The fuel gauge question: We’ve both got full tanks, she has done more driving but why is my gauge lower than hers?
The fuel gauge gives an idea of how much gas is left in the tank. It is not particularly accurate from bike to bike. The gauge relies on a buoy to tell the level of fuel left. It changes a little bit when the bike is tilted at different angles. For example, have a motorbike placed on the big stand may give a different reading to the small stand.
Do certain motorbike colors attract police? Because in my country (USA) if you drive a red car you’re likely to get more attention.
Not at all. There are just too many motorbike colours in Vietnam. The Winner and Exciter are in red, yellow, blue, orange, and camo as well. If anything then it’s those cafe racers and customer motorbike projects that attract most attention from the police.
Can I attach a trailer to the bike and carry our bags in it?
Funny thing is that years ago the Vietnamese did use to use trailers. We use to attach some sort of a carriage behind a 67′ and called it “xe lôi”. But now “xe lôi” is banned and considered an illegal modification – attaching anything behind a car/bike – is illegal to the Vietnam traffic law.
Why is the rental price here, higher than in Malaysia?
Not just the bike rental price. Many other things too. Beats me if I know. Markets are markets.
Why do Vietnamese people ride like they want to die?
I think it’s because traffic in Vietnam is so slow, so even when you get into a traffic accident it’s not fatal enough to be worrying too much (just in theory). Why do foreigners always want to drive to fast like they want to die?
Relax and take it easy, that’s the way we roll.
You can’t listen to music while driving? Why?
Same reason why you shouldn’t text while driving.
It’s not safe to leave the key on the bike? Why?
Third world country. People takes helmets if you leave it too. Leaving the key is like doing charity work.
This part looks rusty am I gonna get charged for that?
The motorbike dealers in Vietnam have a bad reputation. A lot of this comes from Thailand where there are genuine scams along these lines. Mostly in Vietnam, the businesses are at least trying to do good business.
I think because this is a developing country, foreigners sometimes automatically assume it is a budget operation on a shoe string budget. Can promise you, we don’t need to make money through scams.
Where do I get a cafe racer bike?
You make one yourself? Or buy from a garage who does custom jobs. Those kind of bikes are not popular in Vietnam.
These days a “cafe racer” is just a changed seat and gas tank. Maybe $100 of work maximum. It is a good scam to get money from foreigners who are looking for a “cool” motorbike. Buy a piece of rubbish, make it look cool and then sell it.
Why when I stomp on the rear brake does it lock up the wheel?
1000$ bikes don’t come with Automatic Breaking Systems. (ABS)
Why are you stomping on the rear brake anyway?
Do you know where I am likely to get punctures?
Anywhere in Vietnam. I just can’t tell.
Fortune tellers are popular in Vietnam though!
It says on Google Maps there’s only 32hrs of driving between HCM and Hanoi!
That’s 32 hours of driving constantly. Some will try to argue that “but I have 4/5/6/7 days”. From my point of view, unless you’re a real crazy petrolhead and want an extreme hardcore motorbike holiday, spending 4-8hours of driving per day is no fun and extremely exhausting. Also, you will need proper gears and motorcycles for that, not sneakers and scooters. We recommend 20-25 days for a normal enjoyable motorbike holidays between HCM – HN.
This is also a highway route – there is no point coming to this beautiful country just to sit on the highway.
Enjoy shorted scenic routes if time is short. Then come back to Vietnam another time for a round two!
Should I wear flipflops or shoes??
Do you care about your feet or not?
Subjective question of course, and I am not your mum. Yes backpackers often wear flipflops in Vietnam, but no it is not safe or sensible. The first part of your body to help control a bad situation is likely to be your feet. Take those out of the equation and there is not much else to save you from the fall to be.
Wearing shoes is a good idea. If you don’t, I will tell your mum.
Is it safe to drive in Vietnam?
Another difficult and subjective question that is impossible to answer! Yes and No I suppose.
Motorbikes are not safe at the best of times, but Vietnamese people do drive incredibly slowly – so whilst crashes are common, it is normal and expected to walk away again relatively problem free.
What I can say is that driving a motorbike in Vietnam is not the same as driving a motorbike back in your world. The driving is much worse here and roads are more chaotic… but the driving speeds are unbelievably slow.
I suppose the best way to explain it is – imagine if all the cars back in your home country where changed to little go-karts.
One question: Is skiing or snowboarding safe? I have never done it!
Is my butt going to hurt?
Yes….. The rides are long and unless you are used to sitting on a motorbike all day then your butt is likely to hurt. However it does not take long to get used it, and hurt butts are rarely a major area for complaints.
What happens if I run out of Gas?
The bike stops moving.
Go fill it up.
Even in the most remote locations of Vietnam, local villages stock spare gas that is for sale. You may need to pay a premium, but there is always gas around!
It it going to rain alot on my holiday?
A fair question on the surface, but no I am not a weather forecast.
Guide books try to standardise the Vietnamese weather into “high season” and “low season”. In real life, Vietnam has random weather patterns, the south, middle and north all have different seasons. Where one area may be hot, another area may be cold.
Vietnam is also prone to getting hit by storms. When a storm hits the entire country gets rained on. Although rain can be a dampener on the holiday, Vietnamese tropical storms can be beautiful and entertaining. Rivers and waterfalls flood and locals come up with inventive ways to get around the problem. The holiday can still be enjoyed!
Is it possible to learn Vietnamese?
Please, give it a go! I will respect you for trying…
However Vietnamese is impossible and very few foreigners can successfully speak it.
Are you one of those few?