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Old 08-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #16
JNXPILOT
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I'm in!

I too did the American Plan in '71-'72, Camp Evans, about 10 south of the DMZ. I would love to revisit the area. Beautiful country.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:59 AM   #17
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Hi all, we have finally gotten underway on our adventure. We hav e had a few issues with bikes that have meant visits to various mechanics. Here is a pic of some unknown mechanic in District 1 HCMC to get my front brakes working.



Most of our problems have been solved by the addition of serious thinking sessions over a bottle or ten of Beer or Bourbon.




Our first ride was from HCMC to Vung Tau. This should have been around a 3 hr ride over about 103km's.or so we thought! One of the bikes (John's Daelim) gave us a heap of trouble, his bike kept dying on idle and then refused to restart, multiple times, usually when he was in the middle of a major intersection with traffic coming at him from all directions! (And I mean from all directions!)

We stopped for fuel and when trying to start John's bike the throttle cable snapped, so we had to do some bush mechanical work to get it up and running again. The cable snapped twice on the way to Vung Tau, but we managed to get it sorted enough to make it rideable. (John may have a different opinion here on what rideable actually means!) Hahaha, to be honest for a novice bike rider John handled it well! Hats off to him!


The ride to Vung Tau should have taken us about 3 hrs, but it ended up taking 6 hrs to do. Only about 110km's! The traffic coming out of HCMC was unfcking believable! We are spewing thoiugh because both helmet cams had issues with recording, one was due to a corrupt memory card, and the other wasn't turned on properly! very frustrating, so we missed some great video! (We think we have these sorted out now, so will post up video as we can)

As you can imagine it's a bit hard to update posts here while on the road, but we'll do our best and update as we can.


Here's the motley crew about to depart Ho Chi Minh! (From Lef to right, Mick, Steve,Vincent, Richard and John)



Not too far out of HCMC we encountered our first break down!




Currently we are in Vung Tau, we had planned to spend only one night here and then head to Mui Ne, but due to bike problems we decided to spend another night and get problems with Johns bike sorted out, (New Throttle cable, front tyre, etc, also a new rear tyre on my Husky) We had all of sorts of drama's fidning a mechanic who would actually give us the time of day, let alone help us. But we persisted and all problems have been fixed (We think)

We are planning on leaving about 7:30am tomorrow and heading straight to Dalat which is about 310km's and 7 hrs away. We are reasonably happy with the bikes now and think we should be ok.

So to sum up our first day, we broke down several times, got rained on and got lost! All in all a great day!

Will update as we can!
Stay safe and stay upright!
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SteveMc181 View Post
So to sum up our first day, we broke down several times, got rained on and got lost! All in all a great day!
Welcome to Vietnam
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:13 AM   #19
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Sounds like you're having a fantastic time, but whats that beer you' re drinking, Saigon green's the go
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:54 AM   #20
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Vung Tau - Dalat

Vincent our Vietnamese rider had to leave and return to his work this morning. So we are on the road now with just the 4 of us. We headed off from Vung Tau at around 8:45am in the morning and were heading to Dalat which is about 320km's away. We were hoping for a trouble free ride, but alas thia was not to be!

All Packed up and ready to leave Vung Tau


We had reasonably good roads for the first 150km's or so and were cruising along fairly well, although the road in some sections was absolutely shocking. John's confidence really took a nose dive when we had to negotiate through some really potholed sections. He handled it well though and is just lacking a bit of confidence at this time. Understandable when you are trying to dodge potholes, trucks, scooters, buses and the odd tractor or pig all seemingly hell bent on comitting Hari Kari!

Time for a smoke break (Lots of these along the way)

John's Daelim has been a bitch of a bike to ride and has a very loose and worn out gear shift. We stopped at another mechanics and had a loose bolt on the gear lever rethreaded. After leaving the mechanics John couldn't get higher than 2nd gear! So back we went and found the problem was the gear levers and linkages being so worn out, that the lever was hitting the footpeg and stopping him upshifting, so a bit of bending and shimming was in order.

The mechanics here aren't exactly rocket scientists and we had to solve the problem for him. It took us nearly 15 minutes just to explain we wanted to take a spare nut with us incase it came loose again! (F*ck me, forget about trying to explain we wanted a nylock locking nut! Sign language just doesn't work in this neck of the woods!





Time for another break and a rest for Johns frazzled nerves! We had just been through some really rough sections here and John was reconsidering if he wanted to continue after we reached Dalat :( We couldn't blame him if he pulled out, as it is scary enough for an experienced rider and not a place to learn the ins and outs of dodging traffic! (We won't mention the little incident in Vung-Tau where John fell off on the footpath when his throttle jammed, I just wish I had been quick enough with the camera instead of laughing at him) (Sorry John ;) Hahahaha, but jeez it was funny!



The road was rougher than where the bikes are parked.



Off we trotted again into the wild and hazy yonder, I had the iPod cranked up and was cruising along listening to some good old Dire Straits and thoroughly enjoying the ride. Some of the sights and smells along the way were great. We were running fairly late and could finally see the end of a long days ride! We climbed the mountain to Dalat and were just cruising into town and looking forward to a beer after 9hrs on the road, when Mick's bike came to a grinding halt. Seized engine! This was the end of his bike and we weren't interested in trying to get it fixed, we stripped off the gear lever so we could use it on John's Daelim, put the battery from the Daelim into my bike and kicked it over on the side of the road in Dalat and left it there.

Onya Mick! Killed another one!




Mick and I stayed with the bike and stripped what we could use while Richard and John set about finding somewhere to stay. They came back in a cab and I followed them to the Hotel We were all knackered after such a big day in the saddle and covered in grime from head to toe!

We set off for a few beers and a discussion about what we were going to do! John said his confidence was gone and he was happy to give Mick his bike and then John would Join our other friend in Nha Trang and travel by bus etc with him. We told John that it was an extremely trying day and he had handled it well and we didn't want him to leave our little group of Wild Hogs! We decided we would try to find two new bikes in town in the morning and if this wasn't possible John was happy to abandon his bike to Mick!

The lady sitting in the background had just had a head on scooter crash in front of us, Mick raced out to pick her up off the road and get her bike out of the way. One bike was heading up the wrong side of the road with no lights on and she ran straight in to him with 3 people on her scooter! We left them to the arguing on the side of the road as we didn't want to get blamed for it! This was the 2nd accident we had seen in 20 minutes! The other one was a car doing a u-turn and a scooter with a guy and kid on running into him! (These people are just crazy and road rules don't exist! No serious injuries in either accident fortunately!)

I am going to leave uploading any videos until we return home, we have captured some great footage on the helmet cams, but just too difficult to do the required editing while on the road. (It gets in the way of drinking time!)

SteveMc181 screwed with this post 08-12-2012 at 03:02 AM
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:04 AM   #21
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Ride Day 3 Dalat-Nha Trang

Up early this morning and hoping we could find some bikes, we headed off and came across a Yamaha dealer that had a couple of Vietnamese 125cc Trail Bikes he would sell us!

Mick was a happy camper again!



John wasn't too confident about riding a trail bike and we almost had him convinced it would be ok. That is until Mick popped a wheelie in the driveway and scared the crap out of John and the locals gathered around. Hahahaha!

Looks like Richard is on the Trail bike for now! We got these for $1140 USD each including rego, which we were happy with. (Thanks to Richards Credit card)

On the way back to the hotel to pack our gear and get ready to leave, we managed to snare an english speaking cabbie who rang his friend and they bought the other Daelim off us for $300 USD.

A bite to eat down near the lake in Dalat and we were on our way to Nha Trang about 130km's away.



Some absolutley awesome riding today through the mountains, great scenery great twisties and we were all feeling good. The road was quite new and smooth in sections, OH! How I wished for a sport bike! I carved it up with the old Husky 150 as much I dared push her! It was a great ride and a lot of fun was had by all.

John ended up taking over the Surfat trailbike as the road was quiet and he got a chance to get used to it without the hassle of traffic.



Beautiful scenery everywhere!










Micks stubbie cooler! Hahaha he hates warm beer with a passion! We had a rest day today and visited Vinpearl island resort, awesome spot and will be back there for sure with the family!





All in all we are having a ball and John has his Mojo back, still a long way to go, see you next time!

SteveMc181 screwed with this post 08-12-2012 at 09:36 AM
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:28 PM   #22
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So used Viet motorcycles are unreliable?

Who knew?
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #23
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So used Viet motorcycles are unreliable?

Who knew?
If that's all you can muster up to say Mr Zhukov then I'd suggest you don't bother posting and fhuckov!
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #24
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Enjoying the report, thanks much. Takes my mind away from my daily grind.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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Several days have passed since an update. Hopefully no more bike issues?
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:41 PM   #26
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Talking

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Several days have passed since an update. Hopefully no more bike issues?
Sounds like somebody owes me an apology
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #27
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You guys are lucky to have made it out of Ho Chi Min city! Traffic is crazy and brisk to say the least



Was there in 2010 and it was scary just riding in a taxi -
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:18 PM   #28
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All going well guys, just haven't had time to update here. Hopefully tonight we can spend some time updating. I am sure you all know when traveling it's not easy to allow time for uploading photos etc. It takes me a couple of hours each night to download the helmet cams!

Zharkov don't bother posting in this thread if you have nothing constructive to say.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by SteveMc181 View Post
All going well guys, just haven't had time to update here. Hopefully tonight we can spend some time updating. I am sure you all know when traveling it's not easy to allow time for uploading photos etc. It takes me a couple of hours each night to download the helmet cams!
Sounds like things are going well; enjoy the ride!
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:08 PM   #30
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Awesome awesome awesome!!!!

Guys, please post LOTS of pictures and please keep an eye out for any great family fun areas on the beach! We are just starting to plan a summer 2014 trip now so you're timing for this thread really has my attention!!! I'm so excited reading this I'm about to go pee!!

And I actually am enjoying seeing how resourceful and daring you guys have been! Keep it up!
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