Getting around Vietnam by motorbike is very cool however it is the physical test to people. Motorbike can be rented in most of towns and cities and visitors can rent it with relatively low cost. Some experienced bikers explore the countryside on motorbikes freely, but we do not recommend inexperienced bikers to do it as the roads of Vietnam are distinctly dangerous. The indifference of road discipline of the most Vietnamese drivers means the risk of an accident which is not a joke and it is really terrible if it happens in a remote area where the well-equipped hospitals are far away and there is no ambulance service there either.
Many experienced motor bikers like to ride around in Vietnam and they have no problem in doing so. They bike in the northern mountains, through the central highlands and around the Mekong Delta. You will also see them bike on the Ho Chi Minh Highway where offers pristine and wonderful scenery. Some of them also bike on the long haul up Highway 1 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City or vice versa for a leisure journey of two weeks at average 150km per day.
Visitors can easily rent a motorbike in any major tourist centers at very low price about US$7 per day as there is never shortage of motorbikes rental in the country. If you rent it for a relatively longer period, you can get discounts. Before the rental, you are normally asked to sign a rental contract and leave a photocopy of your passport. Sometimes, you may be asked to pay in advance, but if you rent for a week or so, you may be asked to pay a deposit with the same value of the motorbike.
Some travelers also choose to buy a second hand motorbikes at very reasonable price although it is technically illegal for non-residents to own a motor vehicle in the country, however the trade is quite popular in some hotels, traveler's cafes and travel agents. The police have ignored the practice so far, but you'd better check the latest situation before committing yourself. The motorbike is usually a Minsk 125cc, which is sturdy and particularly for mountains and it is very easy to get repaired on the route outside the main cities. However, when you are renting or buying, do remember to check the bike carefully, especially the brakes, horn and lights. Don't forget to wear a helmet as it is very important and is a legal requirement.
One thing is very important that do remember to bring your driving license and bike registration papers with you although the international driving licenses are not valid in Vietnam. You'd better buy at least third-party insurance in advance.
Though road conditions have improved distinctively in recent years, it is still very bumping with plenty of loose gravel on the sides of the road, so be careful during on the way. There are numerous repair shops on the route, but it is better for you to carry at least a puncture-repair kit, spare spark plug and pump with you. Fuel is widely available and cheap but often from bottles. Finally, try to travel with one or more other motorbikes in case one of you gets in trouble and need help.