Goa is an exciting area in India that is one of the top places to explore on vacation. The best way to explore this beautiful city, especially if you are on a budget, would hire a motorbike. Goa is well-known for its picturesque destinations, beaches, and nightlife, so it attracts so many visitors each year.
Apart from the beautiful scenery and beaches, the cuisine is also fantastic, with many restaurants to choose from. Cars and bikes are some of the best ways to discover this city, allowing you to explore at your leisure. Renting a bike in Goa will enable you to drive on all the main roads and highways, offering an easy way to explore and enjoy the entire city’s sights.
If you have decided to hire a motorbike in Goa, here are a few tips to ensure your safety and to make the experience more enjoyable:
Make Sure You Have Driving Permit
Before you get a bike on rent in Goa, you must ensure that you have a national driver’s license (valid). The International Driving Permit (the 1949 version) is also a requirement before you can drive in India. It is also important to travel with the insurance documents and the RTO registration of the vehicle. You will be asked to produce these documents if the police stop you.
A Helmet Is Must
When hiring a non-geared or geared scooter or motorcycle called a bike in Goa, you are also required to wear a crash helmet that is Goa Traffic Police approved before you will be allowed to ride on any of the highways in Goa. Road transport authorities and the police are extremely strict and particular when it comes to riders that don’t wear a helmet when riding on a highway.
Follow The Traffic Rules
When you are riding your motorcycle, ride as far as you can to the left side. The right-hand and center of the road is dedicated to four-wheel vehicles and is usually used only for overtaking. You also need to be very careful before you turn left at any crossroad since any vehicle that is turning right, which includes buses and lorries, will most likely be on your path.
Forget about everything that you know or were taught about overtaking abroad. When you ride on Goa’s roads, you will quickly notice how motorists will overtake on both the right and left. They also don’t signal that they are about to overtake, making for dangerous and unnerving situations. Simultaneously, motorists will also turn right or left without using the indicators on their vehicles.
It is also essential that you know that there is a lot of hooting and honking that goes on while driving on Goan roads. It is the way motorists get the attention of pedestrians or other motorists. For this reason, we encourage that you honk as much as you can since this is used to encourage safety on the roads. It will also alert other drivers and pedestrians of your presence.
Before you turn right or left on any of the roads in Goa, raise either your left or right arm, and point to the way you wish to turn. This step is suggested since motorists driving behind you might not notice the indicator on your bike (they are also not accustomed to looking for them either). You may feel silly or strange using your arm, but we feel it is far better to be safe than to be sorry.
The brake lights on many of the vehicles in Goa are usually non-functional. It is essential to keep a lookout for trucks, buses, and other public transport vehicles that will often stop suddenly to drop off or pick-up new passengers. Delivery vehicles also do the same thing to collect or deliver goods. It is also common to see vehicles stopping so that they can chat with friends.
When you ride a scooter or motorbike at night in Goa, it is essential to be extremely cautious when it comes to oncoming traffic and vehicles since many only have a single headlight working. In contrast, some have no headlights at all. It is also very common for drivers and riders to not turn on their headlights at night.
Make Sure Your Petrol Tank Is Full
Make sure you stop at all the petrol stations along the way to keep your fuel tank full. If you do run out, your only option would be to buy contaminated or compromised fuel sold in 1-liter plastic bottles on the side of the road. This often leads to breakdowns.
When you are riding along a road or even the highway, you should also always be on the lookout for stray and unexpected animals. It is common to encounter cows, dogs, pigs, buffalo, and many ox carts. It is common to see people pushing around ice-cream carts or many people riding with very overloaded and unstable motorcycles, scooters, or pushbikes.
The tips mentioned in this article should not deter you or scare you when riding a bike in Goa. Renting a motorbike or a scooter is still the cheapest, most exciting, and best way to smell, hear, and see Goa. With a bit of caution and common sense, it will be an enjoyable experience exploring the sights and sounds of a beautiful city like Goa.