The Detech Honda Win manual

The Detech Honda Win manual
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The Honda Win and Google Searches

Locals use the Win for transporting, not because they’re reliable, but cheap and don’t need to bother much if confiscated by the police

A simple google of “Honda Win” will reveal the reputable sources and their opinions on the Honda Win motorbike. Most of us won’t touch the motorbike, the risk of reputation damage is not worth it. Some reputable places will stock it to get people in the door, but they don’t actually want backpackers to buy it.
At Tigit we do not use the Honda Win. We deal with genuine motorbikes for travelling Vietnam.

The truth about the Honda Win.

The Honda Win is a toy motorbike. A $600 piece of garbage that is so bad, it does not exist anywhere else in the world.

“Ah but Sufat Honda Win is made in Vietnam”.

Let Tigit explain:  Before Sufat it was Ferroli, before Ferroli is was Mekado before Mekado…. well it was real bikers and this Chinese stuff didn’t exist until the top gear Vietnam special came along.

Common marketing tactics. As a brand gets tarnished we move onto the next “brand” and say it is better than all the others models because ….. “insert sales pitch”.

The Win is unreliable, unpredictable and generally expensive to fix. Even if they do work, they will never drive properly and have no handling and no build quality!

It is the new drivers who end up on these motorbikes. New drivers have no comparison to compare from driving a real motorbike. A shame in our eyes to see backpackers missing out on an amazing opportunity to drive a good motorbike through some of the greatest mountain roads in the world.

Buy a cheap Honda Win

Lets assume a Honda Win purchased for $250!

Assume a 2000km journey. 2000km/300km (suggested oil changes) = 6 times at 4usd a time. Total = $24
Breakdowns (realistically) between $50 and $100. Will continue this maths with $50 on the low end.
Expected sale value (leaving country quickly) = $150,   Purchase value less the sale value, $250-150 = $100

$100 (loss on sale) + $24 (oil changes) + $50 maintenance = $174 total expense

This is excluding the maths on the useless gas consumption of a Chinese motorbike over a 2000km journey against an authentic motorbike.
It is also excluding the math on what holiday time is worth to you! Yes, some people believe that spending their holiday on the inside of a random countryside mechanic is good value, but I imagine the majority of people out there, would rather be on a beach!

For the sake of argument and to shut the people up saying “but I spent less”. These numbers are definitely on the generous side to the Win and I think it is hard to massively dispute these costs.

Take a $174 holiday on a Chinese toy motorbike that may or may not work VS a $250 rent on a genuine motorbike by a reputable proven company.

These numbers show that the argument of ” small budget” from backpackers really is incredibly weak

The worst motorbike in South East Asia.

You will ONLY see the Wins on remote mountains of the North, because there is no service for genuine Honda motorbikes there. Vietnamese buy cheap motorbikes and throw them away regularly.

Looking around the city streets and it can be seen that locals do not use the Honda Win. They can be found in the mountains used by farmers. The nice thing about the Win is that it is so cheap to buy that it never depreciates. For farmers who can do maintenance at Vietnamese prices then the Win serves a purpose. For backpackers, they are a disaster of expensive breakdowns. On your journey, remember the key phrase motorcycle repair shops near my location.

But all the other backpackers are on Honda Wins!

Yes, because all the other backpackers have no idea what they are doing and seem perfectly happy to lie to eachother to save cash on ruined holidays of over budget breakdowns.

the term “no breakdowns” is used in very Win adverts. Hmmmm


Just look on craigslist and facebook to see that every Honda Win advert has a copied and pasted “no breakdowns” and oil changes every “200-400km”. Take 14l gas tank of $10 which will go approximately 200km. This is claiming one oil change for every two gas tank fills.
This is $5 to every $20 of gas…. not a particularly economical way to travel long distance.

To put it in perspective, most motorbikes Tigit rents will need oil changes every 1000km. Our top end imported motorbikes and bikes found overseas will have oil changes every 10,000km.
The Honda Win needs these regular oil changes due to a cheap Chinese engine that burns and leaks oil at the same time. This rapid oil consumption means that oil must frequently be changed.

The Honda Win is dangerous

Tigit Motorbikes started as a Honda Win dealer and we ran away from this horrible and dangerous market. The Honda Win catches fire, brakes fail and it wobbles around with no stability, control or handling.
We could use our reputation and scale to buy and sell to clueless backpackers who have no idea what they are doing. However we would rather try to educate and use our presence to steer people away from this horrific motorbike.
Tigit’s resilience to not get involved in the easy money grab of shoestring backpackers pretending to have no money is one of the reasons for our success.

For Tigit, respect on local markets and expat groups has led to word of mouth referrals and articles across the internet. Tigit is a place that gives the blunt truth and will not shy away from of an aggressive topic run by delusional backpackers.

Estimated value – $150-700
The Win and the Detech Honda Win are the most common motorbike to be found in the backpacker street.
A joke of a motorbike that wobbles around and breaks down all through the country. Surprisingly expensive to fix and generally an absolute burner of dollar notes in mechanic bills.

Honda Win

Why do backpackers choose the Honda Win?

Backpackers don’t choose the Win. The Vietnamese dealers choose the Honda Win as it is easy to sell to backpackers with its “cool” and cheap charactistics.

The Win is a dirty cheap manual motorbike that “looks cool”. On the Vietnamese market it can be bought for around $100 and it can be flipped to backpackers for $300+. Shoe string, budget backpackers tend to have no motorbike experience and have no idea what to look out for when purchasing a motorbike. This creates a market of easy money for backpacker street motorbike shops.

Backpackers buy the motorbike, then go up the country breaking down and spending money in mechanic shops. When it comes to the time to sell the motorbike the backpacker must try and sell for as little loss as possible. The best way to do this is to claim “no breakdowns”. The entire market of backpackers selling to each other is full of “no breakdown” motorbikes, so even with a moral compass on-board, a realization that to sell onward to another clueless backpacker then a copied advert of “no breakdowns” is required.
The alternative is to sell to a backpacker dealer for $100, where they will give it a “Matt black paint job” and flip it to the next clueless person that comes along.

This circle of “no breakdowns” creates a false image of the Honda Win within backpacker groups. The people buying this motorbike are the people trying to save money at all costs and they are also the people with no motorbike experience.

The people who know about motorbikes will quickly wise up to this Honda Win scam and start looking for other options. These are the people that end up in shops such as Tigit Motorbikes.

Detech Honda Win
The cheapest motorbike with a classic “real” motorbike look

The Detech Honda Win in 2017

The Detech Honda Win has become popular on the backpacker market. A new brand and style of travelling where a new Detech Win can be purchased for around $600-700 with a guaranteed buyback. Essentially the same as a traditional motorbike rental.
Backpackers now have the decision of renting a Detech Honda Win for the difference of $180 or renting a genuine Honda motorbike for $250.

It is common for backpackers to email Tigit and ask if we believe these Detech Wins are reliable, despite the fact we don’t operate in this market. Our thoughts from watching the backpacker sales is that these new Detech Wins tend to work without breakdowns, however they still drive like toy motorbikes that wobble around and have no quality.

Simply put: in performance they can’t be compared to the experience of riding a genuine Honda motorbike. This is something that is difficult to explain in words or even capture on video. It has created a split in the market where experienced riders who understand about performance will use a company like Tigit. Leaving the inexperienced first time riders to the Honda Win.

Huge improvements on years gone by where backpackers were buying and selling incredibly dangerous Honda Win motorbikes on a mass scale. This market still exists, but has become considerably smaller!

I am still not convinced, give me more content about the Honda Win

For those of you who enjoy the Tigit Win bashing articles read our strongest anti Win article to date at why is vietnam popular for travelling by motorbike.
Hopefully you are already convinced and can head straight over to looking at the rental motorbikes that we provide. Guess what, the Win isn’t there… if the motorbike actually worked, we might consider using it. After-all, they are easy enough to sell to clueless backpackers, it is no different from taking candy from a baby.

When should you buy a Honda Win?

Hopefully the answer is never, but perhaps a group of lads on a holiday aimed at laughing at each other whenever anything goes wrong. The Honda Win can provide some additional entertainment and story lines.
Having said that, not even the Top Gear guys were dumb enough to buy these motorbikes, now that is saying something!

What should you do?

Rent a motorbike from Tigit. Breakdown warranty, damage waivers. Safe, reliable and modern motorbikes.
Tigit has scooters, manual motorbikes and large capacity adventure motorbikes.

Still don’t trust dealers? Backpacker to backpacker pact ? Ok then…. watch these!



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27 Replies to “The Detech Honda Win manual”

  1. If you are a adventurous backpacker, get avHonda Win and drive through Nam, best experience ever. If you rather lay down on a beach, don’t go to Nam..

  2. I appreciate the information but I’d say Wins are not for everyone.
    If you just rent a random one, with who knows what parts… yeah… Good luck…

    But if you get a new one for example, ride it easy for first 500-1000k, and learn how it works… Well subjectively it’s one super fun bike to ride.
    I have mine ( bought new from a good shop) for more then a year now, 10000+ km, ride it everyday, in the rain through the floods out of town and back… and literally had nothing more than occasional tightening, regular oil, clean, brakes check and two chain replaces.

    I rode with a passenger behind, both skinny and less skinny, luggage, to Ha long Bay from Hanoi… and again it worked… and above all it is fun to ride it. Lightweight ( 90kg) and easy to control.
    Gears are short, clutch can be clunky but nothing you cannot tune and learn how to use…
    ( I rode both Suzuki and Honda back home in Europe… 650cc/450cc so not a bike noob).

    Are the Hondas better? Of course it is, in every aspect, but it’s also at l;east triple the price, so not exactly comparable 🙂

    One last thing, I wanted to ride Honda 68, but I found it small and wobbly for me. I could feel the frame twisting, and felt super unsafe, again for me… Not generalizing things…

    Hopefully in future, there will be a Detech, made in Vietnam with better quality parts.

    And of course, choose wise and don’t ride shitty bikes when drunk and wasted… Actually don;t ride any bikes when in that state of existence 🙂

  3. This article is a liar
    Is something like ask to an innkeeper if is good his wine…
    is a pathetic move to attract full of money gonzos in your shop

    Liar liar panths on fire

  4. My boyfriend and I rented two Detech Wins in December in Hanoi and dropped them in Hoi An.
    We chose the Wins because we definately wanted manual bikes.
    It was such a horrible experience. The bikes were crap, handling was horrific, brakes were bad, my suspension was damaged so I got back pain after 100km. (the list is not complete)

    We are both experienced drivers (I have a Honda CBF 1000 and my boyfriend a Triumph Speed Triple 1050).
    We want to go back to Vietnam and we will definately avoid the fake Wins, spend a bit more and get other bikes.

    1. This is a common and sad story for the “real bikers” out there, that just skip out on a little bit of research.
      Especially in high season when all the main rental companies run out of stock and it becomes impossible to get a proper bike.

  5. I grew up riding off road vehicles such as motocross bikes. Started rising ATCs and ATVs when I was about 7. I have owned a handful of dual sport bikes such as a KLR650.

    A few years ago, in Thailand I rented what I think was a Win or some clone. It had that horrible toe heel shifter, which I was incapable of using properly because I instinctively tried to use it as a regular shift lever. Because there is no clutch, muscle memory also made me repeatedly grab the brake lever.

    It handled like a monstrous mix between a scooter, moped and a granny bicycle. The brakes were worthless.

    After a few hours of miserable attempts at riding the abomination I returned it to the rental company and changed it for a 150cc scooter.

    The only reason I took the first bike was what you mentioned in the article– it looked like a real motorbike. I don’t like riding automatics, but I will do that before I ever get on another one of these.

    Anyone defending it has either never been on a real bike, is lying to themselves, or is a dealer.

    1. Yes common for a “real biker”.

      Going through these blog comments, it is becoming more and more appart that.

      “real bikers hate the Win, everyone else has no idea what they are talking about.”

  6. My best experience ever, was possible with Honda win, crossing from the north of Laos to the south of Cambodia. with no licence driving ok, with some little few mecanical issue ( 1 or 2 $ to fix it ) ok but its was the best trip ever !
    when we backpack, it’s mean we are not so rich ans we don’t care so much for comfort, we adapt to the situtation, we live adventure, bad situation or good one are part of an authentical trip.
    bravo for your article but you won’t change my mind about the HONDA WIN !!!
    HONDA ….WINs !!

    1. You sound like an adventure traveler. So fair play, and for people with an adventurous spirit I have nothing against the choice of the Honda Win bike.

      Once again though, and going with the theme of other comments on this article. To your own acknowledgement…. you have no experience on motorbikes.

  7. “Nah, this is just a Win driver talking who doesn’t know about motorbikes. A Honda bike can happily go up and down Vietnam with no strain at all. This is what companies like Tigit thrive on, the high reliability and low maintenance of Honda motorbikes.”

    I’d love to hear your insights to what gives the Honda its levels of reliability compared to the Honda Win from a specific technical standpoint.

    The word “unreliable” is fairly vague.

    Let’s start with the Honda Win engine. In your view what is the main failure mode of Honda Win? Improper casting material selection maybe its problems arise from casting porosity that is formed incorrect manufacturing methods on engine components?

    Maybe Honda has engineered and focused on controlling engine oil temperatures as part of way to increase reliability? The Kanban system adopted by Honda to increase to production consistency has surely got to play a part? I know Toyota adopted it originally, I’m not stupid. But that’s maybe something you have insights into as well?

    See, I wouldn’t really have a clue because I’m just a Win driver.

    1. “I’d love to hear your insights to what gives the Honda its levels of reliability compared to the Honda Win from a specific technical standpoint.”

      Perhaps Honda being an international brand recognized for reliability. Tigit owns over 200 Honda Motorbikes. If the Honda Win is cheaper to buy and for arguements sake lets say it costs the same to maintain as a Honda…… then why not invest in the Win instead? Much cheaper!

      You think a company like us doesn’t have analysis over the long term maintenance of motorbikes? Of course we do, it is in our best interest to get the cheapest motorbike possible over time. We do research and tests for this.
      There is a reason why nearly all our bikes have ended up as Honda and not Yamaha, etc etc etc… This is no accident!

      “Honda Wins” are copy Chinese companies. Dangerous to the point they can’t be sold anywhere else in the world. Not even Cambodia has them ^.
      The very existence of the “Honda Win” is down to the import taxes on manual motorbikes in Vietnam.

      Let’s start with the Honda Win engine. In your view what is the main failure mode of Honda Win? Improper casting material selection maybe its problems arise from casting porosity that is formed incorrect manufacturing methods on engine components?

      I am very close to calling you an idiot who is trying to be smart. But I will give you the benefit of doubt and go with “you are innocent and need to spend some time in South East Asia.”

      See, I wouldn’t really have a clue because I’m just a Win driver.

      This is correct. You are clueless.
      Had you have spent any real time on other motorbikes you would know that your comment is so incredibly stupid and naive that it is difficult to respond to.

      I do appreciate your efforts to sound like you have researched the concept, but reality is… you need to A) get out into other parts of the world to live and B) experience more time on motorbikes that are not Chinese 😀

    2. Weird, I have rented a detech win from Style Motorbikes in Vietnam, rode something over 2000km with a backpack mounted on the rack. I had no bad experience with the bike, no wobbling nor suspension or brake problems. I’m not saying I wasn’t just the lucky one, but I was quite surprised by this article and video.
      At home, I ride Honda Shadow Spirit, 750cc

    3. I am not sure how can you can suggest the Win is not a wobbly bike. You can’t really go above 60kph, not because of the power, but because it wobbles to the point of being un-drivable. Appreciate the comment, I really do!
      But if you are suggesting the Win is on the same level of wobbliness as your Honda Shadow 750, then I highly suggest you get all the bearings checked/serviced on your Honda Shadow. As the only explanation to claim they are the “same” is if your Honda Shadow is broken.

  8. It’s pretty obvious you’re promoting your business model by completely dissing your biggest market competitor. It’s not a good look.

    Small capacity bikes doing the length of Vietnam, up and down is going to be a strain on any bike. Air cooled, Vietnamese climate, owners not knowing anything about maintenance. The bike will feel the strain.

    I’ve had two Wins and done big mileage on them. No worries, just maintenance on the way.

    Stick to your own market.

    There’s still a big market for backpackers with little money and a sense of adventure, that’s one of the draws for alot of people.

    1. Small capacity bikes doing the length of Vietnam, up and down is going to be a strain on any bike. Air cooled, Vietnamese climate, owners not knowing anything about maintenance. The bike will feel the strain.

      Nah, this is just a Win driver talking who doesn’t know about motorbikes. A Honda bike can happily go up and down Vietnam with no strain at all. This is what companies like Tigit thrive on, the high reliability and low maintenance of Honda motorbikes.

      I’ve had two Wins and done big mileage on them. No worries, just maintenance on the way.

      Another standard Win owner comment. “just maintenance along the way”… = high maintenance as you go.

      Stick to your own market.

      Tigit is / was a backpacker company (changing). If I wanted to sell Wins I could. It is like taking candy from a baby. Backpackers don’t have a clue what they are doing which makes it easy money.
      Morals and safety are in the way. So I won’t sell the bike.

      A reputable company like Tigit selling Wins… the backpackers would flock here. I won’t do it though, dangerous garbage.

      There’s still a big market for backpackers with little money and a sense of adventure, that’s one of the draws for alot of people.

      There is, but the Win generally works out more expensive than the rental of a motorbike from somewhere like us. This is why the rental companies using genuine bikes climb up rankings and become large (Tigit), and the Win buy/sell shops are stuck on backpacker streets fighting negative reviews from people who have no idea what they are doing.
      The Win market brings in the masses, it is my job to educate the people who care. Or at the very least to have an option of a proper motorbike available for people who already know what they are doing.

    2. You’re antagonizing the readers too much. Calling everyone that disagrees “win drivers” or “don’t know anything about motorcycles”. There’s no arguing with you. cheers

  9. not sure of you realise this mate , but from your comments below , you sound as dodgy as fuck .. maybe you should stick to selling to rich travellers and leave the backpackers alone … we love the win , we want the win or chinese knockoff .. its part of the adventure , not everyone wants safety from the getgo … getting lost is part of it , breaking down teaches you to fix things etc etc , its guys like you who try to upsell and rip every fucker off that fuck it up for everyone ……. you seem to be preaching to the wrong market mate ……. ps i tried to rent a bike from you guys a while back , IT was a major fucking headache … i left my country to get away from rules and intimidation and the service i got from your staff reminded me of my shitty country … you may be a big company but you are doing it wrong …. lift your game or you will go the way of mcdonalds probably . this is a true representation of what we think of the honda win

    1. Not really sure what your angle is here. Who is “we” ? You mean backpackers?

      Tigit has become a “big company” by selling / renting to backpackers. So I believe we are preaching to the right market 😀
      Sure there are backpackers on tiny shoe string budgets…. and looks like you might be one of them! This is fine, and nothing wrong with that. However the shoe string budget backpacker is the minority not the majority.
      The majority of travelers out there can afford $250 for a 1 month motorbike rental :)……. This is not exactly “rich fucker money”.

      Most backpackers or travelers simply want a safe / reliable and modern motorbike for the long journey across Vietnam. This is what we provide.

      Putting backpackers aside though. Tigit mostly caters towards “real bikers”. People who own motorbikes back home. These people have enough motorcycle knowledge to not buy motorbikes like the Win anyway. We simply provide a service and articles to let people overseas know that there are other “real” alternatives, as you would find in other places like India, Thailand or Europe etc.

      In regards to service. The Tigit staff are trained to politely sabotage sales if we believe the client is not suitable or understanding of our service. Again with many travelers coming through Vietnam with no motorcycle experience, we must strongly disclaim about the adventure activity that is about to take place. This can come across as blunt and rude. If the client is not showing signs of understanding, then we pull the sale to ground with paperwork. This is the same with any established or reputable company operating in a potential dangerous adventure activity.
      Sorry if you feel this to be like your “shitty country”.
      However, we feel this to be a transparent and safe.

  10. what a crock of shit guys , ive had my detech chinese knockoff for 3 years and have been to all of se asia on it .and ive owned 16 of them over the years . as long as you maintain them , the wins are a bloody good bike …. a few tools , a few skills and ive never needed to visit a mechanic ….. you are just bashing the win to sell and rent more expensive bikes to suckers … the win is a good fun reliable ride if you have a brain .. but keep selling expensive shit to scared tourists, guys .. its just what you do . ps the honda win is the equivalent to the aussie holden kingswood , not for everyone , but the most reliable car on earth if you had a few skills ,, ask any aussie ….. not everyone wants to buy your shiny crap ……. ps the honda win is a bush bike ,not a city bike ,, thats why locals dont own them , not because they suck ………

    1. .and ive owned 16 of them over the years . as long as you maintain them , the wins are a bloody good bike

      I am not really sure what to say to this. If they have worked then why have you owned 16 of them?

      You also mention you need tools etc and mechanic visits. Is this something you expect to be told when renting a car back home? So why are you assuming people want to hear such things when traveling Vietnam?

      bashing the win to sell and rent more expensive bikes to suckers

      No, I am providing the truth for people who want a safe and reliable experience when travelling Vietnam.

      the honda win is the equivalent to the aussie holden kingswood ,

      As Philippe De Franco says “you can’t fix stupid”.

  11. I feel bad for new riders who read this slander and get tricked into paying way more than they need to for a bike that has too much power for the roads around Vietnam.
    I’ve ridden 20,000 miles around America and Canada on a V-Strom so while I may not be the most experienced rider out there I like to think I have enough ride time to at least merit an opinion.
    The Honda Win (or cheap knockoff, whatever you end up getting) is a good pick for an inexperienced rider wanting to take on Vietnam. It’s very cheap, incredibly cheap to fix (some will try to rip you off but there are “Xe May” shops everywhere) and handles surprisingly well in all sorts of conditions, from smooth pavement to rocky dirt paths. The locals in north ride them because they are manual so great for steep hills, and because they are easy to fix if anything goes wrong, and cheap to do so. I’d recommend it as the way to go. You also can easily sell them when your done leaving your costs to gas, oil changes and probably a few minor repairs.
    Maybe if you have more experience or Dong to blow trust these guys but based on the inaccuracies and biases in this article maybe not.
    And an oil change costs no more than 80,000 Dong, which is less than 4 bucks, definitely not a budget buster if you do it every 4 days or so. Compare that to 20 dollars a day for the rental fee on one of your Hondas.
    C’mon guys you don’t need to lie to get business

    1. Thanks for the comment, I value all opinions and debates. I’m more than happy to leave the other side of the story up for all to see. Your mild attack on the article is nothing I shy away from.

      You lose credibility as soon as you say “handles surprisingly well in all sorts of conditions, from smooth pavement to rocky dirt paths.”
      Acknowledging that by your own admission you lack riding experience, but this statement really brings into light the situation. No one and I mean no one, with any real motorbike experience would be complementing the Win’s “handling.”

      The Win is an unbelievably dangerous and unstable motorbike especially when it comes to handling.

      Tigit started as a Honda Win dealer. I was better than the locals at test driving garbage bikes and so profited, expanded and rose above it all. If only people understood and knew the horror stories of frames snapping in half, brakes failing and the bike catching fire…

      I was good at playing the Win game, but mistakes are made and these motorbikes are incredibly difficult to consistently test drive and filter through the crap. No margins to fix mistakes.

      I had sleepless nights over some sales that I made. A failed purchase from my side, and a realisation a particular fix was over budget for the $250 motorbike with no margins to spend on sorting it out.

      I sold bikes knowing the condition of the motorbike was sub-par. However, I am a strong believer that people have the right to make their own decisions, even if their decisions are stupid ones. Buying a Honda Win is a stupid decision, and I was able to profit enough from this stupid decision and expand away from it. The moment I could afford to get away from the bike, I did.

      “C’mon guys you don’t need to lie to get business” – You are correct on this, we don’t need to lie to get business. So I will continue to aggressively discredit the Win at any opportunity for safety reasons above all else.

      A lie would be to use my resources, company size and reputation to buy the piece of shit bike in bulk and mass sell to backpackers with no experience. I won’t do this, I won’t have it on my conscience anymore.
      People can make their foolish decision to deal with this bike by using other dealers. I no longer need the headache or the moral risk.

      One backpackers success story does not counter the masses of buried horror stories that I personally witnessed through Tigit’s own business. The Win is a numbers game, and you don’t want to be on the wrong end of those numbers.

  12. After doing my Vietnam trip this I read in this article exactly how I didnt experience it.

    I had 110cc Honda Win Detech and no problem over whole 3000 km trip. Just one flat tire and lost trunk.

    There wasnt a single moment after I got understand with my bike (took me like whole first day) that I wouldnt 100 % trust it. Also never met any backpacker regreting that he bought Honda Win instead of renting a motorbike.

    1. Lost trunk ?

      Thanks for the comment, can see you are another new driver though.
      So trusting your bike when you have no experience to compare to a real motorbike. This is partly what bothers me, new drivers simply don’t know what they are missing out on. This is a huge shame.

      I find it difficult to believe that none of the backpackers regretted the decision, but this is often the case… people will never correctly disclaim their maintenance costs as…well, it can get out of control to the point of embarrassment.

  13. Hi there,

    I am a Honda Win owner (Detech 110cc) myself and I love it 🙂 But I might have been lucky, mine did not break down (apart from 2 flat tires) a single time after 5600 km, 131 hours and 38 days of riding. I paid $250 for it in Saigon. I did the regular oil change (400-500 km). I think the trick is to not push the Honda win to hard, give it some love. My cruising speed was never over 60 km/h, if I go any faster than that you I can feel (and hear) that I am putting the bike under a lot of stress. And why would you like to drive any faster, you are not in a rush are you? Plus most of the times the roads don’t allow for a greater speed anyway and you are still going faster than 90% of the locals (with 60 km/h). So don’t go to hard on you win and she will give you back some love 😉 Also, let it cool down after every 100-150 km or so, especially when you are driving true the mountains.

    Refreshing to read that the locals are not riding the honda wins, which is 100% true. Before I arrived in Saigon, everybody was telling me that Honda Win is one you should get because all the locals are driving them. Which is not true except in the north. But every mechanic still knows how to fix them. Another reason I like the win is that everything is easily accessible, allowing for a quick fix.

    It might not be a good idea to buy a Honda win if you never drove a motorbike before. I saw many backpackers getting accidents because of that.

    Be safe 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment. It is good to get both sides of the story in one place.

      To touch on some of your points.
      Changing oil every 400-500km is an incredibly expensive way to travel. By the time you have done these oil changes and thrown in some breakdowns (which most Wins do, yes you have been lucky), then the price is more expensive than a rental of a genuine semi automatic from a company like Tigit.

      It seems you are a careful driver and are adapting to the needs of the quality of the motorbike that you are driving.
      Wouldn’t it be nicer to drive a motorbike that you know is not going to overheat and breakdown if you drove it normally?

      It is a misconception from “new” drivers about speeds. The reason you are driving slowly is because the motorbike wobbles and becomes unstable at speeds beyond this 60km/h mark.
      A genuine motorbike will comfortably cruise at 60 + in a stable and safe condition. The speed at which you perceive you are going is directly related to the quality of the vehicle.
      A go-kart will feel like it is going fast as 30km/h whereas a car will feel like it is barely moving.

      Why drive a motorbike that needs to be fixed in the first place ?
      Do you buy a car based off the amount of mechanics that can fix it around the country. This logic is incredibly naive and flawed 🙂
      A Honda motorbike (just like a car), will comfortably cruise up and down Vietnam without breaking down. There is no need for a countryside mechanic if the motorbike has been serviced properly at regular intervals.

      Do you rent a car back home expecting it to break down? Do you ask the car rental company how many mechanics can fix this car on the route that you are travelling on ?

      Finally on the issue of safety.
      Backpackers always talk about price. Safety seems to be an afterthought when it comes to buying a motorbike.
      “Buy gloves and a good helmet” is the advice given on the backpacker groups….. well, how about a good starting point for safety is to buy a motorbike that has some build quality and stability!

      Thanks again for the comment and I hope you continue to enjoy your holiday!