If you want to experience Vietnam the most interactive and special way, think about Vietnam motorbike rental. I will explain different options of bikes, their prices, tips, tricks and advice you should know before signing a contract. From low end to upmarket.
I reality, Vietnam is a motorbike nation and there are currently at least 45 million (yes million) motorbikes in a country of 93 million people. With merely 329,560 square km, you know how the traffic will be! However, most motorbikes you can hire are small displacements and scooters (fully or semi automatic). Below I will explain about Vietnam motorbike rental in Hanoi for scooters expats usually hire as commuters. Big bikes won’t be mentioned because new bikes are not available for rent due to high taxes.
Vietnam Motorbike Rental Low End – Chinese Brands
This is probably the cheapest new bikes and also the crappiest motorbikes available in Vietnam. In reality, they are not the same quality Chinese companies sell in China. The price of a used bike is from 50$US (horrible condition) to 300$US (rideable) while a brand new goes for 700$US with tax and registration. In many reviews about Vietnam motorbike price, it’s fun but expensive experience. However, most tourists buy this kind of bike to ride in Vietnam, they try to save money, do not care about safety. For more details please check this link out.
There are two types: manual (Win 110-125cc) or semi-automatic Wave/Future (110-125cc) and these are the names copied from Honda. Currently, only Win copy has brand new bikes, Wave copy dated back at least 8 years ago. If you rent, the initial prices seem quite cheap (3-5$US/day for Wave or 5-10$US/day for Win depending on conditions). This becomes ridiculously expensive if you look at return money on bike price and performance. You likely spend more time in a garage than riding the bike(s) because the quality is so bad. Worst of all, don’t think about safety when you use these Chinese copies. In the end, if you add up repair cost plus extra gas consumption and/or engine oil then it’s almost as expensive as renting a Japanese Honda product.
My company never considers these as motorbikes and therefore never rents or sells it. Look at the above photo of an old Chinese Win and see if you like it. We say NO to Chinese motorbikes!
Cheap at first, but expensive in the long run. Offer no freedom of mind.
Vietnam Motorbike Rental Mid-End – Japanese & Taiwanese Brands
You can easily rent a motorbike (100-125cc) from many shops in Hanoi. Probably, the most popular model many shops rent is an old (5-15 years old) Yamaha Nouvo. This used to be the first automatic light weight scooter in Vietnam, however, after Honda introduced Air Blade Yamaha’s sale dropped ten times (down to merely 34,000 units) so they had to discontinue this model in late 2016. Meanwhile, Honda Air Blade sale has been rocketing to 368,000 units in 2016. Quality and performance made these two models move in different directions.
The cost of Vietnam motorbike rental for Yamaha Nouvo is typically 40-60$US/month (or 5-10$US/day) but there a few things you should consider:
– Nouvo is hard to start in the early morning;
– It uses a lot of gas (5-6 litres/100km);
– Spare parts are expensive;
– Wheels are usually deformed;
– Brakes are not good and suspension very hard.
Other brands you can hire including Yamaha (Sirius, Jupiter, Grande, Nozza, Acruzo, Janus, Luvias, Mio, Cixi, Classico), Suzuki (Best, Revo, Viva, Axelo, Impulse, Address, Hayate, UA) and SYM (Elegant, Angel, Magic, Galaxy, Amigo, Attila, Passing, Shark, Venus). Expect to pay between 40-100$US per month as a commuter for expats in Hanoi. These prices seem okay but honestly for this money you can select the best choice below.
Reasonable, but a better choice is available. Many bikes are quite old.
Vietnam Motorbike Rental Best Scooter Choice – Honda
Your truly best choice for Vietnam motorbike rental in Hanoi is fortunately very easy. Honda is the best small bike brand for Vietnam so far. In reality, one word says it all: “Honda” means “motorbike” in Vietnamese. You will share the same passion for riding with at least 70% of local motorbike riders. The cost of hiring is from 50$US/month (semi-automatic scooters) to 80-120$US/month (fully automatic scooters). All bikes are the new model, under 4 years old or have less than 30,000km on the clock.
I like Honda in the way that their products are quite consistent, parts are interchangeable between most models. Despite the fact that Honda products don’t have the futuristic design like Yamaha, the core value makes them stand out from the crowd.
Below are a few things explaining why you should choose a Honda scooter like 2/3 of Vietnamese population:
– Start first thing in the morning regardless of weather – really important;
– Engine quality is very good. This is a reputation, not just a rumor;
– Fuel saving (1.5-2.5 litres/100km);
– Spare parts are cheap and easy. Honda has over 700 authorized dealer shops in the country plus thousands of private shops that repair mainly Honda bikes;
– Monthly free service and engine oil change if needed;
– No worry about fuel when you collect the scooters. We give you a full tank and you return full. Some shops earn extra money on left fuel by giving scooters with an empty tank. That’s annoying;
– Brakes are good and suspension smooth.
Look no further. Pay once off and have total freedom of mind! New bikes and low mileage.
Vietnam Motorbike Rental Touring Bikes – Honda Again!
Honda reputation has been around since their first products. That’s unarguable!
Honestly, Honda touring bikes offer a bit less HP than their competitors. However, the quality is really better. I have worked on 1998-2005 Honda XR250’s since 2000 and replaced many pistons and rings on this single model. They ran like champs again. For under 250cc, I didn’t find any brand that is near this quality. If you ride a Honda or work on Honda bikes I think you will know this is the truth. Honda didn’t offer any discount or sponsors my business, I have nothing to exaggerate.
There are many small touring bikes for rent in Hanoi. Other shops provide brands like Yamaha, Benelli, Kawasaki, and KTM but have problems finding parts. You may have to wait quite long to have parts sent to you. With Honda, it’s very easy!
Stick with Honda and you will definitely have fun! Reliable.