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  1. #1 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Last year I went with Yangtsepete on my first long distance motorbike trip. Not just a trip, but in stunning scenery and with ancient workhorses.

    Yangtsepete started a small business in leading tours with the ChangJiang 750 – CJ750 sidecars in China. His target customers at the startup time were expats living in China, having driving licenses, so minimizing the hassle and keeping it legal. The rental was reasonable and a good experience to ride in the nice Southwestern China without the hassle of owning such a rig and the related transport cost to bring it to the “nicer” parts of China.

    Okay lets start, the plan was to cover in 8-10 ridding days the distance from Guilin to Kunming. Pete stored the bikes in Guilin after he drove with another group from Nanchang to Guilin.
    The bikes were taken care of by Pete and his mechanic, who came by train to make some maintenance, replaced a reardrive and others and went back to Nanchang before we started.

    1st Day Friday:
    Arrival in the afternoon in Guilin by Plane from Kunming – first meet Pete, whom I just known from some mails and Phone calls. Also meet Lloyd who rode bike No 7. Was introduced to my bike, No 9, a 24HP Flathead rig supposedly assembled with NOS army parts. Easy going, of for dinner to Guilin downtown.

    2nd Day Saturday:
    As the last driver, Harald and his passenger could not leave Shanghai before Saturday afternoon we headed for a roundtrip to Yangshuo – Chinas Backpacker Paradise. Pete had chosen some small back roads without traffic and it was really nice route to get familiar with the CJ750 outfit.
    Stopped in Yangshou for a coffee and snack. As it got a bit late we took the G321- which was awefull.
    We run into quite a bit of rain but that was the only day with “bad weather”. Back to the Hotel we meet Harald and Silvia – so off for Dinner.
    Distance covered around 180km.

    3rd Day Sunday:
    Finally leaving Gulin – Direction west. The route is not given but discussed in the group. It gets late no sizeable town ahead its time to stop. Small problem with No 9 – the hack fixing screw got lost. No spare with us but the bike holds, so just go ahead will fix that later.
    At the beginning we end up on the Airport Expressway which nobody minds so we go ahead then after the airport we follow mainly on S306. Road is good and low on traffic.
    We stop early in RongShui that night to have enough time to fix the lost screw.
    RongShui was strange city, very misty and fireworks everywhere from wedding celebrations. Big dance on the square as often in China – but that place was just over the edge. Tiny small town but brimming with noisy people – strange place.
    Distance covered around 160km.

    4th Day Monday
    Bike fixed, Noodles for breakfast and off we go…
    Due to the relatively few km the first day decide to cover some more distance today as to have more time for Yunnan. So we follow S204 Southwest, then enter G323. We make good distance and stop in Hechi pedestrian zone for a coffee where we are immediately surrounded by hundreds of curious people. The police doesn’t like that and urges us to leave. Finally we spot a KFC – best Coffee we had, this becomes a habit now – find the KFC for the Coffee.
    Late afternoon, time to find a place to stop, a small village of G323, one guesthouse and we take it – 30 RMB per room. The back wall of the room is solid rock from the surrounding mountains.
    We have some beers and food…everybody is proud that we covered 260km on the ancient Chang’s so we are in happy mood and it becomes a long night. More guests come, we try their bikes as they park in the guesthouses dinning area.
    The RongShui fireworks got us motivated – we get our own fireworks, you can buy them in every village – another regular habit of the next days.
    Distance covered around 260km.

    5th Day Tuesday
    Its difficult to get up after last night – but the Lady of the house kicks us out early. We parked two of our bikes the evening earlier in a flourmill. They want to start working, so the bikes need to go.
    To our surprise its marketday in the village and we get excellent Youtiao and Mian for breakfast.
    Off we go. After yesterdays G323 we decide to go smaller roads again. Not many roads to enter Yunnan from the West – its either North or South – we decide for South.
    First follow G323 till we hit S318 – beautiful! One of the best roads I ever travelled. Twisty mountains, small plains and more twisty mountains. Finally a bit too much as my bike makes trouble again, the Flathead Chang’s tend to overhead the carburettors and the fuel evaporates before it reaches the combustion chamber – a vapour blockage. Pete knows the old “Wehrmachtstricks” from his grandfather and wrap’s the carbs with old socks, the socks get manually sprayed with water and stay cold enough to avoid the vapour blockage. It worked perfectly!
    We hit LingYun at the western end of S318 and stay overnight.
    Distance covered around 200km

    6th Day Wednesday
    We head further south on S206 to Baise for our KFC Coffee fix before entering Yunnan. We follow The old road to FuNing where we stay overnight – not to pleasant as there is lot of truck traffic from nearby mining operations.
    The road is in bad condition in several sections, once the highway is finished the “small” road get neglected in China. Avoid following these. Do to this we lost some of the spare wheel fixings, the welds just broke off. Stop, backtrack, collect the stuff fix it somehow else – took quite some time.
    We have a nice riverside BBQ dinner in FuNing.
    Distance Covered around 240km

    7th Day Thursday
    Our Target is BaMei – a village only accessible by boat through a cave, no roads, no electricity. Sounds cool –it is, but the way to there is difficult. From FuNing we aim for GuangNan first – no problem till there. Then massive road construction started. Sandy raods, blockages due to construction…Haralds bike looses fuel, the rubber lines are broken, same time Pete has a flat so we stop in the middle of the dust…
    We reach BaMei tourist area, where we leave the bikes for the night and take only the stuff we need. They assure us that they take well care, which they do.
    By donkey cart we go the docking station. With small pole pushed boats we go through the cave – which is surprisingly big, my feeling tells me at least 1.5km. A very simple guesthouse is waiting for us. The villagers manage the whole operation and its like a turn who gets the next guests. So you cant choose your guesthouse, you just get allocated to whomever’s turn it is. No problem. Made a stroll in the village after arrival – fascinating place. We discovered that meanwhile they got electricity and also a small road leads to the village, the miracles of modern live – who would like to live without them. We had dinner, beer, sleep, breakfast, for the fife of us we paid 200RMB…that was definitely worth it.
    Distance Covered around 160km

    8th Day Friday
    Okay to KunMing – its still some distance tells us the map. We don’t want to backtrack through all the constructions, so we go ahead just to hit even worse roads.
    A Chang is not a Dirtbike, it can take its fare share but the suspension setup was designed in the 1930’s – it was really hard.
    Our target is LuoPing famous for its canola fields – in early spring they are bright yellow in bloom. Its amazing, but not in 2010. Southwest China was hard hit by the worst drought since decades so all fields where dead – a disaster.
    We made it to LuoPing for the night.
    Distance Covered around 170km

    9th Day Saturday
    We leave early in LuoPing to visit ShiLin – the famous Stone Forest a world heritage. We have lunch there and spend some time as tourists.
    Afterwards we continue to KunMing our destination. We celebrate our arrival with a BBQ at my place.
    Distance Covered around 220km

    In total we covered in 8 days riding 1590km. Pete has some more details about the statistics from the GPS.
    Generally we avoided riding into the darkness. Cruising speed was 65-75km/h on flat tarmac, but on sand and gravel more like 30km/h.
    It never got stressful with this, but every group is different and as bigger the group gets as more challenging it is to find a “cruising” speed to fit all. Some stop more often to take pics others are just for the ride...Pete is flexible enough to adjust accordingly.

    It was a great trip, we had only small issues with the bikes, all these we could figure out on the way. Pete has some km done on these rigs, he rode once up to the Pakistan border (report here http://www.changjiangunlimited.com/CJS%20adventure.htm)
    No total breakdown and Pete really knows his way around. Speaks fluent Chinese and gets the thing done but always keeps the fun part in his mind.

    I will add pics over the weekend…
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  2. #2 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Dear Andre,

    Excellent post, and very much looking forward to your pix -- especially this not-so-inaccessibly inaccessible place Bamei! You are shaming me into posting the two or three ride reports that remain in my notebook and picture file. I'll do these soon.

    thanks again!
    cheers
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  3. #3 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting andre, sounds like a good trip with a nice mix of driving and other stuff! The pics should be good!

    Quote Originally Posted by andre555 View Post
    the Flathead Chang’s tend to overhead the carburettors and the fuel evaporates before it reaches the combustion chamber – a vapour blockage. Pete knows the old “Wehrmachtstricks” from his grandfather and wrap’s the carbs with old socks, the socks get manually sprayed with water and stay cold enough to avoid the vapour blockage.
    This happens to me quite a bit during the hotter summer months here. Never thought of that solution but will be sure to try it out! My solution to to open the choke half way and run it like that until i get to faster open stretches of road where the air is enough to cool down the carbs.
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  4. #4 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix View Post
    ...This happens to me quite a bit during the hotter summer months here. Never thought of that solution but will be sure to try it out! My solution to to open the choke half way and run it like that until i get to faster open stretches of road where the air is enough to cool down the carbs.
    Hi Felix, ultimate solution should be a insulating plate between carb and engine. Its made of some heat resiatant material, that does not transfer heat. The Chang shops have these plates and know about the issue. Something like this:

    See for more details www.changjiangunlimited.com (search for spacer)
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  5. #5 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    Hi Andre, thanks for the tip! I actually have some spacers on my bike, they are thinner but i have three of them on each side which adds up to about the same, but the problem still happens.

    Interestingly, it only happens in very hot weather when i stop. If i keep driving it doesn't happen, but if i stop for more than a few minutes they overheat and then i have to either wait 20 minutes or run on half choke until they cool down again. So i cannot wait for the boiling summer to try this sock trick!
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  6. #6 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Day 1 & 2

    On the way to YangShou



    First peek at the bikes from the Hotel room



    Meet up in Guilin



    Packing



    Ready to go



    Beware of the locals in rural China

    Last edited by andre555; 02-13-2011 at 08:28 AM.
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  7. #7 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Random Riding & landscape Pictures of the first days…















    Last edited by andre555; 02-13-2011 at 08:30 AM.
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  8. #8 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Lunch Day 1









    Last edited by andre555; 02-13-2011 at 08:31 AM.
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  9. #9 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Fireworks everywhere in RongShen



    Bike fixing at the Hotel


    Last edited by andre555; 02-13-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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  10. #10 Re: 1600km with the Chang sidecar in Southwest China 
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    Day 3
    Parking in HeChi



    Mass incident in HeChi



    Save and tasty Coffee



    Navigator



    Somebody has known he will take the Orange Bike


    Last edited by andre555; 02-13-2011 at 08:33 AM.
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