bike hire scam Hanoi

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by onboard-2009, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. onboard-2009

    onboard-2009 Member

    just a warning to anyone planning to hire bikes and ride from Hanoi, OffRoad Vietnam is a scam and not a dedicated bike tour company as his website suggests.

    a group of us, all experienced dirt bike riders from NZ, have just returned from what turned out to be an amazing ride around the North and west of Vietnam.

    the trip was originally planned with Offroad Vietnam, but as soon as we met him and saw the state of his bikes, and his filthy attitude, we found another tour company and consequently had a ball.

    glad to share the boring details of our dealings with this clown, but will put the energy into a decent trip report instead.

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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    It's not for me to comment on the initial experience you had renting bikes; what I can say, however, is that this site is full of recommendations for another operator - Flamingo Travel. Were they by chance the team you ultimately used with such success?

    You spoke of "an amazing ride around the north & west of Vietnam". I hope that despite the difficulties you encountered hiring bikes you can post a report & photographs of your adventures as there are many ready to follow your tracks.
  4. smitty0476

    smitty0476 Member

    Good to know.... they do have a well laid out site, normally the mark of someone invested in running a decent business.
    We are just looking for a rental outfit for a northern Vietnam trip (self guided) over 3 weeks in Nov.
    There's no email option on your profile Rod... you seem like the guy who's brain I need to pick on a couple items ;-)
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Want to ride in Vietnam?
    Check out the GT Rider Vietnam Trip planning section
  6. smitty0476

    smitty0476 Member

    thanks David

    Was specifically going to enquire re: best maps for the north east/west.
    I typically roll with gps/old school real maps and a lonely planet, has served me well so far! Would be nice to find some decent maps here (Canada) so I can scan over them and do some plotting.
    Always looking for "off the typical route" types of adventures, so love to hear about any less traveled areas in the north.
    I have seen the videos posted from offroad Vietnam and notice they mostly all take the same route.

    Seems like I should move this to the vietman trip planning section soon ;-)
  7. bultaco

    bultaco Member

    Lot's of maps here. I don't know which is the most suitable though.
  8. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    I've made reference to the best available maps in the Vietnam Trip Planning section.

    To ascertain if there's been any improvements check with Flamingo Travel - ah there's that name being recommended again. Following this forum's advice & using Flamingo Travel could have saved the instigator of this report a lot of headaches.

    Still awaiting reports.................
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    How's your trip report going - any progress yet?
  10. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

    Guys, just buy a genuine Honda Wave or a Yamaha Sirius. Get it serviced at the factory dealer and even if you sell it for half the price you will come out ahead IMHO.
  11. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    With respect I think this oversimplifies the 'unexpected', a major issue in motorcycling in Vietnam.

    There are numerous reports on the Vietnam Forum attesting as to the dangers of motorcycling in Vietnam - feejer's report, for example - see:

    There are several more involving serious accidents – see: & also:

    In these cases having an ‘agent’ was invaluable as can be clearly seen in the last mentioned report. I can only repeat how difficult (read impossible) it is for a foreigner to recover a bike after an accident where a (Vietnamese) third party is involved often only after the payment of a substantial amount .

    We rode thousands of kilometres through the most remote & isolated areas of Vietnam over a number of years – there were occasions where we needed help with the police, not just in terms of unacceptable practices but indeed in the very interpretation of the law including whether one was licensed or insured, assistance at border crossings, in having certain repairs attended to whilst on the road in areas where communication was impossible. There were times when we arrived in isolated villages & could find no reference to where one could stay let alone eat. The support provided by rental companies can be invaluable in such instances.

    There are reports of fuel being tampered with causing motorcycles, even cars to quite unexpectedly catch fire. Such incidents can make a quickly replaced rental vehicle look remarkably cheap in comparison to having bought one.

    For the moment, as matters stand, I can only strongly recommend that people use the undeniable services of the quality & integrity of operations such as Flamingo.

    That said I am still awaiting the trip report for this thread......
  12. chrisynok

    chrisynok Ol'Timer

    Hi guys,

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition now in Vietnam for motorbike rentals / tours, which is causing a lot of operators to get desperate. They neglect basic bike maintenance and some are even over charging for repair damage.

    One big concern is the backpacker market for buying bikes. It's just flooded with over charged, bad quality, unreliable bikes that are very dangerous. It's not the best approach for young inexperienced riders.

    Best to do a lot of research before committing to any company but your also find that some businesses are setting up multiple websites for Google ranking and to trick customers into thinking they are all different businesses.

    It will also help to ask the bike company for its tour operator license and its bike rental license before you agree to rent. A good honest company will no doubt be able to produce these documents on request because in order to be legal they need to have them in place.

    Hope this helps
  13. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

    This year, I met a young man who was badly injured due to one of these awful "Honda" Wins' brakes failing. Being holes up in a hotel and in pain for days... Why o why are they choosing such crap bikes when they could bUY a used Honda Wave or Yamaha Sirius for say $ 250, then spend another $ 100 getting it serviced at a factory dealership? (Wheel bearings, ..., ...)

    In January, a speeding van with a dozen passengers hit me while overtaking. He was driving on the wrong side of the road... The driver quickly left the scene. The owner of that bus company paid my hospital bill.

    Had a near-death experience which was good.

    You gotta wear protective clothes and a good helmet. The ruthlessness of drivers is too bad. Could start a rant...

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