The Detech Honda Win manual


The Detech Honda Win manual


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.

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.

The worst motorbike in South East Asia.

You will ONLY see the Wins on remote mountains of the North, because there is no genuine service for genuine bikes there. Just buy the cheapest and throw away after a few years

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 breakdowns.

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”. This is basically claiming an oil change for every single day of driving! Not particularly economical or cost efficient!

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!

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



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



The Win looks “cool” so backpackers fall in love with it, only to find a holiday with unpredictable and expensive breakdowns.
Choose the Win if:
You are an adventure seeker!  You are a lad on tour wanting a “laugh”!


Detech Honda Win

The cheapest motorbike with a classic “real” motorbike look


The Detech Honda Win have 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.

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  1. Brian says:

    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

    • Jon - TigitMotorbikes says:

      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.

  2. Dejan says:

    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.

    • Jon - Tigitmotorbikes says:

      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.

  3. Rick says:

    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 🙂

    • Jon - TigitMotorbikes says:

      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!