As you might be able to tell, I’m more than a bit excited about this. On the bus from Cambodia to Vietnam yesterday I made Amanda watch the Top Gear Vietnam special, and somehow convinced her that we should buy a motorbike and ride our way from Saigon to Hanoi. Here is our new baby, a 110cc Sufat Win from 2009:
The “Honda” Win is the standard backpacker bike in Vietnam as it is one of the only proper motorcycles you can get with a fully manual transmission. However, Honda stopped making them nearly 20 years ago, so all the ones for sale are actually terrible Chinese clones that break down all the time. After doing some research we learned about the Sufat Wins, which were officially licensed Honda clones made in Vietnam and much higher quality.
After searching Vietnam Craigslist we found an Irish couple who just finished the journey from Hanoi to Ho Cho Minh and were selling their Sufat Win. We survived test riding the bike around Saigon during rush hour and after everything checked out they handed over the keys. The bike is has everything a backpacker needs: welded on luggage rack, tire lock, and proper Western-certified helmets.
We had a great time spending the evening with Shane and Sarah having beers and hearing about all the wonderful places they drove around Vietnam. They were sad to let go of their motorbike, but we promised to give her a good home!