Freddie B. & Miin Leong visit China
Part I: Shanghai

"My business trip to Shanghai is finally over. Now I'm hoping to do a little R&R and some siteseeing before heading back home to San Jose, California. I plan to stay in Shanghai for two more days and then to Beijing for another five. So far, Shanghai has been a fabulous city to visit. The people are great and the food is fantastic. This city is amazing going thru its transformation. I just can't believe this is Shanghai. It's a very beautiful city and there are lots to see, a definite must-see visit for those who are considering China."

"Miin Leong and his friend, Andy Lee were also visiting China from Canada so we made plans to meet for the first time at Shao's new shop. Our hope was to surprise Shao with our visit. Unfortunately, he was not at his Shanghai shop, he was working in Beijing. We did have a chance to meet his assistant, Jack, who showed us around their new shop."

"These photos are from my visit to Shanghai. Take a look at the Texaco sign with Chinese characters. I thought it was very cool looking."

"Now stay tuned... I plan to take more photos the coming days. Perhaps I will even get a chance to ride a CJ during my visit to Beijing. Now that will be a treat!"

Regards,

"Fred Balanay, visiting Shanghai and making my way to Beijing."

 
 
 
Part II: Hang Zhou
"We had a change in plans leaving Shanghai. We decided to visit Hang Zhou, two hours south of Shanghai, via train. Lucky for me, Miin speaks Cantonese and we were able to manage to get around. But we also manage to get lost and delayed our visit to Beijing by one day. Lucky for us we were not on a time crunch because it was worth the trip. The sights here was unreal. The lake was beautiful and very picturesque."

"BTW, We did manage to see one plastic chang but that was about it. We are now heading for Beijing. "

   
   
   
Part III: Beijing
"We finally arrived into Beijing but a day late. We first visited Shao as he was expecting us a day earlier. When we arrived at his shop, we had a warm welcome from him. We hit it right off the bat. It was like we knew each other for many years."

"We then visited Luke's shop but unfortunately, he was not in. Too bad, Miin tried last year during his visit and he wasn't successful again. Oh well, there is always next time. I did take some pictures of Luke's shop. We then went to Frank's Classic Sidecars where. Jim Bryant gave us a grand tour of his shop with many CJ/BMW goodies to drool on. Seeing those BMW conversion was very cool. And speaking of cool, Jim was very kind in lending us a couple of his motorcycles, Dnepr with a Chang Jiang motor and a BMW motor with a CJ frame connected to a sidecar. We then rode those bikes to visit Chef Jeff's restaurant called "The Orchard" and had dinner there. The food was fantastic."

"Thank you Jim for a fabulous time and your hospitality. I had fun riding your bikes. Thank you!"

Part IV: BeijingShao, Gerald and Clay
"We hooked up with Gerald and Clay. It was great to meet them. Clay found PLA cylinders he wanted to show us. The quality was better than some of the ones I've seen at the CJ parts shop. Gerald offered to let us take ALPHA for a spin. Now that was a treat! "
Part V: The Great Wall (and a 750 parts shop!)
"As hard to believe as it may seem (to us, anyway), China is not just about Chang Jiang motorcycles. We did a lot of touring around as well. One of the most spectacular things to see is The Great Wall. It was an amazing sight to see. We walked for hours till we finally couldn't go any further where the walls were still in ruins and untouched, a definite must-see for visitors."

"Another must? Shopping! The deals on leather goods, shoes, tailored suits and shirts were hard to pass up. I sure bought my share. The price of a handmade suit tailored to fit was ridiculously low. It was a steal, literally! Everywhere you turned there were deals. The best deal was at this CJ parts shop. It was like my kids in a candy store, only it was me drooling. There were cool parts everywhere. I think I almost bought a little of everything they carry and probably more than what I needed. So if anyone needs anything, I just may have it. Including another gearbox... Dan ;-)"

"At the end of the day I ended up buy an extra large duffle bag to carry all my clothing purchases for my family. The CJ parts, well let's just say I got carried away."

"I shipped it in a shipping container. It will take six weeks, enough time to break the news to the wife... I think..."
Part VI: Test riding CJS bikes!
"It was great to finally meet Shao Yiqi. He built both of my CJ 750 PLA M1 22HP 6V bikes. He rolled out the red carpet for us! He gave us a tour of his shop and we met his team of workers. What a production line! All CJs handmade to order. It was amazing!"

"The day we were there Shao needed our help to test ride 7 CJs per the customer's request from South Africa. The South African, visiting with his mechanic, wanted Shao to test ride all the CJs he bought for approx. 150-200km before shipping them out at the end of the week. Well, as you can imagine, in order for him to meet his shipping deadline, he would have had to stop production and have all his worker ride all day. He couldn't afford to do that because he was already maxed out on his workers. So we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a CJ ride and we offered to help out. It gave us transportation to tour around Beijing on a CJ and Shao more kilometers to test ride his bikes. It was a win-win situation and we all had a blast!!! We only had one bike that gave us a problem. It kept popping out of gear but roadside adjustments were no problem. When we finally got back to Shao's shop, he gave us a lesson in CJ gearbox repair and Fnal Drive 101. Learning from someone who knows these bikes was priceless. He made it looks so easy with very simple tools. I just hope I can remember everything he showed me."

"The best thing about my trip to China was that I was able to meet the wonderful people that I had communicated with in the past 4 years since my involvement with Chang Jiang motorcycles."

"This network of guys has developed into a brotherhood of friends which who share the same passion and interested in keeping these machines on the road. We all have that special bond no matter what country we live in. I'm grateful that I had this opportunity to visit China and I hope to meet many more comrades in the coming future."
From Miin Leong:
"Timing was perfect on my business trip to Shanghai and actually getting to meet up with Freddie B. who was on a company trip. We spent a few days in Shanghai & Huang Zou city. Went to visit Shao`s shop in Shanghai but he was not there. Later we took a flight to Beijing. It was nice to visit Beijing again and had a really good time with the CJ gang . Thank you Shao Yiqi of CJS for taking me, Freddie & Andy around Beijing to visit the CJ boys. Thank you Jim Bryant of Frank`s Classic Sidecars for giving me a ride on your BMW/CJ. Jim then lent us his bikes, riding to visit Chef Jeff`s restaurant called "The Orchard" . The ride was awesom getting there and the food was fantastic. We also managed to hook up with Gerald & Clay. It was nice that Clay also brought along some PLA cylinders and you really can see the quality. Nice to see Gerald again and Alpha still running strong." (Also see Miin's page.)