Just a quick update on all things motorcycles in Beijing, China. The weather is starting to get really nice here, highs in the high 20’s pretty much all week and that means more bikes are starting to turn up to take advantage of the nice weather. One of the most popular bikes around here that I’m starting to see a lot more of is the CJ750, from Chang Jiang. It’s actually a sidecar motorcycle, which I’m not the biggest fan of as I feel it takes way the best part of riding (leaning and turns!) while adding the worst part of cars (getting stuck in traffic), but it’s got a great look to it and the design is based off of a Russian bike which is in turn a copy of a BMW with an opposed twin engine design. (I plan on writing more about the CJ750 in a later post dedicated to the subject, so make sure to subscribe from the top of the right sidebar for future updates). There were plenty of other bikes out as well though.
On Saturday, I went with some friends to the Beijing art district, 798 (also known by its Chinese, Qi Jiu Ba), where a lot of bikers apparently frequent. I saw a bunch of guys on Harley’s driving through at one point. I could actually tell what they were riding before even seeing them, just from that old familiar rumble that I’ve missed so much about my Dyna, which is sitting in garage back home. It looked like they were from a local riding group as they all had matching patches on their backs, but I wasn’t able to catch the name.
On Sunday, I went with my girlfriend first to get her a proper helmet since she was a little wary of the bucket helmet she had been using. This gave me an excuse to go to the Beijing Harley Dealership for the first time! Great to see some of the bikes. I even asked if test riding was a possibility, but for some reason I didn’t seem enough like a viable potential customer to be allowed a ride…
Final stop was my local motorcycle mechanic out in 将台乡, near the 5th ring road. I had been having some problems with my chain being loose and wanted to see if he could tighten it. Unfortunately it was tightened as much as possible, which meant I needed to replace it as the installed chain was too long somehow. He didn’t have any chains on hand, so he referred me to a friend a couple doors down. This was a very Chinese situation. Could you imagine a mechanic in the West saying he doesn’t have a part, check with the guy down the street?? Well, bought a new chain and had it installed for a grand total of… US $13! (An hour of labor at a Harley Dealership will run you about $80) Not only that but the guy will be finding me a windshield to install next week (for RMB 65) and my usual guy is finding my girlfriend a motorcycle jacket (about RMB 500).
So with Amy almost fully kitted out with new gear, and my bike running relatively smoothly, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of my first full official riding season in Beijing, China!