« 2 people on this motorbike!? With the backpack?! » We’ve heard so many times and that is part of the game. Everyone has his style of traveling, and definitely motorbike is a great way to travel north of Vietnam. The roads invite you to a great journey, you can stop anytime to a place you like, and you can go off the beaten track. Here are a few things to know before starting :
First, get rid of the unnecessary. From the extreme temperatures of India to now in here, we could remove 6kg of luggage and send them back home. Then as we did in India, we transformed our 2 backpacks into one of 12 kg, and lied it down on a rack welded at the first day of the journey. If you still need something here, you can find it at any city.
Second, do like the locals. We may dedicate a post to this topic later on. The Vietnamese use their motorbikes for everything. Transporting bags of cement, food, a living pig, a box of chickens, iron bars lying on the road, 3 people… Many backpackers met on the road travel together on the same bike. But remember the road is dangerous and you can’t hit the road without the next steps.
Third, maintain your bolide. Garage maintenance is cheap, quick, easy to find. Oil change every 500km, daily chain lube and tension, daily brake and engine checks. This will make your journey safer.
Fourth, ride safe ride slow. The traffic can be hard, especially overtaking and trucks using the full width of the road. Moreover the views can make you stop at any time. So take it easy, shorten the daily distance and enjoy your journey.
Fifth, well no fifth, as there are only 4 gears on Vietnamese motorbikes 🙂