Singapore 101: Riding in Singapore

Update: This post is the first among my Singapore 101 series where I hope to provide some basic information about various aspects of an expat lifestyle in Singapore.

It’s been around one and a half years since I started riding my Honda Phantom 200cc (motorbike) which is my first two wheeler in Singapore (overall 3rd one). Over the years, I get a lot of general questions about owning and riding a motorbike/two wheeler in Singapore. I would like to share some information which I learned after started riding here, which (I hope) will help a foreigner start riding in Singapore.

Pros & Cons
Before going to the details, here are some of the pros and cons of owning a two wheeler in Singapore.

The Good: Convenience & Cost Effectiveness - Even though Singapore boasts one of the best public transportation systems in the whole world, it can get really crowded during peak hours. During after hours, there is no public transportation at all when one has to depend on taxis which can get super expensive. Depending on the distance travelled, public transportation can sometimes get costly also. Having a two wheeler eliminates all of the above obstacles like long waiting periods for a bus or avoiding a traffic jam (which doesn’t affect a two wheeler as much as it affects a four wheeler).

The Bad: Climate - Since Singapore is a tropical country, it can rain anytime and it’s almost impossible and extremely dangerous to ride in rain. Fortunately, the rains here don’t last long.

The Ugly: Fatality - One small mistake can lead to far more serious consequences.

Getting a license
There are three classes of licenses to ride a two wheeler in Singapore.
1. Class 2B – To ride a two wheeler up to 200cc
2. Class 2A – To ride a two wheeler up to 400cc
3. Class 2 – To ride a two wheeler more than 400cc

To start with, one has to get a Class 2B license. To get a 2A license, one has to be a class 2B license holder and should not have more than 12 (traffic) demerit points for one year from the day he/she gets the 2B. (I am not sure about the details of demerit points. Also, it’s the same procedure for getting a class 2 license after getting a class 2A). To get a 2B license, one has to pass a theory exam, a test circuit (which comprises of obstacles like a narrow plank, crank course, pylon slalom, emergency braking etc) and a road test. For class 2A & 2, there is only a circuit test as you are supposed to know the basics of riding (both theory & practical road riding) already.

Before attending the test, one has to enroll in one of the three driving schools in Singapore and attend  various sessions. For example, for the 2A course, one has to attend 3 practical & 1 theory sessions. At the end of each class, the instructor has to certify the candidate is ready to attend the next class. Only after successfully completing the 3 classes that the candidate can appear for the exam. 

There is an option to convert an existing license from a person’s country of origin to an equivalent class (which I did) which will require one to write only a theory exam. For an Indian two wheeler license, up on conversion, you will receive a class 2B license. To receive class 2A & 2, one will have to go through the process described above.

p.s. Just getting a license is not enough for a person to ride a two wheeler, say a friend’s motorbike. He/she needs to have insurance for that particular vehicle.

Getting a two wheeler
One can either choose to get a brand new two wheeler or a used one depending on their specific needs. Different types of two wheelers include scramblers, sports bikes, cruisers, roasters, cubs etc. To register a two wheeler (in the case of a used one), all a person have to do is to go to the LTA office in Sing Ming Avenue with the owner (or his/her ID). It takes only around 5 minutes to complete a form and pay the fee.

General Tips & Information
Renewal of road tax & insurance, getting the vehicle inspected from an approved inspection center, routine maintenance etc are some of the other procedures which comes as a package with owning a two wheeler.

More information about owning a two wheeler can be found in the following links!-quot

If you find a mistake in the post or if there is any critical information missing, please leave a comment.


I watched this commercial for the first time, around a month back, when my friend shared it in Facebook. It was after my dinner on one of those hectic days, when all I wanted was to get my mind off everything else. So I was lazily browsing FB and I clicked on this video. At first, the music caught my attention. It was slow and relaxing. Slowly, the commercial got my full attention. By the time I finished watching it, I realized my eyes were filled with tears and I felt heavy at heart.
At first I told myself, “It’s just a silly commercial, you will grow over it”. But every time I watch this, it feels heavier.
Here, I am talking no more, decide for yourself!

“There are no perfect fathers, but a father will always love perfectly”

“When life is full of misery, what do we do most?”

Expedition to a Volcano

“…Isn’t like that?” my colleague asked me.
“Uh! Umm, I think so”, I replied, even though I had no clue about what he was talking.
He understood it. “Hey man, you are not listening, where are you, actually?” were his next words.
He was right, I was not there. Even though its almost a week since my last trip, I was finding it difficult to get back to the ‘real world’.
It all started when we (me and my better half) figured out that our ‘party stocks’ are nearing its completion. In order to stock up in ‘large volumes’, we needed access to the duty free shops in the airport. That’s when our friends Jaiwin & Aneesh told us about a trip, some of their friends were planning. “A weekend in a ‘not-so-heard-about’ place in Indonesia with a bunch of ‘not-much-known-before’ people” – that pretty much summarizes our impression about the trip. ‘Never-say-no-to-travel’ being our motto, we immediately signed up for it. It turned out to be one of the most memorable trips in our lives, both because of the place we visited and the new ‘company’ we discovered.
As the trip dates neared, I wanted to get some information about the previously unheard location - Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, East Java, Indonesia. Wikitravel writes, “If a landscape was ever needed to demonstrate the meaning of the phrase desolate beauty, then this is surely it. Rugged, barren volcanic peaks, gravel plains and that sea of sand, truly unworldly” and it’s true to every single word. The main attraction is to watch the sunrise from Mount Pananjakan with the active volcanoes Mount Bromo & Mount Semeru and the Mount Batok in the back drop.
We started from Singapore around 8pm on a Friday and reached Surabaya airport around 11pm local time. Special thanks to our trip organizer - Balaji - and the location specialist – Ajay – for arranging everything. We started our journey to Mount Pananjakan right away as we wanted to be there for the sunrise. We had to change to 4x4 jeeps in between, which took us to the view point just in time for the sunrise. Even though a small crowd was already there, we managed to find a good spot at the tip of the view point.

Both the pre-dawn sky and the sunrise were breathtaking experiences

That’s us, with the mighty volcanoes in the backdrop

After the sunrise, we began our journey towards Mt. Bromo

We traveled through the Sea of Sand (literally)…

…towards the Poten Hindu temple which is the gateway towards Mt Bromo’s crater

From there, we climbed for around an hour towards the Bromo crater. This is not a place for anyone who has problems with dust. As the atmospheric temperature rises, heavy sandy winds mixed with volcanic ash makes you somehow want to get out of there.

But the raw beauty of nature makes you want to stay even more. If you are lucky enough, you can witness the mountain puffing out volcanic smoke from it’s under belly.

By the time we reached back the bottom and back to the ‘base camp’, we were extremely tired and hungry from to the lack of sleep and the trek/travel. After some ‘light refreshments’ from a nearby shop – after which, the shop was closed for the day - we started our journey back to Surabaya where our stay was arranged.
After checking in and some initial rest, we all got together at the infamous ‘room 231’ where later we all took the ‘oath of secrecy’ that whatever happened there, will be buried with us in our graves.
The next day we explored Surabaya town. We visited the Semporna museum where the major focus is given to the influence of tobacco in Indonesian culture.

We also visited an old church (I am not very sure of its significance)

After that, we pretty much walked around the town on our own, taking photos and enjoying the company of the locals. We headed back to our rooms before very late as we had an early morning flight to catch the next day. (What happened to all of us that last night also comes under our ‘oath of secrecy’ and is still a ‘highly controversial’ topic)
Next day, we boarded our flight back to Singapore, with our newly made friends, the still fresh smell of the volcanic ash and with the satisfaction of having known one of the most polite people in the whole world. No wonder, even after one week, I am unable to find my ‘balance’ with the so called ‘real world’ life!