Bikes in Vietnam Part 2

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

Once you abandon the idea of a proper dirtbike, the choice of small capacity bikes available in Vietnam is bewildering, there are hundreds. However, amongst the weird and wonderful, there are some basic types –

The Alternative Choices

Minsk 125 –  Made in Russia, single cylinder, 4 speeds, 120kg. 2 Stroke. Front and back drum brakes. This is the “classic” bike in Vietnam, they’re everywhere, especially in the north. In the south however, they tend to look at them with open scorn apparently. Anyway, i’ve already got one communist 2-stroke in my life, and it requires physical violence to change gear. Theres no way i’m having another. The only positive thing that can be said for the Minsk is that it is at least a proper bike, not a scooter.

Honda @ Stream/SYM ATTILA 125cc – Made in China, single cylinder, fully automatic, 102kg. Front disc brake and back drum brake. A scooter, in fact. Tiny wheels that will attempt to throw you off over the least obtrusive of potholes, horrible weight distribution, crappy top speed. Oh and tubeless tyres, which means if you get a puncture, you’ll probably have to replace the whole tyre. I hate these things in the UK, in SE Asia they seem like a liability.

Honda Cub – 50/70/90cc – Made in Japan, single cylinder, semi-automatic, 81 kg. Drum brakes all round. The 50cc version apparently puts out a heady 3.9 hp. You cant really ignore the biggest selling motor vehicle of all time, can you? Not a looker, but it has pretty much everything i’m looking for, big wheels, easy to fix, cheap. But the power output (even on the bigger ones) is tiny, and frankly, i’m not. Plus, some things are just ridiculously old fashioned. Leading-link forks anyone? No? Didn’t think so. But basically what i need is a more modern version of this with a bigger engine. Check this out though – Greatest Motorcycle Ever

Anyway, these lot are out.

Next!

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~ by zendog888 on 01/10/2010.

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