Thursday, July 9, 2009

2 months

picked up a 1982 Kawasaki KZ 250. Put 2000 Km on it in the past two months. My mechanic sold it to me, but the oil sight glass had a black oil film over it making it so I could not see the oil level. I was told that the clutch was fix, so I assumed that it had new oil in it. About a week later it was making some serious valve noise. Took it back to my mechanic, fixed most of the damage. The engine is quiet with good oil. The rings are shot in the right cylinder. I decided to run it with the bad rings to see what happens. Too much gas was getting in the oil and would start making noise and over heating every 300Km. Took it in yesterday to get the rings done. Get the bike back tomorrow.

What a fun bike she is! quick and easy to throw around town.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I was on my first good ride today. About 100Km. Bike went well for the most part... but the clutch is really slipping, new one comes in next week. Some nice twisties, good power, nice handling. Ran out of gas, guessed wrong about how much was in that tank.

Then we went on to what we call the "test road". Basically this is the most dangerous road in the area, and the most beautiful. It is about 8 feet across, concrete, full of blind corners. Steep hills, switch backs, and sand everywhere. I did this road about 50 times last year. I was not in the lead, and the only one on a 'new' bike. I tried to slow down on sand... and well I came to a stop. Slid about 15 feet on my side. The riding jacket and chaps I got for Christmas, good to have parents that are bikers  protected me well, and show little damage. My engine guard is a little scuffed up, and my floor board is bent. Could have been much worse, There were cliffs...

Friday, March 20, 2009

The bike shop

I currently have 2 differnt motorcycles.
  - Kawasaki - Vulcan VN400
  - Chinese 125cc

Three days ago I walked up to my bike to find a small pool of oil under the back of the engine. It had just started warming up and I hoped it was just some dirty ice melting. The next day it was a very large pool. My sump was empty, so I put some spare oil in and took it down my friends shop.

Here is where Chinese mechanics can be irritating. I told him what happened and what I did. He took a quick look and could not find the leak. I was told "no problem", after objecting he told me to take it home and come back if it happens again. I went home for lunch and sure enough there was a small puddle under my bike. So I took it back to the shop.

After looking at it for a few minutes he said that the case was broken and it needs to be welded. Come back tomorrow. Next day, my engine is lying in the shop, with the epoxy drying. I am told to come back tomorrow. Today, I go to pick up the bike. Paid the $8.00 USD for the work and started the bike up. Turns out they also tuned the engine.

for $8.00 they;
  1) removed and re-installed the engine
  2) epoxied the crack
  3) replace a passanger foot peg
  4) tuned the engine
can't beet that

Then I brought in my Vulcan, and started doing the work on my own. They don't normally let people do that, but I seemed happy doing it so they let me. Fixed the electrical problem, adjusted the air fuel mixture, cheacked the rear spark plug.

In all a good day, off for bbq.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stolen and Returned

The day I took delivery of my Kawasaki VN400, we were at the shop getting it fixed up. I was riding it home, my first time on the new bike, there was ice on the road, and I had a dirt bike tire on the front. I kept it slow. It turns out I was followed on electric bicycles. Two days later, my friend awoke to a hole cut into our garage. The 4 of the 5 motorcycles we had in there were stolen. 

Four days later. I get a call that one of the bikes had been seen, and the police were staking out the area. An hour later I get a call to dress warm come get my bike. There was a number of plain cloths police officers with unmarked cars. We waited for about an hour before they opened the garage that the bikes were in. In all 7 motorcycles were found that day.
  5 Kawasakis, 1 Yamaha, 1 Suzuki. Totaling 80,000 RMB or about $15,000. 

Three days after that, we had a large ceremony infront of the police station. The foreigners thanking the police for recovering our proporty. We were live on the radio, and on the evening news. 

The theives each recieved 25 years in jail for the crime. There is no early release in China, and prison is not a nice place to be.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have lived in China for 3 years now, the last 2 have been in the far north east, in a city called Yanji. April 2007, I bought my first "motorcycle" a 48cc machine with a 4 speed semi-automatic transmision. Everybody said I would die... They were wrong.

2008 a buddy of mine buys an electric scooter, it breaks down the first day he has it. I offer to sell him my 48cc. He accepts, I upgrade to a 70cc, and another friend borrows his father-in-law's 100cc. After taking some short trips in the country side my friends decide to upgrade. Both of them move up to new 110cc bikes one Suzuki, and one Yamaha. We take this 500 Km trip. I decide that the area is too beautiful to waste on a 70cc, and move up to a Chinese 125cc cruiser. My friends then upgrade to 125's as well but a Honda and Suzuki. A month later I am driving along and meet a guy on 1984 Yamaha Virago 750. I trade him my bike and money for it. He was afraid of the power. Had a great summer of riding, it was stolen in September 08. Replaced it with an old Chinese 125, it gets me around town. One friend moved back to California, the other friend ended up with a Yamaha v-star 400.

During May 2008, we started a chrity. We raise funds to help poor kids go to High School. We use the motorcycles to deliver the money, as well as do volenteer teaching in the county side.

I decided in December to pick up another large bike. So while I was in Canada on Vacation, my friends found a 1996 Kawasaki Vulcan 400. and ordered that for me.