Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Southern Asia

Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 27 Nov 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Belgium
Posts: 55
Any tips on motorbiking in Penang, Malaysia?

Hi everybody,

in two weeks from now i'll be in Malaysia for work and will have a free weekend in Penang area.
Really want to get on a motorbike that weekend so did a bit of research and found out that scooters (110cc) can be rented in Chulia street, bigger bikes seem hard to find.

Is there anyone who has been riding in the Penang area? Any worthwhile tours or scenic roads that you can recommend? Anything i shouldn't miss in terms of sights, food, drinks ?
Wanne get the most out of that weekend, getting a bit tired of the cold here in Europe.

Greetings and travel safe,

Reply With Quote
Old 27 Nov 2011
farqhuar's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oztralia
Posts: 566
Just doing a circumnavigation of the island is a lot of fun.

Batu Ferringhi is where the beaches are, you can also visit the snake temple, waterfall, pineapple plantation, botanical gardens, etc., etc. - you will find all the info you need, including a map, in the free tourist info at the airport or your hotel.

I've rented bikes many times in Malaysia - biggest you will find is a local 200c Kawasaki engined cruiser (it's called a Jaguah or similar) but I find the 100cc Karisma scooters are the most fun and have more than enough power to carry 2 people up to an indicated 100kmh.

If you are feeling adventurous you could cross the bridge (or take the ferry) to Butterworth - it's then only a 4 hour ride to KL.
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Nov 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,590
Penang is quite small, you can easily go round it in one day.. (but maybe it´ll do for a weekend, if you don´t plan to ride all the time). The beaches didn´t seem so spectacular – we weren´t really searching for them, though.

Cameron Highlands isn´t too far away, that was a nice break from the oppressive heat, with the tea plantations reminded me of some hill stations in India actually, and some very curvy roads, with a nice surface. The main road between these two is also very good, and free for 2-wheelers (or at least it was), provided you ride around the toll stations... But I don´t know if I´d care to do that trip in just one weekend from Penang. A few extra days surely wouldn´t hurt.

Our experiences from almost 4 years ago here:
MOTO1 - Matkalla
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Nov 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bassett, Nebraska
Posts: 277
As others have said, you won't find big bikes for rent in the tourist areas of Malaysia, but the little scooters are a hoot. It has been years since I was in the area so can't give useful current info, but I remember Georgetown- good Chinese food, it's now a world heritage site, so worth putt-putting around to check out. It was mostly Chinese, and a bit touristy but interesting colonial architecture if that is of interest. Batu Ferringhi is where the beach crowd goes, I would rather ride. I remember a tram ride to the top of the mountain that looked fun, a national park and butterfly garden that is sort of a big netted area that was actually fun to walk around in. The island isn't that big, but if all you have is the weekend then you can take your time and tootle around. Personally I would get on one of those little scooters and ride the wheels off of it head across the bridge through Butterworth and up to the cool Cameron highlands . Reminded me of Shimla and the hill stations and tea plantations in India. Lots of great roads up there.

Have fun!

John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Nov 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Belgium
Posts: 55

Hi all,

thanks for the replies, even more excited now to get on a bike over there. Since my time will be limited, I don't plan to start a difficult search for a bigger bike but will go for one of those 100cc scooters.

I've read somewhere that these rental scooters are only insured for the island so I'll probably not cross the bridge. Besides, I like to take life a bit slow so for a weekend Penang will be big enough . Haha, I already booked my hotel for the weekend very close to Chulia street, guess my contact person for work doesn't understand why the location is more important than the size of the room for me...

Now all that is left to do is to fit my helmet in my luggage (difficult to find a helmet with that big head of mine). Allright, ready to go .

Thanks again everyone! Safe travels,

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Colombia for December: tips welcome bootsboatsandbikes Route Planning 2 28 Nov 2011 18:57


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:38.