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Old 04-28-2007, 02:43 PM   #46
jshuck
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great shots

lived in Beijing from 96 to 2000. Love the shots. Eat everything and have a great time. The people are great, but watch the agressive cops. Just take your helmet off and start talking..they usually let you go. john shuck
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Old 04-28-2007, 04:35 PM   #47
lstzephyr
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I may be going to china in august, so your story is captivating. I love the narrative, its funny.

I think I'll have to pick up one of those motard bikes if i make it over there
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:42 PM   #48
beemer boy OP
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At the service center four guys attack the bike and have it apart in short order. It was very late in the day, but I had the feeling they were going to finish no matter what.


Here is the sacrificial engine in its final death throes as it gives up its cylinder to breathe life back into my bike.


Yeah baby, who is the master mechanic??? Here is the offending piston, with the sides heavily scored from slapping. Basically the rings soften up , and no longer hold the piston straight in the barrel so it slaps back and forth. The mechanics were looking at me with new found respect in their eyes.


Back together, and now the bike starts and runs perfect. Yeee haa. Bike loaded up the next morning in front of the Hump guesthouse , and I am off.


Now heading out of Kunming, but with lots of traffic... :-(
A mile long line of trucks. I saw this a lot. One truck will breakdown on the narrow road. But there are so many oncoming trucks they cannot pass easily so they end back up behind the broken truck. Great to have a bike and thread my way up to the front.


Pretty beat up Chinese copy of a BMW.


Came into this tunnel with my sunglasses on.........It was like someone switched out the lights in a room. Am used to tunnels with lighting. I tried to keep straight as I could and come to a stop without running into the tunnel walls. In the future sunglasses off, and all lights on before entering any tunnel.


You are probably wondering what is going on here . In this area at about an elevation of about 2000 meters it was cool and dry, perfect for growing wheat. So they lay the wheat in the road to let the trucks run over it, breaking the wheat from the chaff. There was endless miles of this, sort of fun to ride over.


Here they are using a fan blow away the final small pieces of chaff . In most of the areas they just use the wind.


So the bike is running perfectly all day. Fixed at last ! Lots of power, and never stuttered all day. Think I have that problem fixed . However once again I have underestimated the time needed to travel to Dali from Kunming....Four hours by bus, unknown hours on the bypass road . So now get caught in the dark in the mountains. No problem, just taking my time winding along the road.
Finally come off the mountains and down into the flats. Now speed up a bit, very little traffic on the road . I see a truck coming towards me with very bright high beams left on. I politely dim my lights and turn off the driving lights. He of course never dims his lights, and I am completely blinded. At that exact moment in time.......of course there is cart full of wood with no lights at all being pushed down the middle of my lane. I never even had a chance to swerve, just plowed into the back of it about 60 kph. Shit !! One frigging week in China and I have entered the face plant zone...Next thing I know, big impact , and I am sliding down the road..After coming to a halt I do a quick body check before I try to move. Yep everything ok, just bruised badly. Dodged a bullet ! The woman was protected by the cart and was not hurt. Here is the offending cart which ended up being pushed off the road by the impact.


I get up and drag the bike off the road before I am run over by a truck.
Here is poor nightime accident scene picture of my bike. Does not really look that bad in the picture but everything was bent up. It started up , and was barely ridable with the severely twisted handle bars.


The accident happened just outside a village. So of course in short order guess what ?? Yes, the giant evil foreigner who has harmed one of the locals is now surrounded by angry villagers. When I test start the bike a group gather in front of the bike to block it, thinking I going to do the classic Asian runner. I then whip out my phrase book and indicate the police should be called in. The head guy indicates that they have already called them.
So now we are all in a weird standoff waiting for the police to show up. I called my friend Levin who speaks excellent Chinese to try to make some sort of settlement so I can be on my way . It was pitch black , I was cold , partly in shock, and I had not eaten all day. So I really wanted to move on.
Could not work anything out , maybe because the police has already been called. In SE Asia a sad fact is when there is an accident, the two parties quickly settle and leave before the police show up , as the police will want a cut of the action. Finally the police show up at last.
They were very polite and courteous. They took pictures of the scene, and made drawings as well. Of course the group of villagers were pressing their case the whole time. When he came over to me I simply
pointed to the back of my bike showing the tail light, and then pointed to the back of the cart showing no light. I then rested my defense.....The policeman could not speak a word of English. I was a bit nervous as in essence I did not have a Chinese driver license, and did not have insurance. So I called Levin again who spoke to the police on my phone. He told them it was my first time in China and that I was really scared. A bit of a fabrication but sounded good to the police. Levin also said the villagers were probably afraid they were going to have to pay me for damage to the bike. The police told him to tell me to not be afraid. After a while when the police man got tired of the villagers bending his ears he called someone who spoke excellent English and handed the phone to me . This guy apologized profusely to me, and said I was free to go. He asked if I needed any help or medical care. Wow !! This is a far cry from Thailand where the police ransom your bike if you have an accident regardless of who is at fault.
So I limp the last 20 kilometers into Dali with the bike barely rideable, arriving at midnight completely beat. Just wanted to let you guys know life on the road can have some downsides . Not all glamour and beautiful scenery.

Next day wake up in a world of pain feeling like I had run into a wood cart. Wait, now I remember, that is what I did ! An hour of feeling sorry for myself , and then time for bike fixing. Here is the damage to me, a bruise when I landed on my left side.


Here is some of the bike damage. A view of the bent handle bars.


A piece of luck for me , the hotel had a nice inside area where I could work on the bike. Even including a ping pong operating table for my parts and tools. I guess that should be my new criteria for a hotel, work space.
Start to take it apart.


The right front fairing piece was completly broken off. So burned a bunch of holes , and then stitched it together with stainless steel wire I had . Came out perfect. I remembered this trick from Ricardo Khun.


"I am sorry sir, there will be a scar left over ".....No problem, scars add character.


Damage was extensive but fixable. Axle was bent, broken fairing pieces, broken headlight shell , driving lights mount all twisted up , instrument cluster mount broken , and on and on and on. Good thing I brought lots of epoxy, spare parts, and most importantly steel wire. Will be back on the road almost as good as new tomorrow. So overall I feel pretty lucky .
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beemer boy screwed with this post 07-02-2014 at 10:45 AM
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:07 PM   #49
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oh no....you're in trouble...
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:28 PM   #50
beemer boy OP
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No, not in trouble, just a triffling setback to test my mettle . A couple of days sightseeing here, and then head up north to Tiger Leaping Gorge. From there onto to Tibet.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:33 PM   #51
sandgroper
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:44 PM   #52
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glad to hear...keep it coming...
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:06 PM   #53
littlebhatia
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I had a royale enfield in the himalyas in India (everyone called it the aerosmith bike)... had a heavy load and the engine seized.... what helped me - cut off the engine as soon as you hit the down hills so the engine cools (no cooling system). do it via switch and then flip the switch back to on so you have break lights and headlights...pop the clutch (second gear) to restart engine when an uphill arises.... this helped me cover more distance and helped the bike operate optimally..as soon as you hit night or really high altitude no need to do this due to the decrease atmopheric temp.... i kept the engine on whenever the roads got bad..... you are a lucky man... preserve this new engine and if you keep it cool it will last forever.....
also use your horn on all blind turns.....
always pass the trucks from the right.... i was forced off into a rock wall by passing on the left (leg guards saved me)....
hope this helps...

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Old 04-30-2007, 01:19 AM   #54
ERIC DN
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Excellent
Each day a new adventure
Thanks

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Old 05-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #55
Gustavo
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Finally had some time to come back and catchup on this adventure. Most excellent trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCarl
That's about right. As soon as you're in, the fuzz generally couldn't care less. Where have you ridden/lived in China?

CC
Mostly around the eastern cities, because that's where I go for work.

Which reminds me (Robert, sorry for the hijack) - I'll be in Shanghai next week. Anybody out that way?

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Old 05-01-2007, 09:47 PM   #56
Bgunn
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Epic report !!
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:01 AM   #57
beemer boy OP
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Now the cosmetic damage has been more or less repaired. It looks pretty much the same as before.....So the next day time to address the mechanical problems !! New chain and sprocket, new rear brake pads to replace the ones that did not work at all, brighter headlight bulb, change the oil, and a whole bunch of other niggling things. The bike is almost done, am thinking great ! Then the mechanic points out to me the thread is stripped on one of the cover bolts for the oil filter. Shit !! It was perfect before, think the guy who changed the filter housing just got carried away tightening it and stripped out the aluminum casting. So now the whole side case has to be pulled off to fix it.


Ended up putting a bolt through from the inside so it looks like a stud from the outside. The mechanics were impressed as they were just about to try to retap the thin metal of the case to a much bigger size. In these situations you have to control it every second or you will end up with some very shoddy fixes...Had to cut off part of the shoulder inside to lower the bolt head or it would hit on the gears inside the case.


Saw this bottle of oil in the shop. I am sure Boeing has no idea they are in the oil business in China !


Next morning pack up early and I am off. The sun is shining, and the bike is running perfectly.
Here is a shot along the way. The valleys are starting to get deeper, and the mountains are getting higher.


Here is a toll way they will let me ride on. It seems the mega super duper toll ways are off limits to me, but these small ones that are simply toll booths that are stuck in the middle of standard highways are fair game.


Finally reach Lijiang, a very nice city nestled in a valley nestled against the side of a mountain. It is noted for all the streams that run through the city center. Also has a very scenic old town area. I finally reach my hotel after many episodes of asking directions from hapless Chinese people on street corners. I smile first , then look confused, then show the map in Chinese with where I want to go. Works like a charm! Find the hotel, which is located in a maze of small streets. However it has no car access or parking. The helpful girl at the checking says to simply roll the bike down these stairs to the hotel area.


Uhhhhh. Ok. Remembered it looks easy in the movies. Just rode it down step by step. No problem !


Night time shot of the old city area. Very well done, a mix of the old and the new.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:29 PM   #58
Poke it w/ a stick
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Chroist, you're getting to know your little bike intimately. This is half tech page, half ride report. Great thread.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:58 PM   #59
CrazyCarl
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BeemerB,

Nice to see things have taken a turn for the better and you're entering into some more dramatic landscape. As you approach Tibet it only gets crazier until you're on a 5000m pass surrounded by jagged peaked snow capped mountains with Alpine forests down below.

Damn it's nice out there.

A few notes...

Tolls - The high speed highways probably won't let you on. The smaller tolls you shouldn't have to pay for at all. Off to the right you'll probably see a go-around for motorcycles, bicycles, and other smaller vehicles. One of the cool parts of riding in China is not having to pay the same tolls as everyone else. Some of the tolls in eastern China are extremely expensive, like 1RM per kilometer.

The Oil Bottle - Lots of little strange labeling and signs in China. The chinese characters above it say "BoYin" which can sound like Boeing. Even more ironic is the Antonov 124 picture next to it.

Repair Shops - You were right to oversee the repair of your bike. In general, anything short of changing oil should be supervised every second unless you already know and trust the mechs. When you head into Tibetan lands, you'll notice a different cultural attitude towards bike maintenence and repair.

Light Motorcycles - The way to go!

Keep on keepin' on!

CrazyC
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:54 AM   #60
CrazyCarl
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Little Steamed Bun?

Chris or "Little Steamed Bun",

I'm also in Chengdu. True what you say about the trucks and night time riding. Around where we are, riding at night equals eventual suicide. Sorry to hear about youe accident with the taxi. Them'z some crazy, arrogant, narrow minded, selfish, arrogant bastards.

In a wierd way, I actually enjoy riding in the chaotic traffic. It may be dangerous but it sure does have a lot of character and it tests your awareness and prediction skills. After riding in China, I remember riding in Melbourne and I was like "Wow...machine like traffic."

I know you've done some local rides but not sure if you had a chance to make it west to Kangding and Danba?

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