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The long, slow death of the ‘Honda’ Win

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Seán Nolan

 

 

A ‘Honda’ Win 100cc. Photo courtesy of baoquangninh.com.vn

 

While the number of tourists I’ve seen since the reopening of the border to international tourists in March has allayed any fears I had about the tourism ‘bubble’ being burst in Việt Nam, one thing is still missing, something that a few years ago went hand-in-hand with backpackers and tourists.

I’m talking, of course, about the (in)famous ‘Honda’ Win.

Lambasted by anyone with any level of motorcycling knowledge (Tigit Motorcycles in HCM City named it THE WORST bike you can buy in Việt Nam), these Win’s were usually backpackers’ first choice for seeing Việt Nam under their own steam.

Cheap, customisable and available everywhere, it wasn’t hard to spot an overpacked model careering down the road, all backpacks and bungee cords hanging precariously. Even a few expats who ought to have known better couldn’t resist.

These days though, they are a much rarer sight.

I should clarify; chances are none of us have ever seen a legitimate Honda Win.

The first Honda Win 100cc rolled off the production line in 1986, though it was heavily based on the Honda CD90 from 1971. The bike went out of production in 2005, when several other unassociated companies jumped on the bandwagon, pumping out their own versions faster than they could break down – which, if you’re wondering, was pretty fast.

I had the (dis)pleasure of riding a knock-off Win for a while, and it was the most uncomfortable I’ve ever felt on two wheels.

The seat is high and narrow, as are the pegs, leaving the rider feeling like their knees are around their ears – not ideal for maintaining your balance in rush hour traffic.

The brakes, a drum design that should have stayed in the 1970s, are woeful, and the suspension is so soft if you hit a pothole in the previous town you’d still be bumping as you reach the next.

Despite all of this, the ‘Honda’ Win was always a popular choice for backpackers looking to ride from Hà Nội to HCM City, or vice versa – perhaps because, unlike the much more popular and reliable scooters favoured by locals, the Wins look like ‘real’ motorbikes.

My running hypothesis is that, with the borders shut and a shortage of buyers, the Wins that should have been sold to their eighth or tenth owner to traipse back down the country simply ended up being cannibalised for parts or sold for scrap metal, while supply chain breakdowns with China meant no new models took their place.

Fast forward two years and all that is left of the problematic Wins is a rose-tinted view of a time before COVID.

COVID may have changed a lot of things but, perhaps, some of those changes are for the better. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/entertainment/the-long-slow-death-of-the-honda-win_336307.html

Entertainment-Sports

National squad must ‘continue to improve’ despite recent success

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Coach Park believes the national side still needs to improve before the AFF Cup 2022. VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Linh 

HCM CITY — Despite victories against Singapore and India in the friendly international tournament, head coach Park Hang Seo believes there is still much room for improvement in the national side, especially if they are to make a mark at the AFF Cup 2022 in December.

On Tuesday, Việt Nam beat India 3-0 in the final game of the international friendly tournament at Thống Nhất Stadium, HCM City, finishing the tournament as champions.

The win means that Việt Nam beat every opponent in the tournament without conceding a goal. 

Unlike the previous match against Singapore, coach Park fielded his strongest squad against India. 

The South Korean coach made ten changes to the starting lineup, with Quang Hải, Công Phượnng, and Văn Đức, Văn Hậu all starting. 

“I wanted to take advantage of this friendly tournament to give new players an opportunity to play while improving the whole team’s tactics,” coach Park said after the game. 

“But, against India today, I wanted to evaluate the quality of the core players in the squad. That’s why I made those changes. 

“The players played well in both matches but I still need more time to adjust, and check for more options. There is still a long way to go until the AFF Cup, so the team must continue to improve until then.”

In the match against India, the home team took control from the kickoff, pressing the Indian side back.

In the 10th minute, from a Công Phượng corner kick, India’s goalkeeper Sandhu punched the ball straight towards Văn Đức in the penalty area.

The striker took the ball on the volley to open the scoring for the hosts. Settled, Việt Nam played more controlled and patient play.

In the last minutes of the first half, the visitors had opportunities to equalise, but goalkeeper Văn Lâm and the defenders kept them at bay.

In the second half, Văn Toàn replaced Công Phượng, and it took just four minutes for Toàn to have an impact.  

Toàn’s speed helped him take advantage of Anwar Ali’s mistake in his own half. Stealing the ball, he went one-on-one with Sandhu and neatly slipped the ball past him and into the gaping goal, his first goal for the national side since a game against Afghanistan in the Asian Cup qualifying round in March 2017. 

In the 72nd minute, Bùi Hoàng Việt Anh crossed the ball from the right wing. Văn Quyết took two touches, one to control the other and the other to fire it into the back of the net. 

The hosts finished the tournament with seven goals scored, and three conceded. VNS 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/national-squad-must-continue-to-improve-despite-recent-success_337686.html

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Speed skaters win golds in first int’l event

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Speed Skating

The Vietnamese team poses for photos after the end of the Indonesian National Speed Skating Championship which closed on September 22. Việt Nam won five golds, four silvers and two bronzes. — Photo of VSF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam won five gold medals after being invited to compete at the Indonesian National Speed Skating Championship, which closed on September 22.

Giang Bảo Anh was the most successful athlete, winning a hattrick of titles in the women’s F Group’s 222m, 333m and 500m categories.

Nguyễn Phi Long secured a gold in the men’s junior Group C 500m class and two silvers in the 1000m and 1500m tracks.

Lê Hữu Dũng pocketed his title in the men’s senior 1500m and two bronzes in the 500m and 1000m. 

Another medalist of Việt Nam was Nguyễn Võ Hữu Vinh with two silvers in the men’s senior 1000m and 1500m.

Giang Bảo Trang, who was expected to be in top three in three classes in the women’s junior Group E, unexpectedly suffered a leg injury during her training prior to the competition. She was sidelined.

In addition to their medals, athletes also collected points for the next Winter Olympics. With a gold, they bagged 34 points, and 21 and 13 for silver and bronze, respectively.

The Indonesian championship was the first ever international tournament that a Vietnamese delegation took part in.

According to Trịnh Thị Trang, general secretary of the Việt Nam Skating Federation (VSF), Indonesia invited athletes from other countries to its championship to improve the quality of the tournament and also to give all competitors chances to sharpen their skills.

Việt Nam sent five athletes to Indonesia. It was their first event abroad and their result was much better than expected, she said. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/speed-skaters-win-golds-in-first-intl-event_337570.html

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Liêm through to Julius Baer Generation Cup’s semi-final

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Chess

GM Lê Quang Liêm sails into the semis of the Julius Baer Generation Cup on September 22. — Photo đuyenangvietnam.net

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Grandmaster (GM) Lê Quang Liêm advanced to the semi-finals of the online Julius Baer Generation Cup on September 22.

Liêm knocked 19-year-old phenomenon Hans Niemann of the US out after four rapid chess matches in the quarter-final round.

A former world blitz chess champion, Liêm grabbed two wins, one draw and one loss against Niemann, who recently won twice over world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen.

It is his third time beating the American GM Niemann. Liêm overcame him in the group round match several days ago and at the FTX Crypto Cup last month.

Lê Quang Liêm of Việt Nam (left) seen during the online Julius Baer Generation Cup’s quarter-final match against Hans Niemann of the US on September 22. — Photo chess24.com

With this result, Liêm proved he belonged in the top four in competitions, including the Charity Cup (No. 4), Oslo Esports Cup (No. 2), Prague Masters (No. 2), Biel Chess International (champion) and FTX Crypto Cup (No. 4), that he has taken part in since March. 

In the semi-final, 31-year-old Liêm will face Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi. The national champion beat Christopher Yoo of the US in the tie-break after their matches ended 2-2.

Erigaisi, 19, defeated Liêm in the group round earlier this week.

In the other semis, GM Carlsen of Norway will play GM Vincent Keymer from Germany. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/liem-through-to-julius-baer-generation-cups-semi-final_337568.html

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