Motorcycling India/Vietnam/Cambodia etc
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GT200 & GTS250 & NC750X & Royal Enfield Pegasus
Joined: 23 Aug 2013
Posts: 2084
Location: London
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:22 am quote
I was half considering hiring a motorbike or scooter and doing a two week tour in one of these countries around April. Does anyone have any experience of this? a rough idea of cost? things to watch out for? I fully understand that riding in these countries isn't the same as at home but I'm fairly comfortable with that. Would prefer touring around. Not wildly keen on being part of a huge group of bikes, 4 or 5 is ok but any more isn't so appealing. My wife is (at the moment) quite keen on the idea and will come along as pillion. India is obviously quite big so understand if I'd just be going round a part of it.

Any other suggestions? countries? or something entirely different?

PS We've done some fairly long trips in the past (many over 5K miles) but now we're in our 50's so neither of us is looking to prove anything. I'd prefer countryside rather than cities. April is when we have available so weather might rule out India. It's our 25th wedding anniversary so it needs to be slightly better than touring round the UK in the rain on a bike (we did that for our honeymoon).
2012 LX150ie
Joined: 28 Jul 2018
Posts: 84
Location: Austin Texas USA
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:41 pm quote
Not exactly what you are asking for...
...but I was in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) last month and Whenever I go there I am always amazed on how many scooters I see. Easily 10 scooters for every car, they are the primary form of transportation.

My wife and I had a game where we tried to find the most people per scoot...luckily didn’t get past 4..and the largest amount of cargo being carried, which was 20 bags of concrete mix 😀.

One thing to be aware of is that as you get farther away from the city, it becomes more difficult to find people who speak English. So you need a plan for things like directions (SatNav?) and food...pointing and offering money seems to work if you are not to fussy.

I will say that I always have fun in Vietnam. The food is delicious and the people are very friendly.
ET2 2004
Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Location: UK
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:56 am quote
Along the same lines as jim jar, I can only recommend Vietnam. It's a beautiful country, amazing food especially if you like seafood and very friendly. Ho Chi Minh is so busy and full of motorbikes but the traffic moves (unless you're on 4 wheels). The roads work very differently, if you're already on a roundabout you give way to someone who wants to enter for example. Something to concider is your UK bike licence won't count there you need a Vietnamese licence which is for people who've been there 6 months or more (I think) though I've heard you can get your UK licence translated for a fee and a but of time but this isn't something I've looked into as my girlfriend has a licence there and is used to the way the traffic works so she rides the scooter there and I do it here.
Temperature wise April in the south last year was high 30's.

p.s my favourite cargo was a brand new full-size fridge-freezer carried vertically on a Honda Innova, that takes some skills!

GT200 & GTS250 & NC750X & Royal Enfield Pegasus
Joined: 23 Aug 2013
Posts: 2084
Location: London
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:55 am quote
Thanks for the info guys. All very interesting.
Molto Verboso
2017 Ducati Supersport S, 2014 Kawasaki Concours
Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 1007
Location: Murrieta, California
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:34 am quote
If you haven't joined yet, check out the Adventure Rider forum. Lots of great riding advice especially on SE Asia.
2016 BV350 White
Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 310
Location: East LA County, CA, USA
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:20 pm quote
Re: Vietnam. Look at the Ed March video on YouTube at his "unguided" trip. Its has pretty good information on it. Don't plan on buying a used bike and reselling it later. If anyone except an authorized major brand dealer has touched it, it will break down on you. (Vietbodge). Not worth it. I think Tigris in Saigon was the name of the place where Ed was going to rent reliable Hondas for his second group trip. Don't buy or rent a Chinese clone of one of the Hondas. They won't last. Bring your own helmet from the States, the ones that they have are crap. Assume you will be riding in the rain on multiple days. You won't be able to ride on the major freeway on the coast, it's for cars only. You have to plan your trip accordingly. Hotels and restaurants are very inexpensive. Assume that you will have to pay a bribe at some point and carry some small bills for this. In big crowded cities, don't make sudden turns as other riders will make assumptions based on gradual turns. Its a beautiful, awesome trip that is on my bucket list. Good luck.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7861
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:44 am quote
I haven't been but my brothers visited a friend who now lives in Vietnam and rented scooters. Those "bodges" we speak of so disdainfully. I have no idea of the cost or whether what they paid would be the same as anyone else would pay since they had the advantage of someone who has lived in Vietnam and run a business there for more than a dozen years. Complete with bilingual girlfriend (of friend) to procure and negotiate. I will say that my brothers were impressed at how well the bodges ran and they weren't exactly gentle with them since one of them rides a BMW GS, loves dirt and has no fear.

Checking out ADVRider would be a good place to start. Queezie did a guest appearance in a Thailand ride thread recently. Horizons Unlimited is another good forum for international touring.
2016 BV350 White
Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 310
Location: East LA County, CA, USA
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:26 pm quote
For renting a scooter in Vietnam, check out Tigit Motorbikes in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Min City. They have newer bikes in good repair. You can pick up at one location and drop off and another location. They won't break down on you, like what ever else your might buy or rent.
Vespa PX 125 Settantesimo
Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 582
Location: Norf Wheezy
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:37 am quote
Scooters everywhere
My wife and daughter are in Ho Chi Minh City right now and sent this picture.


Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX150, GTS300, BV350, EN650
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 5233
Location: Home of the Alamo
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:52 am quote
Re: Scooters everywhere
johnymoore wrote:
My wife and daughter are in Ho Chi Minh City right now and sent this picture.

A scooter dealer's dream come true!
Rocket Man
GTS 300 ABS ‘Drake', GTS 250 (sold), LX 150 and Delta IV rocket. ( Retired. Not my problem anymore)
Joined: 12 Oct 2008
Posts: 1874
Location: Space Coast Florida
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:18 am quote
Contact Pat at . He owns a scooter sales/rental shop. Also, will hook you up with personal guides. I know several MV members that have used his services over the years.
2006 LX 50
Joined: 16 Jun 2017
Posts: 416
Location: Warren MI
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:27 am quote
I've been to India twice, in Chennai and Pondicherry. I would be scared to death to ride a scooter there. The traffic is insane, and the large vehicles just plow right through.
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