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Hangzhou Expat

Question

I'm looking to purchase a motorcycle and would like to know:

 

What laws apply specifically to motorcycle riders in Hangzhou?

Where are some reputable motorcycle mechanics in the city?

What experiences have you had with biking here?

 

I'm from California and I've been here for 5 months and I'm ready to get back on 2 wheels, yet I understand that here, things are a bit different.  How so?  ...and what do I need to do to start riding, legally?

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Well, I think it comes from the fact that when you mention motobikes the Chinese would immediately think of a farmer on some shitty one with a bunch of chickens or something, and farmers are poor, therefore motorbikes are the transport method of poor people, we don't want Hangzhou to look poor, so ban motorbikes.

I've been looking at getting a bike for a while now, ever since I started noticing the sports bikes with license plates appear at the start of this year.

Local popo would be a start, however if they don't know the answer they will make something up inevitably being wrong, best to pick a traffic police station and suck up to them

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To quantify above, motorcycles are illegal, even scooters. Watch some videos of Hangzhou on Youtube or pictures of the city. Do you see any motorbikes whatsoever? Most of the large First Tier cities also do not allow motorcycles in the city. NOW, out in the province in the rural areas and smaller less developed places, motorbikes are legal and fairly common.

I would advise you young man to not drive a motorcycle here in China. Chinese are awful, impatient, knucklehead drivers, and China has a high traffic mortality rate. A goodly amount of intoxicated drivers, especially outside the cities. I dare to say that you do not want to spend a month or three in a Chinese hospital for a broken limb or cracked skull because of an accident that was not your fault, but will be your fault because you are the foreigner and chose to drive on their roads, when they themselves do not have that luxury.

I have been here over ten years and I have never needed nor desired a car or personal mechanized transportation. Just do not need it or desire it, Taxis, subways and busses take care of my travelling needs just fine, and always have. Even if you could drive a bike, other hazards besides the locals is wet weather, not always smooth roads, pedestrians darting across whenever.

DONT DRIVE A MOTORBIKE IN CHINA! If you do, update your will and make sure you have the phone number and address of your family members when they scrape your ass from the street.

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Thanks for the honest insight, Popcorn.  I do value my life and sanity more than my pleasure-seeking tendencies and ego... I suppose I am looking for a way out of the subway.  Having no subway system in San Diego (California, USA), it has been quite a melancholy affair dealing with it as my main transportation while here for my first 5 months..  I don't think I'd be entertaining the 2 wheel deal as much, if my daily commute wasn't 1.5 hours each way.  Fortunately (in the oddest sense of the word), my landlord told me today that he isn't gonna be able to renew my lease come July 15th, so it's kind of forcing me to relocate; and at this point, I'm a bit more situated in my job and able to afford something closer to work, so I dont think a bike will be the best idea for me.  

 

However,  in my dreams, I ride a nicely outfitted 250-450cc Enduro out into the sticks of Hangzhou and throughout Zhejiang Province in search of Nature's solitude by way of camping and rock climbing.  

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Some pics of this past year that keep me dreaming that dream... this Bush Pig ( my 1990 Suzuki DR650S) actually got me to Hangzhou! 

After going crazy on it in Mexico, I decided to adjust the valves myself (first time in a bike engine), and overtightened them... blowing out the bottom end and rendering it useless... as I didn't have the $1200 needed for a new engine.  I put it up on Craigslist for "$700 OBO" and included in the posting that I just needed a ticket to China, and that frequent flyer miles and a little cash would suffice.  3 days later, I had a one less broken dual-sport and a freshly acquired one way ticket to Hangzhou booked, along with $150 in my pocket.  

 

Now that bike bike life is calling me back...

 

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Yeah, Motorbikes are legal now within Hangzhou despite what everyone is telling you, however the license quota has already been met for this year so you won't be able to ride legally for a while.

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21 hours ago, martel420 said:

Any news? I also would like to purchase a "fuel" bike (125 or 150cc) as electric bike are kinda slow, is the fuel expensive in Hangzhou?

 

Thanks :) 

I have yet to ask the local popo, as my Chinese is uber-basic..  

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Sorry to raise this subject from the dead, but thought it would be better than making a new thread.

I live north of Xi Xi and I see motorbikes and motor scooters all the time. I also see them around the more open areas such as long jing village. (however I never see them in downtown hangzhou) Some of these are very expensive sports bikes that are obviously ok because the rider has guanxi. But I mostly see poor people riding around on cheap 125cc motorbikes or scooters.

So there must be some way to cheaply ride a motorbike legally. I don't think these people are breaking the law as their bikes have registration plates on them. And why would you put a fake plate on a motorbike? The police will obviously know it's fake as soon as they hear you coming. Also when I was in long jing village on my E-bike I saw 3 police officers on motorbikes and a guy rode right past them on another motorbike and the cops did nothing.

Out of interest, does anyone know the rules on motorized bicycles? A motorized bicycle is a pedal bicycle that has been fitted with a small engine. Reminiscent of the first motorbikes. In America they're not classed as motorcycles they're classed as bicycles and I was wondering if China is the same.

 

 

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I see motorcycles on the streets of HZ all the time, including some very nice, high end Italian, German and American motorcycles. So laws are not enforced, like everything else here. I suggest you get a high end ebike for around town first while you do more research. Get a feel for it and decide if you really want to ride here.

 

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Fuckin A!  I could only imagine what kind of individual makes these rules...

"Hey guys, let's keep making and importing motorcycles, but hold off on licensing the drivers..."

Regardless, this news is good to know, as it adds to the puzzle...  

 

Please riddle me this:

 

..where would I need to go to confirm this--local popo?

...are they the local authority on all-things-motorcycle?

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