The Great Chinese Motorcycle Adventure Pt. 3

Driving along 205国道 was an interesting experience. It was a two lane road with crazy drivers, huge buses making incredibly bold passes, bikes riding on the shoulders, potholes, and hidden intersections with cars popping out unexpectedly. We were driving along here for about 20 minutes or so when I saw in my mirror the same signal to stop from Karl. When we pulled over he told me that the chain had started to loosen again so he could barely accelerate again or run above 5 thousand revs. I also admitted to being nervous about my hot engine and the shaking at the front. So we started to weigh our options. Our odometers read about 270km for the day but that also included a lot of wandering. That left about 500km for the next day if we were on our original route. But now we were on a slower road that
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The Great Chinese Motorcycle Adventure Pt. 2

As we were making our way slowly on the shoulder of the highway, a police officer ended up pulling us over. This obviously made us pretty nervous given that nothing we were doing with the bikes was legal, so pretended not to know any Chinese. The cop however turned out to be very friendly as he apologized for his poor English, explained how we couldn’t drive on the highway like that, and escorted us to the next down. Driving through this city was pretty interesting as we were winding through an army of gigantic trucks along a dirt road riddled with ditches. Soon we found a motorcycle repair place, 摩托车修, that was really just a hole in the wall with scooters out front next to what I’m pretty sure was a brothel. However, we still managed to move the tire back and make the chain taught and all for free.
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The Great Chinese Motorcycle Adventure Pt. 1

On Wednesday the 13th of May, my friend Karl and I were equipped to set off on our 700km trip down the coast of China to Qingdao, Karl with his 400cc Kawasaki Ninja with fake plates and me with my Honda CB400 with no plates at all, and neither of us with a valid Chinese driver’s lisence to speak of. The trip started out well. Our first 150km went off without a hitch as we wound our way through Beijing traffic and navigated our way out of the city. The driving was very fun as we hit the open road, hitting speeds as high as 150km/h. We took a break for some snacks and to get some gas. The gas station was fun as we had Chinese crowding round our bikes asking us questions and chuckling at our directions we had taped to our gas tanks. It was at about
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China and Motorcycles!

So after a long hiatus, I thought it was time for a new post, particularly with the weather getting so nice. I am currently in Beijing, China studying for a semester and with my beloved Sportster sitting in a garage 10,000 miles away and the weather in Beijing in the high 20’s to low 30’s (celsius), I’m feeling that inevitable itch to get back onto the road more than ever! For whatever reason, it seems as if Rubber on the Road had been blocked for me in China until very recently. What’s even stranger is that my political blogs seemed to get through the Chinese firewalls, but the motorcycle one apparently took a while to gain approval. Either way, I’m back and thought I’d give a little summary of what I’ve seen of the motorcycles in China. Motorcycle in Mandarin is 摩托车, the pinyin is mo2tuo1che1 (pronounced muotuochi). The motorcycle
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