When it comes to buying or renting a motorbike in Vietnam, the choices can be just as overwhelming as the traffic. Here are the five best brands, so you can trust what’s under you as you navigate Vietnam’s hectic and stunningly beautiful roads.
Honda dominates the Vietnamese market. From the classic Dream to the latest and speedy Winner, Honda has a long history of producing indestructible motorbikes. If you’re in the market for a dependable semi-auto, the Wave (any generation) is a great choice. For a good automatic, look for an Air Blade. They’re pricier than some of the other automatics on the market – the Yamaha Nouvo, for example – but you’re paying for peace of mind. Among backpackers, the Win is a very popular choice. You can find plenty of them in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for cheap.
In terms of market share, Yamaha and Honda basically own the market, accounting for as much as 90% of new sales. Their Nouvo model is the default choice for most renters looking for an automatic. You can get a used one for under $200USD, and most rental shops have them lined up wall to wall. Now, if you’re looking for a bit of a thrill, the Exciter might just be what you need. They’re not cheap – even when they’re used – but that’s because nobody that buys one ever wants to sell theirs. They’re just that fun. For those of you who’d prefer a beefier ride, the Yamaha 125 is popular motorbike, especially among many long-term expats. Those of you looking for an easy-to-drive scooter for within the city, try a Cuxi or a Classico.
With so many Honda and Yamaha rides on the market, Piaggio often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. They aren’t cheap, but you’re paying for quality and reliability. If you’re into classic scooters, then search for an older Vespa – good luck, though. There are clubs of enthusiasts who snatch any that come onto the market. But if you do find one, you’ll earn some serious street cred.
As far as automatics go, the Suzuki Hyatte is a fine choice. They’re a bit pricier than the more prevalent Nouvo, but they have a better reputation for staying out of the garage. If you’re in the market for something that’s quick and stylish, then check out the GSX models. They’re a fantastic balance of power and versatility, which makes them well suited for Vietnam’s more challenging roads.
Another brand that’s often overlooked by newcomers to Vietnam is Sym. The Attila is a solid mid-range automatic, and their 50 Elite is a wonderful scooter for city driving. And as the good people at Tigit have pointed out, the Excel model is a relatively unknown automatic ride with very satisfied drivers.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.