My Poor Wet Yamaha Nouvo


Well, this morning I got up early and Mr. Ut, my neighbor, took me to The Manor on his motorbike. I thought I could start up my Yamaha Nouvo after letting it dry overnight. Nope, Mr. Ut had to push my motorbike from behind all the way to the Yamaha Service Center on Vo Thi Sau street in District 1. I gave him 100,000 VND for his efforts (he helps me out a lot at my house so I finally had an excuse to pay him for it since Vietnamese normally refuse money for helping you).

After waiting one hour, Monday mornings are always busy at the Yamaha Service Centers in Saigon, a mechanic serviced my motorbike. He knew instantly what was wrong. He opened up my motorbike and called me over. About one litter of water poured out of my motorbike. He had to replace my soaked air filter and spark plug (spark plug is bugi in Vietnamese). After that, he checked my oil. Yep, lots of water in there 🙂 It had to be replaced as well (next weekend I will need to replace it again).

After he finished replacing the spark plug and air filter, he then checked the gear box. It was nice and dry but he found a lot of damage in there. Turns out that over 3 years of wear and tear took its toll on the gear box. He had to take it apart and rebuild it. Everything happens for a reason, if I had not flooded my motorbike, the gearbox would have been heavily damaged within a month costing me more money (it was black inside, not from the oil or dust).

After two hours, he finally finished repairing my motorbike. Wow, I was amazed, I got back the power that I felt was missing the last 6 months. I expect to get better gas mileage again with the rebuilt gearbox. Well, I hope. 20 km/litter does not cut it in Saigon when I used to get about 26 km/litter.

Flooded Yamaha Nouvo in Saigon

(My motorbike being repaired)

Flooded Yamaha Nouvo in Saigon

(Yes, that’s water ‘pouring’ down)

Flooded Yamaha Nouvo in Saigon

(Gearbox was removed and rebuilt)

Total Costs for Flooded Motorbike:

70,000 VND – Taxi back to my house
100,000 VND – Mr. Ut – Xe Om and Tow
350,000 Total – Parts, Labor, Tip – Yamaha Service Center
520,000 VND – Total (~$35 US)

How much would this have cost in the US?


  1. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a bike. And your model has come to my attention as a top contender. Would you buy it again? What do you think is the best choice? I’m looking for something very reliable, comfortable and super easy to ride and start. I don’t care at all about speed or mileage. Given the risk of theft and damage on the streets, I’m not keen on spending a lot of money, but I can afford to do so if it were justified.

  2. Just read this old post after reading how your rear tire got screwed. I’ve never had my new Nouvo in deep water, though I did have a rented Nouvo pretty deep…lol. Mine didn’t quite but others around me had their scooters die. That’s one of the reasons I bought a Nouvo.

    Kinda curious on what kind of gas mileage do you get with your new Nouvo LX? I’m getting a little over 42.2km per liter with my new 2009 Nouvo LX but most of my mileage is not in the city…..lots of District 7 driving or out in the country.

  3. @Dave: Wow, that is quite high for your gas mileage. In the city I get around 29-33 km/litter. It should get close to 40 km/litter outside the city on the highway. I will take mine out in a couple weeks to Can Tho I hope.

    Oh I am angry about my rear tire. I doubt it will last as long. I will take it to Yamaha at the next service check to see if they recommend I get a new one. This one is so new 🙁

  4. I bought mine new and at 750km I took it and got an oil change. I took it to Bike City in District 7 and they put in synthetic oil. I wish I would have checked the mileage before I put the synthetic oil in to see if that made a difference. The older Yamaha Nouvo I was renting only got about 33-34km/ liter for the type of driving I do.

  5. Not sure of the name brand…..Bike City is right next to Black Cat in District 7 so I usually go there once a month or so for a good burger. Next time I’m there I’ll check. I always used synthetic oil in my cars back in the U.S. Back then I thought they said it helped improve gas mileage by 10% but can’t seem to find anything on the internet to back that up…if it did help improve mileage you’d think they would for sure advertise it. Current articles on the internet says synthetic oil helps reduce sludge and with the Nouvo not having an oil filter I would say it can’t hurt.

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