Buying a motorbike in Hue and exploring the beauties of the country sounds like the adventure you’d like to jump on? If you think that it’s nearly impossible, just stop a bit and continue reading!
Why the Motorbike is Best in Hue?
While Hue is really small, places of interest are spread throughout the city. If you’re planning on walking around Hue, you may nd you’re limited to the tourist trail of the Citadel and the backpacker’s area. Motorbikes and bicycles are the only forms of transport available for anyone with a thirst for autonomy. Once you’re riding around, the city is your…clam. Everywhere is accessible at a fraction of the cost of a taxi or private car hire.
Motorbikes have two seats! Share a bike with another traveller, take a partner or even pick up a hitchhiker. Freedom on where you travel. Freedom on who you’re with.
The roads in Hue are particularly poor compared to other cities throughout Vietnam. Firstly, the age of the city means that roads don’t cope well with heavy trac. Secondly, a large amount of recent construction on the water infrastructure system means that a lot of roads have been dug up and have
yet to be properly repaved. Cars drive slowly through these roads when they receive heavy trac and it’s doubly daunting for cyclists.
The motorbike doesn’t incur the same sensual restrictions as a car. A full panoramic of your surroundings without the intrusion of a car roof. The wind in your face. The fragrances and miasmas up your nostrils. This is Vietnam.
Where to buy a motorbike in Hue?
It is not wise to use the small backstreet rental companies, this is where the scams start to happen such as overcharging for scratches. Just remember the good rental companies take their reputation incredibly seriously and the chances of a bad motorbike or a failed holiday are slim.
For Chinese motorbikes the options are Craigslist, Travelswop, Hostels and Facebook groups when looking to buy a motorbike in Hoi An.
Craigslist is mostly the smaller dealers with nearly no reputation promoting the same motorbikes over and over again. They are a quick and easy way to find a cheap motorbike, but it should be expected that the quality is not particularly high.
They are mostly flipping motorbikes for a quick buck. The price will be higher than a backpacker to backpacker sale, but even the shady dealers avoid the completely useless motorbikes. Combining the time they save by stocking motorbikes all in one place, and removing the completely broken down rubbish means that there is some value to their service. Keep an eye out for people “delivering motorbikes for free”, this is never going to end well.
A mostly broken and outdated website that still ranks highly in google. The Hoi An companies have manipulated the system so they always appear at the top. This website is now providing nearly no value to help buy a motorbike.
Top Motorbike Rental And Sale in Hue
There are several great rental companies within Hue. They offer rentals within the city, one-way rentals to and from other cities, and guided tours. Listed below are the top motorbike rental shops in Hue. But I recommend these fews stores as the quality of motorbikes are quite good and easy to find:
Hue Motorbike Adventure
Tel: 0985 005 113
Address: 29c/103 Nhat Le .Hue
Motorbike rental Hue Mr Tien
Tel: 0935 3737 35
ADD: 29c Chu Van An Street, Hue City.
Cheap motorbike rental in Hue
Hotline: 0543828951 – 0234 3828951
ADD: 48 Le Loi str, Hue city, Vietnam.
Motorbike rental and Car Form Mr Hoang
As well as short-term motorbike rental, Hoang also buys and sells motorbikes to both the local populationand travellers passing through. If you’re looking for a motorbike to take you through the rest of your trip inVietnam,
Hoang can find you a bike that will suit all your needs. As of recently, Hoang can also organise carrentals although drivers must have an international license. All information is available on Hoang’s website
ADD: 201 Tran Phu, Hue, Vietnam
Hotline: +84787528677 (whatsapp)
Things to Check Before Buying a Motorbike in Hue
So now you know where to buy a motorbike and which types of motorbikes are the most usual in Hue City, Vietnam! It’s time to go into details and talk about the things you should pay attention to when testing the motorbike.
Check the condition of both tires. You can put the price down if the tires are well-used and you should change the used tires as the roads can be very slippery in some sections.
Front and rear signals are working?
Front and rear lights are working? Does the brake indicator on the back work?
Always check out the condition of your horn and loudness level of it! It’s one of the most important things on your motorbike!
When doing a test drive, try out your brakes and get a feeling of tightness. It can be fixed easily since the mechanic just needs to adjust the cables and wheel.
Try to turn on the motorbike with kickstart and on the electric starter.
Drive a bit and leave the motorbike on the stand. When the engine gets a bit warmer, you shouldn’t see any oil leaks below.
Put the bike on the center stand and rotate the rear wheel to see if it’s centered.
Drive in all gears and check out if there is an anomaly when changing the gears. The gears should change without much effort and you can also put in the neutral gear once you’re in 1st and 2nd gear (manual bikes).
Another great tip when buying is to have a local friend who knows people and who can help you with negotiating the price. Believe us, the language barrier can be a deal breaker here!
Typical Cost of Motorbike Repairs
There’s no point denying the fact that your motorbike is going to break down. It’s inevitable. Here are some of the common breakdowns and how much you should expect to pay.
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Here are the usual prices of the repairs, so you can notice when someone wants to rip you off:
- Oil change with chain lubricating, tightening and brake adjusting – up to 120k
- Spark plug – 70k
- Flat tire (inner tire) – 100k
- Changing the inner and outer tire – 300k
- Battery – 250k – 350k
- Suspension – 300k
- Brake pads – 100k
- Exhaust – 250k
- Front light – 200k
- Backlight – 100k
- Chain – 150k
- Carburetor – 250k
- Cylinder – 400k
- Brake or clutch handle – 70k
- Set of mirrors – 90k
- Changing the clutch – 500k
- Front rim – 300k
- Back rim – 500k
- Complete new gearbox – around 1 mil
- Alternator – 200k
Always ask for the price up front as a mechanic won’t be able to manipulate you on your ignorance. Once the price is set, Vietnamese respect it and they won’t change it. Just take a look at the prices above so you know what’s the usual price for the parts. With that knowledge, you’ll have a good starting point for bargaining.
Which Motorbike Should I Buy?
Here I will give you the common motorbike options. In short, the best motorbike in Hoi An, Vietnam for me was the Honda Win, but that might not be to everyone’s liking.
Honda Dream, full-automatic, 100cc scooter. Price Range USD 200-300
Honda Wave, semi-automatic 100cc motorbike. Price Range: USD 200-300
Russian Minsk, clutch 125cc motorbike. Price Range USD 400+
Honda Win, clutch 110-125cc motorbike. Price Range USD 300-400
Although automatics are made by real companies such as Yamaha or SYM, in the $300.
Honda Wave & Honda Dream
If you want to go out looking incompetent and not looking a real biker then you can go for the Honda Wave or Dream. You get a nice comfy seat and a bike that changes gears easy. Really though, where is the fun in that? Would you really have motorbikes Vietnam or just scooter’d it?
The best motorbike in Hoi An, Vietnam is no doubt the Honda Win. It has the best value for money and provides the best riding quality. With the Honda Win, you will be accepted by fellow riders as having a real motorbike. Importantly, the Honda Win will also offer that clutch control needed to ride the high mountain passes in northern Vietnam.
The Honda Win will break down as all motorbikes in Vietnam do. However, in the long run, the Honda Win in Vietnam is truly indestructible. Replacing a chain will cost up to $5 and even blowing up an engine will only cost $50 each time.
A fake Honda Win is the most usual bike that travelers choose. This one is Sufat that is made in North Vietnam and it was kinda reliable.
Backpackers usually go for ‘Honda’ Win. Please note that the original Honda Win is hard to find since Honda stopped to produce these bikes almost ten years ago. They sold that series to Chinese and Vietnamese companies, so now, you have many different versions of Win motorbike. None of these bikes is Honda since real Honda Win will cost you around $1000.
Funny fact: Antonio got his bike as a gift in Hanoi!
A ‘Honda’ Win’s price usually goes from $150 – $500. We advise you to not go for the cheapest one since these bikes have so many kilometers under the belt and you can expect many breakdowns on the road with the cheapest ones. Instead, aim for the bikes that are in $300 price range. You can get a decent manual bike in that range!
There are many different brands of Wins now, but from experience, we think Sufat and new Detech (2016+) are the most reliable. Antonio was driving Sufat from Hanoi to Saigon without any significant problems on the machine.
The only problem he had was the electric, so he had issues with starting a bike sometimes. Also, the indicators usually don’t work on these bikes, so be careful when it comes to checking the fuel. His Sufat left him without the gas in the most remote areas few times!
Don’t be like Antonio and always fill your tank!
We found out that semi-automatic bikes are very reliable but slightly more expensive than manuals. Lovel was driving Honda Wave, and he didn’t have any major breakdowns except broken chain and few problems with a gearbox that he changed on the road.
The bike is cruising like a charm, and you can easily reach 90 km/h which is ideal for many roads around the country. The indicators work, so you don’t need to worry about fuel consumption. Also, the bike has a lot of strength so climbing on the steep mountains won’t cause obstacles to a well-maintained Wave. The Waves are delightful and comfortable to drive, but be careful that you’re buying a real Honda since there are many versions of Chinese waves as Lifan.
Yamaha Sirius and Taurus are another good to go semi-automatic bikes, but they will cost a bit more, and their fuel consumption isn’t as good as Wave. So if you’re thinking about buying a semi-automatic, definitely go for a Wave.
An automatic type of motorbike is the most suitable for total beginners who never had any experience with the bikes or people who don’t want to think about changing the gears while focusing on chaotic traffic around.
Automatic bikes aren’t the most comfortable bikes and there is not much space, so prepare for a bent back and be ready to put some money for a massage here and there.
Also, when hitting the hills with an automatic, you will obviously have a much harder time as you have no control over the transmission. Driving on the challenging Ho Chi Minh Trail was really slow on this bike.
David was driving SYM Atilla along the way and he passed 3,500 km with the bike without a single breakdown! Without a single breakdown, you heard it right!
He even didn’t have a flat tire or broken chain. Literally nothing except changing the oil every 1,000 kilometers.
Here and there, you may end up with some slight issues with the electric starter, but that’s not a permanent issue. Also, this bike has a kickstart for situations like this.
If you’re thinking about getting an automatic bike, then we advise you to go with SYM Atilla or Honda Lead (a bit more expensive) as these bikes are very reliable, but once they break down, you will have a hard time to find a mechanic who can help you!
Tags: Buy motorbike in Hue