Advice on potentially taking a liter bike to Vietnam

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Christopher King, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Christopher King

    Christopher King n00b

    Jul 13, 2013
    Next year I will be staying Vietnam with a friend for 3 months and wanted to take my bike with me. I saw in a thread that 2 people took large bikes with them, but they didn't go into much detail. She lives in Ho Chi Minh city is this is relevant at all. My bike will already be in Eastern Europe when I go, if that helps at all as well.
  2. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    May 5, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    What bike is it, and how exactly are you planning to transport it into Vietnam.. or are you possibly planning to ride it there?

    Getting your own motorcycle into Vietnam used to be a big problem, just now (roughly the last 12 months) several people have succeeded in doing this, but only on one specific land border crossing coming from Laos, so I don´t think that´s guaranteed in any way. Sending the bike in as freight, could be a whole different ballgame.

    I did several fly & ride trips in India and SE Asia some years ago. And once me & my girlfriend rode from Europe to South India, airlifted the bike from Chennai to Bangkok, and then continued south to Australia. I don´t want to sound negative, but having a big bike (for anything else but serious long-distance two-up touring) will have very few advantages over there. But its weight will often be a clear disadvantage. There are reasons, why locals ride scooters and small motorcycles in Asia.

    And getting the bike there (and back) is too much of a hassle for me to even consider it, if I only had 3 months. If you were going to live & work there, then it might be different (...IF you´d absolutely insist on having a big bike there). You really need to think carefully about that one, because I can almost guarantee you, that it will be a big hassle, and cost you a lot of money to do it.​
  3. dragonseeker

    dragonseeker dragonseeker

    Apr 21, 2013
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    Last year I traveled from the very south of Vietnam to Hanoi using public buses.
    The roads are narrow and single lane with poor surfaces.
    The traffic is heavy with scooters, bicycles and the occasional dray cart.
    The population density is very high. Few nice open fast stretches of road.
    A big capacity bike here would be wasted except for the mountain stretches out of Dalat and from Hanoi west.
    It's 1145 kilometers from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. That's a long way on slow two lane crowded roads. Make sure you budget sufficient time.
  4. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Jul 21, 2004
    Forget about it unless you have tons of money to burn, or you really have to have a specific bike there for some personal reasons and other bikes won't do.
  5. Josh69

    Josh69 Uhhh

    Dec 3, 2007
    No idea, but personally I would try it out. There are a lot of Cambodian and Lao vehicles in VN, so obv it is possible to bring in a vehicle without paying VNs punitive import tax, if the vehicle is going out again. The driving licence, that may be a problem since you need an A2 VN licence and these are very, very hard to get.

    If you will be in HCMC then a large bike is wasted. It would be beneficial outside HCMC as going long distances on a 125cc, which is what you will get otherwise, in painful.
  6. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

    Apr 3, 2010
    Southwest England
    Sound advice above, I think large, temporarily imported bikes are banned in Vietnam and the odd person has got lucky at the border and managed to get in with one. The small scooters that the locals use are most suitable even for trips the length of the country, traffic density and Asian driving means you would rarely get into top gear on a big bike so I would get one out there and save yourself the hassle and expense.
  7. stan.riner

    stan.riner Been here awhile

    Aug 23, 2010
    Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
    I realize this is an old thread but maybe someone will find it looking to do the same thing. I have a Honda XR 250 dual sport with full-on off-road knobbies and anything bigger would be a waste. I ride to work every day and have ridden from Hanoi to where I live twice (5 hours). The speeds are just not high enough to justifiy anything big. There's some back road areas where I hit 100kph and it feels like i'm really going good. FYI, I'm a former road racer that's done 180mph on a superbike. Just save your money and get an aircooled 250. Motard if you don't plan any off-road stuff. The suspension will be great on the messed up roads that exist here.
    A liter bike would be ridiculous and I love sport bikes.