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Old 09-02-2013, 03:59 PM   #16
Kennon
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Loved the Cafe racer build man, will have to look through the rest when I get some more time.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:21 PM   #17
donho1959
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Thumb Many thanks for the links!

Thanks for the useful links, am hoping to do a Ho Chi Minh Trail ride in 2014, 10 years after my last very enjoyable tour of northern Viet Nam on a Minsk. I will be in touch if my trip goes ahead.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:54 PM   #18
VietHorse OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennon View Post
Loved the Cafe racer build man, will have to look through the rest when I get some more time.
Thanks. It has been done for a while. No time to ride now, just turn the engine on and enjoy the sound. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by donho1959 View Post
Thanks for the useful links, am hoping to do a Ho Chi Minh Trail ride in 2014, 10 years after my last very enjoyable tour of northern Viet Nam on a Minsk. I will be in touch if my trip goes ahead.
I myself haven't done the whole trail yet. Really tempting plan. For sure the ride report gonna be here if I got it done.
Keep in touch.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:15 PM   #19
aki
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Riding in Vietnam.

I intend to do some riding in Vietnam next March 2014. My plan is to rent a bike in Hanoi and goes north. Any itinerary recommended?
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
BitShuffler
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How much time have you got?
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:15 PM   #21
aki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitShuffler View Post
How much time have you got?
About 7 days riding.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:31 AM   #22
VietHorse OP
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About 7 days riding.
Not too long but 7 days are great for your to explore North Western of Vietnam.
March will be end of Spring there, chilli and wet. Make sure you are well prepared for that.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:00 PM   #23
VietHorse OP
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@aki: Below is the tracklog from a buddy - BrianBKK, living in Thailand but traveled Northwestern of Vietnam for 5 days, around 1,000km, from Hanoi.

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Old 11-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #24
ben2go
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Without getting all whiny over life,if my relationship takes a turn for the worse,I am considering spending a year in Thailand and exploring the area on 2 wheels.If I like it enough,I may expat.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:31 AM   #25
VietHorse OP
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Howdy, and sorry for my late response.
Pls see my comments in Orange ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by philippoc92 View Post
Hi guys,
Firstly I think this is a great thread. Very helpful and thank you to all who contribute. I am new to the whole motorbiking adventure forums, but I was wondering could anyone provide information on buying bikes in HCMC, particularly 125 Minsks and Honda Win 110.

1) What to look out for when buying the bike
VH: Well, it's not an easy question to answer. A lot of things need to consider of, especially in Vietnam, you can easily find many motorcycle with lots of modification and even parts replacement by some freaking Chinese stuff. Can't tell more as it's too generic question. Sorry.

2) What to get changed/replaced before starting your journey:
VH: Something I can think of: Engine oil, brake pads, battery, tires, tubes, throttle & clutch wires, make sure all lights work, clean all spark plugs, check chain, sprocket, carb cleaning (if you think it should be cleaned - and carb cleaning is cheap in VN, don't worry).

3) Mechanics to go too for this:
VH: For small motorcycle (175cc and below) you can come to any mechanics shops. Busy shops somehow means it is good. :) For bigger motorcycles, you need to go to dedicated mechanics shops. Don't thru your bike to any shops.

4) What spares to bring on the journey with you (e.g HCMC to Hanoi)
VH: Unlike other countries, there are several mech shops along the roads, I can say any roads ;) so you don't really need to bring your own mechanics shop (I am talking about bikes <=175cc). Something you may need to bring: spare spark plugs and plug opener, spare tubes (and may be tire tools), light bulb, some wires, duck tape...

5) Any links to a place to buy paperback maps (I know of the garmin link)
VH: Simple paper maps (good enough) are easy to find at any book stores. At HCMC or HN, and if you plan to ride along Vietnam, I recommend to buy the Vietnam traffic map book. It's the whole Vietnam traffic map which is really useful and should be in your backpack before traveling to Vietnam.
List price: VNĐ315,000.00 (~ US$15.00)



I still lost with that book and two other GPS units. LOL....




6) Does anyone have experience of just using google maps on their smart phone for navigation?
VH: Good to use Gmaps on a Smartphone while traveling in Vietnam. Make sure the GPS on your phone works well, or you are using Vietnamese 3G system.

7)any other advice.
VH: Navigation devices you are talking about? VN Garmin map is also available. Local Vietnamese can also use VietMap or Papago for car navigation.

I know some of these are very basic questions, but I am only learning and appreciate any info you can provide. Thank you :)

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #26
VietHorse OP
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GOOD NEWS for all big bike riders in Vietnam:

Effective from 01March2014, Circular 38/2013/TT-BGTVT allows very much more flexibility to all A2 license applicants.
According to mentioned Circular, requirement of the A2 will be pretty the same as requirement of the A1, and presume anyone (Vietnamese or resident Foreigners) can apply for the A2 without any concerns.
  • A1 is license for bikes <= 175cc.
  • A2 is license for bikes >175cc.
Below is something about the previous requirements, now no more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VietHorse View Post
For the A2. There 's nothing black and white saying that the foreigner can't get the A2. However, A2 is even super difficult to the locals.
Some requirements I would like to quote here FYI:
- You have to have the bike registered under your name (>175cc bike)
- You have to have the Motorcycle Athlete Certification Card (which shows you are the one who in a recognized Motorcycle Sport team) - unless you have the Vietnam Military or Police Identification Card instead.
- You have to have the Letter of Introduction from Department of Sports to send you to get the A2 Cert.
...
Those three are the most difficult part. And I am sure you can't do the No. 2 and 3 by your own, as well as the normal locals.

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:47 AM   #27
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Preparing the Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by VietHorse View Post
Howdy, and sorry for my late response.
Pls see my comments in Orange ;)




Hope that helps.
Firstly thanks for you response.

Regarding the questions I asked, as reading back on them I was not very clear.

1) I was asking about what to watch out when buying a bike. As in, what are the typical flaws that arise in a badly looked after Honda Win. When I am buying a bike over there for my trip (I know this is illegal), I want to make sure that I get good bike. What should I check for in particular with Vietnamese Honda Wins? Or what parts should I check before purchasing the bike?

3) I was wondering could you recommend a good reliable mechanic who can carry out this work before I get on my way in HCMC who will not rip me off? If I go into any mechanic I know they will me as a walking $$$ :)

5) I know it will be easy to find the book over there. I cannot however, find a place to but the book online? Could you give me a link to a website. I have tried googling the name etc with no luck.

6) I want to use gmaps when I am over there, how much does data cost on vietnamese 3G though? Wil it be practical for me to purchase a vietnamese sim card and buy data?

7) I will only be using my Iphone (gmaps) and the street map. Any tips on how to best navigate my way using these?

again thanks for your help
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:01 AM   #28
towboatcrisco
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Just Back

Wow ... lots of info nice job ! I'm just back from Vietnam , was there a month . North to South with a huge mix of different travel . But by far a 5 day north west loop with a guy named Cuong was the best !! been travelling for 10 yrs and if that wasn't the best tour it was really close !
http://cuongs-motorbike-adventure.com/

Check him out Viethorse he is a Solid guy ! ( also for the guy asking about minsk bikes Cuong has about 90 and its his passion )
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:43 PM   #29
flei
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Thumb just got back from 2 week (non-riding) trip: Vietnam is awesome!

I want to put in a good word for going to Vietnam. I recently travelled through North West Vietnam in a van with my family for 2 weeks and I was jones-ing for a bike to ride the entire time! (Well maybe not in Ha Noi itself as the traffice is kind of crazy!). The scenery, people and roads were fantastic (well the road conditions were not always great, but they are great biking roads!)! I did rent a scooter for a day and rode up a trail into the mountains to visit a tea plantation and a Hmong village which was great. In the very rural areas people are shy but friendly, it is very safe (no crime), the food is great, prices (by US standards) are very low. You do need to have some basic language skills to communicate with "locals"; hotel staff all had some English. Friends here asked me about encountering "anti-American sentiment": my experience was there was NONE; quite the opposite, everyone greeted us warmly and seemed excited we were Americans. We did a home-stay with a family who had a son killed in the "American war", and we were treated incredibly kindly! My family has travelled extensively and we all loved every minute of our time there. Both of my young adult daughters said they would like to go live in North Vietnam someday! I am planning to return on a bike as soon as my time and finances allow!!
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:33 PM   #30
woody's wheel works
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Viet-nam here I come...

Bay gio toi Narita Airport,,,toi se di Ton San Nhut Diem nay....va di Quy Nhon 4 February.
Hope to touch base with you this time...
Your phone # and address /e-mail would be appreciated....
Xin tra loi


Onh Manh :>)
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