Finding an adequate bike in Hanoi has been my quest for over a year now. Since I've been living here, I've been driving a rental bike, a Honda Wave which was very useful at the beginning. Then last winter I started to realize I would probably be in Hanoi for another year or two, so why not as well buy a bike. And the selection process started: I want a small bike but not too small as I always carry big bags. I need a reliable one. I didn't know yet if I wanted a fully automatic or semi automatic or even a manual, I was flexible (at that time, then Hanoi's traffic taught me better) What else? I don't want a very small engine. I do like speed, however I'd rather be safe and let's be honnest there isn't much to do in Hanoi with a huge engine.
Anyway, my first choice was on the Honda super cub. It's cute, and funky, kind of trendy. It's a city bike, not too sophisticated. Then I realized it's too small, not very practical as I wear high heels, and carry fabrics, patterns, and all the fashion designers apparel! I have also been reading tones of articles about bikes etc etc and the final decision was "No" to the cub. Alright, so lets renew the Wave rental for another couple of months.
I also got my eyes on the Honda 67. A vintage choice, great curves, great sound, cool ride. I could have the 67 but I definitely need a more practical bike. So Lets put the 67 option aside for now! And keep it as a fantasy.
Meanwhile I'm on the New Hanoian website everyday! I went to the Honda shop, to all the second hand shops in Hanoi. Then one day, I decided to go check out the guy who sells old Vespas off Xuan Dieu street. I loved those vintage Vespas. But then one more time, they are quite complicated to handle, and need a lot of attention. And buying a new model was not even a possibility, prices are just ridiculous. So I opted for a much newer, yet second hand, Vespa GT. A friend gave me some contacts. I met with a guy that breathes Vespa, I was confident he was going to find me a good one. And after 1 week he calls me. They want to sell a 2005 Vespa GT. YEAH! Finally.
And she is a monter. I called her the "Beast". She's huge! and a heaven to drive.
It's like sitting on a couch. And the space is incredible, no more trying to figure out where to put stuff and having to drive like a crab! No more trying to kick start the bike under the rain! I think my heels are even smiling at me!
I'm however not very fond of the nacre olive green color. So we changed it into something less "pimping"!