Originally Posted by selzbytes
For the next 2 years we are hunkered down in China - Shanghai specifically. This presents us with an opportunity to plan and do some riding in Asia.
Thus far it appears to be more effort than I'm willing to do in order to ride in China - unless someone has figured that all out. So looking for suggested places to rent and ride in Asia.
I'm all ears -
Thanks in advance.
Gidday, you might find that you can get a lot of country specific info from www.mychinamoto.com
of which I am a regular forum participant (that and many other motorcycling forums).
China riding & motorcycle D/L:
Riding inside China is not that difficult. If you have an overseas motorcycle/drivers license then you simply need to have it authenticated/translated, then sit a 100 MCQ theory exam, pass it and you will be provided a Chinese drivers license. If you don't have an overseas motorcycle lisence then it gets a little more complicated, and in that case I'd recommend going back overseas and completing the motorcycle license abroad. If the first situation applies to you, then after successfully gaining your Chinese D/L take your newly acquired Chinese drivers/riders license along with your passport, and employment/temporary employment visa and you can purchase a range of bikes, anything from locally manufactured 50cc + to the likes of imported BMW (official BMW Motorrad), Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Gilera, Suzuki and many others. Take care though as there are two markets; the 100% legal but potentially expensive market if you are looking at anything imported, versus the grey [less expensive] import market bikes of which there are many. Taking the time to read mychinamoto.com will help you work out the legal stuff.
Shanghai license plates:
If you live in the inner areas of Shanghai, then you will be obligated to get your bike plated with a very expensive inner Shanghai "A" plate (as long as the bike is 100% legal and not a grey market acquired model). If however you live outside the inner designated area you can be afforded that much cheaper and affordable Shanghai "C" plate. Another source for everything Shanghai is www.shanghaiexpat.com
where you can find info on the drivers license situation etc.
Shanghai license plates are allocated on a lottery type system in Shanghai which with the principles of supply versus demands, dictates that prices are inflated to unrealistic levels to many an outsider. Motorcycle plates are worse off, and are no longer issued by the Shanghai municipal authorities, instead motorcycle plates in Shanghai are able to be transferred between one bike and another. You (or an agent on your behalf) find a plate on another bike with a willing seller, you (or your agent) buy the plate and go through the appropriate legal procedure to have it attached to your bike. Keep in mind that bikes are only allowed on the "roads" for around eleven years from new before being made to mandatory scrap the bike meaning it has to come off the road permanently. Yes unbelievable as it may seem. Actually the same held true for cars too until recently, now though cars do not have the same fate, and the eleven year scrap rule was lifted for cars. The other thing about Shanghai motorcycle plates is that they are even more expensive now than the car lottery plate system (Shanghai only allocates a limited number of car plates each month, supply does not meet the demand= inflated pricing). Why the motorcycle plate is more costly than a car plate, well it's not only the limited supply but also because a motorcycle plate can be exchanged for a car plate for a very small fee. But not the opposite way, meaning a Shanghai issued car plate cannot be exchanged for a motorcycle plate. The Shanghai government does this to encourage more people to give up motorcycle for cars. There are many reasons for this so it is not so easy to say, that the rule seems ill conceived given environmental concerns and the issue of global warming etc. One thing though as a consequence of the policy is that each time a Shanghai issued license plate is exchanged for a car plate, it is lost from the pool of available plates. The Shanghai authorities do not release that exchanged motorcycle plate, back to the market -it's gone for good. Keep in mind though that other jurisdictions outside Shanghai have different rules and prices are much more affordable outside Shanghai, which is why some people flout the rules by getting plates from other jurisdictions even though they may live in Shanghai. There are companies that are set up to offer these types of services too. Basically there are multiple jurisdictions here like mini empires, and Chinese are very pragmatic.
Aside from all the major foreign brands and imported (legally) models, there are other motorcycles available in China from several Chinese motorcycle manufacturers and JV that are manufacturing mid displacement motorcycles e.g. BJ600/QJ600 (Benelli/Qinjing) CF650NK, CF650TR, Jetmax (maxi scooter) CFMoto, JH600 Jialing, LX650 Loncin plus others...
I'm in China and I have 4 motorcycles in my garage... plus a car that gets very little use, so while it might seem difficult to be legal and ride big displacement motorcycles inside China it isn't, but it can be costly initially.
As for tripping round there are many motorcycle tour groups and companies that offer these types of cross border type tours... for a price naturally. There are a number inside China for foreigners to come in, hire bikes and be taken on guided tours. There are also some that offer the cross border tour options too.