Ride Beyond Boundary: Motorcycle Day Trip from Singapore to Johor

I have encountered one too many motorcycle enthusiast, despite their professed love for motorcycling, hesitate to venture beyond our border. Their reluctance often stems from concerns about border bureaucracy, infamous traffic congestion, and their own confidence.

Singapore, confined to an island of 28km x 49km, with around 9,500 lane-km of roads and nesting at the southern tip of the vast Eurasian landmass. While our strategic maritime location has propelled economic prosperity, for passionate motorcyclist, this geographic advantage turns to a disadvantage. The only option for an ‘exotic’ ride is heading north into Malaysia, our sole bordering nation by land. It’s time to roll your rubber stamp on that invisible dotted line dividing your map.

This is for those seeking to explore beyond our limited limit. Whenever you are ready!


Getting your head in the right space – Embarking on a motorcycle trip requires solid mental preparation. Firstly, the journey might throw various challenges your way, such as unpredictable weather, unfamiliar roads, and cultural differences. Dealing with these challenges demands a calm, adaptable mindset and the ability to handle unexpected situations. Moreover, extended period of riding can bring about fatigue and stress, so it’s essential to cultivate good endurance and stress management skills. Clarifying the destination and plan, while being open to adjustments, is necessary to avoid undue ancestry or disappointment. Such a journey also calls for a curiosity about the unknown and a spirit of adventure to truly savor every moment along the way.

Ensuring your motorcycle is set for the trip – Even for a short day trip, involved basic checks like tire pressure, lights and brakes. Tighten bolts, lubricate moving parts, and ensure your bike is in smooth running condition. It’s a simple yet crucial step for a hassle-free and enjoyable trip.

Ensuring you’re prepared for the trip – If you’re still reading, you’re likely already considering your first journey. Essential riding gear – helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, need I say more? If you believe you’re an experienced rider like those backpackers cruising in surf shorts and sandals in Bali, Krabi, Da Nang, then this article isn’t for you. I can only afford these cumbersome gears, as skin graft operations are beyond my means.


When it comes to crossing borders for a ride, nothing beats the allure of food. While Singapore’s Hawker Culture was honoured with UNESCO recognition in 2020, there’s an undeniable yearning fro the genuine hawker experience of yesteryear. Paradoxically, the steadfast adherence to the tradition in local dishes, alongside the influx of competing imported cuisines, has led to a sense of stagnation among the next generation.The retirement of elder hawkers and the reluctance of heirs to carry on their legacy, compounded by the franchisement and mass commercialisation of hawker brands in Singapore, has resulted in the dilution of traditional flavours and a compromise on the unique culinary heritage of local dishes. This erosion of authenticity marks the decline in the essence of hawker fare. This will be a story for another day.

Singapore’s openness to international culinary influences and diverse immigration has enriched the mosaic of world cuisine on offer, adding depth to the vibrant fabric of Singaporean food culture. Yet, for those seeking to delve into the culinary heritage of yesteryear, the answer lies just beyond our borders in neighbouring Johore. Amidst its charming street and bustling markets, one can discover a window into a bygone era of food culture.

For unparalleled regional culinary insights to drop a pin on your destination, check out Johor Kaki for recommendation.


First stop is invariably the petrol station, doubling as a rendezvous point for all overland travelers. Throughout a typical weekend, you will find other like-minded overlanders congregating here. It’s a pit stop for themselves and their bikes before embarking on their journey.

You will need just enough fuel to get your bike there from Singapore. Wondering why? you should do the math. Foreign registered vehicle are permitted to purchase only Petrol with RON97 and above, avoid filling up with RON95.

Do not rock your motorcycle! Leave that to those silly 4-wheelers.

Oh yes… you might want to check the traffic situation before you head to the checkpoints with this not-so-live Traffic Cameras.

For a Breakfast Ride, aim to reach the checkpoints before 6:30am, or even earlier if possible. This timing ensures a smoother crossing, as it avoids the rush of Malaysian workers returning from their night shifts, which often leads to congestion at one of the busiest border crossings in Southeast Asia. Conversely, if you’re planning a Supper Run, it’s best to depart after 10 pm. This timing allows you to avoid the influx of day shift workers returning to Malaysia.

bring what ?

  • Passport
    • Passport with at least 6 months validity, and NRIC for Singapore PR
  • Driving License
    • Hope you won’t find yourself needing to produce it, but in the event that you do… read further
  • Vehicle Registration
    • Similarly to the above and below. It doesn’t weight much but it does when time comes. Retrieve your registration from OneMotoring.
  • Motorcycle Insurance
    • All vehicle insurance purchased in Singapore extends coverage to West Malaysia and Thailand, encompassing areas up to 80km from the Malaysian border. Together with your Vehicle Registration, print a hardcopy, waterproof it in a ziplock bag and tuck it under your seat compartment! Believe me, when time comes, it’ll be worth a Starbucks!
  • Cash
    • An additional weight to carry for you and your crouch rocket. However, it is still King for some (for contextual correctness – Sultan?). Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in a situation where duit kopi is required. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a preferred option for a swift resolution. A cup of coffee took precedence over a cradle tenet.
  • Enhanced Touch N’ Go Card or eWallet
    • Motorcyclists are no longer required to carry this card solely for toll charges. However, its expanded functionality makes it beneficial for cashless payments in Malaysia. You can register for the Touch N’ Go eWallet with a Singapore mobile number. Allowing you to make cross-border payments in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and even back in Singapore. Eh… SimplyGo?.
  • Emergency Contact
    • Bike Towing company in Singapore or if there is a local agent for your trusty bike. Touch ‘ W Ood!
  • Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP)
    • In 2017, Malaysia announced all foreign registered vehicle will require a VEP for entry. It was made mandatory on 1 October 2019, though it was suppose to be implemented sometime 2018 but was delayed for ‘fine tuning’. Entering without a VEP will be subjected to a fine of RM150. On 1 September 2019, There is still no official announcement on the implementation of VEP. To register your vehicle, go to this website. After registration you can only wait for the announcement of date and location to collect your VEP-RFID. But before that, On 10 October 2019, it was reported VEP was suspended until sometime in 2020. If you did ever receive the notification to collect your VEP-RFID, which you will need to book an appointment with, if you are able to. And if you don’t or can’t. Oh! wait… On 23 September 2019, the enforcement of VEP for outbound traffic in peak hours will be deferred until further notice, no mention about the inbound. Good news! On 18 September 2019 it was made know one can collect their VEP-RFID without appointment, but they may refuse walk-in collection at their discretion. Again, it was rumoured VEP will be enforced from 1 October 2019 and fine will be up to RM300 for offence without VEP. Moving on, VEP enforcement will resume from 8 April 2022. On June 2022, it is known that VEP application is still not yet mandatory but recommended by the Ministry of Transport of Malaysia. Update in 2023, this project was put on hold due to technical issues, hence a VEP email confirmation slip, if you ever received it, will suffice… It’s 2024, do we still, eh… Boleh?
  • SG Arrival Card (SGAC)
    • Submission of SG Arrival Card is not required for Residents (Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass holders [Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass, Long-Term Visit Pass and Work Pass] ) travelling through Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints.

toll have to pay?:

  • Motorcycles are exempted from toll charges at both checkpoints (Woodlands Checkpoint since 1 October 2014 and Tuas Checkpoint since 2 March 2020) as well as at Malaysia checkpoints. After you have cleared the immigration in Malaysia, stay to the left lane to reach the motorcycle toll gate and simply right through. Singapore has reciprocated Malaysia’s waiver.
  • While travelling on Malaysia’s expressway. Motorcycles, including those with foreign registration, do not incur toll charges. To proceed, keep left before reaching the toll gate and utilise the designated motorcycle lane.
  • RON95 is a subsidized fuel introduced in 1983 to support low-income Malaysians and drive economic growth. The sale of RON95 petrol to foreign-registered vehicles, excluding motorcycles, was prohibited on August 1, 2010, and later extended to include motorcycles on October 1, 2020. Under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 and Control of Supplies Regulations 1974, individuals can face fines of up to RM1 million or three years’ imprisonment, or both, for non-compliance, while entities and companies may be fined up to RM2 million. As a non-taxpayer in Malaysia, we can contribute to their economy through cheaper fuel or whatever is fine for you!


  • The 2-second rule is a crucial safety practice to maintain adequate space between yourself and the vehicle in front (and behind!). By adhering to this rule, riders ensure they have enough time and distance to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions, reducing the risk of rear-end collisions.
    My experience in participation in a local group ride involved adhering to their rule of riding in a uncomfortably close staggered formation – literally wheel to wheel. Enforced commands like “Keep close!” and “Do not let cars cut in and break the formation!” hint at infantry doctrine ingrained during their National Service days – an irrelevant lesson best left within the confines of army camps. Disobeying led to my self-ostracization from the herd, thereafter I found the freedom in solitude.
    Should you decide to participate, adhere to your 2-second rule even in staggered formation. This guarantees improved visibility and manoeuvrability when reacting to unexpected traffic or road conditions, along with ample braking distance.
    You have 2 wheels and have issue with one who have 4 or 16, seriously? Grow up! Graciousness comes at no cost, be the one who possess it and exhibit it instead, allow their ego to pass and leave yours behind back in the island. You decide, I am not here to command.


Are you primed for a more arduous journey?
Leave the familiar behind. The kampungs whisper hidden paths, where Google Street View car surrender, palm plantations whisper secrets, and Malacca waits for the tread of your tires to write its story.

Let your courage be your compass, your curiosity your fuel.

…every step across a boundary is a testament to the limitless spirit that lives within.