A Perfect Saturday Afternoon In Bali

Even at the best of times, car meets in Bali are extremely rare. Why? There are a number of reasons, but it mostly boils down to the scene being extremely small. Cars outside of the run-of-the-mill Balinese norm are very expensive to own, and then there are only are handful of tuner shops that can build cars and maintain them.

But what the local enthusiast community lacks in size it makes up for in passion, so when an event happens I do my best to get along and catch a glimpse of the car culture unique to this tropical Indonesian island.


Last weekend’s Nyore Chill-Noon Drive was hosted by Speedtuner Dewata, a well-known automotive apparel brand in Indonesia. The event entailed a drive from Parkir Timur Denpasar in the heart of Bali’s capital, to the popular Monkey Forest tourist spot in Ubud, around 45 minutes away.


Although I knew the turnout would be large by Balinese car scene standards, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the cars themselves, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Car culture is more than just rare JDM models or expensive exotics; it’s about connecting and spending quality time with like-minded people. So meets like this one will always have my support.


As you can see, BMWs and Toyota models made up a large proportion of the cars that turned out for the Chill-Noon Drive. That makes sense as these are some of the more common makes and models on the island. Many Balinese enthusiasts also lean towards the affordable options; it’s about working with what you can get and achieve on your budget over everything else.


What’s surprising is the number of KE30 and KE70 Corollas on the island, so many in fact that Bali has its own enthusiast club for these cars. They’re old school, rear-wheel drive and affordable – what’s not to love?!


The next step up would be BMW E30s and E36s. They’re not nearly as affordable, but parts are readily available, which is a big thing. I used to own a Subaru Impreza WRX STI – quite uncommon in Bali – and had to wait six months for a single OEM bushing replacement, which then cost double what you’d pay anywhere else in the world. So it’s actually smarter to enjoy cars that have plenty of local support.


This purple E36 M3 replica has a proper S50B32 engine (tuned by UKworks Performance Bali) under-hood. Most modified and tuned cars on the island have some sort of UKworks connection.


Once everyone was assembled, we started the 20+km drive to the famed Monkey Forest.


Bali’s economy is extremely reliant on tourism, and without international visitors locals have been forced to look for other ways to survive. I know people who’ve had to sell their cars and others now selling produce grown at their homes just to make ends meet.


That said, it was great to have had the meet in Ubud as a way to support the local economy and donate to the welfare of the Monkey Forest’s furry inhabitants.

A few latecomers joined in the festivities at this point, including group of Honda Civic Estilo (EG6) hatchbacks. This is another highly-desirable model, and in good condition they’re worth a lot of money.


The Honda Brio, meanwhile, is an affordable car to buy and modify, which makes them very popular in Bali. The blue car has been turbocharged and features numerous chassis and suspension upgrades, while the yellow Brio remains naturally aspirated, but with a later-model facelift, carbon fibre bits, a roll cage and coilovers.


I had a fun time at the Nyore Chill-Noon Drive. There was a wider variety of cars than I expected, and everyone was happy to be out together on a Saturday afternoon with fellow enthusiasts. Hopefully we can do it again soon.

Rick Muda
Instagram: ardskellig



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Great pics and good read Rick. Would love to visit this part of Bali when I eventually go there for a summer holiday.


Thank you! Do hit me up whenever you're visiting!


First, Man took Wolf and made Dog. And Man said, "I am happy with this friend I have made."

But in time, Man sensed he was missing something. So Man took Metal and Fire and made Car.

And Man again said, "I am happy with this friend I have made."


did they put some announcement somewhere? totally miss this one


they surely did on their IG page @speedtuner_dewata

Mike Hendriks

This makes me miss Indonesia even more, can't wait to go back home (Jakarta) and visit Bali on the regular. Great coverage Rick, makasih!


My wife and I visited Bali twice. First time in 2004 a week before the Asian Tsunami hit. The second time was in 2010 while I was assigned to work in Jakarta. Between those two years I noticed an increase in traffic. Can't imagine what it is like now. There weren't many slammed and modified cars back then and to see what you feature in this article is mind boggling. What a change. Indonesian car culture amazes me.


Traffic is far worse now in Jakarta for sure. I visit often and I can't stand it! The car culture though is getting super awesome!


The red Toyota Corolla with OZ Racing rally wheels put a smile on my face.
It made me wonder if Bali people made the corolla to 4WD version. I really hope so :)


I will be sure to look around! There's got to be someone who'd do it


Thanks for the photos. Recall, when my son organised Rising Sunday, enthusiasts car owners meet in Perth Western Australia, police blocked the exists and placed work orders on cars as they left. Hence why there is no longer any community to speak of in Perth. Great to see community can exist somewhere hey!


I was there and remember it well. I had to wait until the police had too many cars to handle before sneaking off. The car scene in Bali is great, some don't have much but they have such passion for their cars. And there is no judgement either on what cars people own, which also can't be said in Australia.


Summertime is finally here!
Can't wait to go out and see some cars!


damn the yaris (vitz?) scene is big over there huh? the trd model makes me jealous


they're extremely big over here I tend to see a few on the road.


amazing shoot