110cc VS 125 cc VS 150cc the delusions

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110cc VS 125 cc VS 150cc the delusions

Genuine motorbikes are more powerful than the equivalent Chinese copies.

This article is all about the power of the motorbike, however if you use a genuine motorbike from a reputable company, then all the motorbikes will have enough power to tackle any road Vietnam can throw at you. A 110cc genuine Honda Blade for touring Vietnam can carry 2 people and luggage across Vietnam without skipping a beat.

The Cubic centimetre

CC or cubic centimetres is used to determine engine displacement, in other words it determines the size of the engine. The “CC” of a motorbike can affect the power of the vehicle, but it is not the only factor to consider. A 110cc is not necessarily slow!

Within Vietnam and dealing with motorbikes on a mass scale reveals some very noticeable differences between companies. Honda motorbikes appear to have at least another 1/4 power over the equivalent Yamaha competition on nearly every model. A Honda motorbike in Vietnam will easily outperform any Yamaha equivalence in terms of power.

A Chinese motorbike will be roughly half the power of the equivalent genuine Honda motorbike. For example for a Chinese motorbike to match a 110cc Honda motorbike, the power would need to be around 200cc on paper!

The age and upkeep of the motorbike is probably the most important element of revealing the true power of the machine. An old and badly maintained motorbike can lose its power! It is common to drive two exact same models of motorbikes and to feel an enormous difference between the two. Try and find two Yamaha Nouvo scooters with the same power!

A simple and easy way to demonstrate this test within our garage is to try a second hand Honda Wave 110cc and compare it to one of our 110cc Honda Blades. The Wave will lack around 25% of its acceleration in comparison to the modern Honda Blade 110cc.

The illusion of Chinese Honda Win motorbikes and 110cc being ok!

Chinese Wins are sold on the backpacker market for a variation of 110cc to 135cc motorbikes.  Whilst there may be a small power gap between 110cc and 135cc, it should be noted that a 135cc Chinese motorbike is still going to be less powerful than a genuine 110cc Honda motorbike.
Power aside, a 110cc motorbike (even a Chinese one) will have enough power to carry two people and luggage across Vietnam!

The illusion of 125cc motorbikes.

Perhaps an even bigger deception is the use and promotion of Honda 125cc motorbikes, often compared and confused with equivalent Thailand models. In Vietnam the 125cc semi automatic is a luxury vehicle, the Honda Future 125cc is an expensive scooter! Rental companies will pickup old Honda Future 125cc or purchase the “x” which is an entry level model in order to try and persuade backpackers into business by promoting a 125cc Future instead of the 110cc Wave.

In reality a proper 125cc Honda semi-automatic is over and above a normal traveler rental budget. An expensive and luxury vehicle where wear and tear, crashes, and any other mishaps are above and beyond a standard rental budget.

A 110cc Honda Semi-automatic has bag loads of power and a top speed of 90Km/H. For a normal traveler this motorbike classification is more than enough!

The power of a 150cc motorbike.

150cc is the maximum power class in Vietnam before heading into the world of specialist A2 licenses. This means that the 150cc motorbikes have been optimized with power in mind, and built around the idea that this really is the maximum we can do in Vietnam. Every inch of efficiency is squeezed out of these machines and this shines through in performance. The Yamaha Exciter, Honda Winner and  Suzuki Raider have huge amounts of power and torque that leaves experienced riders in bewilderment at how such a small engine capacity can pack a huge, big punch. Power to weight ratio is important and the local manual motorbikes are built with weight saving in mind.

The Honda XR and traditional foreigner styled motorbikes have large frames and are sluggish in relation to the local styled motorbikes. This is part of the reason imported motorbikes are not that popular on the streets of Vietnam.
However all the 150cc models can provide entertainment, and none of them are lacking in the power department!

The majority of the Hanoi tour companies have made the switch from the 250cc models down to the Honda XR 150. These companies do know what they are doing (most of the time) and it is worth bearing in mind and respecting the models that they select.

 

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  1. carlos martinez says:

    Hey there. I’m interested in buying an Exciter 150 or Honda Winner 150. Do you sell them…?how much would it be…? Can you fit a Top Box in the rear rack? Or Givi saddlebags?
    Tks beforehand.

    • Jon - TigitMotorbikes says:

      Sorry for the delay in reply.

      We sell Winners / Exciters at
      $1500 at around 40,000km.

      Due to high season they are currently all booked. But will become available again mid November.

  2. Joe says:

    Actually, the maximum is 175cc before you need an A2 license. Not 150cc. Honda 25% faster than Yamaha? I don’t think so. A Sirius is much faster than a Wave.

  3. uGAGO says:

    You should learn the difference between a motorcycle and a scooter