Flag of Vietnam

Vietnam forum

How to buy a motorbike in Hue, Vietnam, and other motorbike tips.

  • yiftach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th September, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    After doing this, I thought I can maybe write a few helpful notes to those interested in doing the same. So here's what I did.

    Buying:
    I bought my bike through Kim Thien. Kim is a honest and professional mechanic with enough English to get around tourists. (English + Honest in Vietnam = Gold) I went to his shop in 24 Nguyen Sinh Cung Street in Hue (his phone number is 0906424641) and asked him to help me buy a Honda Win. You can also find his business card in Hue Backpackers hostel. Honda Win is a very popular bike amongst backpackers. It's very common in Vietnam, and is very easy to fix. It has big wheels and good suspension and is fuel-efficient (around 40km perlitter, times a 8L tank). But, it is an older bike and visiting garages will bea not-so-small part of your journey. Another option is just buying a newer semi-automatic bike. We rented a Honda Future 125 semi-automatic for a week-long trip through the crazy beautiful mountains of Ha Giang district in the north of the country, and it had zero problems and handled like a charm. But anyway, I wanted to try driving a manual bike for the first time, and I understood that the Win is considered a good choice for manual beginners.
    Kim didn't have at the time a Win of his own, so he took me to the bike shops on the north side of the old city to help buy for me a Honda Win (don't remember the street). I wanted something for 5 mil (around $230). Let's not kid ourselves, a Honda Win or any other bike will probably cost a Vietnamese around half the price. If you're braver or justreally like your money you can hunt those shops on your own and try to buy it for less. It is possible.
    Before buying the bike I asked for better tires. Kim helped me bargain for a newer battery and front tire. If you know your mechanics you can bargainfor more, and get the price lower too.
    I bought a Win with a 100cc engine. There's also a 110cc one, but the 100cc was enough to carry both me and my girlfriend, and another large backpack through the mountains of Vietnam, and that includes a few flooded dirt roads. SoI guess it will definitely be enough if you're by yourself. If it's a good engine, that is... Don't worry about your engine not being made in Japan. None are. They're all made in China or Indonesia around here.
    Here specifications on the Win: http://www.offroadvietnam.com/motorcycle-rentals/road-bikes/honda-win-100cc
    After buying the bike, I paid Kim 200K for a complete one day service on the bike. That also means you will need an extra day in Hue. The service included a lot of tuning and changing of small parts, putting the electric start back in order, adding a large back rack for the luggage and so on. It did NOT include a new back tire which cost 300K and other expensive parts you may need that can't be fixed. Anyway, don't try to save on important stuff like tires, especially in the rainy season. Kim will fix the bike like it's his own to the last second. Oh, and he also came with me to buy helmets and got the price down.

    On the road:
    Like Kim will tell you, there are few things you have to do with the Win on the road. One is change oil every 500 km or so. According to Kim, you'll need 1 litter, not 800ml that the smaller bottles have. A 1L oil bottle is supposed to cost around 80K. Another thing is adjusting the chain. Every day or two the chain will become a little loose. It will cost you a measly 5K in every garage to oil and adjust it. A garage is called "Rua Xe" and there's one nearly everywhere. Another option is just a sign saying "Honda" or justpeople fixing bikes, which is a heavy hint of bike fixing going on.
    Instead of only buying a good road atlas in a book shop, another important tip if you're going a long way, is to download maps from Google Maps so you'll have them offline. Using the GPS on you smart phone, if you got one that is, you will be able to know exactly where you are without an internet connection. Without it we would probably still be lost right now. Thank God for Google, seriously.
    Another tip: If you're heading to the middle of nowhere watch for thesigns saying "Nha Nghi", it means motel. A room in a motel will costaround 80K to 160K.
    Oh yeah, the Vietnamese drivers are crazy. Especially truck and bus drivers. The rule here is the bigger you are, the more respect you get. That leaves the motorbike driver on the bottom of the food chain (except pedestrians, you can still bully them). We saw around three accidents on the number 1 road, and one was between a truck and a scooter. The truck won. These guys overtake without caring if there's someone on the other lane. They sometimes overtake the overtaker. All this to suggest you stick to the margins of the road like all the other two-wheelers, and slow the f down if you see a truck heading yourway. And anyway, try to drive through the side roads which are more interesting and beautiful with almost no traffic.

    Selling
    :
    Our final destination was HCMC. The first thing you do is advertise yourbike on Craiglist. I had only three days and I really didn't want to waste allmy time on this, so I published it for around the original price I bought it for, and eventually sold it for 210$ through Craiglist to the first guy who came to see it. Another, more embarrassing way, I heard about and tried myself for one night, is hanging two signs on your chest and back, saying you're selling a bike. Luckily I sold it the next morning and didn't have to go through that again.

    Good luck and take care,
    Yiftach.
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-TW HE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"טבלה רגילה"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

    #1 Posted: 28/9/2013 - 09:42

  • Advertisement

  • pekkas

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd October, 2013
    Posts: 6

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Honda Win is best motorbike in Vietnam if you want scooter then Honda wave. They are most common in Vietnam and spare parts will find in every small village. But remember to check a bike before you start your trip.
    Check brakes, lights, tires, and remember that you can not trust all mechanics and sellers in Vietnam. Here in Ho Chi Minh are only few trusty places to buy a motorbike. If you buy a motorbike somebody who has just driven 1500 km, you need to spend about 100$ at least to fix it. Fixed, I mean really fixed not that they say so, fixed Honda Win cost at least 350$. Be careful also craigslist, there are many sellers who just cheat foreigners. I am happy that somebody has started to write in craigslist about places who just cheat tourist.

    #2 Posted: 2/10/2013 - 08:54

  • pekkas

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd October, 2013
    Posts: 6

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I found interesting website, if you are buying a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh.
    http://www.http://www.hochiminhmotorbikes.comhochiminhmotorbikes.com

    #3 Posted: 8/10/2013 - 04:59

  • frere

    Click here to learn more about frere
    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2012
    Posts: 26

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    good post [yiftach] - I only add that RUA XE is wash your bike [every 100 metres] mechanic is SUA [not so common]

    i didn't know about the 8/10 oil = thanks for that

    i don't know where i should post this info but there is a new stretch of real motorway on highway three north from hanoi. they seem intent on keeping it a secret. about 35 km north of HN you cross a big river and a tiny dirty road on your right leads to the motorway. if you hit the "arc de triomphe" announcimg trai nguyen you are just a few yards past the turning. go back! it saves a lot of time and is a good road. also: leaving hanoi take the railway bridge not the main bridge - easier and faster route to highway three. "CU QL3 is the old road - QL3 MOI is the one you want.
    come visit me in bac kan!

    of course, being where it is, you may find a car coming the opposite way down your fast lane. happened to me today while i was daydreaming about adding to my blog about the schoolkids riding three-a-breast down the wrong side of same highway - but the bicycles wouldn't kill you.

    #4 Posted: 14/11/2013 - 11:26

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
'Easyriders' and other motorbike tours...? Other tips? ... By ihatewinter on 15 Feb 2014 1 292 15 Feb 2014
Vietnam on motorbike sep\nov ... By gdansk on 10 Jul 2010 0 688 10 Jul 2010
Vietnam on motorbike anyone? ... By gdansk on 19 Oct 2010 12 1617 5 Mar 2011
3 day motorbike Vietnam ... By aubuchGJ on 17 Sep 2011 1 1828 17 Sep 2011
Motorbike in Vietnam ... By KazAussie on 21 Jan 2010 0 694 21 Jan 2010
Motorbike in Vietnam ... By jamiehill on 31 Dec 2008 13 8263 12 Aug 2011
How to sell a motorbike in Vietnam ... By stolberg on 16 Jun 2010 5 1278 16 Jun 2010
Motorbike touring Vietnam ... By offroadvietnam on 2 Mar 2007 0 2046 2 Mar 2007
27 M in S. Vietnam to motorbike to Hanoi ... By rocky4 on 11 Feb 2011 5 1200 24 Feb 2011
Vietnam/June/Motorbike ... By travelhungryboy on 18 May 2010 2 1014 19 May 2010