Borneo Malaysia Ride: Motorcycle Road Trip

If you would ask me to describe the Borneo Malaysia Ride in one word, it would be AWESOME! I’ve ridden 4245 km with no problems with my motorcycle and it has been a great adventurous ride with so many memories that I  brought back with me. This trip was a continuation of my Peninsular Malaysia Ride to explore beautiful Malaysia.

As the Malay proverb says Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik di negeri sendiri which means It may rain gold in someone else’s country, and be hailing stones back in your own country, and yet it is still best to be back in your own country.  Yes! it is best to ride in your own country!

Why Visit Borneo?

Borneo Malaysia Ride - My Beautiful Country
My riding routes in Borneo

The beautiful blue beaches with white sand shores, a tall waterfall, scenic views along the way in Borneo, beautiful caves, the friendliest people, the delicious foods, the adventurous roads and most of the places I went had little or no tourists. If you’re a traveller like me, you would really appreciate all the things Borneo has to offer.

Along my trip, I met so many people who are now my friends and I must say that I felt safe riding in Borneo Malaysia. Many Malaysian have ridden around the globe but if they have not ridden across Malaysia, they have missed the beautiful parts of their own country. It is a great feeling to have completed a solo ride the whole of MALAYSIA now.

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Ride Malaysia Completed!

One of the routes that I’ve enjoyed the most is the Marak-Parak road in Sabah. Approximately 89 km long, it consists of long stretch roads, tight corners etc. Have a look at the video below, I rode in such beautiful weather.

Marak Parak Route

Borneo Video Highlights

Borneo Travel Log

Day 1 Routes (158 KM): Kuching – Santubong – Bau – Siniawan – Kuching.

Day 2 Routes (516 KM): Kuching – Batang Ai Lake – Lubok Antu – Betong – Sibu.

Day 3 Routes (220 KM): Sibu – Tatau – Bintulu.

Day 4 Routes (260 KM): Bintulu – Gua Niah – Tusan – Lambir – Miri.

Day 5 Routes (350 KM): Miri – Bandar Seri Begawan – Limbang – Lawas – Sipitang.

Day 6 Routes (302 KM): Sipitang – Beaufort – Kuala Penyu – Kota Belud (Melangkap.

Day 7 Routes (277 KM): Kota Belud (Melangkap) – Kundasang – Ranau – Kota Marudu – Kudat.

Day 8 Routes (430 KM): Kudat – Pitas – Golong – Pamol – Sandakan.

Day 9 Routes (571 KM): Sandakan – Kinabatangan – Lahad Datu – Felda Sahabat – Kunak – Semporna.

Day 10 Routes (110 KM): Semporna – Tawau.

Day 11 Routes (410 KM): Tawau – Maliau Basin – Keningau.

Day 12 Routes (210 KM): Keningau – Tenom – Papar – Kota Kinabalu.

Day 13 Routes (112 KM): Kota Kinabalu – Tambunan.

Day 14 Routes (90 KM): Tambunan – Kota Kinabalu.

  • Mileage: 4245 KM (Inclusive sightseeing, off roads etc)
  • Fuel Cost: RM 430.00 (Benelli TRK 502)
  • Accommodation Cost: RM 1600.00
  • Sightseeing Ticket/Tour fee: RM 250.00
  • Food Cost: RM 500.00
  • Flight Ticket: RM 350.00
  • Sea Shipping cost (Return trip): RM 2100.00
  • Grand Total Cost: RM 5210.00

Questions & Answers

Any problems with your motorcycle?

Nothing with the motorcycle but the spotlight’s bracket was broken which I’ve fixed it temporarily using duct tape.

Performance of the Benelli TRK 502?

Excellent! It has been good all the way. If you would like to read my review, click here.

Shipping to Borneo

Detailed steps can be found in Shipping Car or Motorcycle to Sabah or Sarawak article.

Brunei Border Crossing

Detailed steps can be found in Malaysia – Brunei Border Crossing By Car Or Motorcycle article.

What are your luggage and tools like?

I’ve compiled a Motorcycle Travel Checklist and for most of my rides, I just follow my travel checklist and modify it accordingly to suit the trip.

Road Conditions

Some sections of Pan Borneo roads which are under construction at the moment can be a real pain at times but it is passable for vehicles. Don’t let that put you off as there are many other roads in good condition which you can enjoy cruising at a higher speed. The 200KM Kalabakan road from Tawau towards Nabawan was quite challenging as there were many potholes, broken roads etc but it was fun as it was my first time trying such a route. Rule of thumb, expect the unexpected in Borneo.

How do you manage long hours of riding?

On this trip, I had a mixture of long and short rides but I spent at least 7-10 hours daily on the road as I stopped at many places to enjoy nature, beaches, hiking etc. Going for such a trip, I slept for at least 6 hours a day, I don’t eat heavy (less or no rice before and during the ride as I tend to be sleepy on a long hours ride), I take chocolates, banana, bread, drink a lot of water and sometimes, energy drink helps.

Any reservation for Accommodations?

I usually reserve accommodation in advance but for this trip, I only reserve it (using the booking dot com app) when I arrived at the destination or decided to stop riding for the day. One of the factors that I consider to stay in a place is to have secured parking for my motorcycle. All the places that I’ve stayed have secured parking or at least someone keeping an eye on it.

Can I do this trip in less than 10 days?

Yes, it entirely depends on you! If you just want to eat miles, you can do it in less than 10 days but why would you do that? I took a few longer days to enjoy the nature, and scenery of Borneo has to offer.

Photo Gallery

Below are some pictures that I took along my ride in Borneo and if you wish to view the complete Photo Album, please click on this link.

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The famous Cat statue in Kuching
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Fairy Cave in Bau, Sarawak. Can you spot the people?
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Local people in Santubong Village
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Siniawan Night Market
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The New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building
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Constructions Along Pan Borneo Highway
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Batang Ai Dam in Lubok Antu
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West Kalimantan (Indonesia) Border
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Tua Pek Kong Temple in Sibu
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Tusan cliff is a horse face shape formation in Miri
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Niah Cave in Miri
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Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Brunei
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River Crossing in Lawas
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Sea Village in Kuala Lawas
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Tenom-Beaufort Train
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Ssshhhh, sneaked into Tenom-Beaufort Train
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Kuala Penyu Beach
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Kimanis – Papar road along Crocker Range. Really cold!
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Mount Kinabalu view from Kota Belud – Camped Here
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Mount Kinabalu view from Kota Belud – Camped Here
Mount KK view from Kota Belud
Mount KK view from Kundasang
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Mount Kinabalu view from Kundasang
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The Marak-Parak Road in Sabah
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Simpang Mengayau Blue Beach with white sands – GREAT!!
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The very tip of Borneo
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Tip of Borneo – Left is South China Sea and Right is Sulu Sea
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Kinabatangan River
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Gomantong Cave in Sandakan
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Ride ON!
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Felda Palm Tree Farm in Bandar Sahabat
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Bandar Sahabat Beach
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Corals at Tun Sakaran Marine Park, Semporna
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Snorkelling in Sibuan Island
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Sea Gypsy (Bajau Laut) village
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Sibuan island in Semporna
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The Kalaban Road (Tawau-Nabawan route)
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Mahua Waterfall in Tambunan
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Sinurambi Tower in Tambunan
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Ka-amatan celebration in Bollywood style. Lovely people in Tambunan
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Beach along Kota Kinabalu City
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Likas Mosque in Sabah
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Borneo Ride Odometer

*The Odometer reading was captured since Day 2 as I’ve forgotten to take the picture of the Odometer on Day 1 which I rode around Kuching city for 158KM. Therefore, 18139-14052= 4087 + 158 = 4245KM.

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My Salute as a sign-off from my Solo Borneo Ride


That’s a wrap of my ride and I hope you enjoyed the experience I’ve shared with you. I have many people to thank especially my Boss who approved my long holiday (Without his approval, this trip would be impossible), not forgetting my number 1 fan (my Wife),  Mforce (Benelli Distributor), Family and Friends who supported my incredible journey.

If you had something on your mind, go for it, don’t let anything stop you but do proper planning, and research, have some basic troubleshooting/repair skills and most importantly, enjoy every bit of your ride. The road is an open highway, go and explore them. It will be your story which will last forever. You might be also interested in reading about the best motorcycle routes in Malaysia.

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