It all started with a message I received from a long-time pal of mine Danny Wilson. The gist of it was something about him now working for Harley-Davidson as a contractor in emerging markets. There was also something in the message about an Aussie expatriate who opened a dealership in Viet Nam and something called Saigon Speed Week. By the time the message ended there was an invite on the table as well as a flight and hotel for a week. Being a red-blooded American I was little fuzzy on the whole Viet Nam thing, being ever the adventurer I hit him back with two letters “O” and “K”.
A few months passed and I was contacted via email by the dealer principal of Harley-Davidson of Saigon and founder of Saigon Speed Week Lawson Dixon regarding firming up the plans of trip. After a few more months flew by, I was on a plane headed for a long flight to Hong Kong and a little one to Saigon’s Ho Chi Minh airport deep in the heart of South East Asia.
In all truthfulness as I was in the air high over the Pacific ocean I wasn’t feeling overjoyed that I agreed to go to this country since all of the knowledge I possess about this country was a shitty war and some even shittier war movies. When I arrived at the airport, got my visa sorted out, found my checked bag and finally made it through customs with a week-long travel visa in hand it was almost 2am. I was greeted by Danny and his good friend Matt Harrington, who was also in town from Thailand (by way of Australia) for Saigon Speed Week.
The next day we hit the dealership. I finally met Lawson face to face and was welcomed as if I had known him for years. After looking around the sales floor, service area and parts department of the dealership all I can tell was how impressed I was at both how large it was as well as how many bikes were either being sold or were in for routine service. Danny and Matt also spent the past week getting the dealership’s new DynoJet dyno up and running and he already had more than a few of the local riders lined up that morning waiting to know what horsepower their already souped-up bikes possessed.
The first day of Saigon Speed Week consisted of Dyno Shootouts and HOG Chapter meetings and rides. The rest of the week was filled with more dyno runs, a two-day 380km ride, tech courses on performance, a women-only riding clinic, a live rock concert, a trip to the amazing H-D Black Label store, and a few choice meet-and-greet parties along the way.
After my week-long stay in Viet Nam, I can with all certainty say that I will be going back for Saigon Speed Week 2016 as it is such an amazing country filled with great and gracious people. Feel free to join us! for more info hit up http://harleysaigon.vn