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 tour on Ural and Minsk motorbikes because they are tough and charismatic motorcycles 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 motorbike veterans who have been exploring Vietnam since the early 1990's. The only motorbikes available back then were ex-Warsaw Pact motorbikes 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 motorbikes and their communist roots charter a course similar to Vietnam's revolutionary past.
We also choose these motorbikes because they are not too fast, and are therefore safer and smarter to tour on than more modern motorcycles. Speed limits in Vietnam are in the 40-60km/hr range, so faster motorbikes simply promote unsafe riding, and what our motorbikes 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 tour 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 motorbike riders familiar with larger engines will appreciate the classic feel and raw torque of our ex-military, 40-year-old Ural motorcycles, which are a Russian copy of BMW motorbikes dating back to WWII. They are a joy to tour on and we have made many special modifications to improve their comfort, safety and performance. These motorbikes are perfect cruisers for extended tours like the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Minsk motorbikes, 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.