Bikes in Vietnam Part 1

UPDATE – If you’re interested in buying and riding a bike in Vietnam, check out the guide I wrote after my trip – Ride The Tiger – Tourist Biking in Vietnam

Been looking into what bikes are available to buy once i get out to ‘Nam. The first thing is that they are all small capacity basically, partially because the people who generally buy them are tiny asian folk, and partially because the tax on importing bikes over 150cc is obscene apparently. So you can get bikes over that, but the price you pay is ridiculous, in a lot of cases, more than you’d pay in the UK. Which means the only realistic choices are bikes, on which, i will look somewhat like this (but with a hat less like a naan bread) –

The Dirtbikes

Ideally, i’d want to get something with off road pretensions, since i’m going to be travelling all over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia on it, on what will probably be properly dodgy roads. For which you’d want –

Honda XR250 Baja –  Oooo, look at the shiny shiny. No idea what the massive double headlights are about mind. Disc brakes,  made in Japan, single cylinder, 6 speeds, 120kg, about 28HP. 19″ front and 18″ back wheels. Kick start. An actual real enduro bike with lights, that would probably do about 90mph if you really tried. Sadly, they’re about $2000. They can bugger off.

Or –

Honda XL 125s – Less shiny obviously, but still, actually has some abilities off-road. Drum brakes, made in Japan, single cylinder, 6 speed, 110kg. About 13HP, so good for maybe 65mph. They want $1500 for these. There is no way i’m paying that for a bike with sodding drum brakes, its not 1973.

There are other options with dirtbikes, Suzuki and Yamaha alternatives, but they’re all pretty much the same choices in terms of spec, and more importantly, price. The other thing is that, in the cities, these will stick out like a pube in your icecream, and be a total thief magnet. And in the sticks you’ll have a nightmare getting parts for them. The dirtbikes are, unfortunately, out of the question.



~ by zendog888 on 30/09/2010.

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