Motorcycling in Korea - everything you need to know.


Feb 14, 2008
My contribution to general knowledge.

Daelim and Hyosung are about 95% of the bikes here. I ride a Daelim 125cc and love it - looks like a harley - very big bike, just a small engine. Hyosung makes some roadsters and sport bikes too. There are a lot of smaller scooters and delivery bikes too. Bigger japanese bikes are around but pricier and may require an official korean license.

Just get an International Permit - easy to get and works fine. Ive been stopped by cops here and it was acceptable for them. Korean licenses are harder to get and not really needed.

Best deal is to buy from another foreigner like a teacher or a korean resident. I got my 2004 daystar 125 for about $800. runs great. I saw a great 2007? daystar in a dealership in perfect condition for $1300. You can register the bike easily if you get either the title from the owner or a transfer of ownership paper. Not hard to do - ask a Korean.

You need insurance to register the bike. Its about $140/year and not hard to get I think. I got mine transfered from the original owner. If you have an accident and no one is hurt, you can usually just pay off the other person in cash or get paid. its common in Korea.

Like most of Asia, anything goes. Dodge the lorries and the delivery bikes and buses. Also, you can't ride a motorcycle on the toll roads - so you have to stick to major streets. Wear a helmet or the cops will stop you. I've been stopped 3 times, but they never wrote me a ticket. Usually they just let you go without doing anything.


Oil change - $10. I am getting the front end of my bike aligned (after small accident) and it will probably cost $40-80.

Places to go:
Korea has lots of great places to go and all are accesible by road save for Jeju island. On the west coast, near Seoul, there are lots of cool islands accessible by bridge that make for great day trips. Korea is only about 200mi x 130mi so you can go anywhere. However its mountainous so sometimes it takes forever to go a short distance. Roads are in excellent condition all throughout S Korea.

Email me if you are in Korea and want to ride, or are thinking about coming here. Id love to hit the highways with some fellow riders.

Oh, also you can go visit the DMZ and see the N Korean border. riding in N Korea is out of the quesiton though - but relations are improving and who knows.