Help With Bike Choice

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by laura, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Hey guys

    Firstly, thank you for accepting me into the forum.

    My boyfriend and I have just booked flights to Vietnam for next January (from the UK). The intention is to ride from Hanoi to HCM. We haven't devised the exact route as yet, but its likely to follow the Ho Chi Minh Road for the best part (central section at least), and crossing over to the coastal areas in places. We are still doing research in this respect, and getting some very handy tips from this forum!

    We are looking to hire 250cc bikes and have had quotes from the lovely guys at both Flamingo and Rentabikevn. We are looking at 250cc's so that we have that little bit of extra oomph, as it's likely we will be doing fairly long days.

    I should probably add that we are both very experienced motorcyclists, hold full licences, and will ensure we have the IDP, insurances etc. We both travel a lot on bikes and are generally happy riding 200-300 mile days whilst touring (not that we'll do that in Vietnam, but it gives you an idea).

    Anyway, the crux of my question...

    Being a certified shortass at 160cm, I need a bike with a seat height <835mm.

    Flamingo can offer the Honda AX1 / Kwak Anhillo
    Rentabikevn can offer a KTM Duke 250

    The AX1/Anhilo are both pretty old bikes (1998) and will have the mileage to show. I've no doubt they are well maintained and I presume very easy to fix should something go wrong.

    The KTM is newer, has ABS, and will be vaguely familiar as I ride the Superduke 1290R back home. But as they are far less common than Jap bikes, are they as easy to repair etc.

    Might any of you be able to offer any pearls of wisdom for/against either option?

    I know the taller bikes sag, but at 840mm and above, I can barely get a toe down, and I really don't fancy dropping a bike, breaking a bone, and ending up in hospital!

    I've written a novel for what is probably a very simple question - do forgive me!

    Many thanks
    Laura
     
  2. Hi Laura,

    Being 6'4" I'm not much help for bike size input & to be truthful I do not know well the 2 bikes you are discussing. I do, however, know the roads you are considering & think your choice of 250's is the right one. You are wise also to looking to ride a given number of kilometres each day suitable to the roads you are travelling & there truly is so much to see every inch of the way in VN.

    I'm perhaps biased but I'd push for Flamingo - having the back-up support they supply, the network to provide assistance & their willingness to help is invaluable.

    Perhaps if you gave us a clearer picture of your intended route we may be able to give you better input.

    Lucky you; you'll love it (& I'm jealous).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Hello Rod,

    Thank you ever so much for replying.

    Having given it a bit of thought over the last few days, we agree and are going to go with Flamingo. Whilst a fairly new bike would have been a nice luxury, we don't have the spare time to run the risk of it developing an electrical fault which can't be fixed quickly in the more remoter areas, whereas I suspect the 1998 AX1 is repairable in minutes! Also, like you say, Flamingo seem to have an absolutely solid reputation and that support, should we happen to need it, will be invaluable.

    Flamingo also have a better choice of bikes for my BF who is a similar height to you - he'll likely go with a Honda XR 250.

    We are only just starting to plan the route, but it will be loosely based on this: Saigon to Hanoi by Motorbike: 5 Suggested Routes. The central section from Kon Tum to Pho Chau is pretty much a 'must' for us (we'll skip the Hai Van pass), but either side of that, we'll likely drop outwards towards the coast.

    As soon as we have a clearer idea of our route, we'll post it up for critique/tips, and we'll be sure to write a trip report too.

    Thank you again!
    Laura
     
  4. #4 Rod Page, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    No worries Laura - well planned Vietnam offers some of the greatest riding in the world; you guys will love it.

    I think that you are wise going with Flamingo - they speak great english, can organise things for you along the route if needs be & are unbeatable when it comes to back up support. THE XR 250 is a great choice.....my son-in-law rode over me on one when I broke my ankle.:) (You can even see the XR concerned here!)

    There is some great riding to be found south of Kon Tum as well as northwards where you are headed.......I assume you have read my reports on GTR concerning the areas concerned? Hai Van Pass plus Hue & DaNang are WELL worth it!!!

    Let's see your trip plan & I'll give you my 5 bobs worth.

    Cheers.
     

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