01. Larger vehicles have right of way. Avoid anything bigger than you and slow down.
02. Traffic is like a river, you have to flow in it. Riders will find a way to move forward.
03. Always wear a helmet which is requested in Vietnamese public traffic law. It’s a proven fact: helmets significantly reduce the number and severity of head injuries. So always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and make sure your passenger does the same. We also recommend that you wear eye protection, sturdy boots or shoes, gloves, and other protective gear like knee and elbow pads.
04. Make yourself easy to see on-road. Some drivers do not see motorcycles because they are not looking for them. To make yourself more visible, wear bright reflective clothing, position yourself so other drivers can see you, signal before turning or changing lanes, and use your horn when it will help others notice you. In Vietnam, people don’t care about the noise of horns.
05. Ride within your limits. Speed limit in Vietnam is very low (25-60km/h). Don’t break the speed limit, a speeding ticket is expensive. On our tours, average speed is about 40km/h. Pushing the limits is another major cause of motorcycle accident both on-road and off. Never ride beyond your personal abilities or faster than conditions warrant. Remember that alcohol, drugs, fatigue and inattention can significantly reduce your ability to make good judgments and ride safely.
06. Animals are everywhere in the country or mountain roads. Dogs and chickens are the most then come water buffaloes, cows, pigs and horses etc. If you kill a dog or a chicken don’t stop, cry and feel sorry, it’s not your fault. Slow down when you spot these animals and don’t hit water buffaloes, cows, pigs and horses, simply they are too big!
07. Space between you and other riders (local people, guide etc.) should be far enough in order to have no surprise. In cities or crowded roads, the traffic is usually slow. On wide open roads or in the mountains, we suggest 10-20m. Don’t ever ride alongside your guide because he has lots of work to do.
08. Be alert for off-road hazards. The terrain can present a variety of challenges when you ride of f -road. Continually ‘‘read’’ the terrain for unexpected turns, drop-offs, rocks, ruts, and other hazards. Always keep your speed low enough to allow time to see and react to hazards. If you are not familiar with the terrain, ride cautiously. Hidden rocks, holes, or ravines could spell disaster.
09. Be careful with split oil from trucks and buses at curves on the mountain roads, extremely slippery and we have had at least four small accidents related to this matter.
10. If the police stop you (this rarely happens), just keep talking English or whatever you want and they’ll soon give up and let you go in less than five minutes.
11. If the road is wet, use both brakes at the same time with more back brake as if you apply more front brake it slips or skids. Most of our bikes have front disc brakes and on 250cc dirt bikes you have front and back disc brakes.
12. Do not drink and ride. Alcohol and riding don’t mix. Even one drink can reduce your ability to respond to changing conditions, and your reaction time gets worse with every additional drink. So don’t drink and ride, and don’t let your friends or pillion passenger drink and ride either.
If you are doing a self guided motorbike trip, below are some additional tips.
13. Buy a good road book (Vietnam Atlas) and do the timing and routing before you start a ride. If you get lost, ask more than two people as they may use different mileage unit or even direction. Call us if you can’t find a solution.
14. Last but not least, you can follow this map to get out of Hanoi. The blue line takes you to North-West and South-West and the green to North-East Vietnam. You basically ride along the river to avoid the crazy roads with many traffic lights in the inner city.
Pleasant riding, and thank you for choosing Offroad Vietnam for your motorbike tour in Vietnam!
Below are some more links to help you plan your safe motorcycle adventure in Vietnam.
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