Jim Bryant in Beijing  Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4  Griffin 
"I belong to a club out of Las Vegas called the European Motorcycle Owners Club. One of the members is Gary Gabbard who owns this Nanchang CJ-6. He has other planes, but the CJ is one of his favorites."
"He's an older gentleman who flew in the military way back when. He also owns a Beachcraft twin, a Steerman, and another plane, but he says the CJ is the one he enjoys flying the most. He says it is very well built and reliable which just kind of surprised me!"
 
"Here's a couple pictures of our new shop in Boulder City, Nevada. "
 
"This is a bike just finishing up. The customer is shipping the bike to Alaska and then riding it down to the southern tip of Argentina."
"Should be quite an adventure!"
 
Below: "This is a Harley Dyna Glide. The first time I saw it, it was a mess..."
"It had a way out extended front fork and looked like it was abandoned. The new owner put it mostly back to stock configuration, and we painted it and added a CJ sidecar. Now back to BMW-powered Chang builds."
 
Beautiful chrome sidecar bumper, now available from Jimbo's.
 
"Out in front of The Iron Horse Saloon and Jimbo's Classic Sidecars"
 
"We're getting ready to ship this bike to Greece. (Never shipped one there before!) It's BMW R75/6 powered and has the sidecar with the rumble seat."  
 
 
"Shipped out six bikes today. Now my place looks empty."
"Here's Dean Thomas' bike. It's in one of those crates. It's got the disc brake with our under tank brake reservoir, our M5 wheels, elephant ear front fender, BMW /2 rear fender, leather Harley seats, white walled tires, and a few other options."
 
"Frans de Wit identified the bike we just rebuilt as a Ural M-63 from the late 1960s. Here's another shot of it with a little more done to it."
 
"Well, it's finished up now and in the hands of the new owner."
"I hope we get another one to build."
 
The first ride! A few more bits to be added, (headlight, chrome seat springs, painted fender brackets, etc...) but it rides well, plenty fast, and it even handles.
The ride seems more compliant, maybe the tall sidewall tires have something to do with that. It's just a fun riding bike.
 
Here's a sidecar tub with Jessica Rabbit with some of the printing air brushed.
The customer's name name will be printed next.
 
This is a 2005 BMW R1200C that we purchased for a customer, and then attached a Donghai sidecar to. There will be twin Hella spot lights in the front when the parts from Hella Germany arrive.
 
This is a Russian bike. I was told it's a 1969 when I bought it. I went to the Russian iron boards and they were split on whether it was a Ural or a Dnepr. I think it's a little of both.
Anyway, after using it in as-is condition for four years as our parts chaser, a customer finally commissioned it to be rebuilt with a BMW R60/5 motor and here it is.
 
Yes, it's a flathead! Is it a custom or factory bike? (Click here to find out.)
 
This thing was at the 2011 Beijing Motorcycle Exhibition. Check out the sidecar "dashboard" and the leather fuel cap cover. Oi.
 
"This is just something we were fartin' around with and it turns out it works really well. But cosmetically it's out to lunch. Basically a hydraulic brake reservoir mated to a plunger which works the clutch arm. Now if we can find a way to hide that reservoir somewhere off the handlebars, we might have something."
 
"Not every bike we build is BMW powered. This is an OHV powered bike, but we ported and polished the heads and did a valve regrind to allow a smoother flow of fuel. It really makes a big difference in power, without any negative effect on reliability. This has our bucket seat as well."
 
Below: "We made a re-con ride out to the Dolomiti Ski Resort in Chong Li in preparation for the inaugural Dragon Bike Festival. We're hoping it will turn into China's Bike Week similar to Sturgis or Daytona in the States. There's four or five different roads to get there, and they all look like great rides. We took one way to get there and another on the return ride. Both roads were freshly paved. It's about 280km one way, so about 6 -7 hours if you stop for lunch and picture taking. Chong Li is in Hebei province, and it's way up there in altitude (for these parts) about 2000 meters."
"There was still snow on the ground on May 1st. The inaugural Bike festival is from June 4-6."
 
Below: "We got in just under the wire before everything shuts down completely for Chinese New Year. This bike finished up today and is staying in Beijing for another "oil patch" guy. We finished up three bikes (all BMW powered) in January which is about our maximum capacity."
 
"We're doing an interesting project for a guy in New Zealand right now who has a BMW R12. We're building him a 6V flathead and tranny and a bunch of other parts so he can get his bike running."
"He''s sending the original R12 motor to me for rebuilding so later on he can bring it back to original. But meanwhile he can ride it with the CJ motor and tranny."
 
Below: "Pictures from Bill Bushling. He supercharged a flathead. (Don't ask me why...) But I take my hat off to his machine work. Pretty sano (if not quite sane)..."
 
Some of Jimbo's bikes feature Hella LED lighting as seen here. The silver bike is a BMW R50.
 
"Here's our first build coming out of our new shop. Kinda looks like one of yours, except for the 1000cc BMW motor."  
 
"Here's a CJ Lo-Rider that showed up in our shop last week."  
 
 
"Tomorrow we deliver the bike to the customer who will take it back to Malaysia. Final additions are the windshield, fabricated to look like an old German police w/s from the 1950s and, of course whitewalls."
 
"We're just finishing up this 1000cc powered solo bike for a customer in Malaysia. It really flies without a sidecar and almost 70 HP. This is our newest Panhead seat. We now use a much thicker leather and butt seam it around the perimeter of the seat, then rivet the bottom side to the pan. This bike has a police strobe light (not shown), siren, horn and loudspeaker."
 
"Here is what to do with those M1 rims that are left over. Cut them in half, weld on four engine mount bolts to it, then buy (or have given to you) a big-ass heavy duty wok, and voila a BBQ Grill. Works great."    
   
 
"Here is a bike headed for Moscow. It's got an R75/5 motor."
 
"Here's Version #2 of our leather Harley panhead style CJ seat. The leather is 3.5mm thick and has heavier padding. This one has flames tooled into the leather, but it's not showing up in these pictures. Any color and any tooling is available. They fit right onto a CJ."
 
"You'd think after 12 years of riding the mountains around Beijing, I would have done them all. We went on a ride yesterday which was supposed to be just a day trip. But, about half way out, the road we were taking was closed due to construction. And construction here means first there is no sign there is construction. Then the road gets blocked down to one lane, usually at the entrance to a tunnel or a bridge. In this case, it was a bridge. So the northbound trucks and the southbound trucks are in a face-off that lasts about 10 kilometers. Nobody budges. We took to the dry riverbed next to the road and made some progress but it was all first gear and very slow. Twice we had to cross shallow streams but we kept going. We tortured ourselves and the bikes for about six hours in 100+ degree heat. Finally, we found our road to the backside of Bai Hua Shan. We've been to the front side several times, and they don't let you ride all the way to the top of the mountain. I heard from another rider here in Beijing that if you go to the back side of the mountain you can ride to the summit. Bai Hua Shan is the tallest mountain in Beijing, reaching about 2000 meters. We did finally make it but it was getting late so we found a nice hotel halfway up the mountain and stayed there for the night. The next morning we left at 7:30 and headed back to Beijing using any route except the one we arrived on. As happens often, we found a way back to Beijing avoiding the under-construction road. This road was fantastic. I have to say it's the best road I've ridden on in Beijing. The road was mostly paved with fresh tar, and in fact I had to run two roadblocks to stay on the road. They were still paving parts of the road. Anyway, take a look at this incredible road. The other riders are Eric, my son, Razer his faithful companion, and Ed on a BMW powered Chang. And a big thank you to Tim for letting me ride his R80."
 
"By using used BMW engines the outer casings varied alot between looking almost new and completely oxidized. So about 99% of our customers opted for polishing the cases. This looks good but not all bikes (especially the military themed bikes) look correct."
"We finally found a solution. By first polishing, then sandblasting, and finally powder coating the cases with an aluminum powder we get an engine that looks like it just came off the assembly line. Pretty cool."
 
"This is Jimmy Purvis' bike which we built for him a couple years ago. And we built this trailer from a sidecar frame (with leaf springs). As you can see we used an American style ball hitch. He's now using it to carry all his camping equipment."
 
Wide whitewalls: "We finally got them and installed them on Alexei's bike. Whattaythink?" [I think they look right at home on a Chang.]
 
Vintage Motorcycles Online article about Jimbofrom Clay
 
"These guys were out at Golden Port on Sunday and put on three shows, really some fantastic stuff. And what do stunt riders do on their day off? Ride Chang Jiangs of course!"    
   
 
Below: More pictures from the May Day ride, taken by some of the other participants.
 
"We just got back last night. Rode just over 2300 miles (3700 kms). On the way down to Qingdao we were pushing covering just over 500 miles (800 kms) in 13 hours, including stops for meals and gas. We visited with old BDMC member Jimmy Purvis who moved down there 2 years ago."
"Then Jimmy showed us around Huangdao, Qingdao, Lao Shan, then into the interior of Shandong Province which looks alot like the mountains of Utah. We explored an underground cavern, climbed quite a few mountains, and stayed in mountain retreats."
"Yesterday we left Shandong and made it back home to Beijing last night. Prior to this ride we were not allowed on the expressways. But we made it down to Qingdao on the expressways and armed with these toll receipts, we were able to get back on the expressway to get back home."
 
"Here's our latest transplant patient. No chrome, but a Harley paint theme. He's going to ride this bike to France around middle of May. Also, we'll be doing a transplant to his other bike so his father can accompany him on the Beijing to Paris run. You can see how nasty his bike was before we started."
 
"Here's a bike we just finished rebuilding. It's got a few options we're just introducing. The sidecar light is a Hella LED light. The taillight is also a Hella LED unit and it is bright. It's got BMW /2 style bars with the cross brace, and heat shields on the mufflers (tractor style mufflers). Also it's BMW powered (R75/5)."
 
"We just got back from an incredible 1000 mile (mostly off road) ride. At one point, we had to lift the bikes over a land slide to get to the mountaintop. My camera crapped out on day one, but I should receive pictures and maybe a video from some of the other riders. Here are the few pics I was able to get before my camera decided to quit on me. The reason for this three-day ride was we had a three-day national holiday for "Tomb Sweeping". So, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, the first night we camped out among a bunch of graves. The second night we camped on the Great Wall. The weather and the scenery was spectacular, and the road to get here was just as rough as the first night's road."
 
"This bike is heading to Baltimore. It has our tank shifter, a 1000cc BMW motor, disc brake, rumble seat in the sidecar, and ammo cans all over. It's got almost every option we offer."    
   
 
"We just finished rebuilding and repainting a customer's bike. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the saying goes. This is our second "toaster". The owner works for the embassy of Moldavia. It's powered by an 800cc BMW motor."  
 
 
"Here's a bike rebuild we just did for a new customer. The bike had sat outside for maybe years. Completely rusted away. Couldn't even tow it due to the rear drive was seized. I wish I had a "before" picture. Now it's got a 750cc BMW engine."
 
"Yesterday, we rode up to the Great Wall at Simitai, but instead of taking the grueling 101 we took back roads that I didn't know existed. Altogether, welogged 400km and of course without any breakdowns. Sabine Hartman has taken loads of pictures and videos of the rides. I wish I knew how to send you a 500MB video, but I don't think there is any way. Too bad, because the video is really that good."
 
"You'd think after ten years of riding around the mountains of Beijing that I'd have ridden all the good roads by now. But just goes to show you that there's always another road. Last Saturday, we were invited by a group of water-cooled Chang riders. We rode up to Li Yang's summer cottage, had a steak BBQ and then went off exploring new roads. We might have set a world's record ourselves for the most water-cooled Chang Jiangs ever in one spot, six of them."
 
"One of the ladies on the ride last Sunday [Sabine Hartmann] is an artist who takes lots of pictures. Here they are."
 
"We went on a nice ride today. It's been raining almost every day for what seems like the past month so when it cleared into a beautiful day with blue skies, five of us went out to the mountains."
"Coincidentally, every bike was BMW powered and all built by yours truly."
"The nice part was we were able to take a highway out of the city, cruising at about 120-130km/h for about 45 minutes until we reached the mountains."
"We then spent the rest of the day cruising the canyons."
 
"After working all winter (off and on anyway!) I just took my bike out for it's maiden ride. This is the same bike I rode around the world back in 2004-05. It had a Velorex sidecar back then. Now it's got a Dong Hai sidecar which will easily hold my son and all our camping gear with room to spare. The name (BeemerChangHai-Davidson) came from the fact it's got a BMW frame and drivetrain, Chang Jiang sidecar fender and a few other parts, Dong Hai sidecar, and H-D seat. The rework involved, let's see, new high-domed pistons, new rings, re-sealed engine, all new gaskets, resealed transmission, new clutch, new 37:11 rear drive, new (to me) Dong Hai sidecar that was missing a seat, fender, and spare tire carrier, so it's wearing a Chang Jiang sidecar fender, a Chang Jiang spare tire carrier, and a new sidecar seat copied from a Dong Hai original seat, newly powder coated frames (bike and sidecar) new paint, and a few other things I've forgotten already. But she goes like a bat outa h*ll now. I'll be riding down to Shanghai via Huang Shan and Taiping lake next week for her maiden (long) ride."
 
This artist is amazing...
 
From Jim: "Not much of a ride but the BBQ and airbrush demonstration was really sweet. Zhao Shuang, the guy doing the air brushing, is now open for business. I'll try and get his contact info tomorrow. He's just on the border with Huairo which is an easy ride for any Beijing riders. The amazing thing to me anyway is that I just brought him the airbrush a little over a week ago from the States. This guy learns fast!"
And from Clay: "After reading Jim's post, I called him for the directions to the place (it was hard to find) where the BBQ and exhibition of art accomplished with a new airbrush purchased by Jim in the States on his last trip home. The artist, Zhao Suang, a quiet young man, shows promise with an airbrush and an element of history that is illustrated by his art. The BBQ was delicious and the courtyard in the country where it was held also contained a kennel of dogs and examples of "rock art" as well. Interested in getting some of this fine work on your iron (and who wouldn't be?) contact Jim."
 
"If anyone wants to get ahold of Zhao Shuang his e-mail address is z1224s@hotmail.com.Or you can contact Wang Dong-liang at tt8688tina@yahoo.com.cn. Tel:13466377360"
"Neither guy speaks English so if that's a problem just send the info to me (Jim) and I'll forward it. (jim@way2prc.com) I'm rebuilding and repainting my bike (R69S) so I have to decide what airbrush artwork I want on it."
 
"Here's a couple of pictures from Tim's stash at our shop. It's a CJ M5 frame versus a BMW R80/7 frame. In many aspects they measure identical. There are a few differences though such as the motor mount recepticals on the BMW are welded just underneath the down tubes whereas the M5 the motor mounts pass through the frame as in a CJ."
"The battery mount on the M5 is behind the rear frame brace and on the Beemer it is welded just in front of the rear frame brace. The center stands appear to be interchangeable, and in fact the frames are very close to being interchangeable except for some very minor points. I thought it was interesting and makes me wonder how the folks in Nanchang came to make the jigs for the M5 bike."
 
Had a great ride this weekend Luke sponsored the ride and it was led by Lao Ren. We rode up to Bai Hua Shan (White Flower Mountain) pretty high in these parts at 2000 meters.
I guess my definition of overnight ride is different that some of the others. I brought along a tent, sleeping bag and camping gear. Others broght nothing, so we ended up in a really clean Ming style motel. US $13 a night so who's complaining?
The next morning we rode to Chuan Di Xia, a preserved 600 year old village. It's one of the last Ming era villages that hasn't been torn down or disintegrated.
And to add fuel to the fire, the only bikes that had problems were... you guessed it, the flatheads! Overheating, detonation, you name it. They just can't haul the weight up the mountains. [Dan says all they had to do was lean out the carbs to compensate for the altitude!]
 
"We went on a really incredible ride a couple weeks ago in the mountains.
Got above the tree line at the summit. About nine CJs made it up and back without any trouble other than a flat tire."
 
"I attended the annual sidecar Ron-Dee-Voo in Weikert, Pa. There were 160 sidecars! I got the furthest distance award . I borrowed a customer's BMW powered CJ which was a hit. Just about every Ural rider told me they wished they knew about our bikes before buying a Ural."
"There was one other CJ, a WWII-like M1 with an R71 gas tank. The owner thought he bought a real R71, and he bought it from a museum in Florida. It was a CJ and not even an old one. There were no zerks at the seat or steering head, the front lower sidecar mount was welded, not clamped to the frame. But at least it ran well at the rally."