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  #1  
Old 16 May 2010
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buying bike in China

I am curious to know if anybody has bought a bike in China and either ridden it within the borders or ridden it out and back to Europe.
Is this a good way of getting around the usual expense and hastle of trying to motorcycle there?
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  #2  
Old 16 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
I am curious to know if anybody has bought a bike in China and either ridden it within the borders or ridden it out and back to Europe.
Is this a good way of getting around the usual expense and hastle of trying to motorcycle there?
Mark, its the only way impo

This guy did it a few years ago: Journey Shanghai->Vlijmen
I have seen others since then but cannot find the links at the moment. On guy found a bike he fancied, parked on the street and just waited for the owner to return and kept putting $'s down until he said yes

Have a good read in this forum. Its all in there somewhere.

This is my plan for my next trip in a year or 2.

Good luck,
John
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  #3  
Old 16 May 2010
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Quote:
if anybody has bought a bike in China and either ridden it within the borders or ridden it out and back to Europe.
Yes, it's been done. Although you can't register a bike in your name unless you are a resident (are Chinese or live in China). You probably can't get out of China easily unless the person whose name the bike is in is with the bike. Although border crossings differ in their opinions about whether or not to allow bikes to leave, Laos border seems more likely than most.

China does not usually issue carnets, so getting through other countries could be a hassle.

Also unless you are on a tour you can't get a Chinese temporary motorcycle license, and you can't get a six year license unless you are a resident, so you'd end up riding technically speaking illegally. China does not officially recognize licenses from other countries or International Driving Permits, although they have made exceptions in the past. In most areas that are not big cities or sensitive in terms of their security (western and Tibetan minority areas) you'd probably be OK. But that is a probably not a certainly. Most likely if you were in a rural area and you had an accident and it was thought to be your fault, not having a Chinese license would mean you'd pay more in compensation, but some other kind of license would be better than nothing in most situations.

-In short you can be on a legal bike, registered and insured (but not in your name, but the bike would still be legal) but there could be questions about your legality...

Check out some more on mychinamoto.com, some useful threads:
Shanghai to Berlin on YBR125
Final Ride Report: Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand - 12,000 kms.
Getting your Motorbike registered (in Kunming/Yunnan)
Getting a Chinese Motorcycle License
Riding Safe in China - New Rider Guide

Quote:
Is this a good way of getting around the usual expense and hassle of trying to motorcycle there?
It is a good way to avoid the expense, but you still really need to consider the legal/safety/and other hassle risks. If you were an experienced rider who had researched fully into what they were doing, and had even studied a little Chinese and was happy to visit beautiful mountainous and rural non-politically sensitive areas, probably on a modest sized bike 125-250cc, then you would have a very high chance of a successful trip. Inexperienced riders and poorly prepared/researched folks could get into difficulties though.
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Old 22 May 2010
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China

Hi Mark,

I bought a second hand 125cc bike for approx $900 in Kashgar last June and spent approx 2 weeks travelling east towards Beijing. When i reached there i sold it for $400 to the guy who helped me buy it in Kashgar. He had it transported back to Kashgar.
I was tempted to buy a new bike for about the same price but i could not get the registration documents. For a couple of days it proved frustrating to only see high mileage (about 10,000- 15,000 km) bikes for sale, and the owners wanted about $900 for them. The bikes looked rather worn. Eventually a guy came along and had pretty much a brand new bike with all the documentation for $900.
With all the documentation in hand, AND a chinese translation of my passport AND driving licence in selophaned in my passport, with a couple of 'official looking' stamps on them, stuck on the pages adjacent to my passport, I set off. Eventually you come across police, and generally they wave you on. If they do stop you they'll check your documents and may or may not log your details in their books. Sometimes they may make an issue of the fact that you are driving a 'Xinjiang' registered bike in a different province, but more often than not, they let you pass.
I had an accident just north of Xian, heading towards Beijing. This is when the police started to scutinise my documents and repeatedly asked me for my chinses driving licence. Because it was the other guys fault, they eventually let me go on my way, but if it were MY fault, then things could have been MUCH worse.
The bike i chose was ideal for the job, travelling on the so-called B-roads, which follow alongside the highway 75% of the way. Occassionally I would sneak onto the highway and make 'significant' coverage in a couple of hours and then exit at one of the toll booths, to get some fuel. The bike had an approx 10 litre tank which was good for 200-230 km ride. I had a set of crash bars fixed, and a rear top box to store my camera and laptop. Also i bought a 5-litre hite plastic fuel can that i strapped to the crash bar.
I have pics if the bike, please send me your email and i'll mail them to you.
Travelling across China was difficult, but overall left a fantastic impression. I am glad i did it, but not sure if I'd do it again that unofficial way. The people were amazing and generlly very friendly and helpful (once you get past the language barrier).

Hope this helps,
Good luck
H A
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Old 4 Jul 2010
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Awesome info guys, thanks a TON! I'm going to be studying in Xi'An for the next month and then after my classes have an extra month to travel around. I want to buy a bike while in Xi'An and then travel on it before I head back into the states. If anyone has been near Xi'An or has any additional recomendations I'm ALL EARS!

I also wanted to ask if I should bring any of my own gear? Should I bring my helmet (full faced), jacket etc? I'm thinking I probably should but its a bit of a hassle if they are readily available.
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Tybalt View Post
I also wanted to ask if I should bring any of my own gear? Should I bring my helmet (full faced), jacket etc? I'm thinking I probably should but its a bit of a hassle if they are readily available.
If you want a good helmet, bring your own. More or less the same goes for the rest of the gear - there may be stuff available, but quality differs (cheap ones are often useless & good ones could be surprisingly expensive) plus it´s usually a pain to go look around for them (unless you´ve got lots of time). Also large sizes may be unavailable in Asia. This is something that you can sort out, while you´re still at home, so one thing less to worry about, when you start off. They are a bit tough to carry around with your other luggage, but its still worth it IMO.
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Old 11 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Tybalt
I also wanted to ask if I should bring any of my own gear? Should I bring my helmet (full faced), jacket etc? I'm thinking I probably should but its a bit of a hassle if they are readily available.
China is swamped with fakes. Sometimes things look real but don't function in a real manner (eg northface jackets with zippers that break and don't have breathable fabrics). Some folks think this stuff is from the factory backdoor, or is 'cabbage' (more made for an order than needed by an overseas company and the excess/seconds sold on the Chinese domestic market my the Chinese factory). The reality is IMHO it is actually nearly all (98%) fake stuff, some it looks absolutely 100% real in the shop, even with the owner adamant that his stuff is real and asking for inflated imported prices, sometimes with no idea his stuff is fake, other times fully aware. With riding motorcycles and safety being paramount especially with the local driving style it is better not to take the risk and just bring your own kit.
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Old 13 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by ZMC888 View Post
China is swamped with fakes. Sometimes things look real but don't function in a real manner (eg northface jackets with zippers that break and don't have breathable fabrics). Some folks think this stuff is from the factory backdoor, or is 'cabbage' (more made for an order than needed by an overseas company and the excess/seconds sold on the Chinese domestic market my the Chinese factory). The reality is IMHO it is actually nearly all (98%) fake stuff, some it looks absolutely 100% real in the shop, even with the owner adamant that his stuff is real and asking for inflated imported prices, sometimes with no idea his stuff is fake, other times fully aware. With riding motorcycles and safety being paramount especially with the local driving style it is better not to take the risk and just bring your own kit.
My fake Northface goretex jacket works just fine.

To bring all my touring motorcycle gear over to China would take up all my baggage space and send me over the weight limit.

Taobao has some good stuff on it.But you have to look carefully just like Ebay.

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Old 14 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by bigdamo
To bring all my touring motorcycle gear over to China would take up all my baggage space and send me over the weight limit.
My motorcycle kit weighs 5KG, which is about 25% of the most measly international flight luggage allowance. If people have good stuff in their home country they'll be buying it twice, that is if they can decipher Taobao or find a decent motorcycle shop, and mostly all that is available is that Duhan and Scoyco stuff that isn't really up to the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdamo
Taobao has some good stuff on it.But you have to look carefully just like Ebay.
Not everyone likes Taobao, giving credit/debit card numbers out in China and using a Chinese website in Chinese is not to everyone's taste, especially for someone unfamiliar with China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdamo
My fake Northface goretex jacket works just fine.
My fake Northface jacket had a non-breathable fabric, so it was damp and uncomfortable even in the winter, and the zipper broke in a week, so I chucked it. Maybe yours is great, but there is no 100% guarantee of being lucky.
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