Vietnam – Buying a motorbike


If you decide to buy a used bike, make sure you always check a few things before you buy:

  • Engine: Put the bike on the center stand, start the engine, and go for it. Listen to anything that does not sound right like clicks, scratching etc.. Make sure the engine is fit for the drive otherwise this could get expensive.
  • Breaks: Same time you check the Engine make sure you give the breaks a test too. They are your security so make sure they work properly.
  • Lights: Make sure all the lights work, front, back, indicators, break light etc.
  • Gears: Depends what type of motorbike you buy (automatic, semi-automatic, manual) you should also check all gears. Best is always to test drive the bike.
  • Horn: yep check that too, make sure its sounds annoying and loud, I´m not joking in Vietnam this is your safety guard! It tells other drivers “watch out I´m here too, so f… don´t run me over” The use of the horn in Asia is more a resource to make other drivers aware you are there and get there attention.
  • Speed Meter: Its hard to go over the speed limit in Vietnam, especially if you are in the city and most bikes in vietnam don´t have working ones. But it is not a big deal to get it fixed if it bugs you. One of our bikes failed to have a working one and it was done in around 15-20min.
  • Fuel: check if your fuel indication works, I find it very important to have that otherwise you have to count km every time you get fuel. I never wait till the last drop but I would fail to remember to check it.
  • Tires: Check if the tires are still ok and not to worn out, otherwise you have to get new ones. Also check if nothing wobbles and runs smoothly.
  • Mirrors: They are handy to have but most bikes miss one maybe even both. they are easy to replace. just make sure they fixed properly otherwise you have to adjust them all the time. If the thread is worn out, as it was with one of mine, good mechanics have a little trick. They put a small metal plate in there and then put the mirror in. It sits bulletproof now.

Nothing in Vietnam is very expensive compared to Europe if you have to repair your bike but if you can find a few faults you can get the price down or if you buy it from a dealer they mostly fix it for you at no cost. So make sure you have a closer look and are happy with what you buy.
Also you get what you pay for, if you buy a cheap scooter like we did for 275$USD then you should know that you have to do oil changes best every 500km and maybe repair a few faults on the way. If you want one that´s a no brainer prices start from around 600$USD

Good Luck 🙂