Motor bikes need a lot of love and attention – well that is what the manufacture manual says, but I tend not to do this, just drive, fuel/oil up and when something breaks fix it.
If you decided to drive a motorbike in Hanoi, feel assured that there is always someone close at hand to help you out. Be it a puncture, you need some fuel in a hurry, your bike has broken down, don’t worry there will be someone to help you shortly.
Once I was driving, ran over a bit of polystyrene on the road while dodging the others and got a puncture. Got off my bike, thought .. . . ‘S***, what now??”, some random person saw me and pointed up the road about 10 meters, there in a little tea-shop on the side of the road, so I pushed it up there. She pointed a tire hanging in a tree, I gave her the thumbs up, the tea-shop lady pointed to a tiny plastic chair and asked in Vietnamese if I wanted tea, I thought that is what she was saying so nodded, poured me some bitter tea in a wee cup then went running off up the road. I sat there thinking, not sure what will happen now and before I could drink the tea, she returned with a man holding a bucket full of tricks . I pointed to the bike and he found a nail in my tire, pulled out the tube and repaired it right then and there.
For a brief moment I thought, ummmm, how much is this going to cost me, being a foreigner with limited language, but knew my numbers and how to say ‘too expensive’ so relaxed and thought never mind roll with it. All fixed and $2 – exorbitant price for the local market, but lets face it, this face is not Vietnamese, so I happily paid it and gave the tea lady some money and rode off, all within about 15 mins. Now that is what I call service.
For general run of mill bikes, like my HonGda (Honda) etc, there are plenty of repair shops around, real ones with a shop, air out of a compressor, which are also reasonable to get repairs, parts, more mirrors (gave up buying these) always seem to fall off or something, lost, missing, they are over rated anyways and people in Hanoi drive to what is in front of them, forget the past . .. . or what is driving behind you, drive like they are not there 😀
Think that this is their amazing philosophy of life, move on from the past .. . . this is what makes them amazing nation of people with true resiliency.