What's your take riding a motorcycle in the Philippines as an expat?

Now as an older person with more time on my hands and a little more cash in my pocket, this wild man in me wanting to ride a motorcycle in the Philippines to feel the wind in my remaining hair. What's your experience?

Local Bobby from Texas got a broken collar bone while on his cycle on the side of the road, car that hit him never stopped, there were no witnesses.  You want to feel the wind in your disappearing hair, buy a fan.  Safer and cheaper.

I love bikes, been riding all my adult life.. and have a 1200cc adventure bike here in the States. My GF loves motorcycles so in 2015 I bought a "big bike", lol.. a 650 Kawasaki naked bike. Ninja engine but no fairing. I wanted the breeze.

We had a lot of fun with it, mainly going to other islands from Cebu, like to Bohol or Negros. The ride to Bacolod is amazing and a great road. And trust me I don't ride like an old man. But around the city it was crazy. The motorbikes swarm you, passing on all sides and eliminating any possible escape route. It was also too tall and heavy for the urban jungle, where you need a 200lb 125cc Sniper or Mio.

On the open road we encountered constant oncoming vehicles taking our lane to pass. I have well-honed defensive reactions but it got old dealing with it. And there are of course lots of animals and slow moving vehicles. The most worrisome concern for me was what would happen if there were an accident and how long would it take to get to a hospital. After a year I sold it. I decided the odds were not good in the long term.

That said if I lived well out of the urban area in the province or back on Bohol I'd probably have another.

Well, if you crash due to a slippery road during the rainy days or a big rock on the middle
of it, or another vehicle hitting you, you always lose for the lack of barriers against the traumatizing force. You make your flesh and bones as your brake or a shock absorber. A car is always better. As your remaining hair, just shave it so you won´t have to worry of supplying the extra wind to it! :D

robal

Go for it buddy, if that is your wish.  We are here to enjoy life, not to wait till we die at an older age.   I used to jump out of plans and go rock climbing, the only reason i stopped was the opportunity to do those thing, if i died when i was doing them, good luck to me i would have died with a smile on my face.

pej1111 :

Go for it buddy, if that is your wish.  We are here to enjoy life, not to wait till we die at an older age.   I used to jump out of plans and go rock climbing, the only reason i stopped was the opportunity to do those thing, if i died when i was doing them, good luck to me i would have died with a smile on my face.

Yes why not?....Risks are always there like now where even if u don't keep social distance in a shopping mall you may fall ill!..so why not a big bike on a highway with wind gushing thru your hair...If thats what you desire!
Maybe riding in a convoy to keep a look out for one another.
Sorry I'm bald & only have a run down multicab wif a top speed 50km/h.

:D

I'm also an avid motorcyclist with three machines back in the UK. My wife has an interest in a motorcycle shop (bodge shack) here on Bohol so I have access to the normal small machines often in use here.

As to the risks, motorcycling here is dangerous. How dangerous will depend on where you live.

The standard of road use here is appalling. I think the working age limit for motorcycles is well below any legal minimum that might be in place. I think the age rule is that a phoetus can ride only if accompanied by it's mother. I doubt if many people have a real driving licence that requires the appropriate test. Before I arrived here, my wife's driver was involved in an accident, big enough to write off her car. It transpired that he didn't have a licence and so ithe accident was automatically her driver's fault and there was no pay up for the damage to her car.

The safety of vehicles here is also very poor. If you take your time to have a quick look at some of the bikes in use, you will find that many of them don't have essential safety parts such as a front brake, front light, tail light, direction indicators and/or other things. Many bikes have essential parts that are not safe, such as bald tires, very leaky fork and rear dampers, failed wheel bearings, buckled wheels, etc. Even if you are the safest motorcyclist in the world, one of the poor drivers here will get you.

I considder myself a fairly safe rider. I have my moments but drive according to the conditions. The roads here can be really awful. Many of the provincial roads where I live are best tackled by an off road machine. I dislocated my shoulder very badly about a year ago. It is still giving me some trouble. In my case, I was on a bigger than usual bike and about to overtake a guy, who was struggling to climb a hill. It was raining and his raincoat caught in his rear sprocket. He came off and deposited his three year old child, who was riding on the fuel tank, right in front of me. I had to deck my bike, including my wife who was on pillion to be able to stop in time. Of course, the guy had no money or insurance to help with my hospital or repair bills.

My step son is always having accidents. He has just rebuilt his bike, at great expense, and, before getting back on the road, smashed the headlamp on his friend's, brand new (1 week old) Yamaha, after hitting a dog (animals on the road is another hazard here). I have insisted that he pays for the repair in full using genuine Yamaha parts.

Having said all of the above, motorcycling is fun and worth a go. If you are not put off by the advice above, be super careful.

Best wishes and good luck.

Steve

The fan blowing your hair is quite realistic.
But...
I rode motor in the Phils for about 10 years - from 125cc bike, 150cc scooters, 1100cc and 1600cc bigs - and experience with 4 or 5 big motor grupo, solo and with a backrider.
Depending on your age re. reflexes and coordination, toleration for risk, where you are living, and desire to get around most easily, consider it a best of experiences. Few parking hassles, lots of wind in your hair if you not use helmet (at least half helm HIGHLY recommended!), etc.
But I went down hard 2x in Taiwan, 2x here in the Phils, but not ever at speed. In fact, most were totally unexpected (a rope hanging down from high speed railway in Tw) at 10km/hour or less. But out of that lot of roadrash leftovers, 8 broken ribs, dislocated shoulders, damaged hip bones, and added aches til death do them part.
Ah, given the above factors and more, go for it?
I rode most of my late 50s and most in my 60s but realized the last time that inattentiveness was gettting to me, esp. on a late afternoon after an afternoon in nuts Cebu. So just quit, gave last scooter away.
No matter how careful you are, in due time you will go down. Rare someone doesn’t. Confused small dog crossing intersection, kids suddenly running out onto highway, corn drying out on the 1/3 of the rural roads, roosters and hens and chicks, stupid pinoy who haven’t a clue about riding or driving, tangling with mistakes made by self and jeep mirror (tore end of a pinky off), etc.
That all said, I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe you will too. And, depending on the bike size you want, if you like groups (lotta sour politics in most), join one. Gotta experience it to know?
GL

Its your life if you want to die early its is an  excellent solution

I have been living in bali 13 years ,similar to the phils crazy drivers ,bad roads , love the bike ,had couple of tumbles but its a perfect climate for 2 wheels ,I use every day .
I only use the suv for heavy loads and long journeys .

Ya its a matter of personal choice ,but id be very sad if i could not use anymore .

Check out the fatality rate for motorcyclists in the Philippines. I researched a bit and in 2017/18 there were 600,000 deaths in a 12 month period. To put that into context the Covid 19 pandemic has claimed 434,000 WORLDWIDE  as of 18:15 hrs UK time 15/06/2020.

Ziggarillo :

Check out the fatality rate for motorcyclists in the Philippines. I researched a bit and in 2017/18 there were 600,000 deaths in a 12 month period. To put that into context the Covid 19 pandemic has claimed 434,000 WORLDWIDE  as of 18:15 hrs UK time 15/06/2020.

Yes...Shocking stats to say the least!..
Fatality rate for motorcyclists in the Philippines average of 1,591 per day, 66 per hour and one per minute, as per the PSA (Philippine Stats Authority) report.

manwonder :
Ziggarillo :

Check out the fatality rate for motorcyclists in the Philippines. I researched a bit and in 2017/18 there were 600,000 deaths in a 12 month period. To put that into context the Covid 19 pandemic has claimed 434,000 WORLDWIDE  as of 18:15 hrs UK time 15/06/2020.

Yes...Shocking stats to say the least!..
Fatality rate for motorcyclists in the Philippines average of 1,591 per day, 66 per hour and one per minute, as per the PSA (Philippine Stats Authority) report.

That was total deaths from ALL causes, with motorcycle deaths being 9th on the list as far as totals.  Another report that showed last year from January  to August there were less than 1,000 deaths in over 7,000 accidents.  1,591 deaths per day? Would have heard more about it.

Yes Mugtech...sorry I stand corrected!... the article heading was a little misleading!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.philst … pines/amp/

I think these things happen only to other people. 😂
Anyway, a friend of mine saw the motorcycle in the garage. Then I heard in the dreadful way, you bought your son a bike?
I said, he liked to have one, so I bought him one. I did not have this luxury when I was young. I almost drowned several times in the ocean. I fell off a tree. I swam in the power plant's chlorination discharge to the ocean. What's the difference?  Fuggetdaboutit.
But, in as much as want to ride a motorcycle.......😭
I can't ride his because of the inseam issues. 😂

Forget the motorcycle. Shave the remaining hair or by an electric fan like mugtech suggested!

I am now 70....have been riding small bikes in the Phils for 12 years.......in the provinces.
I would not entertain riding in any of the major cities.
Never have i had an accident or even a near miss.
At times i ride solo, never had an incident with locals or where i have felt unsafe or threatened in any way.
Always wear full protective clothing including shoes and gloves.  Not much chance of wind in your hair, helmets are necessary and compulsory.
Ride according to the conditions.  Top speed for me is about 60kph.

I can see myself doing the same like AussiePete2.
Possibly wintering in the PI, getting a small motorcycle (i.e. 125cc - 240 cc) and drive in remote provinces. I plan to have a home in the province anyway. I think this will work for me.
Wouldn't the full protective clothing warm you up pretty good and pretty quick?
How is driving in the night on a motorcycle over there?

Jackson4 :

I can see myself doing the same like AussiePete2.
Possibly wintering in the PI, getting a small motorcycle (i.e. 125cc - 240 cc) and drive in remote provinces. I plan to have a home in the province anyway. I think this will work for me.
Wouldn't the full protective clothing warm you up pretty good and pretty quick?
How is driving in the night on a motorcycle over there?

I insisted on protective gear when we had the 650 on Cebu, as I always wear it here in the States. It's not a matter of IF you will go down, but WHEN and I hate road rash. In my youth I broke 4 ribs once, and an ankle another time, in motorcycle incidents. So we have nice Komine mesh jackets that we bought at Cycle Gear in Cebu City, and helmets and gloves. The mesh gear works fine as long as you can keep moving but it does get hot in traffic. We didn't ride much in the city though.

As far as driving at night goes.. some places would be fine, like Panglao which generally has well lit roads. Others are terrifying even in a car. Dark, unlit provincial highways, smoke from diesels trucks and cooking fires, huge trucks that refuse to yield for anything, people barely visible in the murky light standing on the center line trying to cross the highway, jeepneys with their headlights off, and trikes without running lights..

All of that pretty much describes the conditions the first time I drove a rented car back up from the south part of Cebu Island to the city onmy first trip. I was terrified I was going to kill someone. And it certainly hasn't gotten better in 6 years. No way would I ride a motorcycle in those conditions. So it all depends on where you are.

And dont forget the roadworks with no advance signage. And the signage that is there is non reflective.

Your right the number 600,000 is total deaths not motorcycles altho if they reported all deaths every day like they report virus ,Filipinos would really flip out, a few 6000 drown 3450 die from falls 80 children die every day from malnutrition

Okieboy :

Your right the number 600,000 is total deaths not motorcycles altho if they reported all deaths every day like they report virus ,Filipinos would really flip out, a few 6000 drown 3450 die from falls 80 children die every day from malnutrition

I compare riding a motorcycle to gambling at the casino. The odds are against the player but you feel the rush, excitement and yes, pain. That is why I would probably ride the motorcycle akin to playing on a nickel slot machine. But that will not be fun nor will get the wind through my hair.

Out in the provinces, on Leyte for me, riding is reasonably safe, but you do need to be alert.  Wearing full protection clothing is not hot, so long as you are moving.....
If you are interested in doing some island hopping on small bikes, let me know.
Private message me for my email address.
I have a Yamaha Nmax 155.  Ideal bike/scooter.
I am not there at present....hope to return March..April 2021
For me, night time riding is far too unsafe.
I am always off the road before dark.

As an older person, make sure you check your balance.  Many older people begin to lose their balance.  I realized that the day I fell into a rice paddy while walking along a divider.  Fortunately it was dry.
And, if you want to see carnage, try Thailand with roughly 19000 bike deaths per year.

Jackson4 :

Now as an older person with more time on my hands and a little more cash in my pocket, this wild man in me wanting to ride a motorcycle in the Philippines to feel the wind in my remaining hair. What's your experience?

Check your hand & eye coordination. Pass a sobriety check, like the police do, but without drinking. Drop a hundred coins on the floor or 25 pills and pick them up without holding on to anything.

If you fail the above tests, feel the wind in your hair by sitting in front of a fan.

If yo decide to ride a motorcycle please write your experience from the hospital if you survive.

At our age its wiser to stay *as safe as possible without having to visit any of the local hospitals with an injury....so yes I'd look for the best 4 spoke table fan to cool my bald head! (Omo)

:D

Enzyte Bob :
Jackson4 :

Now as an older person with more time on my hands and a little more cash in my pocket, this wild man in me wanting to ride a motorcycle in the Philippines to feel the wind in my remaining hair. What's your experience?

Check your hand & eye coordination. Pass a sobriety check, like the police do, but without drinking. Drop a hundred coins on the floor or 25 pills and pick them up without holding on to anything.

If you fail the above tests, feel the wind in your hair by sitting in front of a fan.

If yo decide to ride a motorcycle please write your experience from the hospital if you survive.

:lol: You´re as cold blooded as a reptile bro. You´re cruel and forthright! But rightfully so...

Older people have a hard time recovering from trauma and other illnesses compared to  younger people - that is if you recover at all... So keep in mind that you aren´t 18
anymore and the electric fan is better.

robal

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