popping wheelies in vietnam... how do I begin?

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by osu1177, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. osu1177

    osu1177 Adventurer

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    Dear Fellow Adventurers,

    It's been a while since my last post, because yes, those evil corporate gears which begin turning after university graduation, have completely absorbed me. But this little cog has never forgotten the joy of flying on two wheels, and its time to step up to my next adventure.

    On July 8th, I will be flying from India to Vietnam to begin a 20 day journey of risk-taking, beverage-consuming and full-life-living :eek1. I am leaving for India in 10 days, and figured I'd better start planning now. Or whatever.

    My biggest question is, should I rent or should I buy? I see a lot of people recommending Flamingos, but our estimate for this time was around 800 dollars (for a Honda 250)...which seems steep to me after reading about renting bikes for 35 dollars a month (which could have been a Dukifat 30cc...who knows).

    Any tips? I am tempted to just figure it out there...if its true how many people ride bikes there, surely it'd be cheaper to go with a place that wasn't as well advertised?
    #1
  2. ShaneBaby

    ShaneBaby Been here awhile

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    Buy a Honda WIN 110cc or a Honda Dream scoot off another tourist and ride relax and then sell it for half what you paid for it to a local that has helped you out in some way

    Dont hire thats ridiculous

    take your own helmet if you want to save your noggin......but I loved riding with no helmet though so each to his own. DO A HANOI BACKPACKERS PARTY BOAT if you want to laugh at tourists

    And try and break down alot you will meet the most fantastic local people that way
    #2
  3. BruceHaydon

    BruceHaydon n00b

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    Big bike is very expensive in Vietnam ( more than 175cc ) that's why the rental cost is hight . But you get what you pay for , they said .
    Or you can bike a Win for around 300$ , ride hard as you can then sell it for some thing . Prepare your self that will have to pay to fix it all along the way .
    Or rent some thing smaller like Honda Future Neo 125cc for around 8-10$ per day .
    Check with guys from this site , they are friendly and will help you even you don't hire bike from them ( wow , maybe not :D ) http://hanoimotorcyclerental.com/
    #3
  4. osu1177

    osu1177 Adventurer

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    Guys,
    Got back from my trip and your advise was spot on. Bought a honda win in hanoi, broke down every 20 minutes, and I wouldn't have it any other way :rofl

    Ride report coming soon! I also had a helmet cam, to grab about 40 hours of footage.

    Thanks for the replies!
    #4
  5. philippoc92

    philippoc92 Adventurer

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    Only new to this forum, planning on doing this next summer from HCMC to the northern loop and ending in Hanoi. Looking forward to your report. I also want to do this on a Win. (Only a student) :freaky
    #5
  6. osu1177

    osu1177 Adventurer

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    Definitely I'll let you know.

    I would certainly recommend starting from HCMC and ending in Hanoi - for whatever reason, most people do the opposite (myself included). This meant that in Hanoi, it was a sellers market, and HCMC was a buyers market. If you start in HCMC, you'll see a lot of backpackers selling bikes for cheap. Hanoi will be the opposite - you'll find a lot of backpackers looking to buy. So I'd definitely recommend that route.
    #6
  7. LastWalkman

    LastWalkman Adventurer

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    Buy one in HCM city and reach HN then up NOrth. It's excelent way for riders, mate
    #7
  8. philippoc92

    philippoc92 Adventurer

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    I plan to go up north from Mai Chau and at least do the North West Loop. Depending on the time we have, we might head up into the deep north (where you need a permit).

    Having done some research on the bikes available in Vietnam, I kinda have an itch to do this on a Minsk, even though I know they are so much hassle. Could anyone shed some light on this? More than likely I'l end up doing it on a Win but the Minsk does seem cool. Thanks for the replies so far. :clap
    #8
  9. osu1177

    osu1177 Adventurer

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    I can't comment on the details of riding a minsk, because I didn't, but I have heard that they aren't reliable. Also, since they stopped making them a long time ago, you might have a harder time finding parts when it inevitably breaks down.

    Wins are everywhere, and repairs take a fraction of the time, because the mechanic simply finds a spare part from another bike to replace yours.
    #9
  10. philippoc92

    philippoc92 Adventurer

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    Ye I picked that up alright. Honda Waves, Wins are king over there. Did you bring any spare parts with you or did you just rely on parts along the way? Would you advise on bringing a spare headlight bulb, clutch cable, spark plugs, tube repair kit etc? I know everyone in Vietnam is a "Mechanic" but just for the more isolated parts log the HCM Trail and up North, it might be handy to bring some parts? :huh

    I'm ok for my itenary and all, its just the logistics off such a long bike ride. Did you use the google maps or actual paperback maps for your journey?

    It's my first attempt at a trip like this and I'd like to be reasonably prepared. If there is anything else you think I am not mentioning please do tell. Thanks again osu1177
    #10
  11. osu1177

    osu1177 Adventurer

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    We had some sparkplugs, some small tools (wrench, screwdriver), a bunch of various fasteners (zip ties, duct tape, copper wire), and bungee cords. Bringing extra stuff is really up to you...and how comfortable you are doing repairs in the middle of the jungle. I traveled with a buddy so we decided that if a bike did break down, and we couldn't fix it, someone would ride into town, explain a problem, and get a mechanic. Luckily we always broke down near someone willing to help. Also, most of the repairs required work that was more involved, ie replacing sprockets inside the engine, replacing chains, etc.

    I'd probably bring a spare tube and assorted tools to fix a flat. Actually, if you are riding solo, I'd bring all the stuff you mentioned.

    Regarding maps, we bought a few paper maps, but once you are spoiled by GPS, its hard to go back. So we downloaded a detailed map of Vietnam to our phones, and used GPS. The paper maps often don't show enough detail, and its too time consuming to verify your location by stopping to ask locals. So I'd definitely recommend using your mobile phone...just be sure to download the map so that it will function in areas where you dont have cellular signal.
    #11
  12. philippoc92

    philippoc92 Adventurer

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    That's a good idea about downloading the map to your phone. Where did you download it from? Did you have a specific app that you used it with or? I have an iphone 4, would the map work on that. I have always just used google maps? :huh


    Thanks for the advice on all of the above.
    #12
  13. ShaneBaby

    ShaneBaby Been here awhile

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    HahAha That is fantastic!! great to hear you had a great time!!

    Stoked looking forward to the ride report for sure!!!!

    Cam on
    #13