Vietnam officially allowed imports of brand-new (no second-hand, except foreigners with valid working visas import for their personal use) in May 2007. However, 90% import tax, 10% VAT and a huge fees on registration generally make a large displacement bike twice as expensive as it would cost in your country. Here are prices of some popular models:
– Honda CBR 1,000cc: over 22,000$US. – Honda XR 250cc: over 12,000$US. – Honda XR 400cc: over 15,000$US. – Yamaha YZF-R1 or R6 600cc: over 20,000$US. – Kawasaki D-Tracker super motard 250cc: over 12,000$US. – Agusta F4 1000R 1+1 998cc: over 44,000$US. – Harley V-Rod 883cc: over 18,000$US. – Harley Heritage Softail Classic 1600cc: nearly 50,000$US.
Will you be ready to pay that much for one of these bikes to ride in a country where speed limit is from 25 to 80km/h, mostly 60km/h? The answer is no doubt a big “NO, NO”. Enough explained and said.
Besides, Vietnamese speed limit for motorcyclists is from 25 to 80km/h, with 60km/h on most roads we have ridden. Crowded traffic and strange way of riding (no rule!) cause much more difficulty than you can expect. With these in mind, what is the advantage of a big bike? Nothing than a big WASTE!
These are our motorbikes options:
1. HONDA WAVE 110CC AND FUTURE NEO 125CC:
– Shocks: good. – Brakes: drum (back); disc (front) – Front basket: no – Electric starter: yes – Engine: 4-stroke, ~9-11 hp – Full spare parts support – Made in late 2000s, assembled in Vietnam – Very reliable.
2. RUSSIAN BIKE MINSK 125CC (2-STROKE):
– Shocks: smooth – Brakes: drum – Saddle bags: yes – Electric starter: no (kick starter) – Engine: 2-stroke, 10 hp – Battery: no (which means everything works only when the engine starts, even no speedometer) – Full spare parts support – Made in early 1990s, imported brand new from Belarus (Russia) – Very basic bikes, noisy, smoky but strong like buffalow.
3. HONDA XL MOTOCROSS 125CC:
– Shocks: great – Brakes: drum – Starter: kick/electric – Engine: 4-stroke, 11 hp – Full spare parts support, – Made in 2000, imported brand new from Japan. (This is the last year XL125 was made) – Reliable and comfortalbe bike
3. HONDA ROAD/DIRT BIKE GL PRO 160CC:
– Shocks: very smooth – Brakes: drum (back); disc (front) – Electric starter: no (kick starter) – Engine: 4-stroke luxury sport, 13.8 hp – Full spare parts support – Made in 1998, imported brand new from Indonesia (Honda stopped making this model in 1998. After the major upgrade and fine tune in late 2009) – Very powerful. The most reliable bike and available exclusively for customers.
4. HONDA BAJA AND XR 250CC:
– Shocks: the best shocks – Brakes: disc – Electric starter: yes – Engine: 4-stroke, 20-28 hp – Full spare parts support – XR250 Baja bikes are made in between 1996 – 2002 and XR250 between 2000 – 2005 (Honda stopped manufacturing XR250 Baja in 2002 and XR250 in 2008. After major upgrade in late 2011) – Imported second hand from Cambodia or Hong Kong. – These bikes are in very good conditions.
Saigon, Cat Tien National Park, Dalat – Lak Lake, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Kon Tum, Hoi An via My Son Sanctuary, Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An, DMZ & Khe Sanh, Phong Nha Caves, Tan Ky, Cuc Phuong National Park, Mai Chau, Hanoi