Ride the West China in Sept - Suggestion?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by ChristineG, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. ChristineG

    ChristineG n00b

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    Hi,

    I am a native Chinese moving to California 4 years ago and got sucked into adv riding ... Having explored some areas in CA on a F650GS twin. I am thinking of doing a trip back in my home country this Sept, since I will have some time off then. Tentative itinerary: Xi An (My home town) - Jiu Zhaigou - Lasha - Kun Ming - Chong Qin - Xi An.

    Although I was raised there, I have no idea how it is like riding motorcycle around China. Looking for advice from ADV riders who have done trips there. How is the road condition? recommendation for bikes, hotels, etc.

    Thanks
    Christine
    #1
  2. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    There are a few threads by Chinese natives that have ridden around there. There is more info at www.horizonsunlimited.com It is practically off limits if you are not Chinese. I don't know how it will be for you.

    Good luck!
    #2
  3. globalvisions

    globalvisions thefreedombiker.com

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    Christine I am an American biker currently in the Philippines and I really want to tour in China with my bike. Please contact me if you have found any information about pulling this off. Kind regards

    Mister Lucky
    #3
  4. sinned

    sinned Been here awhile

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    Hi Christine,

    You might like to view some of the following posts/threads to get an idea of riding a motorcycle in mainland China.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=564615&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=486945&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=407448&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279505&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=522632&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=345704&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=300531
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307279&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=456465&highlight=JH600
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=417056&highlight=JH600

    Also check out www.mychinamoto.com which provides heaps of information provided you put in some effort to read the various threads etc. To answer your question about riding here in mainland China, it's going to be very different than riding in California that's for sure.

    You need to be adaptable, 100% aware of your surroundings and all those around you at all times. Ride defensively but also be a little aggressive too, otherwise you'll get pushed to the way-side. The road rules are there, but few people follow them or abide by them.

    Bikes while prolific, are used more as a means of transportation than as a recreational vehicle/pursuit. Finding a motorcycle greater than 250cc can be a challenge, and you'll mostly see 50cc-110cc or 150cc scooters and motorcycles. Motorcycle dealerships sell motorcycles and motorscooters and that's about it. No gloves, helmets or other protective clothing. If you happen to ride with much of the aforementioned safety gear -you'll likely stand out.

    Getting a larger displacement motorcycle >250cc is fraught with pitfalls and can easily trap the uninitiated or novice. Just be aware that legally imported motorcycles >250cc have to pay a range of taxes and duties which will usually inflate the price of the motorcycle 100%. That will make the motorcycle worth 200% (at least) of what it costs new overseas.

    Currently Harley Davidson, BMW, Ducati, Benelli, Kymco are imported/distributed & can be bought legally & can get motorcycle registration plates issued without too many problems, provided you're not trying to license the motorcycle in a city that bans them. Many other large motorcycles (>250cc) are bought in illegally (grey market) and often have altered identities with legal plates, or copied plates or fake plates. It's a minefield for the novice.

    There are numerous Chinese motorcycle manufacturers here, check www.mychinamoto.com to get some idea on what brands and models might be worth you considering if you were to look at buying a Chinese brand. I'd suggest you look at the Jialing JH600 (dual purpose). But CFmoto are about to release a 650cc (road bike) later this year.

    Also there are many cities where the riding of motorcycles is banned. Those cities also don't issue motorcycle license plates. Many of the expressways do not allow motorcycles on them, though there a few exceptions (namely around Beijing).

    Other than that, it's not too bad riding here...

    Keep in mind that size matters on the road. The bigger you are the more you can push other road users around. Trucks and buses rule the roost while pedestrians are at the bottom of the food chain. Using the vehicle horn is almost obligatory and for good reason. Not many Chinese people here seem to have much awareness or road sense, but then to be fair ten years ago there were few motor vehicles on the roads, actually there were few good roads. Keep in mind also that few people received a school education. So despite what others might say, despite the warning signs, use your horn a lot to announce your presence to all around you. Using the horn makes others aware of your existence and works quite effectively. Use the horn defensively, riding along, approaching intersections, side roads, pedestrians, other road users, riding round corners etc. I use mine all the time -for good reason. It'll save your ass!
    #4
  5. deaninkl

    deaninkl Been here awhile

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    Hi Christine,

    Sinned pretty much has it all covered, how big are you? I'm use to big bikes (I have a 1200 BMW) but in China I got use to riding 125, 200's again and loved it. There are good versions of the XL 125 Honda made locally in China, they are cheap and spares are easy as they use the CG125 engine. Riding out in the west is great fun, and the roads are quiet in many areas. Driving in the towns and cities is very bad, so you have to be alert all the time. I rode and drove in China for 7 years and never had an accident, you just neet to be very alert. I hope you still have Chinese citizenship as getting a licesne as a foreigner is difficult for a bike. I got mine only after years of trying.

    Good luck and enjoy.
    #5
  6. kirrainasia

    kirrainasia Apprentice DirtyOldCodger

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    I agree with most of the above, having worked in China for most of the last 3yrs. I spent a fair amount of time in Guanxi and other parts of south China, riding an XJR 1200. There are more and more locally produced bikes of 200cc as well as 400cc such as Asiawind. Jialing does sell a JH600, personally I think its over priced, at around Rmb30,000. There are japanese bikes as well as US and European bikes available.

    Be wary of buying from ChinaMoto, lots of scammers on that site and every dodge known to man is carried out to make an old nail in to a 'mint motobicycle'
    You can pick up some interesting bikes just walking around Shan Wei, in Shanwei province in Guangdong.
    I saw a KTM for sale at Rmb 17,000, SV400 for 18,000 and a quite a few 750 Hondas at around 17,000. I saw several large sheds full of bikes, Japanese, BMWs, Ducatis, road and dual sport.

    It would make things much easier if you have a Chinese License. Then you could get a Chinese bike direct from the factory, with plates and registration sorted out for you.

    One last thing, forget about riding at night, its not recommended. The coaches have enough spotlights to burn the eyes out of your sockets at 1mile.

    I have a few friends in Shenzen and I may be back up that way around Sept.
    Cheers
    #6
  7. ChristineG

    ChristineG n00b

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    Hi Guys,

    Thank for all the suggestions. I ended up doing the CDT (continental divide trail) this September instead. But I definitely want to fire up the China trip, maybe next year. We are looking at the Galaxy XTR250, which seems to gain a lot good reviews on MyChinaMoto. Any suggestions? Also wondering whether you guys need to camp traveling in China?
    #7
  8. Smackit

    Smackit Life Is Good Supporter

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    Hi Christine,

    Camping is a bit difficult in China, as there aren't any formal campsites. You can usually find a spot to pitch a tent, but you need to be careful about who's land you're camping on. I did some camping on this trip and it was great, much better than staying in a hotel.

    Galaxy now has their adventure version of the XTR ready for sale, it's a good bike for China as the engine is pretty simple and it has plenty of suspension to tackle the rough roads. About $2500 USD with registration and insurance.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck with your ride!

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
    #8
  9. ChristineG

    ChristineG n00b

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    Thanks ChinaV. I been been following your post closely. Great info.

    The thing I am not sure I can end up getting is the driver's license. I did find on the government website, that you can get a temporary one for 3 months. It also seems that is the one that a lot of the tour groups get. Do you know about the temporary driver's license?
    #9
  10. Smackit

    Smackit Life Is Good Supporter

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    I only know that some people have been successful at getting the 3 month temporary in Shanghai and Beijing. Although it's not specific to motorcycles, I don't think you would have any problem touring on it. You mentioned being native Chinese, I think you can apply for a license in your home town (Xi An) without any issue. Very fast and cheap to do it that way.

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
    #10
  11. aqjt

    aqjt n00b

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    Guangdong Galaxy production XTR250 is a good car, I recommend also produced X2X Chongqing Xinyuan displacement is 250CC's, but its cooling system is water cooled, these two cars traveling in China are a good choice!

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. aqjt

    aqjt n00b

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    Travel in China there is a very good car production in Chongqing X2X Xinyuan band displacement is 250CC water cooling system, the price is slightly higher, but it is a good choice:D

    [​IMG]
    This is I and my motorcycle's picture, my motorcycle is China produces the primal chaos leopard 250, its price is slightly high, needs 22000 Renminbi, did not suggest the Chinese traveling buys it!

    [​IMG]
    #12