Jim Bryant in Beijing  Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4  Griffin
Jim went to China in 1981 to start a manufacturing business. In 1995 he bought his first CJ in Datong but it was stolen before he got to ride it. In late 1995 he moved to Beijing. His wife bought him a new CJ in 1997 for his birthday that he still owns. It carried Jim and his son to Ningxia—about halfway across China—and back, and now has over 30,000 km! Jim swapped the SV motor for an OHV within the first month and has been happy with it ever since. In 2000 he started importing kits made to his specs but it has taken three years to sell 12 kits. He now owns five including two that are BMW powered.
"It's finished finally. The customer used to live in China and now calls Idaho home. We originally built this bike in 2008 in Beijing. It was repatriated back to Idaho, then sent to me for a complete conversion."
"This one has a rebuilt 1000cc BMW motor, a rebuilt 5 speed BMW transmission, and a BMW 32:9 rear drive gear. We tweaked the frame at to clear the BMW drive, and used a shock unit from a CJ left side."
"We then modified the BMW swingarm and drive shaft to fit the plunger frame, machine a new axle and bushing, and it's ready to cruise the highways. On to the next one."
"Our latest rebuild. This is the camouflage used by the Germans in WWII."
"I see a lot of CJs with contemporary U.S. camouflage paint jobs (as in Afghanistan)."
"This bobber is powered by a 6V flattie! It has two sets of wheels—the normal skinny 19" wheels with replica Firestone tires, and a set of fat 16" wheels with fat tires."
"The tank and rear fender are polished aluminum."
Below: "Here's a full rig we just finished up, heading to PA. The owner may need a CDL to ride it though."
"Here's an R80 changed to an R100 that we recently repainted and polished up."
"Went for a ride today to "The Arch" in the Great Wall. Took Razer with me who had a great time swimming at our lunch stop."
"Victory Motorcycles just held their grand opening. You can kinda see which bike was the star of the show." (That's our very own Tim Legonegro posing with Jimmy, Jimbo and the legendary Arlen Ness.)
"Here's a bike we restored for a guy you already know, Antoine Bloch. He does far off rides every year and puts the pictures up on the web. This bike we found had been sitting outside for a number of years, rusty and decrepit. Not any more. It's got a 1000cc motor, rubber fork gaiters and M5 wheels. He stuck with the stock rubber seats. We painted the same color as the new Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen Edition."  
"We've built a few nice looking bikes this winter."
"This one made it just under the wire. Finished up today and we close tomorrow for Chinese New Year."
"Just finished up two more bikes before year end. The plain Jane bike was a complete build and the other was a Danny Woody creation. This is the Danny Woody bike. It and had all of about 1400km on it before the motor turned into a paperweight."
"We had to rewire the entire bike then drop in a polished BMW R75 motor, rebuild the transmission, repaint the front fender, and a fix few other things that were neglected. I have to admit now, it is a pretty nice looking bike. Shame about the wheels though..."
"This bike is for a guy who helped us a lot as he's in the elevator business. So, as he watched our new elevator being constructed, he offered a lot of safety tips that I had no idea about."
"His bike is black with white pinstripes and powered by a 900cc R90/6 motor. As you can guess, the bike hauls!"
Jimbo's death ramp is being retired and replaced with a scissor lift. Remarkably, there were no fatalities (that we know of) during the two years it was in service.
"This bike has our first under-tank brake reservoir so the reverse clutch and brake levers are retained with a disc brake. Also, check out the tires. They are molded to look just like Firestones from the 1930s."
"The power comes from a 1980 BMW R80 motor with electronic ignition. It also has new Mikuni (imported) carbs. This one's headed to St. Louis where it will be used for promotions for the customer's antenna company. There is a bracket you can't see that holds a 6" diameter antenna mast."
"Here's a bike we finshed just before the Chinese May Day holidays. It's powered by a 1000cc BMW motor. Has a bucket seat in the sidecar and
a tank-mounted reverse gear only shifter. The owner is soon moving back to Idaho (from Shanghai) where he'll meet up with his bike."
"I don't know why but this struck me as funny. I came in from a delivery and saw my crew sitting around the bike lift, lunch served on the cardboard box, and Razer was sitting there just like he was one of the crew. They treated him like one of them too. Guess you had to be there."
"It's been a while since you had any ride pics so here's a couple. The weather was just about perfect for a ride today in the low 50s."
"Tim, Kim, and Ed came along too but they were too fast for me on the way back. So I stopped off for a couple pics of Razer and my trusty old bike (in the snow)."
"The weather here has been perfect riding weather. Last Sunday we rode out to Tianjin to visit Panshan Mountain and the Eastern Qing Tombs. You can see we did a little off road riding to get there. Then on the way home, a wheel bearing failed on my former BMW."
"While I was making the repairs, the typical crowd of about 50 spectators stood around and watched. One guy was heard saying (and this is a classic), "This is better than watching a fight!" But about 300+ kms later we all made it back to Beijing just in time to watch the MotoGP race from France."
"We went on a ride today, but two out of five bikers left early for cold and business reasons. This will probably be the last ride of the year as the temperature is dipping below freezing in the mornings and evenings now. But, I still ride everyday to work and back, (about 30 minutes each way). I see I put 16,000 kms on my R69S this year so far. Don't know how many miles I put on my other bikes and, of course, customers' bikes. Here's a picture from today's ride just after lunch. I'm sure Sabine will have a video up on YouTube before the week is out."
"Just got back from about a week over at the Yue Qiao reservoir, my first time there which is surprising seeing how it's only about 2 hours away from Beijing. The riding is really fantastic in this vacation area with Mt. Pan Shan, the Great Wall, and plenty of mountains nearby, not to mention the reservoir itself. Those are Cubans they're enjoying after a long day's ride."
"Just did a 4000+ km ride from Beijing to Huang Shan in southern Anhui Province, then stopped off in Shanghai to catch the MotoGP race, and then back to Beijing. I posted a blog at this link. Here are a few more pics. Jim at www.mycj750.com"   Click here to read Brian Wylie's narrative of this ride.
"Just got back from our ride. The weather was perfect, about 70 degrees, blue sky and no traffic until the very end. We ate at the fish pond with the monkey in the cage and then took the "Alpine Loop". As smooth as that road was last year, they went ahead and repaved it again over the winter. We had five CJs, one Yamaha and George on his new Harley. There's still snow up in the mountains. Ran into Boet yesterday. Asked him about the sausage maker and he reports the guy moved to Mongolia. He's looking for another one now."
"I Just got back from Daytona Bike Week. The two bikes I had down there won first and second places at the Sidecar Show. This year's Daytona was terrific. Weather, scantily clad ladies, and I got to take in the Amelia Island Concours as well. And now I'm back in Beijing. The weather has changed to springtime weather so we'll be out riding every weekend. "Life is good."
"Yesterday was the 2nd. annual ride sponsored by the Pomegranate Restaurant. Mike, the owner, has a CJ as well and he organised a great ride with a BBQ at his restaurant after the ride. A great time was had by all. Take a look at the novel way to walk your donkey!"
All the CJs!
Frank and passenger.
Gas stop.
On the way.
Rest stop.
Rest stop.
Last stop before home.
Ride back home.
"Here are pictures from this weekend's overnight campout ride to Shi Du. We ended up with about 15 CJs, one H-D and my R69S. Every bike made the 300+ km except the one CJ that had a rock tear a tennis ball sized hole in his oil pan. And some people even want a deeper sump?! We found a grassy meadow at the very top of the mountain where we pitched camp. Many thanks for the guys that brought the barbeque and the marinated steak and lamb. The ride was great until Sunday morning when one of our riders met head-on with a minivan. Fortunately both drivers are OK."  
"This bike came in to our shop today. Lately we've been getting more locals coming in for service and parts. As you can see he already bought a Harley seat from us and today he bought a tank shifter. He hand painted his whitewalls too."
"Today was Jimmy Purvis' last day in Beijing. He's headed to Qingdao tomorrow. Jimmy has led quite a few rides and discovered a lot of new roads for the Dragons. We'll be riding down to Qingdao once he gets settled in. Today was almost perfect other than a short downpour."
"Nine bikes started and finished without any issues, close to a 300km ride. The attraction of Miyun besides the gorge is practice grenades for RMB 2 each. Where else can you risk getting your hand blown off for such a low price? They make a nice echo up and down the gorge.""
"Had a great ride today. Over 20 bikes showed up (many built by us). The weather was great and we had a BBQ at our shop afterwards. I think there were 4 or 5 BMW powered bikes and one of the riders, William Harrison leaves tomorrow riding his bike to France from Beijing." [That's him in picture #5.]
"While you're basking in the warm waters off Brazil, think of us in the cold North!"
"Thought you might like some pictures to remind you what snow and ice were."
"Here for a week and the highest temperature was -30C."
"But I did enjoy a camel race yesterday."
Know what this is? It's a Shandong, named after the province where it was built. It dates to the early eighties. (See the Shandong engine pictures from LRM.)
The engine is very different. For one thing, it has a low-mounted dipstick. I don't see the generator in the traditional location either. There also appears to be a distributor mounted on top of the engine in front of the air filter housing.
The thing that caught Jim's eye was the sidecar. There are numerous differences here as well. The fender running light is absent and the external framework resembles the M72 sidecar, minus the upper portion.
Jim has a big winter project lined up for one of his bikes. As you can see here, he's gotten an early start. You could say the bike has been torn down somewhat. Jim will use the opportunity to paint and pinstripe the bike. Knowing Jim, it's going to be a real stunner once it's all back together.
During the RDMC 4th of July ride, the crew stopped for a meal served underneath a bridge—troll style. The fish is caught and grilled right there on the spot—along with a variety of other meats.
They were grilling a cat for the table next to theirs. (It tastes just like chicken!)
That's a MiG in the background. Jim's son and his buddy are holding their ears while they toss hand grenades! Imagine doing that in the States!.
This Beemer Chang was at the Beijing 2004 Custom Bike Show.
It was one of the more laid back bikes that day.
Aside from this sweet, original looking M1, there were about 250 Changs! Gerald tells us this bike has a Type I engine, an early production Type II gearbox and a pre-1971 bike frame with brackets for a toolbox. The tank is post-1970 with a built-in toolbox. This bike uses a 12V coil—easy to see as the plug wires are outside. The bike really looks good. It would be a nice one to restore to its original state.
Oh baby!
This is the Changdian we posted a few days ago.
Check out the widened sidecar on this M1S.
There's at least nine PRC flags on this Super.
Something tells me this bike is wired for sound.
Brutal exhaust system.
This Super has leg guards and the knobbiest knobbies I've ever seen.
M1M. Look at that seat!
Air horns and a sound system. Whoa.
Another brutal exhaust system.
Are those chrome plated mortar shells?
And another really brutal exhaust system.
This picture is just plain cool. I love every one of these bikes—especially the M1M in the foreground.
Super rare CJ factory swing-arm racer. And it's a flattie!
The truck wheel on the sidecar is a bit over the edge...
If there's an award for custom exhaust systems...
Another Super.
Whoa! Jim calls this M1M a Changdian. It belongs to a friend of a friend who spent 4000RMB in total on the conversion. Those are steel fenders. Whoa.
Read all about the BDMC 2004 May Day ride. Lots of pictures too!
Last Sunday 13 Changs made they way to the Mu Tian Yu Great Wall for the Beijing Dragons' first ride of the season. Here's a shot of the smiling participants.
Plans are being made for the annual BDMC May Day ride. This year's journey will take them up to the grasslands and then over to Datong in Shanxi province. They'll spend two nights there in order to visit the Yungang Grottos and Hanging Temple. All in all they'll be on the road five days. Sounds like a good time!
Jim's report on the October 3 expedition: "We had a great trip up to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia even though the turnout was quite light. We left Tuesday afternoon and made it to Jing Shan Ling just before dark. We again stayed at the Ming Style Motel which I rate as one star.
The next morning we took some pictures of the bikes at the Great Wall and left. We stopped at noon at the Twin Towers and took the cablecar to the top. It's quite a sight from the top. There is a temple (or a tomb) on top of one of the towers which is reported to be 1400 years old.
From here we took in the steam train switching yard once again and then headed for Weichang. We got to Weichang around 3:30 so we decided to press on to the Imperial Hunting Grounds instead of staying the night in Weichang.
A good decision as it turns out because it gave us an additional three hours in the morning to ride even further into Inner Mongolia. We stayed Wednesday night in the Forest Hotel (1 stars) which is located within the Imperial Hunting Grounds.
The next morning saw snow and one very hard to start BMW motor. We finally git it going courtesy of three of the hotel's Jeeps providing battery jumping power. We headed further north into some mountains and we tried some hill climbing with the bikes.
Only Luke's Chang with an OHV motor made it up the hill, my bike suffering from non-syncronised carburators which left it running on one cylinder at low (hill climbing) RPM.
We left at 2:00 and headed straight back to Beijing (via Chengde) and made it by 8:00 PM (to Shunyi).
All told a 1,000 plus kilometer trip with not the hint of a breakdown—mechanical or electrical! Two of the pictures here show a hay truck that tried to make it (unsuccessfully) under a bridge just outside Weichang.
We were allowed to actually ride our bikes up to the Great Wall at Jing Shan Ling where we got those early morning pictures. We did find that the prices of almost everything from hotels to peanuts is alot higher just over the border in Inner Mongolia, probably because it is such a tourist mecca for Beijingers.
We stopped by a potato farm to see how they harvest French Fries. It's all by hand with the workers (all women) getting paid a pretty decent wage of 20 RMB per day. They load them into those 3 wheel trucks you see on the road and they are trucked to a bigger depot where they are loaded on 18 wheelers and sent southward.
The going rate for potatos is 80 RMB per jin (half kilo) in case you need to know! We did have a variety of bikes even though there were only thee.
Luke brought his flamed Chang with the OHV motor, Chris Drumgoole brought an original M1 with the flathead and 6V electrical system and I brought my BMW powered Chang.
The flathead ran like a top all trip and spent many hours above 75 KMH on the way back."
Chris Drumgoole's Internet photo album has a few more images taken during this run.
Jim attended a vintage BMW meet in New Hampshire in May with his BMW (1952 R67/2) powered Chang Jiang.
Here's Jim's bike.
It appears to have received a lot of attention... just like any CJ!
Looks like a pretty good time.
And one more shot...
Next time you're in Beijing, stop by the Harley dealer just outside Chaoyang Park. He's got 100 of these cool BDMC patches at RMB 50 each.
Jim's BMW-powered bike is back in service with a new engine. The old engine developed a serious problem recently.
Look at that cool Beijing license plate! I'd love to have one like that for the shop!
Nice saddle bags, too! It's hard to tell this bike is a CJ.
Coffee can taillight! NICE!
It's official. The Beijing Dragons MC logo has been finalized! Check out that cylinder head!
BDMC patches! Contact Jim if you'd like to get one.
Jim sent these images from their recent May Day ride in China. Look at the Changs! Neat!
Not all the bikes are shown as there were non-CJ participants as well. We'll just drool over these bikes for now...
Daytona Bike Week, 2003, and Jim was there with his BMW-powered CJ. Nice bike!
I wonder how many CJs show up for this event!
In early October, Jim and associates went on three-day run to Inner Mongolia. Take a look at that steam locomotive! Jim calls this image "two old crocks".
The riders have stopped to take in the scenery.
Checking into a hotel.
Jim calls this one "blocking the gate". Pretty awesome if you ask me.
Those things in the background are yurts, traditional Mongolian homes.
This one was captioned "caveman".
Here they have reached the turnaround point.
End of the line...
That's a part of the Great Wall.
More of the Great Wall, Jinshanling.
And again. Jim calls this one "Le Mans start" so it's anyone's guess what took place once they got rolling!
Here we see eight Changs out for a ride, August 25, 2002. No mechanical troubles that day, but one bike ran out of gas. I wonder what the locals think...
In 2000, Jim, his son and a friend took trip from Beijing to Nangxia, 75% of which was off road. This image shows the type of conditions we mean.
It was quite an adventure taking two weeks...one-way. On some days it took as much as 12 hours to progress just 250km (or 150 miles.) This is Jim's son.
They crossed a good portion of the Gobi desert and the (Inner) Mongolian grasslands. This shot was taken at a "truck stop".
These next five images were taken during a recent ride around the Beijing countryside.
Looks like a lot of fun.
Uh oh, a breakdown. Maybe the Changs were trying to keep up with the Harleys?!
Yep, I'm envious.
Look at that scenery!
Here we see some of Jim's friends out for a recent MC outing. They ended up in a little place called Jing Shun Lu not far from the Great Wall.
Does this look like fun or what?
Fantastic scenery, even nicer aboard a Chang.
You can almost hear the bikes in this shot.
Here's a CJ "R71" owned by a German guy living in Beijing. The air filter arrangement is strictly cosmetic.
Here's the same bike from the front. Neat.
Jim was the owner of Vintage Sidecar Cruisers NE who some of you know quite well. This is Chang Jim built with a 1951 BMW R67/2 engine. It bolts right in, and uses 6V electrics.
This is Jim's daily rider, equipped with a 1973 BMW R75/5 engine. Quite a bit of work went into this modification, and the end result is around twice the horsepower of the original motor.
This is a flattie Jim built in Beijing. Nice.
August, 2002, Jim & his friends are taking one of their regular rides around the Chinese countryside.
Stopping for fuel.
This is just awesome.
Oops. A little roadside repair work on the electrical system.
Support your local Outlaws!
Jim & associates
Looks like fun...
...if you can stay dry.
More of the same.
And again.
Like I said, awesome.