Cafe Racers

The Vietnam backpacker’s most popular motorbike, the Honda Win is neither a Winner nor a Honda. On backpacker forums, hostels và facebook you’ll likely see many Honda Wins for sale. Although cheap, this bike is not a good khuyễn mãi giảm giá and should be avoided like the plague.

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History of the Honda Win

The original Honda Win was first built in 1971 & continued being made by Honda up until the year 2000. After that the Chinese took over & started copying the Honda Win. Vietnam has built their own copycat version under the name Sufat. The “copycat” bikes vị not have have nearly the same build chất lượng as a true Honda bike. The Honda Win has become a popular cheap motorbike for backpackers in Vietnam to buy for one way motorbike journeys from Hanoi down to Saigon or vice versa. Original Honda Win’s are extremely difficult lớn comeby. Therefore any Honda Win you see for sale is almost certainly going khổng lồ be a Chinese knock off.

One of the problems with the Honda win is its popularity among backpackers means this xe đạp has been yo-yoing up and down Vietnam countless times. In addition because the odometer is so easy khổng lồ change you cannot rely on the reported mileage. The handling is also poor compared to lớn sturdier bikes and once you have it kitted out with your backpack & other luggage, you’ll find that the xe đạp can be quite wobbly.

The Backpacker Bike

via Gfycat

A glance at any popular backpacker forum or facebook group will reveal countless advertisements for Honda Wins which will have just made a one way journey. Typically they will go for around $300 which is steep for a xe đạp whose usage you don’t know. Keep in mind a brand new Honda Win will only run you a bit more than $500. While there are many positive stories from backpackers who’ve bought a Honda Win và not run into any issues these really seem to be in the minority. In reality breakdowns are common & repairs are not cheap. The good thing though is this is Vietnam, và in Vietnam you are never far from a repair shop. Whether that means an authorized motorbike dealership or just a guy with a few tools & some space in his garage you’re bound lớn find someone when you’re in a jam.

Ads lượt thích these are common on backpacker forums

That doesn’t mean you can be careless on picking a bike. Some people will tell you that it’s all a part of the adventure. Ultimately that’s for you khổng lồ decide, a hitch here and there can be part of the fun, but having a complete engine failure and having lớn shell out more than you lượt thích for an engine rebuild is not our idea of fun. Brake failures are another story altogether và something that is unfortunately not all too uncommon & goes without saying, extremely dangerous.

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In Vietnam you’re never far from a repair shop

Buying a bike or Renting

If you opt to lớn buy a xe đạp here are a few things lớn keep in mind

Be weary of fresh paint jobs. It is a common trick to lớn spray paint over rust và cracks lớn cover up any issues. Kiểm tra the xe đạp carefully. If you don’t know what khổng lồ look for, see if you can find a local independent mechanic to lớn help you.Make sure the ownership papers match the license plate, engine number & frame number of the bike. If the police stop you và your papers bởi not match your bike will be impounded.

The other option is khổng lồ rent a motorbike from a reputable vendor & drop it off on the other side of Vietnam. In this case you can be sure the xe đạp has been properly cared for. You will also get better quality bikes as most won’t bother with motorbikes like the Win. Major repairs will be covered by the company you rent from so long as its from an authorized dealership. Things lượt thích flat tire repair usually won’t be covered but these come cheap. A flat tire repair won’t cost you more than 30.000 – 50.000 VND. These dealerships can be found in almost any Vietnamese town or city.

Vendors

Tigit Motorbikes is the largest company for motorbike rentals in Vietnam. They are very reliable và have a large selection of bikes. They offer one way rentals & have drop off points in all the major cities. If you don’t believe us on the Win, kiểm tra their video below for further analysis on these Chinese knockoffs và why you don’t see locals driving them.

Motorvina is another option for bike rentals & drop off. Based in domain authority Nang, they are popular for travelers wanting to do the hai Van pass on a one way journey from da Nang to Hue or vice versa.

Other motorbike dealerships will allow for one way journeys but if they only have one office, you’ll likely be paying a premium for the motorbike khổng lồ be sent back across Vietnam via the trains.