Are you yearning for a chance to see gorgeous golden rice terraces in Sapa, mesmerizing beauty of peach blossom season, or magnificent views of mountains, lakes, and green hills all over Vietnam with your own eyes?
“YES definitely! But how?”
By motorbikes of course! You don’t really think of driving a car up those tiny mountainous roads, do you?
“Ehm, yeah! But which bikes are the most suitable for that purpose? I’m no expert at motorbikes and technical stuff!”
To answer that question, let’s take a look and choose one among the best motorcycles in Vietnam to be your perfect companion on an amazing journey in Vietnam!
Chinese Honda Win Manual Transmission
The first choice on our list of motorcycles in Vietnam doesn’t mean it’s the best, sadly. But it all comes down to your taste and personality, so why don’t we take a look at this bike first!
Often found running around proudly beside their backpackers’ “friends”, this bike has stolen the heart of its owner due to the rugged, weather-beaten, and stylish look! That’s right! It’s all about the appearance that everyone is dying for! Besides, a Chinese Honda Win doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, so why not go for it?
Wake up! There’s always a downside to all those glamour and charm!
This bike is crazily expensive….
“But you just said it’s crazily cheap.”
Let me finish the sentence! This bike is crazily expensive when it comes to maintenance and repair. Why so? It has the tendency to wobble, wheeze, and break down every 15 minutes (15 minutes is maybe a little bit exaggerated but you know how unreliable it is!).
But if you’ve fallen in love with it and is a true adventurer, why don’t you give this Chinese “babe” a try and have a good laugh along the way?!
Honda Semi-Automatic, Wave, Dream, Future
Worrying about your tight budget? Of all the motorcycles in Vietnam, this one is the cheapest and easiest to fix. A Honda Semi-Automatic can get you from A to B at the lowest prices. Even the most tragic breakdowns can be immediately fixed at an affordable cost, allowing drivers to find the right mechanic! Frauds and scams are common around here and foreign backpackers are usually deceived to pay an extremely high cost. Plus, blending with locals is as easy as a piece of cake!
However, this motorbike is no match for conquering hilly mountainous roads as well as carrying big foreigners with a “mountain” of luggage behind due to its lack of power.
Overall, a Honda Semi-automatic is a decent bike designed for a pleasant stroll around the city.
This “guy” is a legend among travelers fond of exploring the Northern land of Vietnam by motorbikes! A Minsk comes with a classic 2 stroke engine requiring an appropriate mixture of oil and gas. Sadly, it’s also the main cause leading to the disappearance on the market of this symbolic bike. Most backpackers admitted they screwed up the mixture and brought the bike to a bitter end!
Luckily, Minsk has been “revived” by some tourism companies in Sa Pa by integrating it with modern engines of Honda. So if you find it somewhere, grab it on the spot and enjoy a comfortable ride.
Suzuki GN Manual Transmission
This bike has appeared even in my wildest dreams and it deserves a top spot in the list of best motorcycles in Vietnam! A good Suzuki GN actually offers superb performance with the coolest and stylish look ever. Oh man, you’re gonna love the noise as it proudly represents the legendary Suzuki engine!
Nevertheless (I’ve never hated any word like this in my life!), you’ll have no luck in finding the Suzuki’s high-quality and genuine components nowadays, meaning the bike is maintained with cheap-priced ones from China. If a Suzuki GN is your long-lost dream, mentally and financially prepare to spend a remarkable sum of money on continuous maintenance.
Anyway, there’s nothing that can stop you from owning this super cool bike, even going bankrupt, if you’re a true gearhead!
Honda Wave Semi-Automatic
Honda, without a doubt, is notorious for producing the most economical and great-value-for-money motorbikes! Let’s give this renowned brand a round of big applause!
Dubbed as an indestructible machine, only destructible because of its owner’s dumbness and incompetence, under the top-notch maintenance services of Honda, this Wave Semi-Automatic is built to last!
Although the bike’s components are being replaced by Chinese ones by most backstreet mechanics, resulting in the variation in quality, it rarely drops in the value of money (even the poor-maintained and heavily broken down bike costs no less than $450).
Honda Wave is one of the most commonly used motorbikes in Vietnam and there are good reasons for that: affordable, long-lasting, and hassle-free maintenance.
Honda Future Semi-Automatic
I know I seem to show a preference over Honda more than other brands, but let’s be honest, there’s hardly any other motorbike producer that can beat Honda in this field!
Honda Future is considered the highest quality semi-automatic ever produced by Honda. It has been around for a long time so the price range varies accordingly. If you are lucky enough to own a right 125cc-engine bike, it operates exceptionally and surprisingly smooth and fast – a perfect combination designed for both city and long-distance traveling. Suitable seat storage is also another plus of this model.
Most of the bike rental companies find that the cost of a Future often exceeds their budget. Thus, unless the rental price matches the glamour of the bike, you’re likely to come across downgraded and unreliable second-hand versions.
Honda CRF series
You need to know that all the motorcycles mentioned above are only suitable for on-road trips through paved, smooth roads or slightly rough paths. So if you want to conquer off-road routes, which motorcycle should you choose?
Honda CRF models are definitely designed for you. Of all these motorcycles of this series, Honda CRF250L should be considered first and foremost. This model is the number one choice for those who desire to experience off-road.
Honda CRF250L 2017 is impressed by its eye-catching look with the long saddle sloping towards the driver. Besides, the upgrade to the LCD electronic dashboard and new-style fuel tank contributes to making a difference to the Honda CRF250L. Especially, the 250 cc engine brings you incredible riding experiences through the most bumpy roads. It’d make a perfect “sidekick” for your Vietnam motorcycle trips!
So who is going to take the crown of the best motorcycle in Vietnam? For my taste, it would definitely be the Suzuki GN Manual Transmission for its impressive performance and “fashionista” outlook!
What about you? What’s your final call on this matter?
You don’t need to make a decision just yet! Take your time and go around for some other recommendations to pick out the best companion for a fantastic motorbike trip!