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.

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Feb 23, 2018
Good Morning Vietnam and Thanks NEW
by: R. Krebs Maryland

I want to thank the site owner Kathi and Kimco Jockey (in Vietnam). Kathi for asking folks to edit before posting and having one of the few locations on the web to read reviews of Kymco Scooters and because of the great, helpful conversations she fostered for this reader.

Kimco Jockey in Vietnam. We just got back from SE Asia and witnessed what you explained about scooter traffic. Our guide claimed Saigon has 12 million residents and 6 million scooters! What a pleasure to hear from someone on the ground experiencing that entrepreneurial cock-eyed-ness that is Vietnam right now, with scooter bees buzzing all around (even on the sidewalks). I’m sure you could regale us with funny instances and narrow escapes, and I hope you do, but I’m writing today, to support your ingenious customizations. I only wish we could somehow see photos of all you did. Do you have photos posted on-line somewhere? Can Kathi put me in touch with you? I would do the same as you any day if I had as much imagination.

Your precautions are not pompous at all, but exhibit some real Yankee ingenuity. Well done!

I’m sure you know of the "water-cooled" engines many of the Romak drivers in Vietnam use. A Romak is a sort of 125cc any brand cycle rigged with a makeshift two-seater trailer Vietnamese use instead of taxies. All over See Asia cyclists have big three-gallon plastic water jugs strapped to the carriage area with a long PVC tube that runs to the top of the motorcycle air-cooled cylinder head. The water slowly drips onto the cylinder!!!!! That’s their version of water-cooled!!! Can’t be good for metal temperance, but apparently it goes the distance everyday for many.

Tell us more Kimco Jockey, please! And thanks again Kathi for this opportunity and for your stalwart work leading this blog-site charge!

May 27, 2011
by: brian Slater

They may call you a pompous ass but if was offered al that kit with my scooter I would say 'yes please!!' Just a helmet cam would be cool because here in Taiwan I see bike crashes everyday and it makes you think!

Mar 03, 2011
Anonymous comments are posted by cowards
by: J. Houston

Apart from using a cell phone whilst mobile in a vehicle being illegal, having seen people hit by distracted drivers, albeit at slow speed, and having been hit myself, I consider it OK to try to maintain my safety and that of any passengers.

Undoubtedly you must be one of those driving around breaking the law. Have a great accident.

Mar 03, 2011
Good god.
by: Anonymous

Jesus christ man, didn't you go a bit overboard? Especially for Vietnam? And although that's a nice moral crusade having the cell phone jammer, i must say you're a textbook pompous ass.

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