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Buying a Scooter/Moped in Singapore to 'drive casual'?

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eddiejux81
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Buying a Scooter/Moped in Singapore to 'drive casual'?

Postby eddiejux81 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:30 am

Hey guys, My firm is transferring me to Singapore for 6 months shortly. You may laugh at my post but in December i visited Thailand and rented a Moped for a few days and really enjoyed it.

I fully understand that this is very different in Singapore and they are hardly used. Probably due to being a big city and the fact that cars are much more common.

But all this considered is getting a moped completely out the question? I have no experience on motorbikes or anything like that, like i said just enjoyed a few days with the ped in Chaing Mai last month and thought it would be great to use it just to get around.

Now i'm not talking about riding it around the middle of the busy chaotic city streets, but i just dont have enough money for a car and know i will miss just 'taking a drive'. I'm not gunna be driving fast, or putting my life in alot of danger, i dont know exactly where i'll be staying but i wont be living right in the centre of town, my journey to work will be on buses/trains so it'll be just to get me about to the local shops or for a journey down to swimming complex/beach area. Obviously theres always a risk, but i mean, it will just be for casual riding.

I'm talking about a really low cc, low budget scooter - not a motorbike. I understand i'll need a licensee, which is fine, but in general is a scooter just unheard of for these reasons? Can you ride pretty much anywhere? Is it really that dangerous in your opinion? Can i leave it parked in many areas?

Any general thoughts and opinions is much appreciated, eddiej

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 3:00 am

Not sure how did you come up with your opinion but riding a scooter in Singapore is pretty popular. Obviously not as much as in some of the countries around but still a common means of transportation. Maybe you should at least scroll some topics down on this forum list before asking another question?

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Postby eddiejux81 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 4:07 am

apologies, it's just that every time i read somewhere i often see the recommendation ''no need for a scooter in Singapore, stick to a car, not many people have scooters becuase drivers in SG are crazy etc''. Either that or they talk like its another language due to having experience with expensive motorbikes in their home country that i can't quite understand.

I have read down everything in this section but im brand new to this whole thing and don't know anyone who has. I've no experience or knowledge on bikes and it's a little confusing. So just looking for some advice for someone's who's completely new to to this whole thing. If scooters are quite popular in Singapore, fantastic. Like i said, i'm not there yet so just getting an idea.

I currently hold a normal (Car) UK drivers license. When i get to Singapore how would you suggest i start. Who can i contact about learning or would it be worth me getting a license in the UK first before i arrive? or what is whats a good cheap used scooter for a newbie? Any general advice would be fantastic. Much appreciated.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 8:25 am

I do not know how difficult is to get a motorbike license in UK but here it takes shortest 3 and typically 4-6 weeks. It is reasonably straightforward process with more focus on riding technique than the regulations.

Take a look here: http://www.bbdc.sg/bbdc/bbdc_web/class2B.asp

The UK license you can convert by passing pretty easy basic theory test.

Safety: drivers and riders here do not follow majority of traffic regulations, are egoistic and unreasonable but have 2 major advantages: are predictable and not aggressive. Once you learn some driving habits/patterns it should be safe. Also, for the safety reason you better consider a bigger motorbike/scooter - some Piaggios (X9), bigger Vestas etc., they are in class 2B too. Used ones should be pretty affordable (say SGD 2-4k) and what you want is to be visible and heard in case somebody do something stupid.

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Postby curiousgeorge » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 9:36 am

Apologies to x9200 but to get a Class 2B licence in Singapore is a bit more than 4-6 weeks...typically once you have done the classes you need to pass a mock test before you can apply for your real test, and the real test is all booked up a couple of months in advance so I can't see it taking less than 3 months. I currently have a friend going through the process, just based on his experiences.

Similarly, if you take your test in the UK, you will be unlikely to get a full bike licence here, but then again a Class 2b licence is all you will need for a scoot in Singapore. You might still find that the quicker/easier route.

Certainly, if you have a UK bike licence you can ride on the roads here for 12 months without converting, unless you become PR or Citizen then you must convert immediately.

One thing though...Singapore is ALL crazy city streets. There are no country back roads like the UK, its all pretty urban. Having said that, the driving is no worse than London (car drivers) but the other motorcyclists can be pretty mental filtering at 60+km/h!

If you have time/money, I would say get the licence in the UK then see how it goes when you get here. You can even rent here for a while to see if you like it before splashing out.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:08 am

It should be 4-6 MONTHS of course :) Thanks for pointing this out curiousgeorge.

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Postby eddiejux81 » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:38 pm

thanks so much for your input guys. I think i'm going to get my UK license sorted before i leave, apparently you can do a quick course that allows you to complete fully in a week (if i pass of course).

If i do this, then as i understand from your comments: i can then ride for 12months without converting my license over. And then if i end up staying in Singapore longer than a year I can convert by taking a theory test by applying through BBDC as x9200 posted.

If i was to get a scooter (much like a vespa) is it common to wear just a helmet or the entire kit the whole time? Obviously i understand its better too for safety but as i say i won't be using this a great deal and dunno whether i need to look into forking out for the whole kit?

I've never been to Singapore myself and although i'm very excited and done plenty of research its hard for me to estimate what the roads are actually like there. Thanks for enlightening me that Singapore streets are all pretty hectic, as i will ponder on this. You compared them to London which is a little scary as i definitely wouldn't be comfortable riding through London frequently. I assumed that obviously in the heart of the island it would be hectic but with streets somewhat similar to Thailand/Vietnam further out. But if its all very urban and city-like pretty much island-wide then i guess thats something i'll decide when i get there and judge for myself depending on the location i'm in. But thats why i've posted here, to gain a better understanding.

In the meantime i'm still going to get my UK license for now. cheers guys

8-)

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Postby curiousgeorge » Tue, 25 Jan 2011 6:26 pm

In Singapore, it is common to wear nothing but a helmet.

But then, I have half of my staff displaying glorious scars when they wear t-shirts from bike accidents. They wear chinese safety boots i.e. flip flops.

When I first arrived here, I stopped to help a guy who came off his bike on the PIE...two fingers ground down to the bone, kneecaps showing through his jeans...a $20 pair of gloves and a $90 pair of trousers and that guy would have walked away.

Personally, I ride ATGATT (all the gear all the time). I spent wisely on mesh, hot weather gear and have no problems with it. Sure it gets sweaty, but then anything in Singapore does.

Funnily enough, when you go to Bangkok (which seems hotter than SG), many more motorcyclists wear gloves and jackets at least. But there the traffic truly is mad.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 25 Jan 2011 7:25 pm

It really depends on your commuting route. There are certain routes that are a real nightmare (esp. with a bigger bike I recommended :) but some are just fine. For example I live in the central part of the island and travel to work West on morning. The traffic is pretty smooth. It also helps a lot if you take off from home a bit earlier (before 8am).

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Postby revhappy » Tue, 25 Jan 2011 8:13 pm

Hey eddiejux81,

Riding in Singapore is real fun and there are plenty of Bike enthusiasts here, yours truely, including :wink:

You can browse the Singapore Bikes Forum and there is so much information there and groups. Bikers arrange weekly meetups and also trips organised to KL, Thailand etc.

Riding bikes is a great hobby you can have in an otherwise boring shoppoholic tiny little island. lol.

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Postby eddiejux81 » Thu, 27 Jan 2011 6:40 am

thanks all, information has been useful, truly excited to get on the road. 8-)

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Postby eddiejux81 » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 2:40 am

Sorry to bring this up again guys, but i just noticed this on an older page:

Patrick777 wrote:
''I've just passed my basic theory to convert my UK bike license ... Because of smart Expats they now ONLY CONVERT LICENSES where the rider or car has HELD the license AT LEAST 6 MONTHS PRIOR to landing in Singapore ... So you can no longer hop back and pass you license and then convert ... ''
ftopic45223.html


This got me a little worried. I'm ready to take my test in the U.K (its quick yet expensive) but I'm hopefully going to Singapore in the next couple of months, and its likely i'll stay for much longer than a year now, and after one year i don't want to be rejected a 2b license after forking out all the money.

Can anyone confirm if Is this definitely true? (the post is 4 years old). If so, I might as well just take my test in Singapore.

....but then i read that that is a pain too! Any advice? much appreciated.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 3:30 am

I can not advise whether they will accept or not right after you arrive but on more general note they are pretty reasonable here. If you start riding your motorbike in Singapore and continue doing so for 10-11 months and then try to convert the UK license I would be surprised if they reject it.

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Postby eddiejux81 » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 4:12 am

thanks x9200, thats good to hear. I just saw that and didnt wanna fork out money in the U.K to be told a year down the line i cant get a Singapore license.

But going off what you said, thats sounds good, i'll do exactly that. Everything i've read has pretty much pointed to getting a UK license if possible so thats what i will do. Thanks for all your advice.

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Postby chipandputt » Sat, 05 Feb 2011 2:18 pm

Great info.. thanks guys. I'm considering getting a bike.. don't feel like driving my car all the time !
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