Am I crazy?
I'm in the midst of planning an adventure, from Hanoi Vietnam (where I currently live) to Edinburgh, UK.
The planning side of it is going quite well, and indeed will be presented in glorious levels of meticulous detail on the HUBB in due course, but there is just one stumbling block, which leads me to here - which bike?
Ideally I would like to ride a nice, powerful, reliable bike that has been touted around these forums, but the reality of having to pay a 400% deposit on the value of the bike to get a Carnet valid for Pakistan has put stop to that. As such, I am thinking lower... much much lower.
I am fully considering doing this trip on a 125cc Honda Wave. My primary reasons for this are:
* they are everywhere (at least in Vietnam)
* I can buy (and sell) as many as I like over here between now and my leaving date, and get to know how the little bastard works, so that maintenance on the road should be a lot easier.
I have already driven to Sapa from Hanoi (gorgeous) on and off some terrible roads on a 110cc Wave so I know what I'm getting in for with the bike. 15kmph up an 11% incline in 10m visibility was a personal highlight.
So I really have three questions:
1. Are Waves (or their various other names) as prolific outside of SE Asia?
2. Will they withstand the conditions in the Himalayas, India, Iran, Pakistan, and still have enough left in him to make it through Europe?
3. Is this a terrible idea?
Tell it to me straight, doc...
From One Crazy Wave Rider To Another: DO IT!!!
YES YOU ARE CRAZY!
And so is everybody else who leaves his safe, sheltered and probably slightly boring life at home and goes on a RTW-trip ;-)
And here is my long answer:
My guess is that given the beating they take in SEAsia they can take the beating anywhere.
It is only a terrible idea if you do not like the bike. At my first Horizons meeting one of the presenters said you need to love your bike, and I think he was absolutely right. We have met Harley's and scooters in the middle of Mongolia, in conditions that others said you MUST have a KTM or BMW Enduro. If you love your bike and know its limitations it normally just mens going slower rather than blasting through the mud and dirt.
As long as you are familiar with the bike I would say do it! We just sold our BMW F 650s in Mongolia (after 3 major trips with them) for much the same reason you just mentioned, price. Shipping the bikes from Russia to SA was more than the bikes were worth, we could not get them into Korea (German bikes) and if we did not have a carnet on them , so shipping to Thailand meant we were stuck or had to try and arrange a carnet from Mongolia or Thailand. We went with selling the bikes and buying new 125 cc Waves in Malyasia, and now we will be touring SE Asia until Spring in Canada, when we plan to ship them to BC and ride Alaska and the rest of Canada to my home in Newfoundland.
Although I am not looking forward to the riding the prairies with them, the bikes are perfectly capable of most things. Where you will wish you had the bigger bike is on long highway stretches, but you most likely want to avoid them as much as possible anyway!
What I would worry about is petrol. We need to fill up every 100 kms, which has not been an issue, but you want to check out your route to know where gas is. Take an extra canister or two, otherwise you might find yourself stranded!
The Wave is not nearly as popular outside of Asia, but you can find them. Wikipedia lists the Waves name in other countries here:
Honda Wave series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And if you are interested, the link to the article where I talk about selling our 650s and buying Waves:
From A BMW 650 To A 125 Honda Wave: Newest Chasing Summer Is Out - Unleash Your Adventure
Fell free to PM if you have any questions, like I said, we just started this part of the trip so lets see if we still love them in the end! :scooter:
We hope to be at the meeting in Chang Mai meeting in January, maybe you could make it and talk to others in person there?
It's crazy enough to actually work...?
Thanks a lot! I read your blog yesterday as it happens, fun times! I'm gonna buy *a* Honda Wave soon, and have a play with it. I wanna learn how to play with it myself, as there are untold amounts of cheap bikes and parts in this city. Hopefully by the time I take the plunge I will love whatever Frankenstein contraption I have, know it, and be able to fix it.
TBH right now I would do it on my girlfriend's Nuovo - nippy little devil that it is. I just don't like the idea of climbing mountains in it. Ditto my Suzuki GN125 although that bastards given me enough grief with it's electrics already, and has no kickstart, so I'd feel hella vulnerable.
I'll put it through its paces before I go, and see what it can handle.
The fuel thing is an issue, but I have so long to plan this trip I hope to be au fait with such things.
I appreciate your help on this one - let me know how your biking goes, and if you find yourself in Hanoi, let me know :-)
I will let you know if we end up in Hanoi, but at the moment we lean towards not, we think it is easy to get the bike in, but this mess about needing a drivers license has us wondering if it is worth the headache. (We have international drivers licenses).
As for mountains we will let you know, but if you check out here (page 2 is where they start talking bikes which is why I linked it to there)
RideAsia.net • Best country in SE Asia to buy a bike for touring??
and everyone feels the bike is capable, if not slow. But slow is relative, Im happy at 90 kms an hour. :-P
Another thumbs up from me for the wave, I rented one a couple of times while in SE Asia and thought they would be up to a trip like that.
Go for it your secret,light weight!!! i had a ctx200 Angola and southern africa, went great, cruised at 80kph when i was in a hurry,needed more power in sand i had to pick it up a lot.Carrier kept breaking and with being a farm bike the steering head angle was steep so crap to ride on thick gravel,trying to chuck me off all the time.I had to have medical stuff and camping gear.Looking back a 400cc would have been better in the sand and more stable in gravel.Test your bike with a heavy load and on gravel is my recommendation,good luck.Ron.
We are currently traveling around the world on 100cc Honda Cub clones - the SYM Symbas. You can read about our trip and the bikes at Underboning the World - 2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense - ADVrider We have had problems with having enough power at altitudes over about 2000m, something to keep in mind depending on your route. The Wave does have 9hp versus our 7hp but fuel injection would be a big help (some of the waves are FI, IDK if the ones in Vietnam are?). If they aren't FI, you would be wise to find out about jetting for higher altitudes and carrying spare jets with you.
Little bikes can do it too
It wasn't anything like as challenging as your proposed trip, but I've just completed 2,400 miles round Britain for charity on a 2007 Suzuki Address FL125 - their equivalent of the Innova/Wave. Bought off eBay for £800 with 3300 miles on the clock. It ran with no problems apart from tightening up the mirrors occasionally - though I got a puncture back at work 100 miles after I finished.
The Address is fuel injected - power was fine for Scottish and Cornish hills up to 1:4, though downhill is a bit scary on a winding single track with banks on either side and tourist coaches coming in the other direction. It would do 60 mph with the wind behind it and I averaged 30 mph including breaks, doing about 6 to 8 hours a day cruising at about 50. I had an extra inch of foam added to the seat and managed to get off and walk at the end of each day. I got 110 mpg with a full top box, fabric panniers and 17 stone of me. Biggest limitation was the tiny 4 litre fuel tank which gave me not much over 100 miles between fill-ups. I carried an extra 5 litres in a can bungee-corded to the top box rack, but still had a few anxious moments between petrol stations in the wilds. It may be easier to find fuel on your trip because supermarkets won't have sucked the life out of the petrol market.
Get a small cheap bike and have fun - and have a look at my trip Blog on Compass Points Challenge
I think you've nailed it.
Honda all the way if only for spare parts. Some easy (?) mods would be a long range plastic fuel tank (old trail bike tanks fit without to much trouble). If you are buying new, some model bikes have a two position jet setting, save fiddling with carbies at hight. I saw many Indians riding around on Hondas with Royal Enfield springs and shocks, please consider hondasan :smartass:
Your trip sounds a hoot
Our 3000 Kms On the Wave review
Except for their 100 km reach, we love the Wave! They even handled flooding in Bangkok. (although mind you the shallow stuff, and when it got deep we killed the engine and pushed, but did it they did!)
Our more detailed review:
Honda Wave - Our Moscouter for Asia - Unleash Your Adventure
Hello, may be this helps ?
Planning an Africa trip on my 1989 Honda cd250u. Power 17hp when new,100kph flat out 'till it blows up. You will always be more welcome in nowhere with a small cheap bike as someone will probably own one and that will give you a point of contact unavailable to a 1200gs ten tonne million dollar penis extension. Be lucky!:clap:
what I mean is : MAY BE THIS HELPS
Sounds very sensible to me. I've just dismantled my Honda C90 Cub, taken off the non essential bits ( stock mudguards, side stand, leg shields and swaped the double double seat for a single,) to save weight and bulk, and posted it in bits to a friend in Ulan Baatar. That cost me about £120.00 (way cheaper than any freighting company) and I'll have to pay a customs fine of about £30.00p when I get there in the spring for sneaking it in, but providing I've got enough bits left to make a bike, I'll then ride it back to London via the Stans and various places. Its easy to fix, cheap to ride, I've got two 5L marine fuel cans ( flat and thin so they fit in panniers - well, two cycle panniers I've lashed together)) so with the tank, it gives me about a 300mile/500km range. Not bothered about looking flash or travelling fast, so it suits me. A Wave will be just fine. Do it! :thumbup1:
A wave can do anything
What The Honda Wave Can Handle Or Laos Off-Road Adventure Time - Unleash Your Adventure
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