Kymco Jockey (in VietNam)
by J. Houston
(DakLak Province, VietNam)
The purchase of a scooter was necessitated because driving in Saigon is determined by 3.7-million two-wheel and 350,000 4-wheel motorized vehicles plus the 100% sales tax applied to under 9-passenger cars.
I had never driven a powered two-wheeler before (I am in my 60s) and I was quoted VN Dong 32-million (around $2,000) by a Kymco-VietNam owned retail outlet. The first thing I heard from them was that they should have charged me VND 28-million, when I paid my deposit. How many American dealers would do this?
This was a new style relationship compared to buying a car in North America. The dealership employees have become friends! Even when I visited the technical guys at Kymco head office, my Jockey was 'stolen' by the prep department and given a free overhaul!
As an older driver I fitted outrider bars - with 2 spots on either side, a towing hitch (for my baggage trailer) and a 'point' which ends to the limit of my front wheel to deter taxi-drivers from cutting me off. All the accoutrements were custom-made from my designs in high tensile stainless steel - good for collisions!
I have religiously maintained my 125cc Jockeye with the only costs being for filter, oil and grease.
I have heavily added to the electronics, and changed the digital speedo/rev display with a self-built LCD touch display which adds GPS navigation, modulated lights, a large
horn, a loud-hailer (speaker mounted in the bottom of the 'trunk'), cell-phone jammer, and a radar/laser trap detector. I also fitted high intensity flash-lights in the front side lights and the brake light housings.
I have a TV-camera mounted in the headlight housing and a compact camera mounted facing rearwards under the seat (I also wear an independent helmet camera). (All the TV is to record accidents, which are frequent, daily occurrences.) The cell phone jammer is to prevent nearby drivers from texting or chatting as they drive (illegal in VN) - usually with no hands on the handgrips.
All electronics terminate in a laptop computer in the trunk, which also records TV video. A bracket on the handlebar holds my two-way radio with the antenna mounted behind the rear passenger.
As the seat was suited to smaller stature Vietnamese driver, I bought an additional trunk, cut the bottom out and inserted it into the original trunk - voila, 5" increased seat height.
I wish my Kymco had a bigger battery/generator and a spare tire - like Lambretta's.
I have now driven 18,000 kilometres, in all weathers and road conditions, in the city and long-haul cross-country and it has proved super reliable. I wouldn't hesitate in buying another, personally, my company now has 6 of them, or recommending Kymco product as they represent very good value for money and the factory attitude is pro-customer.
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.