The Terrain in Vietnam
Vietnam is mostly good conditioned tarmac and slabbed concrete road. The roads despite being in good condition can be uneven and bouncy. The “quality” of the roads can be considered low, none the less, they are definitely roads.
There are also areas that contain large numbers of potholes, and areas where the road can turn into light gravel or clay (landslides).
- Between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, the roads can be considered “tarmac based”
- Ha Giang in the North can be considered “tarmac based”
- The North East has some light spontaneous offroading
- The North West has some challenging spontaneous offroading
Visit our accessory store to buy the tires that we use at TigitMotorbikes.
Honda Blade 110cc
The Blade’s cruising speed is around 60km/h with a top speed of 90km/h. Tigit opts for cheap and cheerful road tires that can easily be replaced on route.
Drivers don’t have to be overly concerned about driving on flats to reach a mechanic shop. If the tire is destroyed it is no big deal.
Drivers don’t have to be concerned about hitting large nails which destroys a tire, just replace it for around $25.
The Blade has excellent gentle power delivery, perfect for casual driving. There is no need to push the motorbike or the tires to the limit. The idea is to enjoy the scenery on a simple motorbike.
The price – The Blade tire can be found from $12 up to around $25. No major differences in the tires and brands, just get what you are given.
Who it is for – We imagine the Blade rider to stick firmly to the roads. However the Blade is a lightweight machine that can do anything. The locals will be found traversing clay cliff edges on these amazing bikes, all while being fully equipped with road tires.
Honda XR 150cc
The Honda XR 150 is a motorbike that can tackle all terrain relatively well. It is a vehicle of all round compromise for dual sport riding, for the road, for the offroad, for the Enduro.
Tigit equips the Honda XR 150 with Vee Rubber dual sport tires. Best described as 70% road and 30% offroad. Within the tire is heavy duty VEE Rubber inner-tubes to try and protect from easy flats.
Tigit is very satisfied with the performance and longevity of these VEE Rubber tires and we firmly believe they are the best fit for the Honda XR 150.
The price – $60 for one
Who it is for – We imagine the XR rider to stick primarily to the road. However on occasion there might be a nice looking gravel track that captures the drivers attention. With the XR 150 and these VEE Rubber tires, the driver has the freedom to follow their dreams and see what is down that dusty road.
Honda Winner / Yamaha Exciter 150cc
The Winner and Exciter are road motorbikes and as such we equip them with mid-priced Swallow road tires. Extensive testing on our motorbikes reveals that Swallow provides the best value for money when it comes to durability and also resistance against flats. Dropping cheaper than Swallow and we found clients were regularly getting flats on the road, going more expensive than swallow proved not cost-efficient. We settled on this happy medium of a great priced and long-lasting tire.
The price – $60 for one
Who it is for – The Winner and Exciter are locally supported manual motorbikes that should be kept to road journeys.
Honda CRF 250cc
The Honda CRF 250cc is a famous motorbike around the world as an indestructible dual sport. A motorbike equipped to handle the road and rugged terrain. We equip the Honda CRF 250cc with Dunlop d605 tires. These tires can be considerd 70% road and 30% offroad.
For those wanting more aggressive offroad we recommend looking at our Honda CRF 150cc.
The price – $60 for one
Who it is for – The driver of the Honda CRF 250cc should be sticking primarily to roads. However the CRF 250cc allows for the driver to venture off into any countryside lane or narrow track. Following a similar profile and concept to the Tigit Honda XR 150cc, the CRF 250cc is just a higher quality, more powerful version that provides the rider with better control.
Honda CRF 150cc – offroad motorbike
The Honda CRF 150cc is Tigit’s answer for people wanting to ride aggressive offroad and Enduro. Weighing in at 122KG and having similar/better components than the heavier CRF 250cc we decided this was an excellent offroad machine.
As such we have equipped it with Dunlop MX 51. Tigit also equips these motorbikes with Rim Locks to allow for low tire pressure driving without damaging the innertube.
The price – $60 for one
Who it is for – This motorbike is for drivers wanting to go deep into the mud. Stay away from the roads, these tires are not safe on tarmac. Where they will be safe however, is deep in Vietnam’s clay and mud.
Honda CB 500x
The Honda CB 500x is an entry level Honda adventure motorbike. Primarily it is a road motorbike, but it has the larger wheel size and softer suspension aimed at eating up gravel tracks and pot holes. This is where it stops though, and we feel the “adventure motorbike world” is marketed incorrectly and we find clients thinking that these are Enduro machines designed for the mud.
The Honda CB 500x is the perfect motorbike for Vietnam with its abilities to tackle the imperfections of a road based journey.
Stock, the CB 500x comes with Dunlop Trailmax D609, however due to its very short life we replace to the Metzeler Karoo street.
Extensive testing on Tigit Jons behalf comparing many different brands and styles has resulted in the choice of the Metzeler Karoo. Tigit Jon likes the quiet and balanced performance on road surfaces, whilst providing a touch of offroad for the adventure scene. Considered a 70% road and 30% offroad based tire.
Please note, stock and distribution of tires varies in Vietnam. Whilst we develop this model at scale, tires may vary. The Metzeler Karoo is the tire we “want” to use, but sometimes we are limited to what is available within the country.
The price – $200 per tire
Who it is for – The CB 500x is for the traveler wanting a comfortable road based journey. Choose the Honda CB 500x to tackle all the potholes and random gravel sprees that Vietnam has to offer, all whilst riding comfortably and safely at quite some speed.
Setting the tire pressure correctly
Having the correct PSI is vitally important for the performance of the motorbike in regards to handling, the gas consumption, and also the likelihood of getting flats. We recommend checking the PSI daily, to do so purchase a tire gauge from Tigit. Note: no mechanics in Vietnam have PSI gauges and it is common for mechanics to over-inflate tires.
The recommended PSI for all our road based motorbikes is between 20-30 PSI both front and back.
- Low PSI creates heavy handling, increases fuel consumption and increases the chance of flat tires
- High PSI creates a hard ride, reduces grip and puts the driver at risk of innertube blow outs.
- Setting on the low side of normal allows for a softer ride with increased grip
- Setting on the high side of normal allows for a harder ride with reduced grip
For offroad motorbikes, (the Honda CRF 150cc) it is equipped with purpose made offroad tires with hard walls. Combined with RIM locks to avoid the inner-tube sliding around at low pressures. For serious offroad riding the PSI can be dropped to 12-15 PSI.