Motorcycle Forum

Motorcycle Forum (
-   Motorcycle General Discussion (
-   -   The Adventures of Riding in Korea (

Administrator 01-04-2008 10:50 AM

The Adventures of Riding in Korea

Original Article:
<a href="">The Adventures of Riding in Korea</a>

Please discuss the article The Adventures of Riding in Korea in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.

The_AirHawk 01-04-2008 11:51 AM

Just stay AWAY from the Romulan Neutral Zone..........

V2Rider 01-04-2008 06:17 PM

I did a tour in the ROK during the 93-94 time frame. Motorcycles were not allowed by the military where I was stationed at the time (Camp Humphreys). Too bad. I flew all over the country and it looked like it would have been pretty nice riding. A TransAlp or KLR would have been the perfect ride.

gceaves 01-06-2008 04:02 PM

I commuted by motorbike in Seoul from 2001 to 2005. I went from near Seoul Station to COEX, there in the mornings and back in the afternoons. At first, for a few months, I scooted about on a Daelim VS 125. Very mushy. It was an old delivery guy's bike. It wasn't cutting it. So I upgraded to a Hyosung GV 250, new. Very nice.

I parked next to the delivery guys; I was the only "salary man" who commuted by motorcycle. As a non-Korean, I was expected, if I were to ride a bike, to at least get a BMW or Harley. But no. I rode the Hyosung. I loved it.

It had floor boards, both fore and aft, a big back rest for the girlfriend and a rear rack for luggage. I installed a batwing fairing to keep the wind off and cardboard soft luggage to carry the tool kit. (Always carry your own tool kit.) I had canvas sewn into the inside of the front crash bars to protect my boots from detritus. I had foam gauntlets for the winter. I did have heated grips, but the wiring was always funny. I commuted in monsoon summer rains, bitter winter winds and, of course, the beauty of spring and fall.

Seoul delivery men taught me how to ride. I had never ridden in North America. I learned the motorcycle rules of the road from the delivery guys of Seoul streets. It was awesome. Nipping between lanes, or between a curb and stuck traffic, watch out for taxi doors opening into your pathway. The girl screamed and fled back into the taxi, clutching her handbag. I grabbed the front break, hard to the grip. The nose dived. The rear locked. She slammed the door shut, panicking that a foreigner on a bike almost mushed her into a taxi door. I made it. I rolled by, only slightly clipping the taxi's mirror with my own.

Use the sidewalks: good way around jammed traffic. Also, sidewalks are our unlimited parking spaces. Always park as close to the front door of your office building as you can get. The other suckers can take the subway or park way underground.

Use the bus lanes, especially heading along Chongno or anywhere south of the Han. They're the best way around traffic.

Also, use buses to run cover for you as you speed through intersections. If a bus is on your left, no one's going to be hitting you from the left, and anyone from the right is going to be watching out for the huge bus. Think small fish next to whale. But never, ever, get between a bus and the curb. The bus drivers will pull over instantly to pick up a passenger. Very dangerous for you to be stuck between.

Cruising around the Namsan ring road is always nice. You can ride your bike right up to the bottom of Seoul Tower.

The lower-level of the Yongsan-Kangnam bridge (which goes to the express bus terminal) is nice: it floods in the spring.

Motorcycles, and foreigners, are not immune to the alcohol road checks. I was always stopped, and breathylyzed, just like anyone else. A few times, I was able to cruise through the roadblock unchecked, but that's generally frowned upon.

You don't need to stop if a cop waves you down, also.

I toured the East Sea road. You can get out of Seoul and head up toward Kangweon Province. Try the ddakgalbi in ChunCheon. Delicious. You can also put your bike on a ferry that cruises the ChunCheon lake/ dammed river. The mountains are stunning. Stop at the mountain pass overlooking Samchok. Beautiful view of the East Sea. It takes about 10 or 11 hours from the North Korean view point down to Pohang and Pusan. You can do it in a day; I'd normally stop for the night somewhere.

Along the west coast, try to get down to North CheonLa Province. The Yellow Sea is very shallow and there are some good beaches there, crammed in the summer.

I've done ferries to Cheju from Pusan, Wando and Incheon, all with my Hyosung strapped down in the hull next to the trucks. Any of the ferries are nice. The center road that bisects Cheju east-west is the nicest. Avoid the ring road: too many tourists.

The southern islands between Mokpo and Pusan are nice, too.

Anyway, good article.

Portland, OR
Triumph Bonneville (green) (2007)

TomSmith 01-06-2008 06:21 PM

I worked in Korea for a year (1997). I learned that in Korea, like Mexico and France, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent if involved in an accident. The head MP on the Yongsan Army base (in the middle of Seoul) said that he had never seen a foreigner that was not judged "guilty". The roads are narrow and there are lots of cars - it's for the brave and foolhardy. The streets are narrow, so you have to fold your side mirrors when you park so they won't get torn off. The auto repair shops do a good job since they get a lot of practice. Only the rich can afford a Harley. And the girls have the best legs in Asia. I loved it there.

mysarangj 03-09-2009 09:33 AM

I am also a rider in Seoul (happen to ride a 08 Honda cbr 600rr)
and agree in most of the parts that you've written.
However, there were some mistakes regarding the age group of riders and the part with motorcycle licences.

First of all, it isn't just middle aged men or women that ride around a lot.
You can also find heaps of people in there early 20s to 30s on weekends
riding all sorts of bikes (especially racer replicars, nake models and
super motoards which are very popular in Korea) going on tours to
Gyeong-Gi provence, Gang-won province and all that.
It's just the HOGs that are aged so high. I just wanted to tell you
that there are many young people who ride big bikes other than
Harleys in Korea.

And secondly, in Korea, you need a licence named "Wondonggi" to ride bikes
between 1cc ~ 124cc (Which means you need a licence to ride
bikes below 50ccs) and a "2 Jong So-hyeong" licence to
ride bikes 125ccs and above.

longride 03-09-2009 11:14 AM

"And secondly, in Korea, you need a licence named "Wondonggi" to ride bikes
between 1cc ~ 124cc (Which means you need a licence to ride
bikes below 50ccs) and a "2 Jong So-hyeong" licence to
ride bikes 125ccs and above."

We have a special Hayabusa license here in the states, it's called '2 Jong So-Long'. Comes with a free bail card too!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.