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An adventure motorcycling expedition in Sumatra for less than RM100 a day

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 08 May 2019

Motorcycling in Sumatra

We’ll soon be on 10-day motorcycling expedition to the western coast of Sumatra. The ride starts from Padang to Medan via Pulau Nias, a renown surfer’s paradise.

This is a budget trip where our small group of six riders – ages from 40-66 —  will fly direct to Padang by Low Cost Carrier and rent pre-arranged local motorcycles of about 150cc engine capacity.

We’ll ride from three to eight hours daily – except two nights on Nias —   and rough it out at small budget homestays. The target is to spend within RM100 per day inclusive of bike rental (rm60 per day), homestay, petrol and food.

Would you bring your helmet or would you buy one at the destination?

Some of the riders plan to travel light and buy helmets in Padang which has an active Enduro bike community.

“The KYT helmets made in Indonesia are good stuff and I’m going to shop there,” said Joey Tjong, one of elders of the Penang riding community.

With a population of 65 million motorcycles, and seven million new motorcycles last year, I’m sure the Indonesian helmet industry will have many great brands and products.

As for me, I’d rather take what I’m comfortable and confident with. Which brings me to the GIVI LCR open face helmets which are my constant motorcycle companion.

Ever since I attended a GIVI press conference at its factory in Bukit Beruntong many years ago, I’ve been a fan of the brand.

The helmet and visors ensemble (a short dark lens and a tiltable full clear visor) are well proven personally.

About five years ago on a ride from Dawei to Myeik, along the Myanmar coast of the Andamans, I had too much cough mixture and was riding in a trance.

A sharp corner, too fast, high-sided, and next thing I knew was that I torpedoing across the road, gravel scraping across the visor.

The visor stayed fast on the helmet and saved my face. Since then, I’ve used only GiVi helmets and they don’t cost a bomb like an Arai or AGV would.

For the West Sumatra ride, the plan was to install a fresh visor but GIVI Point Asia was out of stock.

To cut a long story short, the Malaysian boss of GIVI, Mr On Hai Swee, conjured up the visor that I needed. That’s another good thing about GIVI products: it’s an Italian brand with a Malaysian manufacturing and marketing base and it supports its customers.

Anyway, tell you more about Indonesian helmets and riding in Sumatra in a few days.