do you do for New Year holidays in a country that completely
closes down, where everybody goes home to visit family
(When you've got none here!) and the favourite "Tet"
pastime is to drink snake wine and eat pickled egg cake?
As most hair brain schemes are concocted this one began
at the end of a long night in "Q' Bar in Saigon with
Chewsters brainchild of doing something different like
driving from Saigon to Hanoi on the most unlikely choice
of 2-wheels available. To make the 2000km+ trip more
interesting it was decided to do it on 1970's 50cc Honda
Chally scooters with a budget of 250.00quid including
the purchase price of the scoot. The final challenge
was to do the trip "off road"! Christmas was on us so
nothing went any further until the first meeting on
Jan 2nd. By this time a compromise was met by half on
road and half off road and the 1000km trip was to take
place over 4 days leaving Saigon via Bao Loc, Dalat,
a jungle trip and onto Nha Trang one of Vietnam's top
beach resorts with more than a few detours in-between.
4 weeks before "Tet" New Year holidays and none of the
teams had even purchased the classic Honda. Departure
date was planned for the 28th January which was New
Years Eve and a total of 14 scoots finally enrolled
and signed the "Accidental Death Waver". The meeting
was to be 20km's north of Saigon at the Big C as to
avoid any unwanted Police attention as it's strictly
illegal to make any vehicle modifications here whatsoever.
The teams were eager to check out the competition and
much to the amusement of a gathering crowd of hundreds
of onlookers who couldn't figure out why a group of
crazy foreigners would even want to ??????????????
the standard factory specification Honda Chaly that
had trouble pushing a top speed of 45km's, sported 10"
wheels and a 3litre petrol tank were an amazing range
of unrecognizable machines. Upgrades included 110cc
and Saigon Scooters 144cc, 14" wheels, long range tanks,
expansion pipes, sports seats amongst others. The teams
left at 10 minute intervals and the fastest times over
each stage were to be totaled up to find the overall
fastest time up to arriving in Nha Trang. All members
of each team had to compete each stage to qualify for
the following day.
Day 1 - Saigon to Bao Loc
Day 2 - Bao Loc to Dalat
Day 3 - Jungle trip
Day4 - Dalat to Nha Trang
Day 5 - Beach party and Award ceremony
Overall winning team - Saigon Scooter Centre (Pat,Ash
Best Bike - Dan (Completed on 10" wheels and loads of
Most Crashes - Jacob Lenartsson
Loosers Trophy - The Underdogs Team (Jacob and Romain)
With another leg planned for the end of the year after
the rainy season finishes mark 2 versions are already
being built. Hopefully this will be the first of many.