I wouldn't know ... cause I'm Indonesian and I've been riding /commute on my bike for 11 years now, so I'm used to the conditions and see things differently, I see it as normal. It's good to know what foreigner thinks or see it from a foreigner's perspective, though.

    Nah... you don't need a big bike. I think nobody needs a big bike... Want, yes ... but need, no. Years ago, myself and three good friends of mine travelled around West Java, on a Honda Astrea 800 and a Suzuki, both were small 80 cc bikes. Two up on each bike, small bikes and we had a great time.

    I've never been to East Kalimantan I didn't know that the road in East Kalimantan is bad, but I often go to South Kalimantan. Whenever I'm in a car on the way to Sungai Danau or Batu Licin from Banjarmasin, I always wish I was on a bike. The road is good, there are pot holes every here and there.. but not many, and not as bad as the one you encountered... and traffic is not busy. We can drive quite fast there.

    Riding fast... well, posted speed limit here is usually 60-80 kph (except in toll road which is 100 kph and motorcycles are not allowed in toll road) but I don't think a lot of people ride at 100 kph here.

    Give yourself some time. I bet in a month or two you will ride like the locals. But I would suggest you ride every day or as often as you can, so that you are familiar with the traffic condition and get use to how people ride or drive there.

    And get a Honda "bebek" or Yamaha "bebek", or even a matic scooter ... you might enjoy it more than your scorpio.
  4. blackcap

    blackcap Been here awhile

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    thought you guys might be interested in these. theres a lot of your beautiful country in here ;)


    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57304411" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/57304411">The first year Part 1</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8273843">Rob Armstrong</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/58947154" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/58947154">The first year part 2</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8273843">Rob Armstrong</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59834233" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/59834233">The first year Part 3</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8273843">Rob Armstrong</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
  5. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    blackcap, your links don't work. Had to search vimeo for Rob Armstrong.

    Here's the link to the video: http://vimeo.com/57304411 hope it works.

    I like the video :thumb Do you have a ride report somewhere? I'd love to read it if you do.

    I've never ventured off road and I plan to fix that. The only "off road" I had was a month ago when I made a wrong turn and had to rode through about 100 km of the worst road I've ever been on ... and to make it more interesting I had to do it at night on my Monster.
  6. blackcap

    blackcap Been here awhile

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    i cant work out the embed links so here are other links

    https://vimeo.com/57304411

    https://vimeo.com/58947154

    https://vimeo.com/59834233

    and one for anyone in jogja

    https://vimeo.com/52336465

    no ride report unfortunately. no time to sit in front of the computer for long enough to get one together. theres so much off roading i wanted to do in kal tim but ran out of visa time. we might be doing something special up near nunakan towards the end of the year though and may want to involve some of the bike communities from around that way if anyone is interested. ill post more when i know more :freaky
  7. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the last one. I was born in Yogya and still go there at least once a year.

    If you go to Yogya and need a place to stay I can recommend a good guest house, owned and runs by a friend of mine, Riza. I wish I could offer my place, but I don't have a house there. The guest house is motorcycle friendly cause he also loves motorcycle. And he knows a very good bike mechanic there who works on BMWs but can work on any bike.

    Metro Guest house Jalan Sisingamangaraja 21a, Karangkajen, Yogya.

    Years ago, I think it was 2004, my Sportster had a clutch problem on the way to Yogya. When I got there my friend hooked me up with the mechanic who then fixed my bike. The guy refused to take any kind of payment but the cost of the clutch bearing that replaced the busted one.
  8. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    Bob thanks for the yoga number and I appreciated the balik papan story... Was there a few months ago.
    Just came from Sumba to bandung.... I think Sumba is the most primitive íve ridden in.

    It's great to enjoy through small bikes and whatever you at riding.
    Personally I think a small bike but with long suspension and good lighting makes riding safer and more comfortable.

    I've got a Klx 250/351 with some power house lighting. I noticed you came back at night...
    Good lights help you see the potholes sooner and good long suspension means its not as imperative to swerve and dodge them. I'm big on Good mirrors too
    the Klx 150 mirrors are excellent.

    Enjoy Balik Papan

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I847 using Tapatalk 2
  9. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    Ricky, how do you like the KLX250? How do you like it for long ride, ride that's longer than 5 hours?

    I've been thinking about getting a second bike, a DS bike that's comfortable for long ride and can do two-up easily. Bikes that on my list are Sertao, TR650 and 800GS. I just added KLX 250 to the list. It looks like it can be a fine and fun bike to ride, but I've no idea if it's comfortable in long ride or how it is when doing two-up ride.
  10. period3

    period3 n00b

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    As it happened, a 2011 KLX250 came my way courtesy of an Aussie shipping back home. That removed the argument about waiting times and price. It's a great bike for here in Kalimantan. I've removed the nobbies for some dual sport more friendly road rubber (I won't be doing single track).

    There's only two downsides to the KLX250 (which might affect some of your other choices). 1. Small tank and only takes Pertemax, so topping up by roadside bottles along the way is for emergency only, gotta learn to queue. 2. Seat is a plank for the 5 hours you talk of.

    I'm partially resolving the fuel issue with a larger tank from the USA (customs permitting) and the seat can be resolved by your local seat guy padding it out and reupholstering it. I did that on the cheap for my DR650 back home and could easily do 10 hour days in the saddle.

    Two up? Probably not so great.

    F800 is on your list, but for weight, cost and frankly dubious utility value, I'd recommend the smaller bike. It'll be just as fast point to point (or faster), easier and more fun. It'll be a BIG bike two up in the traffic.

    Just my Rp2,000 worth...
  11. mike cummins

    mike cummins OUTBACK RIDER

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    Based on my experience with a hp2 enduro in indo, I would say a small bike with a big tank and soft seat would be ideal. I reckon a honda xr 400 or dr 400 suzuki with waterproof soft panniers would be idea. Added to that some k60 70/30 off road tyres and 20 litre tank and it would be ideal.
  12. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    Thanks period3.

    I didn't know that KLX only takes Pertamax ...

    I was set on Husky Terra 650, but when I learned that it only takes high octane gas, I had to reconsider it. I mean, please correct me if I'm wrong, the ability to use 89 octane gas is impotrtant, because it means one less thing to worry about in a long trip. Low on gas, just stop at any gas station and fill up.

    F800 is on my list because if I buy it then I will sel my Monster. It's gonna be a one bike solution for me, a bike for commuting and also for touring on good road and bad roads.

    Mike, unfortunatelly there's no 400cc bikes here. From 250cc it jumps to 650 and bigger, and Kawasaki is the only japanese brand that sells bigger than 250cc bike. If Kawasaki sells KLR 650 here, I will buy it in a heart beat, but they only sell 600cc sport bikes.
  13. dZodiaCz

    dZodiaCz MegaProHOLIC!

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    Siang Semua~

    Saya angga dari Jambi, dengan tunggangan MegaPro tahun 2007..

    saya berencana akan mengadakan touring menggunakan sepeda motor ber 2 dengan Istri, dari Jambi menuju Serang.

    bbrp hari ini saya sudah searching2 di internet dan mencari informasi2 mengenai rute yang akan saya lalui.. kebanyakan dari teman2 jg sudah menyarankan jalur lintas timur sumatera sebagai rute yang lebih baik..

    dengan rute sbg berikut
    Jambi - Simpang Tempino - Bayung Lincir - Sungai Lilin - Palembang - Indralaya - Kayu Agung - Menggala - Sukadana - Ketapang - Bakauheni - Merak - Serang.

    dengan total kurang lebih 600Km

    saya terkendala di pembuatan peta perjalanan. begitu saya lihat di Google earth ato google maps, rute yang ditunjuk oleh 'get destination' tidak lah sama dengan yang saya rencanakan tsb.

    saya memohon bantuan dari teman2 disini, agar bisa dibantu membuatkan peta perjalanan nya. asalkan rutenya sudah benar. saya akan mendetailkan nya sendiri nanti..

    Terima kasih sebelumnya..
  14. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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  15. dZodiaCz

    dZodiaCz MegaProHOLIC!

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    Waww!! bener banget kak BobPS, saya nggak tau kalo di maps itu bisa multiple destination, sangkain cuman bisa dari A ke B ajah.. >,<

    Ternyata jarak tempuh nya jadi lebih jauh ya kak, kalo dibandingkan dengan melewati jalan raya lintas sumatera.

    maaf, adakah field report terbaru tentang jalan raya lintas sumatera kak?
    dan mohon bantuan nya andaikan ada thread tentang persiapan touring yang bisa di rekomendasikan untuk saya baca?

    agak deg2an jg nih. soalnya 1st touring antar pulau :D
  16. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    I was about to start a thread asking for fastest speed ridden in Indonesia.

    Is there any place a GS800 would be faster than a KLX250? I just got back from a couple weeks riding in Bali, Sumba, Java and Sumatra... I think 84 KMH was the fastest I hit!

    Riding up to Aceh from Medan Sumatra with my Garmin gps 62 I noticed:

    1. When stuck behind buses/trucks we were commonly doing 15-20 kmh.

    2. The "hot shot" buses passing them settled in around 35 kmh.

    3. I felt like I personally was one of the fastest guys on the road... don't remember a bike ever passing me and rarely was I going above 75 kmh.

    4. Medan - rarely saw 10 kmh :lol3!

    5. Bandung - mostly below 20 kmh traffic... they have that toll road to Jakarta I'm guessing would be faster but are we even allowed on it?
  17. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    Report ttg kondisi jalan terkini sepertinya tidak ada ya....saya pernah coba search tapi gak berhasil dapat.

    Untuk persiapan turing coba lihat di sub forum Trip Planning, kalau dr namanya mungkin ada tips untuk persiapan jalan jauh.

    Saya belum pernah nyeberang ke sumatera, tetapi cukup sering kelayapan di pulau jawa. Beberapa yg bisa saya sarankan:
    1. Persiapan kendaraan. Cek kondisi mesin, ban dan rem. Servis dan ganti kalau perlu.
    2. Jalan santai. Gak perlu terburu-buru atau ngebut. Pengalaman saya, kecepatan rata2 di sini berkisar antara 50-60 km per jam. Setiap kali saya jalan ke jogja, yg jaraknya sekitar 600an km dr jakarta, waktu tempuh selalu berkisar antara 10-12 jam. Itu jalan santai, karena kebetulan saya bukan tipe yg senang ngebut dan senangnya menikmati perjalanan. Kalau mau cepat sampai saya akan naik pesawat terbang, tidk naik motor. Di tempat2 tertentu mungkin kita bisa jalan kencang 100 kpj atau lebih ...tapi rata-rata waktu, saat kita tiba di tujuan selalu antara 50-60 kpj.
    3. Hindari perjalanan malam hari.
    4. Sering-sering istirahat. Setiap 100 km ada baiknya istirahat sejenak untuk meluruskan kaki, dan banyak-banyak minum.

    Degdegan itu perlu dan penting terutama utk membuat kita bersiap2 dan berhati-hati. Sampai sekarang pun, saya selalu deg degan atau excited di malam menjelang berangkat :-)

    Titip lihat-lihat supply pertamax selama perjalanan ya. Saya punya rencana jalan2 ke sumatera dan ingun tahu apakah pertamax gampang diperoleh atau tidak.
  18. dZodiaCz

    dZodiaCz MegaProHOLIC!

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    akhirnya bisa internetan lagii~~ hohoho..

    motor sudah saya servis nih,
    tali gas dan kompling sudah saya ganti karna yang yang lama udah rawan putus.
    oli sudah ganti dan udah cuci karbu jg :D

    sekarang permasalahan saya ada di lampu tambahan. tadi saya ke toko aksesoris motor, untuk menanyakan perihal lampu ini. saya disuguhkan 2 buah lampu tembak merek h*logen.. tapi kata nya nggak bisa pasang disana, karena dibutuhkan relay.. dan orang toko itu nggak bisa rakit sambungan nya :D ( apalagi saya )

    rencana nya lampu ini akan saya taro di engine guard. karena di EG saya ada dudukan..
    nah ada nggak saran nih dari kak BobPs buat jenis atopun merek lampu yang bisa saya gunakan tanpa harus dipasangi relay.. :D

    mohon bantuan nya..
  19. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    Waah saya gak ngerti soal kelistrikan motor, jadi gak tahu merk apa yg bisa dipakai tanpa relay.
    Tapi kalau saya, saya akan beli yg perlu relay dan saya bawa ke bengkel motor utk minta dipasangkan dan minta dirakitkan relay.
  20. dZodiaCz

    dZodiaCz MegaProHOLIC!

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    wah, mending yang pake relay yah.. kalo gitu nanti coba deh saya cari2 dulu tempat buat rakit relay nya :D

    sementara ini cari yang buat lampu utama dulu deh, kalo ternyata ada lampu utama yang bisa nyala terang, pake itu aja cukup kali ya.. >,< saya liat kalo lampu yang terang itu bisa bikin meleleh dinding didalam soal nya :(