Mr Lee’s bike shop, rentals, sales, Jeju, South Korea, 제주,
Mr Lee’s Bike Shop: Rentals and Sales
Tourists and Teachers
Story and photos by Joanne Burgess
Gorgeous island paradise is commonly used to describe this heaven of an island on which many of us are lucky enough to call home. Indeed it is, and with so many wonderful sites to explore, there is no better time to get started than when the weather is warming up and the sun is shining bright. That’s right folks—summertime! You can always take one of the gazillion taxis on the island or the crowded bus line to get around, but it’s not nearly as fun as having the wind whipping through your hair and the cool breeze running across your face as you’re zipping down the open road on your very own scooter or motorcycle. But, I don’t have a scooter or motorcycle. There’s a simple solution to your problem. His name is Mr. Sang Jin Lee, and he is one of the Lees you need to know.
Who is Mr Lee?
Meet Mr. Lee, Jejuite and proud owner of Mr. Lee’s Bike Shop in Gu-Jeju. Mr. Lee specializes in motorcycle and scooter rentals, sales, and repairs. He’s fluent in English and just the man you want to visit when looking for a way to get around the island this summer.
From the time he was 20, Mr. Lee’s father was teaching Sang Jin how to repair motorcycles and scooters at his shop in Seogwipo. After learning what he needed to know, Mr. Lee opened his own shop in Jeju City in 1998 because he wanted to further expand the business that his father began. Mr. Lee says that by having shops on both sides of the island, they are better able to provide a valuable service to the entire island.
Since Mr. Lee opened his shop, he has mastered his skills and applied his knowledge to make a name for himself amongst both the local Korean and foreign communities. Motorcycles and scooters have been on sale since the start however, he has only been renting motorized vehicles for the last 4 years. He also only rents to the foreign community, and it has become very popular, especially during summer. To rent a bike, a foreigner only needs an ID card and a passport. The renter must also sign an agreement stating that if involved in an accident, the renter is responsible for paying for all repairs, properties damaged, and/or injuries associated with said such incident. If you are unlucky enough to have the motorized vehicle stolen while it is in your possession, a price for reimbursement to the shop is agreed upon before the contract is signed and dated.
Renting and Buying
Mr. Lee’s shop is opened Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 8PM (Monday through Saturday). Motorcycles and scooters are available for rent by the 1/2 day, day, week, or month. For scooter rentals, prices range from 20,000 won for 12 hours to 250,000 won for the month. Motorcycles start at 30,000 won for 12 hours and are 250,000 won for the month as well. All rentals come with a helmet and a steering lock. If you have never ridden bikes or scooters before, Mr. Lee will teach you how to ride your rental before you leave his shop. In addition, he hands out four pieces of advice for all of his renters: don’t drive on the sidewalk, ALWAYS wear your helmet when riding, be careful, and call if you have any problems.
While renting may be a good idea at first, you may find that you want the thrill of riding a motorbike to be a little more permanent. Mr. Lee also has a wide array of scooters and motorcycles available for sale. His scooters range between 50 and 125cc and cost 1.8 to 2.0M won. Motorcycles are 125cc and up. Prices for used bikes are 600,000+ won and new ones are 2.3M+ won. Can’t find what you want at his shop? It’s not a problem, as Mr. Lee will find or special order any bike or scooter you want. His specialty dealers include Daelim, Hyoseon, Honda, HSIC, and SYM.
Worried about legalities? All of Mr. Lee’s scooters and motorcycles come with the proper set of papers needed to obtain tags and insurance. He will also provide you with details about getting tags and insurance if you need assistance. What about a license? Operators of scooters and motorcycles that are 50cc or less are not required to have a driver’s license to be on the open road. Mr. Lee will, help with the information necessary to acquire your license too. Worried you may die? Yes, this is a possibility. Just remember one very important piece of advice that may save your life when you’re first learning to drive in Korea: Beware of your surroundings and keep in mind that defensive driving is the key to staying safe on the streets.
Maintenance and servicing
If you should decide to buy instead of rent, Mr. Lee also does maintenance and repairs for bikes and scooters. Since he never charges for labour, maintaining a motorized two-wheeler is extremely inexpensive. Mr. Lee recommends regular oil changes every 500 to 700km and only charges 5,000 won for the oil. As a bonus, if your vehicle breaks down in the city, he or his co-worker, Mr. Hwang, will pick it up for free. If you’re in Seogwipo and in need of assistance Sang Jin’s father will be happy to help you transport your vehicle to his shop free of charge as well. If you break down outside of the city, there’s a 10,000 won fee for pickup.
Contacting Mr Lee
Mr. Lee can be reached by phone at 064-758-5296. You can also e-mail him at email@example.com. He has a Korean and English website at www.jejubike.co.kr for foreigners who are interested in the services he provides.
The address of the shop is 제주특별자치도 제주시 오라1동 2452번지 (2452 Ora Il Dong).
+ Map Courtesy: jejubike.co.kr