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  1. #1 Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    So much to do, so little time to post. Yes, I realize my Buckin' Bronco thread is hanging unfinished, but here's the reason why: The past couple of weeks have been consumed with getting my JH600 registered and street legal here in Shanghai, where I live. Oh, and a little ride out to Huangshan and back to continue the breaking in process... So I've got some homework to do -- finish one ride report and write another. But with quite a few Shanghai residents already purchasing big-bore bikes or planning to, I thought it might be useful first to report on how I got my bike legal. I'll see if I can do this in one simple shot and not string it out over days.

    Though Shanghai is not particularly friendly to big bikes, neither is it outright hostile. There are surely hundreds of thousands of sub-250cc bikes prowling the streets, many inside the Inner Ring Road which is subject to the stiffest restrictions but most in the huge region outside the Inner Ring. To ride legally inside the Inner Ring one must have a plate designated 沪A, rather than 沪C, 沪D or 沪E (沪, pronounced "hu\", being the nickname for Shanghai). Ride a C, D or E plated bike inside the ring and expect a 200 RMB fine. The price of this exclusive 沪A access is high: about 20,000 RMB for sub-250cc bikes and -- drum roll please -- a staggering 43,000 RMB (US$6,300 at current rates) for anything bigger, with no discrimination between Chinese and foreign-made rides.

    Here's the logic for the high price of admission: In its infinite wisdom, Shanghai has decided to limit the numbers of motorcycles in the city center, while not banning them outright. While every month there is a new but limited allocation of car plates to the general public, which are priced through an auction system, there are no new allocations for motorcycles. I've never seen an authoritative estimate of how many 沪A motorcycle plates are in circulation, but the number surely is shrinking. This is because existing motorcycle plate can be transferred over to a car, whereas it's not possible to transfer a car plate to a bike. And this explains why the price of a plate for a bike tracks that of the prevailing auction price for car plates -- i.e., 43,000 RMB in May.

    How to justify paying 43,000 for a plate for a bike that only cost 30,000? You suck it in, cross your fingers, knock on wood, burn some joss sticks and hope that the system stays intact and that when you a) sell, b) decommission or c) export your bike, you'll still have a plate that's worth at least what you paid for it, which you then can sell in the open market. This assumes there's no policy change or major alteration of the system. Like I said, it's the price of admission. Clearly a lot of folks don't think it's worth the trouble. As others have pointed out in cautionary posts, many expats are riding bikes with plates that are outright fake, or purchased illegally in other provinces (Jiangsu and Hebei being favorites), or registered in suburban Shanghai with 沪C plates, usually not in their own names because of the presumed hassle of registering a bike as a foreigner.

    There's a bit of good news here. Unbelievably, I was told that I was the first foreigner to openly and legally register a big-bore bike here in Shanghai. Ever. And it seems there is now a clear path to accomplish this. Here's how I did it:

    Because Jialing has no retail outlet for the JH600 in Shanghai, you have to purchase directly from the factory in Chongqing. After my Buckin' Bronco ride in Chongqing and Sichuan, I returned the bike to Jialing where it was crated and trucked to a forwarder out in suburban Jiading district, where we had to fetch it from a vast empty warehouse. These guys are my new best friends -- Liu Zhidong and Fan Peisheng aka Xiao Fan, the Jialing support team in Shanghai, and you'll be seeing them a lot in this thread.





    Unbelievably, the crate just fits in a breadbox taxi.



    And we unload at Xiao Fan's Changjiang 750 repair shop in Honggu Lu.



    Button up my sleeve, a wave of the magic wand (actually a 12mm box wrench), and Presto! -- it's a motorbike!















    And so here she is, safely inside the Inner Ring, replete with a nice layer of Sichuan dust! But still no plate.



    One of the reasons that expats typically opt to register in Shanghai under a spouse's or friend's name is that vehicle registration rules require that the registrant be a legal resident of Shanghai. If you are in China on a long-term assignment and have a one-year or multiple-year "Residence Permit for Foreigner" stamped in your passport, this unfortunately only establishes that you are a resident of China, not of Shanghai. What the Shanghai motor vehicle registrar is looking for is something closer to a hukou -- an explicit official statement of Shanghai residency. No, your police registration document is not enough. It only says where you live, not that you are a "legal resident". The key is something called a Shanghai Residence Card, called 申请上海市居住证 or simply B证 (B zheng) in Chinese, which most expats have never heard of, much less obtained. It's a bit of a pain to get, requiring that your employing company not only vouch for you but also present its business license and other key corporate documents. The card is issued by the Entry-Exit Bureau of the Public Security Bureau, but is processed by a strange bureaucracy called the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Administration.

    Here's mine, front and back.




    Here are instructions (in Chinese) about how and where to get the B Zheng:

    B Zheng application info

    Why is the B Zheng essential? Vehicle registration in China is done only in Chinese language, and, unless you are from Singapore or Taiwan or Hong Kong, your passport and residence permit are likely not in Chinese. So you need a single document that officially designates that you, John Doe and the name you use in Chinese, 张老外, are one in the same person. In my case, all of my motoring documents -- driving licence, motorcycle purchase receipt, vehicle registration, insurance, taxes, etc -- are all under my Chinese name, and the B Zheng affirms that this is the same guy wielding that foreign passport in a foreign language that is unacceptable to celestialdom.

    It took me about four weeks to obtain the B Zheng, a process helped along by administrative staff in my company. There was one setback when the sorry bureaucrats at the Human Resources and Social Security Administration rejected my company's letter of introduction because the chop was not in the proper location on the page. That added a couple of days to sort out.

    Vehicle registration is a fairly straightforward process, but you'll waste tons of time if you don't have someone to help. I actually had two layers of help -- Liu Zhidong handled the initial applications, but then when it came to actually bringing the bike to the registration authority in Pudong, we hired another guy who does this full time, and I assume keeps the bureaucrats happy with meals and other favors.

    Registration is actually a multiple-step process, involving:

    1) Identifying a plate that is available for purchase, and agreeing a price with the seller
    2) Application and approval of the transfer of the plate from the seller to you
    3) Purchasing a one-year insurance policy on your bike
    4) Passing a vehicle inspection
    5) Registering your bike under the plate that you just purchased on the open market.

    To start the registration process you'll need the following:
    1) B Zheng
    2) passport
    3) vehicle purchase receipt
    4) roadworthiness certificate (supplied by the manufacturer)

    This allows you, or your designated agent, to enter the open market and shop for a plate. Liu Zhidong did this for me by hanging around the registration center out on the Hunan Highway in Pudong.



    In late May, Liu was able to find only two available plates, and learned that almost a dozen had been snapped up by the local H-D dealer for use on the many hogs that it's been selling. The seller agreed to a price of 43,000 RMB, which was precisely the official auction price for a car plate in Shanghai in May. The seller also agreed to pick up the transfer fee, which is several hundred RMB.

    A word about the "market price" of these plates. If you are registering in a month when Shanghai allocates a particularly large number of car plates, the auction price may come down substantially. In recent years it's varied between the mid-30s and low 40s. But this does not necessarily ensure that you'll get lucky in a month with a lower auction price. Because the average in the past year has been around 40K or more, and because motorbike plate are outside of the car auction system, most sellers are likely to just wait out the low tide and not sell until a month with a higher auction price. With this in mind, I saw no reason to balk at the 43K asked for my plate. The price is what it is: a reflection of the average price of a car plate over time. Again, it's just the price of admission, and, with any luck, you'll get it back later and maybe with some appreciation.

    How is the transfer handled safely with so much money involved? The motor vehicle authority licenses a number of escrow agents who mediate between buyer and seller, which is important since motorcycle registration is subject to approval. So we placed a 10K deposit with the escrow agent, who also held my passport and B Zheng and also the license permit from the seller, while we submitted the transfer to the authorities for approval. This took about four days. Once the transfer was approved, I paid the balance to the escrow agent who handed over the license permit and my documents. Meanwhile we purchased an insurance policy.

    While registration is centralized in Pudong, vehicle inspection can be done at many locations around the city. We did mine at the Minhang station. Because I still didn't have my driver's license, and no one else wanted to take the responsibility of riding it there, we had to transport the bike. OK, how to fit a big thumper into a breadbox taxi?



    You pull off the lid and lift it in. No pix of the lifting, since the photographer was among the lifters. At 200kg the Jialing is no featherweight, but it lashed down nicely.





    "Motorcycle inspection please enter here."



    Given the heavy rain, we begged the inspectors to do their inspection in the back of the taxi. No luck.



    Lord knows what all these tests where, but the law's the law, so we had no choice but to comply.







    To prevent people from registering multiple bikes under a single Vehicle Identification Number, the inspectors require that you paint your VIN with vermilion ink and take an imprint on a piece of cellophane tape, which is then pressed onto the inspection form like a tattoo stencil.







    And so we prepare to hoist her into the taxi one more time.



    Not a lot of inspection going on today.

    Last edited by euphonius; 06-19-2010 at 09:36 AM.
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #2 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    We reserved a full day for actual registration, delayed by one day so I could retake my driver's license exam. This time I passed, and on Friday 11 June we caravaned out to Pudong, an hourlong drive that was my first official ride in Shanghai. By the time we got there I was drenched in sweat in my riding gear. All the Gear, All the Time.





    So here's an inside look at the registration office -- actually one of about six different offices at the registration center where we had to do our rounds. This was the tax office, where I forked over 10% of the purchase price (minus the 17% VAT that was included in the sale price from Jialing). The bloke in prison stripes is our fixer, who I calculate saved us about 4 hours there.



    Can't be registered without a photograph, which is included in your registration book. This guy was able to shoot with one hand and hold an ice cream in the other.



    More vermilion imprints of the VIN and engine identification number.



    Did you know there is a rule that all vehicles in China must display the brand name in Chinese on both flanks? But my bike is the taller "European edition" made for sale for apelike foreigners in the west where Chinese characters would only confuse the primitives there. No worries. Mister Stencil Man to the rescue!



    There we have it. This must be a 嘉陵! It says so right on the tank!



    Believe it or not, my bike also had to be measured to ensure that it was the same size as the specifications listed in the roadworthiness certificate, which was supplied by the manufacturer. So here comes an inspector with his measuring tape.



    Then a final 360-degree lookaround by yet another inspector, whose comment was: "Nice bike. This is the best bike made in China. But it's no Harley." I told him he was welcome to give her a spin, and that this might change his opinion. He declined, saying, as most Chinese do: "It's too tall for me. Harleys fit us Chinese better." OK, so now we have the benchmark for motorcycle quality: Not too tall.



    Now off to yet another office where all the various certificates, documents, receipts, approvals and photographs are brought together for a final submission. There were several other bikes being plated that day, including this Regal Raptor. We were in this office for a hour.



    And we reach the final act: The selection of a plate number and issuance of new plates. But didn't I buy an existing plate on the open market? Well, no. What I bought was the plate permit -- permission to possess and use a plate. When it comes to plating, this permit is submitted and you go to this big hall where there are three chambers with touch-screen machines that look a bit like slot machines. You touch the screen to activate, then wave a bar-code receipt in front of a scanner, and it then sets up a random number generator. You touch the screen again and the numbers start whizzing furiously by -- far too fast to see. You have 90 seconds to touch the screen again to freeze the spinning and the system presents you with six randomly generated plate number choices. At this point you have another 90 seconds to make your selection. In other words, you control the point at which the random number generator generates the six number from which you will choose. You then choose the most auspicious of the six. The process is called 6选, which perhaps was inspired by the Pick Six lottery back in New York.

    I made my choice, and the machine spat out a receipt printed with with my data and the number I selected.





    With this we were able to go and retrieve my precious 沪A plates!



    I'd like to say the process ended here, but that would have been too easy. We were now, to use ChinaV's preferred term, punished with a two-hour wait in a sweltering waiting room. We don't really know what we were waiting for, but wait we did. We got to sit there watching hundreds of available plate numbers scroll by on big digital readouts.





    Actually, this is the document that we were waiting for.



    Finally the moment of truth -- actually affixing the plates to my bike, a privilege I gave to Xiao Fan.



    And we are legal!



    If anyone has further questions, please don't hesitate to PM me.
    Last edited by euphonius; 06-19-2010 at 03:48 PM.
    jkp
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    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  3. #3 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    C-Moto Guru milton's Avatar
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    Many thanks for your trailblazing effort in getting your jh600 through the paper maze in Shanghai. I've been waiting for over a year for just such a ground breaking event. I will put in my order next week for my own jh600.
    Much like you I started my motorcycle career at about the same age as you are now, which was 9 years ago when I first arrived in Shanghai. I quickly discovered that motorcycling is the best way to see China. I do lots of motorcycle tours with my Chinese friends as the language is not a barrier for me. Hope we can do some ride together also around Shanghai in the near future on our Jialings.
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  4. #4 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    grumpy old sod jape's Avatar
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    What an amazing process, and I thought I had it hard and expensive enough to whinge a lot here in Aus! Well done with the trailblazing and the patience and in making the contacts, a lesson for all of us impatient outlaws ... Now just be very careful and enjoy the ride mate!
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  5. #5 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Moto Scholar moilami's Avatar
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    Impressive feat! I guess it takes ten years experience of living in China in order to be able to go through all that hassle. Great reading and photographs also. It is nice to see how professionals do it. Thumbs up big time!
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  6. #6 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milton View Post
    I do lots of motorcycle tours with my Chinese friends as the language is not a barrier for me. Hope we can do some ride together also around Shanghai in the near future on our Jialings.
    Dear Milton,

    In the short while that I've had it, and with only one other steed for comparison (2000 KLR650), I'm quite pleased with the JH600. I'll be posting more comprehensively on this, but suffice it to say that the stock bike has given me everything I asked for, with no complaints. Unless you are independently wealthy and don't mind being fleeced for insulting import duties to buy a BMW, the Jialing is pretty much the only option right now -- and it's a good one.

    So what have you been riding up till now? And is there a circle of local riders you've found who aren't timid about two-wheelers? (Many Chinese I know urged me to go for a sidecar instead, citing safety, though I think they're more afraid of dropping or otherwise failing to control a bigger bike.) I'll PM you with my contacts. Do give me a shout. You are not the only Shanghai expat who's leaning toward the Jialing. One other has already been delivered, and at least one other is in train. Would be great to meet up and plan some rides.
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  7. #7 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    Euphonius, what a remarkable achievement! If anyone has doubts about where the most tedious place in the world is to ride a bike legally, they should be refered to this thread.

    Congratulations on your shiny legal bike and also for putting it alongside pfaelzer's in the running for "Most expensive JH600 in the world"!

    If you're ever bored for a day and don't want to ride too far out of shanghai, this is a pretty nice ride. Gimme a shoult if you're in the area!
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  8. #8 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix View Post
    "Most expensive JH600 in the world"!
    Try as I might, I don't think I'll ever surpass Pfaelzer. It was pointed out to me that my plates probably are worth more than their weight in gold, even at current prices.

    Thanks also for the route. I'll be riding southwest into Jiangxi to Nanchang (via Yongkang) later this week, and returning to Shanghai via some still unknown route that likely will involve traveling north and east out of Nanchang. This could well pass through Suzhou, on or about 29 June.......

    And, yes, we're always looking for decent excursions outside of Shanghai. Our trick is to ride early and escape via the prohibited elevated highway (高架 gaojia), which saves tons of stop-and-go in Shanghai's interminable industrial exburbs.

    cheers
    jkp
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    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  9. #9 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphonius View Post
    Try as I might, I don't think I'll ever surpass Pfaelzer. It was pointed out to me that my plates probably are worth more than their weight in gold, even at current prices.

    Thanks also for the route. I'll be riding southwest into Jiangxi to Nanchang (via Yongkang) later this week, and returning to Shanghai via some still unknown route that likely will involve traveling north and east out of Nanchang. This could well pass through Suzhou, on or about 29 June.......

    And, yes, we're always looking for decent excursions outside of Shanghai. Our trick is to ride early and escape via the prohibited elevated highway (高架 gaojia), which saves tons of stop-and-go in Shanghai's interminable industrial exburbs.

    cheers
    Enjoy your trip. Me and a mate rode through Jiangxi extensively and YongKang and NanChang were both included in our route. The females in NanChang were absolutely stunning. Me and my mate had found a McD's and parked our Dragstars 1100's outside and our heads couldn't stop spinning there was so much talent to look at. I swear I fell in lust multiple times over. Our route came into Jiangxi via NanFeng, then south to NingDu, west towards XingGuo then north to JiAn and up to FengCheng, Xiangtang then the capital NanChang where we stopped for refuelling bodies and bikes before LuShan with an overnighter in JiuJang. Definately hit LuShan, it's a nice area to ride, green and mountainous and the roads are way better than the lower areas on JaigXi. Not that will matter for you with your bike, but it was hell on the Dragstars! The roads in JiangXi are third world... From JuiJiang we headed east ferry across the YangZi river then rode into JingDeZhen, before riding down to ShangRao before off into Anhui and then HuangShan.
    If I had the right ride (dual purpose) I'd drop everything to come join you... lucky b@st@rd!
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  10. #10 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    If I had the right ride (dual purpose) I'd drop everything to come join you... lucky b@st@rd!
    Thanks very much for the route advice. Where did you say that scenic McD's was again?

    As for getting a dual sport, what better time than now? I'll be posting about our Huangshan trip, but suffice it for now to say the Jialing performed very well. Took everything I gave it, and gave everything I asked for.

    cheers
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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