Buying a motorbike

One of the key activities, apart from getting drunk and full of Rice with Beef&Chicken, was to buy a mean of transport around Vietnam.

Since the trip is meant to last for 3 months, buying is more economical, as well as practical than renting. Why practical? Because if I want to get rid of the bike at some part of the journey, I simply sell it (and the loss will still be minor compared to rent).

Several weeks before coming, I started browsing the Facebook groups for used stuff in Hanoi. Among them was Hanoi Massive. As per name, it is the biggest group, with dozens of post everyday (including some offers of second hand motorbikes).

I had several options lined up. Mostly automatic Piaggio, which seemed to offer a good price/quality ratio (ie. were cheap).

I also had several shops/resellers on my list.

The plan was, to spend a whole day looking at various bikes, and make a well calculated decision on the next day.

The problem was, that majority of the people used the new year as excuse to go on extended holidays, even though we were set-up to meet on the 2nd of January.

What I did instead of browsing several bikes? First shop I went to check the merchandise, had a Honda Wave S 110ccm. Semi-automatic.

Quick test drive:

quite beaten up bike, the front break working so-so, odometer not working at all. Price non-negotiable.

I took an honest hour to think if it is a good choice.

Came to the dealer, and bought the bike. Boom, whole process instead of 2 days took 2 hours. Call me crazy, that’s just me.

It didn’t take too long to come back to the shop. The machine was leaking oil. Glad that I had time to check it in the city, instead of instantly going for longer trip.

Seller said to come back tomorrow. So I did.

[next day]

-is it fixed?


-are you sure?

-yes, I drove 40 minutes, no problems.

I took it for a quick run.

Still leaking oil. Shit…

Scheduled the visit the next day. This time a dedicated mechanic took care of it. He also confirmed that the screw propeller wasn’t tightened enough.

This time there wasn’t space for an error. Next day I was going to roll 100+ kilometers on my (almost) new, mighty machine.

In the meantime, I decided to tune-up the machine for long runs in Indian style. Would need some spray for a better effect though.

Fortunately, this time I didn’t notice any leaks, the cushion was definitely of help.

Next oil change, according to the mechanic should be in 700 kilometers. Since the odometer doesn’t work, I decided to change it after 6 refuellings. One refuelling every 120 kilometers.

Bonus – a video of walking&driving in Hanoi:

In the next episode – will it make it to Ninh Binh?

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