Don’t tell my Mom I rode 17,000kms from China to her house in Normandy, France with a stolen Yamaha XT250X prototype crossing the middle east on the way.
Episode 1: Getting ready for the start of the trip. The weeks before the 1st of July 2009.
2 months before 1st of July 2009.
Alriiiiiiight, so at that time I am working in Qingdao, in a German company.
View from my office.
At that time, my scooter is rocking the streets of the city. We bought it with my great british friend Lance for 40 euros. However I need something more trustworthy to go back to Paris.
Me and my scooter.
For this, I started looking for a Bike. An american friend named Ric helped me on that (I am going to give you guys a lot of names in those articles, most of you probably do not care but I see it as a way to thank all these people who were a big part of my journey!).
So how do you get a Japanese prototype in China? Well at the beginning I was looking for a 250cc-400cc bike, trail style because it seemed to me that it was the best way to get back home to me!
So Ric and me were looking through different bikes that “Ric’s connections” were sending us pictures of by e-mail. One sunny day (or not), the pictures of this beautiful new black Yamaha show up in my e-mail inbox.
Here is the e-mail “28,000 RMB. We buy papers and plates and then all is well. Few bikes af outside origin are "legal" but they pass for cops. You want real legal. open the wallet and have shipped from Japan. Usually they are torn down and brought in in parts to a factory down South. No they do not want many inspecting, or the price goes up. Ľ
Okkkkkkkkkk, 28,000 RMB = 3,000euros, worth the money, I go for it ! I get the bike about 1 month before the start of the trip.
Time to buy some basic equipment:
Ok, here I am wearing this equipment
Let’s add a pair of trousers, a shirt and well, it’s not good protection but ready to go :)
The guy on this picture is Thomas, incredible French friend. He came to visit me in China and we went to try the bike around Qingdao in different terrain. The bike lost a few bolts on the way, seems the Chinese who assembled all the parts of the bike out of the wooden boxes it came in were quite tired this day.
On the picture above, it is the first stop in a local mechanic out in the mountains to put some bolts back. Nice garage.
Ok, so now, I am ready to leave, itinerary undecided. We are one week before the 1st of July 2009, the day when I finish work in the German company in Qingdao and plan to set out of Qingdao, driving west, direction France.
See you next article.
: Katanas and robbers and the first thousand kilometers!
Frederic Shiffer, writing from Buenos Aires, 12th September 2010.