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Help and advice on buying a bike (in HCMC)
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MissWelsh



Joined: 10 Oct 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Help and advice on buying a bike (in HCMC) Reply with quote

Hey all,

So I've been in Vietnam for almost a month now and I've been working for the past 2 weeks. Although it's great to be working I hate having to rely on a Xeom driver. I like my independence too much, plus it would be great to be in control of the brake, I swear I'm going to come flying over the drivers head one of these days.

So here comes my question(s) - Can anyone recommend somewhere I can buy a bike? I've looked on craigslist and I will check out the ones I've seen however, it would be great to have info on where other people got their bikes. Is there a reliable trader out there? Is anyone looking to sell their bike or knows of someone who is?

Again, I can't thank you enough for the help I've had so far on these forums. It's much appreciated.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craigslist is useful. I'd probably also join the 'Expats in HCMC (Saigon)' group on Facebook as they also have bikes for sale from time-to-time.
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine is selling a motor bike. It's quite big though and it's manual.

He is asking for $1,000.
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine is selling a motor bike. It's quite big though and it's manual.

He is asking for $1,000.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kimmy wrote:
A friend of mine is selling a motor bike. It's quite big though and it's manual.

He is asking for $1,000.


That's a completely ridiculous price for a used bike, unless it's practically brand new (less the 6 months used).
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 168
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can check out newhanoian.com classifieds to get an idea of pricing. There is a difference between the 2 cities but not much really.

A half decent wave should be 300-400 max with papers (not chinese made).
Chinese made dream or wave 250 with papers.
New or newish wave 600-700 with papers of course

* be careful of the top gear wannabes doing the HCMC to Hanoi on a scooter things and visa versa. Many of the bikes are beat to shit and not maintained properly if at all, they are not worth the discounted price. Also many of the owners of these are new to VN and not use to the various scams the Vietnamese pull on most people when *repairing* a bike.

reduce by 40-50% if no papers
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MissWelsh



Joined: 10 Oct 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, there is no way I am paying $1000. I was hoping to stick to a budget of $250 - $300.

In the first week we were here my other half bought a bike off an American who was going home. He paid $300, but on top of that he had to pay $25 to have the electrics fixed. Since then his headlight has gone again and the kick start broke. Hence why I am approaching this with such caution.

Thanks for the advice guys. Just one more question, cb400, what scams are you referring to so I know what to look out for?
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 168
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
he had to pay $25 to have the electrics fixed. Since then his headlight has gone


Fixing electrics and wiring should be a couple bucks. I had my dream completely re wired by a expat mechanic for about 5-7 dollars and the lights worked after Smile

Really look out for shody work (most VN mechanics) and people swapping parts out for cheap chinese shit. This is such an issue VIP bikes in Hanoi keeps warning about people servicing at local places and strongly advises to watch people even when getting a tire repairs...

plus the fuel issues:

Quote:
Safety/ local issues:

Recently Vietnam has number of motorbikes/ car explosion. The explosions

happened to cars and motorbikes include Hyundai, Daewoo, BMW, Mercedes,

Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia, Toyota, SYM and Honda. The cause of these

accident is still puzzling. However, according to the transportation

Department, most vehicles in Vietnam use gasoline with high octane rating,

like A92 and A95.

It says those who use poor quality gasoline or gasoline of unclear origin

can face engine failures, low fuel economy, and the risk of fire and

explosions. For those using your motorbike for your daily routine we would

strongly recommend you to buy petro from reliable petro station not from

retail venders. Have your motorbike maintained regularly .

In general, the Petro stations managed by Military Petro Corporation

(MIPECO) or Petrolimex, COMECO are much more reliable. For those in Hanoi

please find below recommended Petro stations for your reference.
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MissWelsh



Joined: 10 Oct 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And we thought $25 was a bargain. By your post I am guessing your in Hanoi and so is the expat mechanic??

Anyone in HCM know of a good mechanic, since we need to have the other halfs headlight fixed again and obviously now I don't want to go back to the guy who originally fixed it?
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MissWelsh wrote:


Anyone in HCM know of a good mechanic, since we need to have the other halfs headlight fixed again and obviously now I don't want to go back to the guy who originally fixed it?


I've only used Kevin once, and that was for an auto-electrical problem, but he was great! I'm guessing he has a mechanic at his shop, but I can't be sure. His shop is in District 7. Anyway, he speaks great English so, if you want, you can give him a call on 0903 668 388 and see what he says.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you search back a page or so, we have at least one excellent thread on motorbikes. This one has a lot of technical stuff, but also has a lot of info on buying motorbikes:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=90504

You do need to skip the nuts and bolts parts that are not of interest to you.

It would really be nice to just keep the old threads activated, then we could assume that everything that was on the thread did not have to be repeated. Your questions have already been answered on this thread, or most of them, so then we could just answer the specific unique questions you had. Plus, understand that for every poster who has a question, there are dozens of others reading the thread, so the archived information is then displayed for those readers also.

I know we have a lot of great old time contributors here, I think most of them would prefer to add an new chapter to the book rather than to write the same book over and over.
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MissWelsh



Joined: 10 Oct 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link but I've actually read that thread already and the majority of it is 'nuts and bolts' talk, like you said.

It is a great idea to keep old threads active but information often goes out of date and threads often go off topic meaning that we have to read through pages of irrelevant information just to find a small snippet of relevant information.

Generally, I read through any related threads before I make a post. I only make a post when I feel like my questions haven't been answered or the answers in other threads have been confusing.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice so far. Even with all the help and advice in the world I am getting the vibe that buying a bike in Vietnam is always going to have its risks and be a daunting task. Hopefully going to get one over the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and thanks 1st Sgt Welsh for the mechanic recommendation. We'll check him out for getting my partners headlight fixed.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all want new posters, the site needs some life. If we keep the old threads active, then much of that relevant info is there for the new poster and the other readers can more easily find it also. Mainly, the info does not need to be repeated, some of it is very detailed.

On the person named Kevin, there may be more than 1. There is a Brit who was in 9 who is well known, and I refer to my knowledge of his operation in the previous thread. He subbed out my jobs and they were not done properly, so I lost faith in him. He now claims he no longer subs out work, but he would not be my first choice now. The westerners should cost a lot more, and should do a much better job. From my years of dealing with these guys, my current recommendation is Pat at SaigonScooterCentre if you want a classic done properly and your main goal is quality of work, not low cost.

If seeking a better VN mechanic, I would recommend Luan off of NTMK, about a block or so from the Lotteria on the corner there. Not on NTMK, up a side street a bit. Some of the local natives there can tell you the exact location. I use a VN farther out now for my little stuff and have my big stuff done by Pat. There is another westerner named Mac who may turn out to be good for folks who do not mind paying up, I will report on him when I find out more. I think he is only for enthusiasts though, he vets his customers and does not want to mess around with people trying to just fix little stuff that the VN can do for low cost, he does major improvements that cost some real money.

On little stuff like headlights, folks get those fixed on the side of the road. If you want a big fix, you pay up and try to get rewired and even try to retrofit a halogen lite into your system on an older bike. Little stuff with the normal VN mechanics is plenty cheap, and totally pot luck.

We go into great detail on the issue of scams and dealing with repair people here also on that thread.

Also the issue of what to buy, how to buy, we discuss that a lot over there also.

There are a couple of bikes that look like pretty good deals to me on CL right now, I think one is a Wave for about 300 bucks.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 162
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny how a lot of bikes here have lights that don't work. Do you think any Vietnamese would drive one without a working horn. Wink
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JSutt



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MissWelsh wrote:
Anyway, thanks for all the advice so far. Even with all the help and advice in the world I am getting the vibe that buying a bike in Vietnam is always going to have its risks and be a daunting task. Hopefully going to get one over the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.


It sounds like you're just getting a bike to get from A to B around town, in which case you don't need to worry so much. The Vietnamese like bikes like the Honda cub etc because they'll keep going for years and years - have you seen the old POS's that people use to drag produce to market? Seems to me that a lot of the warnings about quality are from people who are either a) interested in high quality modifications, like mark_in_saigon, or b) doing long-distance trips where the quality of the bike is more important. An average beater for getting to work...well, who cares? If it breaks down you can probably push it 50 metres and get it fixed.

So don't stress Smile If you're really concerned you can always ask a Vietnamese friend/acquaintance to come with you and check a bike out. If you were in Da Nang I could recommend a couple of people to you. Otherwise you can take it to a mechanic and ask them to check it over before you commit to anything - sounds like there are some foreigners in HCM who could do it.


By the way mark_in_saigon, that other thread is SUPER useful and informative. I'm picking up an old Honda CD50 in the next couple of days with an eye to do it up, and it was very helpful in getting an idea about what to do & look out for.
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