Mist and motorbikes
Mist and motorbikes
Enlarge
Mountains upon mountains
Mountains upon mountains
Enlarge
Our Urals at Khe Sanh
Our Urals at Khe Sanh
Enlarge
Minsk and mountains
Minsk and mountains
Enlarge

what's behind the throttle

We tour exclusively on vintage 650cc Russian motorcycles called Urals and specially modified 125cc four-stroke Belarusian motorbikes called Minsks (which are more like 175cc though due to our modifications!).

We choose to ride Urals and Minsks because they are tough and charismatic bikes with a long history in Vietnam. That is why they were chosen by Richard Hammond from BBC Top Gear, Charlie Boorman (2x), Gordon Ramsay and Duel Survivor amongst many others.

We are a team of biking veterans who have been exploring Vietnam since the early 1990's. The only motorbikes available back then were ex-Warsaw Pact bikes like Javas, MZs, Simpsons and Minsks, so all the initial exploratory breakthroughs were made on them. Thus there is an exotic air to these old classic bikes and their communist roots charter a course  similar to Vietnam's revolutionary past.

We also choose these bikes because they are not fast, and are therefore safer and smarter to ride than more modern options. Speed limits in Vietnam are in the 40-60km/hr range, so faster bikes simply promote unsafe riding, and what our bikes lack in speed, they make up for in torque, so you will always have enough power when you want it.

Vietnam is, after all, such a beautiful place to ride that there is no point going fast on a rice rocket! Instead, take a bike forged with Soviet steel and Russian iron, and enjoy the sights and sounds, safely....

Experienced riders familiar with larger engines will appreciate the classic feel and raw torque of our ex-military, 40-year-old Urals, which are a Russian copy of BMWs dating back to WWII. They are a joy to ride and we have made many special modifications to improve their comfort, safety and performance. These bikes are perfect cruisers for extended riders like the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Minsks, meanwhile, are perfect for the more rugged roads, tracks and trails far up in the mountains where no one has been to before. They are tough, light and robust motorbikes, with more than enough power to get you up any track, especially now that we have modified them with strong four-stroke engines.

Copyright 2002-2015 Explore Indochina Ltd. All pictures copyright of Explore Indochina Ltd