|Darren, formerly of Brunei||(Scroll down for all the latest news.)|
|"My name is Darren and
I live in Brunei, but am originally from England/Spain.
Here are some pictures of my ride."
"I first saw a picture of a Chang Jiang on the Internet and loved the look straight away. After some research I contacted a few CJ bike dealers. Then I made two trips to Beijing and visited some of them. I eventually commissioned Jackie from Beijing Sidecars to build my bike."
"I had searched through, I think, every CJ dealer on the Internet I could find, and downloaded hundreds of pictures to my computer, and after the two trips to Beijing seeing the bikes in real life, I knew exactly what I wanted... a red solo machine."
|"In spring 2010, this is what I unwrapped from the box. A great build; the only problem is the color... I had to pick the color from email pictures, and I'm not that keen on the red. But other than that "Wow" I finally got a CJ to Brunei, and one of the best things is, it sounds great! And rides great too, better than expected..."|
|"Here are some pictures of it looking its best in its red color as a solo ride. I want to keep the option of the rear seat as I like to take my wife for rides. The rest of the time I will keep it as a single seater."|
|"The color has to change... and some modifications to the front and rear fenders, maybe some new indicators plus a different back light. I have an idea for the rear fender. I've been going though the websites and hundreds of pictures but don't think it's been done this way before..."|
|"I got my new indicators from England and my back light from the States. The backlight is really cool. It's a backlight, brake light and number plate light all in one, plus the number plate bracket, and it's adjustable."|
|"I brought my tyres back from the UK. They're Avon Coker-style tires, which I like as they're more period looking, 5.00-16. The wheels are from Thomas Koehle from Beijing. He has some cool bikes and has got into building them for people. At the moment they're lost in the post..."|
|"Back in Black!"|
|"I think she looks great, sexy, just bloody gorgeous! As you can see, I love back ends, behinds, the rear view is just perfect! The indicators look great and the new backlight worked out better than expected..."|
|"The rear fender has been totally modified. I cut off the end of the fender at the hinge, then cut about 3" off the end piece and welded that back to the rest of the fender to give it a bit more length. I want to be able to put the back seat and rack on sometimes, so there is just enough room."|
|"If you look carefully you can see the holes for the rack and rear seat. I then cut the sissy bar away from the rest of the fender and welded a bracket on each side of the sissy bar. I then made a hole on either side of the fender so the sissy bar bolts to the fender and supports everything. I also shortened both ends of the front fender and painted it all black. I think she looks beautiful! Still got the fat wheels to come, can't wait..."|
|"My friend Paul has the only other CJ in Brunei. As you can see from the number plates, we got them re-registered at the same time. He bought his from a different company and the quality of the build wasn't very good. We have learnt a lot about repairing CJs from his bike. It was a bit cheaper, so I suppose you could say you get what you pay for. I would say the builders and company just didn't care... Anyway, each repair has made it better and he has had a lot of fun on it!"|
are some pics of a couple of recent rides. Most of them
are of our ride over the border to Malaysia. We headed to
a place called Bintulu, about 600km away. Some great
roads and no motor-ways. We did hit about a 200km stretch
full of pot holes. Hard going after a while, trying to
keep the concentration levels to avoid the holes and keep
the speed up. We were happily surprised of how well the
bikes handled it. I mean I hit a couple of bumps and took
off with both wheels off the ground, but no problem. The
bike didn't throw me off, just dealt with it and kept
"The weather over here is tropical, so it's in the 30s all the time and lots of rain. And when it rains it's a downpour. Again, the bikes had no problem with it. If anything, mine ran better in the wet, (colder I suppose). I didn't get round to putting my rack on, so I strapped my bag to the tank. Not a good idea because it scratched the tank, except when it rained, it kept my balls dry... We went a different way on the way back and found a great route through some palm oil plantations which went on for miles... to the point we thought we were going to run out of petrol. Another good thing with the CJ is its big tank. We must have done over 250km by the time we found a petrol station."
"All in all, it was a great trip. No breakdowns and no accidents, and the bikes got lots of attention from the Malaysians..."
|"One of my wheels has finally arrived! Chinese Post had missent them to Myanmar, which I think is Burma..."|
|"The other one is on its way too. This one is the front wheel, I will get it on the bike in the next few days."|
|"Well, I got the front wheel on and I think she looks pretty cool. Have been for a few test rides and have got used to the different handling. It just feels heavier at the front at first, but once you get used to it, it feels normal. I would like to put some sort of front fender back on, a small one. The brake doesn't work as well, had to adjust it of course but still not as good, (the extra weight). Anyway the back wheel has arrived as well, so I hope to get that on soon."|
|"I thought I would show you what she looks like with the back seat on. I designed the rear fender around the back seat because I wanted the option of taking a passenger, especially as me and the wife enjoy the occasional weekend ride away together."|
|"I have left Brunei and decided to leave my CJ too. For a couple of reasons, one being all the paper work involved to take her with me, and the second reason is its a good chance to move on to another project. So she has gone to a new owner."|
|"I have lots of ideas for another CJ style bobber. I love Thomas Koehles work, so I might be asking for his help. The only thing is I want a BMW engine in the next one (to my style), but I can only think of one person for that, Jim Bryant of Jimbos. So it looks like I will be going to Beijing in the not to distant future."|
|"Anyway here are the last pictures of my bike with the back wheel on. I sold her with the original ones and kept these for the next project. "|