What to bring and wear

What backpackers normally wear

Most travellers driving Vietnam will drive in flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt.

The road speeds are slow, but not slow enough to risk driving in clothes that are designed for the beach. Feet are the first body-part to hit the ground in a scary incident. Having shoes to balance a bad situation is a good starting point towards safety.

Experienced drivers sometimes bring all the safety gear from home. When arriving and experiencing the general road speeds, few opt to use all the gear.

A sensible balance of being well covered with strong fabrics such as a jeans is a good starting point for the journey.
Vietnam is both hot and cold depending on the North and South regions. Tigit Motorbikes has a bag delivery service which can be used to transport cold weather gear ready for the Northern territories.

Tigit provides second hand helmets for free, and new ones can be purchased between $25 and $70. We highly recommend people who have helmets to bring them from home.

Group of 4 riders from New Zealand

The weather in Vietnam and trying to get the right balance

The weather is unpredictable in Vietnam. A traveller should have clothes for the blazing hot sun and temperatures in the North that can go down into negative numbers.

Pack two bags of clothes. One bag for between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, and a secondary bag for the North regions.
Send the cold weather bag to Hanoi and swop it within the Tigit Hanoi office.

March and April are the best times to travel Vietnam. Across the country the weather conditions are mostly stable!
– The South is always hot.
– The North from November to February can be very cold.
– From the South to the middle of Vietnam, the rainy season is July to October.
– The stormy season where the middle of Vietnam can get hit by cyclones is from September to December.

The rain increases the beauty, waterfalls flood and the lush green landscapes become spectacular.
During most journeys, the traveller is likely to experience all conditions.

How to deal with the rain.

Look at what the locals do!
Rain coats from home are heavy and take up space in luggage. The answer to the problem is seen all around the streets of Vietnam. A good quality rain poncho can be bought for around $5, we sell them at Tigit Motorbikes.
These are lightweight and they can also be used to cover the bags on the rack. The rain poncho dries quickly and can be surprisingly warm in cold mountainous areas.

They fit nicely under the ropes of the bag rack, or at the front of the motorbike.

On the side of the road low quality rain ponchos can be bought for less than 1/2 a dollar. Useless material that is likely to break after one use, but it will get you through a rainstorm!
There is no need to bring rain coats as the Vietnamese poncho is more than perfect.

two foreigners wearing ponchos ready to travel on a motorbike

Big ponchos for big foreigners

 

How much stuff can the motorbikes carry

Please read for a full description on how much luggage our motorbikes can carry.

It depends on the model, but we recommend about a maximum 15kg of luggage for optimum performance.

With the use of a rain poncho, and our train service to transport bags between HCM and Hanoi it should be possible to get luggage to a light weight.

All Tigit motorbikes are powerful enough to carry 2 people and lots of luggage. However overloading a motorbike will cause it to wobble. The handling and overall performance is reduced which impacts on the fun for mountain roads. Gas consumption also goes up and the cost difference between gas and the use of a train are going to roughly balance out.

Hotels and laundry service

Most hotels offer a laundry service. Usually if laundry is given in the morning it will be ready by the following day. Worst case scenario it is possible to air your clothes on the outside of your luggage when on the motorbike. Be brave and use the laundry services to get you across Vietnam in a hygienic fashion, whilst carrying the minimum amount of clothes possible!

Bring what you like, but understand the pros and cons

Minimising luggage improves the motorbike performance and is easier to load on and off the motorbike each day.
Heavily loaded motorbikes will have reduced handling and increased breaking distances. At Tigit Motorbikes we recommend the approach of under packing and using laundry services are you go. Vietnam is cheap for shopping, so if you are missing an item of clothing that should have been packed. This can be picked up easily and cheaply nearly anywhere in the country.

A traveller is likely to experience all weather conditions on one holiday. It is not possible to predict the weather.

Pack light and pack smart and use laundry services!

bikers with proper gears, beginning on a trip