This article originally appeared on MoneySmart.SG.
Sick of squeezing onto the MRT every morning, but not about to commit financial suicide by taking out a car loan? Well, riding a motorcycle solves both of those problems.
Not only will you have your own transport and no longer be subject to the vagaries of MRT breakdowns, Grab surge pricing and taxi midnight surcharge, you’ll also be less affected by traffic jams thanks to the small size and agility of your vehicle. Unless you live right next door to an MRT station, riding a motorbike is also probably the fastest way to get around Singapore.
But the road to owning and riding your own bike is a long, arduous one, and probably more expensive than you thought it would be, now that COE has gone through the roof in the past 4 years.
Still, any biker will tell you it’s totally worth it. So let’s get started.
- Getting a motorcycle license in Singapore
- Motorcycle COE cost
- Popular motorcycle models in Singapore
- Where to buy brand new motorcycles in Singapore
- Where to buy second hand motorcycles in Singapore
- Preparing to buy a second hand motorbike
- Preparing to buy a second hand motorbike
Getting a motorcycle license in Singapore
When learning to drive a car, many Singaporeans opt for private driving instructors instead of going through a driving school, since it’s cheaper and the syllabus less rigid.
Unfortunately, if it’s a motorcycle license you’re after, your only option is to register at one of the following driving schools for a Class 2B license:
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre (Bukit Gombak)
- ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (Ubi)
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre (Woodlands)
Class 2B Syllabus
The basic motorcycle license, which entitles you to ride bikes of up to 200cc, is called Class 2B.
One year after you have obtained your Class 2B license, you will be eligible to enrol for the Class 2A class, which entitles you to ride bikes of up to 400cc.
And a year after you’ve gotten your 2A license, you can enrol in a Class 2 course, which lets you ride all bikes.
All the driving centres follow a similar syllabus, which includes:
- Theory lessons – This is for your Basic Theory Test (BTL) and Riding Theory Test (RTT). You need to attend these theory classes regardless of whether you have already passed the tests.
- Practical lessons – This will include all the obstacle courses in the circuit (eg. plank, slalom, crank course, figure 8, e-brake), followed by road riding.
The practical lessons are carried out in a systematic fashion. You work through them in a set order, and are only allowed to move on to the next lesson after satisfying the requirements of the one just before it. Most people do not pass the lessons in one go. If you are having particular difficulty with one lesson, you will have to repeat it until you manage to successfully complete it.
Generally, you can begin practical lessons even before you have passed your theory tests. But you will need to at least pass your Basic Theory Test before you are allowed to apply for a Provisional Driving License (PDL). Without the PDL, you will not be able to undertake the road riding components of the practical syllabus, nor will you be able to book your Traffic Police Test.
Once you have completed all the lessons, you can finally book your Traffic Police Practical Test. Typically, there will be several weeks between the date you book your test and the actual date of the test. You will be able to book revision lessons at the driving centre to practise before your test.
Prices of Class 2B courses
Costs across the three schools are quite similar, and it’s smarter to just enrol at the school which is located in the most convenient location for you. You’ll soon realise that all three schools are in pretty ulu locations, so don’t pick a school it takes you 2 hours to get to just because you want to save $1 per lesson.
What really determines how much you end up paying for the entire course is how quickly you manage to complete the lessons. And trust us when we say that turning up for class alert, well-fed and well-rested will help you pass those levels more quickly.
|School||Fee type||Fee amount ($)|
|BBDC||Enrolment (valid for 1 year)||58.85|
|Peak practical lesson (circuit)||29.96|
|Off-peak practical lesson (circuit)||25.68|
|Peak practical lesson (road)||40.66|
|Off-peak practical lesson (road)||36.38|
|CDC||Enrolment and theory fee (valid for 1 year)||152.48|
|Membership renewal fee||42.80|
|Circuit practical lesson (Mon to Fri)||25.68 to 28.89 per session|
|Circuit practical lesson (Sat & Sun)||28.89 per session|
|Road practical lesson (Mon to Fri)||36.68 to 39.59 per session|
|Road practical lesson (Sat & Sun)||39.59 per session|
|Road practical lesson 8||$55.64 to $58.85 per session|
|SSDC||Enrolment fee and 4 theory lessons||109.89|
|Defensive theory lessons (x3)||32.10|
|Theoretical circuit orientation training||23.54 (peak) / 21.40 (off peak)|
|Peak practical lesson (circuit)||27.82|
|Off-peak practical lesson (circuit)||25.68|
|Peak practical lesson (road)||38.52|
|Peak practical lesson (road)||36.38|
Motorcycle COE cost
Good news. Motorcycling has become more affordable in Singapore since 2018. In 2018, motorcycle COEs went over the $8,000 mark, and hovered around $7,000 after the mid of 2018. Currently, motorcycle COE stands at $3,515. This is nothing compared to car COEs, which is currently at $25,525 for Cat A cars.
But still, consider the fact that a brand new entry-level Class 2B bike (eg. Honda Wave 125) can cost less than $10,000 without COE. So, whether you are getting a brand new or second hand motorcycle, COE will have a huge impact on how much you’ll be paying.
Popular motorcycle models in Singapore
As a newbie rider in Singapore, you’re likely to be looking at some of the more popular bike models in Singapore. You’ll be able to choose from buying a brand new bike from a dealer, or getting a second hand one from an individual seller or dealership.
Here’s a table featuring some of the more popular 2B models, and a typical quotation dealerships might offer for a brand new bike.
|Bajaj Pulsar 200NS||$15,400|
|Honda Wave 125Fi||$14,500|
|KTM 200 Duke||$20,500|
|Gilera Runner RST200||$17,400|
|Suzuki Vanvan 125||$17,600|
|Suzuki Burgman AN200 ABS||$18,100|
|Yamaha YZF R155||$16,600|
Wondering why popular models like Kawasaki KRR 150, Honda NSR150SP or Honda Phantom aren’t on the list? These are old models and your only option will be to buy them on the second hand market.
One more thing: don’t forget to bargain. When it comes to buying motorcycles or accessories like helmets, most shops will quote you a higher price, and it’s up to you to do your research and bargain.
Where to buy brand new motorcycles in Singapore
Here are some of the more well-known motorcycle dealers in Singapore. Most sell both new and used bikes.
This is just a fraction of the motorbike dealers you’ll find in Singapore. Many “mototiams” or motorbike repair shops also buy and sell bikes on the side.
Where to buy second hand motorcycles in Singapore
The majority of fresh Class 2B graduates will end up getting a second hand model, which we highly recommend, because you WILL drop your bike when you’re inexperienced, and it’s going to be painful if you’ve just paid $20,000 for it.
If you’re going to buy a second hand bike, it is preferable to negotiate with an individual seller on your own. Conversely, if you buy from a dealer, you will likely end up paying a higher price, and there is no guarantee that the bike will be in good condition.
Here are some popular sites where you can find second hand bike listings.
Preparing to buy a second hand motorbike
As you might imagine, second hand motorbikes are a lot cheaper than brand new ones. But you need to watch out for a few things first:
Check how many years of COE there are left – These days, COE contributes more to the price than the actual bike model, so always check how many years of COE there are left. For both first-hand and second-hand bikes, the cost of the COE will be included in the price of the vehicle. When it comes to second hand bikes, the COE itself is likely to be significantly more expensive than the actual bike. So prices fluctuate wildly depending on when the COE will expire.
Checking the condition of the bike – If you are new to biking, bring along a more experienced friend who can help you out when inspecting the bike. Most sellers will let you test ride the bike around their car park, and this is your chance to try to catch any issues with acceleration and the engine in general. Request that the seller let you cold-start the bike—if it’s difficult to start, that could mean the battery needs replacing. Also inspect brake pads, tyres, chain and lights. If faulty or worn out, they will need to be replaced.
Negotiate – Sellers almost always jack up the price online because they expect you to negotiate.
Make sure the seller has fully paid for the bike – If you are paying for your bike in cash, avoid sellers who mark their ads with “COI”–this means they have taken out a loan with interest and want to transfer the remainder to you. Interest rates on loans taken out with dealers are notoriously high, so it’s always a good idea to pay in cash, even if it means getting a cheaper bike.
Apply for motorcycle insurance – You’ll have to arrange for your own insurance ahead of time if you’re buying a bike without the help of a dealer, otherwise you won’t be able to ride your bike home on the day ownership is transferred. So start shopping around for insurance quotations until you find a plan that’s affordable.
Buy a helmet – Unless the seller is giving or selling you a free helmet, you should buy one, otherwise you won’t be able to ride your bike home.
Motorcycle rental in Singapore
So, maybe you’re not ready to become a bike owner yet, but you’d like to get some experience riding around on Singapore roads and narrowly avoiding getting run over by inconsiderate drivers.
You can indeed rent a motorcycle in Singapore for a day or more. Check out AloRide’s avaialble bikes for rent at https://aloride.com.