Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Motorbike Diaries – Vol. 15

7 Comments 25 September 2009

You're humming the song now - aren't you?

You're humming the song now - aren't you?

Start from the Beginning - Motorbike Diaries Vol. 1

What’s in a Name?

I’m going to state the obvious – I’m a girl. What I mean by that is I can exhibit typical girl traits at times; especially when it comes to my knowledge of cars. As long as I can remember, I’ve never really been interested in cars (I mean really, aren’t shoes more interesting?). In fact the first car I bought was when I was 22 years old -  a Ford Escort GT (the GT is very important I’m sure).  I cared so little about cars that I kept it until I was 33 years old; when I finally donated it to charity since I was moving to NYC.

One of my first boyfriends in high school was a Mustang enthusiast. He had this cool old refurbished Mustang and I must admit, I liked riding around in it, but I never really understood his obsession with it. In fact, all I really knew about it was that it was an old Mustang; to me a Mustang was no different than a Honda Civic., it had four wheels and you used it to get from A to B. My boyfriend in college was also a car person, a Thunderbird owner. All I really remember about it was the color. It always amazed me when he would see a car on the street and know the make and model immediately and I would say…you mean that blue car over next to the red one? I have come to believe that all men are car people and I just never got that gene.

I’ve found the most interesting thing about cars isn’t the horsepower or even the color, but instead I’ve always been fascinated with the names. I wonder who comes up with all of those names that are supposed to invoke greatness, swiftness, efficiency, quality, power, and an element of cool; some marketing genius no doubt. Plus I was always fascinated with the chosen names and how they fit the personality of the car; Mustang vs. Escort…what more can I say.

Since motorbikes dominate in Vietnam, I’ve enjoyed being introduced to a whole new pack of names for vehicles which are also supposed to invoke swiftness, efficiency, quality, power, and an element of cool – all on two wheels. Here are a few of my favorites:

Honda Wave – the Toyota Corolla of motorbikes; the most seen model in town
Yamaha Nouvo (my motorbike!)
Honda Future
Honda Dream, DreamII, and Super Dream
Suzuki Best
Yamaha Sirius
Honda Airblade
Yamaha Jupiter
Honda Supercub
Kawasaki Max II
Honda Newfi
Suzuki Vivo

I personally think they should consider some new names such as the Honda Patience, or the Yamaha Wrong Way, or maybe the Suzuki Carry-Anything(and I mean ANYTHING). Then again, that might be a bit long…but hell, it’s accurate. Regardless, I’m sure that the various motorbike creative teams are working on the next exciting new set of names – I can hardly wait to see what they come up with next!

Get your own Vietnam Motorbike License and get out on the streets!

Like what you read?  Then keep reading!

Motorbike Diaries vol. 16

Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. JoAnna says:

    Everyone seems to ride the same Nissan van in Kenya, but they’re all decked out with stickers and decals. Some of them were so funny ~ it’s so funny what a vehicle can tell you … whether it’s got a fancy name or not!

  2. admin says:

    @JoAnna – ha! It’s like Pimp my motorbike ride! Yes – a vehicle wethre it’s two wheels or 4 is really an extension of the person’s personality! Do you have your own motorbike?

  3. JoAnna says:

    I don’t … but my husband does, and it has a vanity plate which reads “Pki Pki.” That is, “piki piki,” the word for “motorcycle” in Swahili. Vanity plates … another extension of that personality.

  4. Wha a hoot! I actually captured a photo of a motorbike with six – count ‘em, SIX – full size dinng room chairs strapped to the back, as the driver weaved back and forth through a crush of traffic on a major roadway. Suzuki Carry-Anything – you may be on to something there.

  5. Mark H says:

    In Asia and Africa in particular, motor bikes seem to be like small cars in their capacity to carry entire families, small farmyards of animals or large items. Yet everyone sees it as perfectly normal. I do like your list of marketing words that make them sound so inspiring to ride.

  6. Anil says:

    I like Patience and Wrong-Way for car names. I had a few of mine that I wrong but deleted here. They weren’t as clever as those!

  7. bettina says:

    I want to know too who comes up with all these names, some of the names are really fascinating. I like the Honda Wave.


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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