Custom building motorbikes in Hai Phong

When I returned to Vietnam after holidaying in Jakarta for 6 months I bought an old Honda Husky/Rebel that had been custom build by 2 young Vietnamese guys. It was a mongrel of a bike with lots of things that were mixed and matched, but the bike had good bones and I bought it as a future project.

At that time I was living in a small beach town called Quy Nhon. I thought it would be pretty easy to find someone to customize it for me, but I thought wrong!! Nobody in Quy Nhon had any idea how to fix it let alone customize it.

When I left Quy Nhon to live in Hai Phong I decided to have the bike shipped to my new home in the hope that I could find someone here to do it. After a few months, I got lucky after seeing a FB post, so I headed down to see this old Vietnamese guy who was apparently fairly cheap and pretty good with bigger bikes.

We meet and I give him the following list of repairs/customizations:

  • strip the bike and paint the frame matt black
  • strip all the chrome and paint it matt black
  • chromed wheels to be painted matt black
  • rebuild the engine and gearbox and paint matt black
  • get rid of the handlebars and replace with straight bars and fit risers
  • rewire the entire system
  • fit a new performance carburettor
  • new speedometer and tachometer
  • new lights and indicators
  • new battery
  • new starter
  • new seats
  • new performance tyres
  • Replace the control switches on both sides of the handlebars
  • move the horns from the sides of the frame and place 1 only in front
  • extend the left and right front foot pegs by 4 inches (maximum amount possible)
  • every nut and bold needs to be replaced with new ones

So, 5 months and 8 million VND later it’s ready to be picked up and I’m fairly happy with the job he has done. I hate sitting on a motorbike and seeing scratches and things out of place so I really just wanted to clean the bike up, and he has certainly done that. The quality of work is what you would expect for a small mechanical workshop in Vietnam – it isn’t Orange County Choppers quality!! But I’ll let you judge for yourself

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