MANUAL ROAD BIKES WE ARE PROVIDING
Important: These bikes are not really suitable for riding two up on one bike because of the HP, seat and luggage added. Ideally, riding solo is the best option. If you have to ride two up, relax often and don’t ride long every day, especially after dark or on rainy days.
Depending on the country, the bikes we use as standard are Honda CGL 125cc, Honda CB Super 400cc (upgrades available to 750cc), the Honda 400 Bros, Honda XR 250cc (Enduro) or Yamaha TTR 250cc (Enduro). For less experienced riders we run scooter tours using the Honda Wave (110cc semi-automatic step-through scooters). In Thailand, we have a wide choice of machines but in Cambodia, you should use only dirt bikes due to the nature of the Cambodian roads. Vietnam regulations limited bikes to 175cc until May 2007 and the most commonly used were 100cc, 125cc and 156cc Hondas and the 125cc Russian ‘Minsk’. There are more big bikes available in Vietnam now but with very high taxes, they are not for rent. As of early 2014, we only provide new Honda sport touring CGL 125cc as the standard bike option, no smaller bikes.
Why Choose 4-stroke Engines Road Bikes?
Under Decision No. 249 by the Prime Minister dated October 10, 2005, all road vehicles must meet Euro 2 standard on exhaust fumes, commencing July 1, 2007. Other countries have already deployed Euro 3 and Euro 4.
Vietnam Registration Administration (VRA), said that as of July 1, 2007, VRA would require Euro 2 standard for new vehicle models with internal combustion engines. Models which were manufactured earlier must be upgraded to meet the standard by a later date.
The Euro 2 standard will also be applied to fuel. Currently, all types of oil and petrol circulating in Vietnam still cannot meet the said standard. For example, the sulphur content in diesel is 0.25 PPM, or five times higher than that stipulated by Euro 2, while the ratio is 0.1-0.15 PPM, two or three times higher than the Euro 2 standard. VRA had asked oil and petrol traders to import products that can meet the Euro 2 standard as of July 1, 2007.
If you choose 4-stroke engines, you will save yourselves about half of money on gas and oil while help saving the environment. You will see how local appreciate this at traffic lights!
From 2017, Vietnam will require all motorbike engines to pass Euro 3 emission control.
BIKES WE STOPPED PROVIDING
Many motorbike rental shops in Hanoi still offer the models below or even older. We discontinued these touring motorcycle models because the latest series offer better technology and are more reliable. No shop in Hanoi provides newer touring bikes than we do.
Offroad Vietnam offers motorcycle tours and rental exclusively on Hondas and stopped using Minsk motorbikes in May 2007. The bikes were imported from Indonesia & Japan (Hondas) and the former Soviet Union (Minsks) during the early to late 1990’s.
Hondas are powerful & reliable bikes and we have replaced longer shocks to make them more comfortable for mountain roads. They are very reliable and we service them ourselves before every trip and always in good conditions.
Why not Minsk?
Today Minsks are not popular in the cities anymore. However, there are still some in mountainous areas. In reality, they will soon be replaced by reliable Hondas or cheap Chinese bikes. Nicknamed the “Iron Buffalo” they used to be easy to repair and handle the job well. To be honest, Minsks are a bit weak and prone to breakdowns so Hondas become bikes of choice. Big bikes are a real big waste here in Northern Vietnam. On the other hand, more accidents are likely to happen if we use bigger bikes.
Minsk motorbikes all come from Mr Cuong’s Garage in Hanoi, known as “Doctor Minsk” to both expatriates and locals. His business is staffed with individuals who can cure all the “Iron Buffalo” illnesses. Through his talent and great interest, Mr Cuong has even patented some technical changes and done so on each “Buffalo” to fit Vietnam topography. From 2013, Cuong also stopped providing this bike so basically, Minsk is not available.