From Medan we will drive all the way south to the land of Minang people – the largest matrilineal society in the world, with property, family name and land passing down from mother to daughter. The Minang houses have dramatic curved roof structure that mimic the horns of buffalo. We will visit the most impressive of them – the Royal palace on our way to Padang. If you are a GPS addict you will be happy to see the “lat. 0.0000” which means – exactly, we are crossing the Equator! If you have missed your school experiments maybe it is time to get back to your books and rediscover the Coriolis force effect in action! We will continue to ride until we reach a viewing point to make some stunning sunset pictures of a volcanic lake. And of course in this tour we will also have our Robinson Crusoe experience on one of the beautiful exotic islands where we can spend a few hours snorkeling and bathing in the ocean. Is a “Venetian gondola” style river crossing on your bucket list yet? We can do it too! With you on your motorcycle on the boat! Check out the tour’s details below.
Please note that this is an indicative route. It is not 100% accurate. The route we offer is way more twisty and fun!
Dates & Prices
- Lake Toba, the biggest volcanic lake in the world
- Riding in the Barisan Mountains
- Riding through the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Sparkling natural spring water
- Bukittinggi city tour
- Crossing the Equator
- Having a swing on lianas, Tarzan style
- Visiting the Royal palace, the Minang architectural masterpiece
- Padang city tour
- Island hopping
- Snorkeling and relaxing on tropical island
- Riding to Maninjau Lake
- Two viewing points with stunning sunsets
- Visiting an authentic traditional fishing village
- Visiting natural hot springs
- Riding across the river on a wooden rowing boat
- Meeting one of the friendliest populations on Earth
- Learn the unlimited possibilities of loading your motorcycle from the local people
- Savory food and exotic fruits tasting
- Tasting the best coffee in the world and learning more about its processing
- Tasting the Luwak Coffee – the most expensive coffee in the world
- Uncountable viewpoints
Arrival at the airport, pickup and transfer to the hotel. Tour explanation, riding safety tips sharing and the welcome dinner.
Leaving Medan, we will start riding up the Barisan Mountains. After few hours of curved road we will for the first time see the magnificent Lake Toba. Continue up and down the green hills along the lake’s east coast until we reach our first stop, the town of Parapat. It is a small Batak town overlooking the lake Toba, a perfect location to relax and watch the amazing sunset. The next day we get back on our motorcycles and ride almost all the way at the altitude of no less than 1000 meters above the sea level. Get ready for quite a challenging section of the road. On the way we will visit a coffee plantation with tasting of different sorts of the world’s best coffees, including the famous Luwak Coffee – the most expensive coffee in the world. Another interesting stop of the day is going to be a natural spring of sparkling water.
Keeping the direction south we will enter in West Sumatra, the land of Minang people – the largest matrilineal society in the world, with property, family name and land passing down from mother to daughter. We are going to meet a local family and together we will visit their rice fields in a beautiful spot. We will witness the way the local people live and learn more about their culture. Back on our motorcycles we will ride through the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), a UNESCO listed and protected site. Is an incredibly moving feeling riding through that steamy jungle! We will personally test if Tarzan lianas swing is really possible or was it just fiction. GPS addicts will have their unforgettable moment when they see “lat 0.0000 “: yes ladies and gentlemen, you are crossing the Equator! Taking a picture next to the Equator moment is a must for any traveller. In the evening we will arrive in Bukittinggi – a lovely historic city that used to be the capital of Indonesia for a while. The tour of the city is a must, with its beautiful landscape, interesting Japanese tunnels and old clock tower, the symbol of the city.
The journey goes on and we will see the traditional Minang houses with their dramatic curved roof structure that mimic the horns of buffalo. We are going to visit the most impressive of them – the Royal palace on the way to Padang. Leaving the mountains behind we will reach the beautiful city of Padang – the capital of West Sumatra. During our city tour we will visit a characteristic Minang museum and see some astonishing mosques. Later in the afternoon we are going to watch the sunset on the beach. On our resting day we will do some island hopping by boat, swimming in the clear, turquoise-colored waters. Get ready to relax your soul and body in this little paradise.
We are going to have a great ride on small mountains roads passing inside forests and through the local villages on the way to a nice hotel overlooking Lake Maninjau. Prepare yourself to one of the best views you have ever seen. The next day we will ride on a road that is unknown even to Google until we finally arrive to an authentic fishing village. Prepare yourself for a very interesting site with the highlight of crossing a river by a wooden rowing boat – with you on your motorcycle! In other words it is going to be a great experience for an adventure rider.
From the fishing village we will ride up the mountains and down to the sea coast and back. For the next two days we will never meet a straight road again. We are going to visit a beautiful natural hot spring on the way to the town of Balige. Time to see another jaw dropping sunset on Lake Toba choosing the most twisty and interesting roads to get to the viewing point. On the last day of our trip we will visit the local Batak museum. A delicious goodbye dinner will await us at our hotel to conclude this Adventure.
- Motorcycle rental 250 cc Honda CRF 250 RALLY or Kawasaki KLX 250 cc insured with a third party liability
- All nights accommodation (comfortable middle-class hotels)
- Fuel for the all tour
- All entrance fees which are included in the highlights
- All parking fees
- All breakfasts
- Tour on a coffee field and processing explanation
- City tour of Bukittinggi
- City tour of Padang
- Island hopping
- Rowing wooden boat ride
- Coffee, tea, water and soft drinks during riding hours
- Pick up and drop off at the airport
- Motorcycle tour guide
- Driver and support vehicle*
- Emergency first aid kit
- Our guide is motorcycle mechanical experienced and he is first aid qualified
- Morning briefings
- one Welcome dinner and one goodbye dinner
- All services not mentioned and all personal items
* The support vehicle will join the tour when there will be at least 5 participants.
We personally checked all of our hotels and we have chosen the best as quality/location/service available. We will stay in comfortable hotels of 3* average and one night in a 4* hotel. Please bare in mind that Indonesia is a developing country therefore we can not always expect European/American/Australian standard of quality of accommodation, food and/or service. However that is usually compensated by the friendliness of the local people.
–How many “no riding days” are in the tour ? There will be one resting day. In this day will visiting tropical island, snorkeling and relaxing. Later in the afternoon we will have a city tour of Padang.
-How many km do we ride daily ? We will ride 112 miles/day (180 km/day) as an average. Obviously some days we will ride more than that and some days we will ride less.
–How much of motorcycle experience do I need ? You don’t need to be a pro rider to travel with us. You should, however, be an experience motorcyclist who is comfortable riding a motorcycle during a city’s rush hours as well as on small mountains roads. This will be a challenging, yet rewarding and definitely an enjoyable experience for you.
–How about riding in Indonesia ? Indonesia is a country with left-hand traffic. There are a lot of two wheel vehicles on the road and driving rules are not exactly followed. Out of the cities and far from Medan roads are not busy and riding becomes very enjoyable. However a defensive riding style is needed as roads are used by everyone including grazing animals. An incredible fact about Indonesia is that there are hardly any road accidents. How is that possible? After extensive riding in Indonesia our understanding is that it is possible because vehicles’ speed on the road is low. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do and you will be just fine. A full riding tips information will be given at the briefing on the arrival day.
-Why a 250cc dual sport motorcycle ? As it was mentioned above the average speed of an Indonesian driver is pretty low and the maximal motorcycle engine size used by the majority of the local people is only 150cc. Our 250cc motorcycles are able to ride much faster than almost any other vehicle on the road. In any case riding faster than 70-80 km/h is dangerous for two reasons: first because around 80 % of roads run along mountains/hills so it is impossible to go faster, and second – because those are just small local roads, used by everyone include grazing animals. Having a motorcycle that is able to run 140km/h is more than enough. Bigger sized motorcycles in Indonesia are risky to ride and difficult to deal with in the traffic jams. Please bare in mind that those enduro motorcycle are pretty tall from the ground, 895mm. It will not represent a problem for an experienced motorcyclist. Others should be at least 1.73 meters tall in order to be able to ride confidently. If you have never ridden an enduro motorcycle before, do not worry, it is quite simple and easy as the motorcycle weight is only 155 kg.
-What about road conditions ? Almost everywhere in Sumatra the roads are covered by tarmac. The tarmac conditions vary from very good to very poor. Our dual sport motorcycles are capable of riding everywhere without problems. Mostly road conditions are better in Aceh province than in North Sumatra.
-Will there be a support vehicle? Yes in case the group counts at least five riders or in case there are two passengers . Our support vehicle can carry up to 2 motorcycles. It is possible to reserve up to 4 passenger places for the entire trip in the support vehicle. Our support vehicle will carry 1 baggage per person.
–Which bag should i bring ? You should have a waterproof roll bag. Please be aware that your bag should be a good quality one. If you can’t pack all of your belongings in a 60 liters roll bag you are bringing far too much.
–Is it possible to ride 2 up? Yes it is possible, if your companion has an experience of being at the back of an enduro motorcycle. Please note that the total weight of a rider and a passenger should not exceed 140 kg. We will take care of your luggage in case you choose to ride 2 up. The passenger must be at least 12 years old. He/she should be able to place both feet flat on the passenger foot pegs of the motorcycle. Please note that riding 2 up requires more skills from a ride. You may also book a seat in the support vehicle for the passenger if they do not want to ride with you the entire time.
–What about visas ? 169 nations including the citizens of Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Russia and mostly all of the South American countries do not need a visa for Indonesia. You can enter without a visa at Medan airport (Kualanamu International Airport) and stay up to 30 days in Indonesia. However there are two requirements for entering without a visa:
- A valid passport with a minimum validity of at least 6 (six) months
- Return ticket (out of Indonesia) within 30 days from the entrance day
-Which kind of food should I expect ? Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant and colourful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavour. The staple food is rice, for Indonesians if there is no rice means there is no food. Normally rice is served as fried rice mixed with vegetables, egg and chicken or as a side dish with chicken/ meat/ fish. However there are several soups too and some chinese dishes as the noodles, meat balls and spring rolls. Normally foreigners prefer dishes like Nasi Goreng (mixed fried rice), Mie Goreng (mixed fried noodles), Rendang (beef stew cooked in a flavorful sauce), Sate (chicken skewers), Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken ), Ayam Goreng (deep-fried chicken). Indonesians love hot chilly sauce,so get ready to learn fast how to say “tidak pedas” (not spicy)! All-favorite drinks are tea (black and green) and coffee. Fizzy drinks, Coca-cola, Pepsi etc are broadly available. Drinking beer is not a custom in Indonesia, but normally you should be able to order a beer in a hotel. In any case a couple of extra dollars make miracles.
–Which kind of weather should I expect ? As Sumatra has tropical rainforest climate, the temperature here remains relatively hot throughout the year, never less than 18 °C (64 °F). In tropical climates there is often only two seasons: “wet” season and “dry” season. If this was true years ago, deforestation and world climate changes also affect Sumatra nowadays. Now it is hard to predict the weather and we should be surprised if during the tour we will not get wet at least ones. After all why do you think Sumatra is so green ? Good news that normally the rain passes quickly so you can wait under a roof of the numerous coffee shops along the road. Please bring a good quality motorcycle rain gear. Sometimes we will ride at the altitude of around 2000 meters above the sea level where it is usually quite fresh. Please keep that in mind when choosing your motorcycle gear.
-Tell me more about Sumatra and is it safe there ? Sumatra is the sixth-largest island in the world, for example it is bigger than Germany and almost twice the size of the UK. The people of Sumatra are multi-lingual and multi-religious. Most of these groups share many similar traditions and different tongues are closely related. There are over 52 languages spoken but almost everyone speaks Indonesian. English language is becoming more and more popular from year to year. The major religion is Islam, followed by Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Indonesia is an example of how people of different beliefs live in peace and harmony close to each other. Indonesian Muslim people are laid back and tolerant. Even in Aceh province which is supposed to be more conservative it is possible to get beers in the hotels. Indonesian people are open, friendly and very interested in foreigners. Most probably you will get asked by someone to make a selfie with you even though you may think that you are not really a “Brad Pitt”. We have never had any experience of pickpocketing, scams or robbery in Sumatra. Actually it feels way safer in Sumatra than in more touristy Bali, Thailand or some other places in southeast Asia.
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