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Buying Vs Renting Motorbikes In Vietnam – Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental

BUYING vs RENTING MOTORBIKES

Buying vs renting motorbikes in Vietnam is probably a hard decision, many people don’t know what to choose because of many options and availability. Below are the details and facts that we would like to point out to help you decide what is the better thing to do in buying vs renting motorbikes.

Some tourists complained about Vietnam having crappy bikes. In fact, they selected the wrong (cheaper) choice, trying to save money. There are better choices but like anywhere else you have to stretch your budget!

Cheap Motorbikes

If you buy bikes, the cheapest is a Chinese copy of a Honda Win 110cc. Most tourists to Vietnam bought this bike simply because they are on budget or dealers cheated them by the name. Instead of saying “Chinese Win“, dishonest sellers advertised “Honda Win“. This copy is very unreliable that offers only 7 HP. We are not using or selling this model because we evaluate our customers’ safety more than cash. However, we will cover more details about Chinese bikes below. Chinese Win is, in fact, the worst in buying vs renting motorbikes. A bad copy that rode up and down the country many times will be very dangerous: horrible steering, leaking oil, dead bearings and engine that burns oil etc!

Honestly, you likely spend more time in garages than ride this Chinese Win. In the end, it’s not a “Chinese Win” but a “Chinese Loose”!

Quality Motorbikes

If you prefer to rent motorcycles just to save the headache of purchasing and then figuring out how to sell them when you’re done then you need a bit more budget. You can also probably rent something nicer than what you could afford to buy. To be honest, when you rent a bike, you are likely checking every bit to make sure they work, all want the best quality product. On the other hand, when people buy a bike (mostly because of budget issues) they tend to ignore the risk and accept very low-quality standards that are unacceptable in your home country. We used to provide older Honda GL160 and our customers suggested we should use the new models that we are providing now. A big “no no” to Chinese copy. Sorry if we are too straight to say this.

Real Touring Bikes

There are bigger motorcycles from companies like KTM, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Honda, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph and Royal Enfield etc. But it’s not practical to mention because they cost between 10,000$US to as much as over 100,000$US each. Vietnam charges 120% taxes or more for imported touring bikes above 125cc. These big bikes won’t help in buying vs renting motorbikes in Vietnam.

Riding two up?

In reality, none of our bikes is really suitable for riding two up. If you ride double, the pillion passenger won’t feel comfortable and there is not enough room for rider’s legs. This is sadly an honest statement. A standard touring motorbike for two people is from 650cc and this is very expensive in Vietnam due to 120% taxes. FYI, a new Kawasaki Versys 650cc is 14,000$US!!! That’s ways too much for business. Do you accept this crazy price? We have to be realistic about buying vs renting motorbikes here.

BUYING MOTORBIKES

There are usually more motorbikes for sale in Hanoi than Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The main reason could be most of the riders were inspired by BBC’s Vietnam Top Gear Special and choose to ride the same route. In addition, the roads are easier (though more crowded) in the Southern part of the country and are more beautiful (yet challenging) in the Northern part of Vietnam with higher mountains. Most want to save the best for the last. Below is a typical Chinese Win for sale by most shops in Vietnam or other tourists.

Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental - Buying Vs Renting Motorbikes In Vietnam. Chinese copy Win 100, 100cc for sale in hanoi, Vietnam

Availability

Most of touring motorbikes you can buy now are either new or used Chinese copycats of the famous Honda Win. They usually come with an 110cc electric start, 4 speeds and cost between 150-400$US (used) or 500-600$US (new). Many dealers advertised “Honda Win” but in fact, it’s a Chinese copy ( a copy is a copy, that must be clear!). Check the registration paper and look for “Honda” as the brand, if different that’s a Chinese generic product. One easy thing to know if it’s a Chinese or not is to look for the electric start, the Japanese Honda only came with kick start and Chinese copies has both electric and kick starts. The quality of Chinese parts is pretty poor, especially the braking system! If you think your life costs that amount of money then go for it.

Prices

Japanese manual touring motorbikes are also available but cost much more.

Starting from the smallest Honda Win 100cc. This bike was discontinued in early 2000’s and costs 500-1000$US (used) or over 2,000$US (new). Only kick start version was available, it never came with electric start. This bike is on the top list of many Vietnamese collectors.

Then come the under-bone manual clutch used bikes and new touring bikes that serve a wide range of budgets. The cheapest is a used FX125 that goes for around 300-400$US. A new 2013 Suzuki Raider 150cc costs 2,300$US while a Yamaha Exciter 135cc – 150cc costs between 2,000$US and 2,500$US. From June 2016, Honda Vietnam launched Honda Winner 150cc which costs about 2,200$US with registration.

A real touring bike is very expensive because most of them are imported products. Note that Vietnam has a luxury tax of 20% in addition to the standard import tax of 90% so bikes over 125cc cost much more than below 125cc. Many people don’t know this when they look at prices. Expect to pay 500-1000$US for a used 125-150cc touring bike or from 2,500$US for a new bike.

We only sell our used motorbikes (Japanese Honda XR250) that we don’t use to upgrade to newer or bigger motorcycles. We don’t specialize in dealing with second-hand motorbikes or offer a buy back option.

Quality

Needless to say, a Chinese copy is the worst everywhere. In Vietnam, the standard is lower than in China so Chinese bikes in Vietnam are not Chinese bikes in China. This means they are the cheapest possible so you can imagine how the quality will be. You can’t get a good quality if you pay less.

Japanese bikes are almost the same everywhere. They have to pass many quality checks and regulations (safety, emission, lights, braking etc.). Even Honda bikes made in China are far better than Chinese best products.

What do you need?

You need to know mechanic basics and to be ready for any challenge on the road. If you buy a used motorbike, you likely need to do some service before you start because this bike just completes a long trip. Check our other links on this website to plan your own trip.

Why buy?

When you want to save money and accept lower standards or travel long days through many countries.

We do sell some used Japanese Honda motorbikes (no Chinese copy cat) and you could follow this link to find out more.

You may still wonder “How bad is a Chinese Win?”, check this link out before you decide on buying vs renting motorbikes.

HIRING MOTORBIKES

When you rent a touring bike in Vietnam, you likely get more support and advice from professional motorbike rental outfits. Most of the bikes are Japanese products (though a few shops still offer Belorussian Minsk or cheap Chinese Win fakes). One-way rental costs more due to shipping of the bikes back to the original destination. Believe it or not, Vietnam is in fact still among the cheapest countries to hire a touring bike.

Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental - Buying Vs Renting Motorbikes In Vietnam. Sport touring and off-road motorbike for rent in Hanoi, Vietnam

Available bikes

Most of the motorbikes for rent are new and in good conditions (of course not the Chinese copies). There are more (and better) manual touring and off-road motorbikes in Hanoi than in Ho Chi Minh City. 125cc is the standard but you can have bigger bikes of 150cc, 230cc, 250cc and even 400cc. Most of our customers rent the 125cc or 250cc dirt bikes as they offer more power (11 or 28HP) and the best suspension. Please click on this link to find a bike for your motorbike adventure in Vietnam.

Support

Most rental shops provide a tool kit and basic spare parts that you can take during the rental contract. The newer bikes are a better choice and save you in the long run (less fuel consumption, fewer repairs and more power). We provide full support, tool kit, spare parts, tips, road rules and advice to make your holiday one of the most memorable vacations. We are with you on the road!

Safety motorbike riding gear

It’s best fit to bring your own gear. We also hire riding gear for 3$US/person/day and a typical set includes an HJC helmet, gloves, protective clothes or pads as seen at this link.

What do you need?

You need to know mechanic basics or we can show you when you collect the motorbike(s) and plan ahead. Check our other links on this website to plan your own trip and contact us if you need further details.

Why rent?

For the freedom of mind, not to worry about buying and selling a bike, no need to service motorbikes before or at the end of the trip. Just grab one and enjoy Vietnam!

CONCLUSION

Making a decision of buying vs renting motorbikes is not easy. You get what you pay for. Many repair shops in Vietnam have good mechanics but you likely pay more when you need some repair works. Therefore, get the more reliable bike may save you in the long run and your bike won’t break your holidays! Taxes may go down and more touring motorbikes will be assembled or made in Vietnam that makes it more affordable but that’s the story of the future.

To have an idea how Japanese motorbikes manage off road riding while Chinese bikes can’t, please watch a video here.

That’s it, straight forward thoughts and hopefully, you could make your decision easier. For more information, please contact us.

Top of page Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental - Buying Vs Renting Motorbikes In Vietnam

  1. Dave Perkes Reply

    I hired a Honda Baja 250 from your co a few years ago. Did 2,000 km round trip to Ha Giang. It was a spectacular experience. My 2 friends on road bikes were regretting it on the poor roads. I had a blast!

    Spares kit and information was good; however could have done with better luggage than just a small rack. At that time a 250 was considered a big bike so i was the centre of attraction.

    Only problem with bike was the rubbish digital display that totally failed after a day; so had no idea of distance; thankfully on of my friends had GPS. Of course now Google Maps make travel so much easier.

    I would love to be able to ride my Africa Twin from Cambodia; in Vietnam but i understand that’s not possible.

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Hello Dave. It’s very hard to bring your Africa Twin to Vietnam because that’s a very big bike. However, some people managed to bring bikes into Vietnam at the end of the working hours and with some pocket money. Sadly, we have no specific confirmation so don’t know how things work.

  2. klaus thürnau Reply

    Good morning,
    just a question: Is there any chance to bring your own private motorcycle into Vietnam for a self-guided tour?
    The motorcycle is registered in Thailand and got all the legal documents to pass borders.
    Would be nice to get a feedback.

    Thanks and regards
    Klaus

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Sadly, you need a permit from the Vietnamese government. It’s very complicated, time-consuming and expensive and therefore we don’t assist in getting this permit. Some people tried their luck at the border and some did work out, usually after business hours.

  3. Michael Reply

    Hello. Are Honda c90s available to buy in Vietnam? I am interested in buying a couple and shipping them to the UK. Thanks, Mike.

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Sorry, this bike was imported from Japan as used bikes and currently is not available in Vietnam. Used bikes are also on collectors’ list so sorry we couldn’t help.

  4. matt Reply

    Don you buy bikes?
    I have a nouvo but I’m not getting along with it, and I’m looking for a 50cc automatic or to just buy a mountain bike.

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Hello Matt. Sorry we use only Japanese Honda, no Chinese copy or other brands. Used Nouvo scooters are very bad quality (you already knew this) and sadly we never use them. We sell scooters to upgrade to a newer fleet when they are up to 3 years old or 30,000km. Sadly, nothing for sale at the moment.

  5. Rhys Reply

    Hello Anh Wu.
    We have booked our flights to Hanoi!
    We will be arriving 23 April 2015. Only 2 of us are coming now tho.
    We are hoping to go on a tour or get a guide to take us around and have some fun.
    Most likely 5 or 6 days touring would be good.
    Do we simply turn up and come find you or do we organise things first?
    Cheers, Rhys

  6. Rhys Reply

    We r coming for 7 days. We want to ride from Hanoi to ha long bay.
    We want to higher 3 bikes and riding gear.
    Do your guided tours go where we want when we want or do we have to follow your schedule?
    Is it possible for u to give us to pay for a guide for the time we r there?
    Because of the very short time we r there how can we organise licences very quickly.
    Two of us have motorbike licences and all three of us r very experienced and very good on and off road bike riders.

    Thanx for your help. We r planing to come end of April

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Hello Rhys. Sadly, you can’t get a local license if you travel on a tourist visa and have no business visa and a work permit. Even if you have these documents, you need to wait 7-10 days for the license to be processed. In addition, from Hanoi to Halong Bay and back you only ride on boring and deadly highways. We would prefer to take our customers off the touristy destinations in guide books and places like Sapa and Halong Bay etc. are on our *avoid* list. Therefore, we would recommend you to find an alternative way (like bus or group tours).

      • Rhys Reply

        We are very happy to go places recommended by you.
        Is there no way for us to ride a bike with you if we can’t get a Vietnamese license?
        Do you know if the international license will be accepted in Vietnam by April?

        • Rhys Reply

          Sorry to waste your time. I have now read your page on licenses and fully understand.
          We will be very pleased to go on a tour with your company in late April this year.
          When I have confirmed dates for travel I will contact you.
          Thank you

  7. peter kearns Reply

    Hi I am coming to Hanoi around the 20th of December 2014. I am looking to renting a 250 cc Honda trail bike. I would like to have a one way rental to Hoh Chi Min. I have a Australian motorcycle licence.
    I think we would rather go on our own than doing a guided tour as my wife and I have many years travel experience. We both would like to spend a lot of time on the coast. Could you please help me out with the cost of a bike some recommended routes and insurance and licence issues.

    Kind regards.

    Peter

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Hello Peter. We are based in Hanoi only and unfortunately have not provided one-way motorbike hire yet. Sorry we couldn’t assist this time. Thanks.

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