Hi Chengdu people,
I’ve been lurking on this forum for quite a while, but now I need some help myself. I will stay in this city for at least 12 months, so I need some long-term entertainment that will keep me busy on the weekends. It has been a dream of mine to ride a motorcycle across Chinese landscapes and I feel Sichuan is the right province for this. I know it’s possible to walk in the Vehicle Department, translate my drivers license, do a test and drive with my mother’s biggest fear into the mountains, but there’s a slight problem: I don’t have the required foreign motorcycle license to do this, which basically means I have to go through this bureaucratic madness to get a motorcycle license in China (and get lessons). Does anyone of you have experience with this? Or can you help me find someone who does? If you can assist me with the application, lessons and buying a bike there will be a reward in RMB’s ofcourse (negotiable).October 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm #35952
I heard that riding a motorcycle within third ring road using BIG bikes is illegal. But always saw people riding racing motorcycle. So I guess there are rules, but the traffic police never take it serious, and as long as people ride it in a low profile no one will care.October 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm #35955
Ok. Here is it. Under 250cc is allowed within 4th ring road (that’s the raocheng expressway or whatever) and under 50cc is fine. Within 2nd ring (or is it 3rd now?) You need a very expensive permit to ride any motorbike whatsoever. There are other limitations on sizing and such.
I ride a 50cc monkey and it’s fucking awesome. Every day it’s not raining to work. Past many cops, I take the road from 3rd ring to software park almost daily, any of you who ride bikes or whatever know every intersection (and some mid-points) got cops… been stopped once, he shut the fuck up when I said it’s under 50cc and sent me on my way. 😀 That’s all. I asked for specifics on the rules/articles/whatever in the law to find exactly where this allows my wee one to ride, but my buddy just said “it’s from a traffic policeman I know, didn’t find the law” or something to that extent and hasn’t searched for shit since::
If you’re around software park, and want to see a super fun minibike that you can customize significantly and ride as far as you want around China (range is like 150-200km on a tank…way more if you get a gorilla tank………) on a super cool bike that not only is super fun to ride but everyone at every red light will be looking at or asking you “how much is that, how fast does it go” or “how an yi” or whatever they say…… minibikes are the shit. 😀 send me a msg if you want a ride near SW park during day or ikea during evening, gladly let random strangers potentially steal my minibike just to see expressions on m’fers faces. 😀October 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm #35960
Alright, small update: I found out it is possible to get a license in Chengdu. Just have to do it the way Chinese people do. Motorcycle lessons aren’t available though, so I can only take the road test and theoretical exam.
Can anyone teach me some motorcycle skills? Switching gears is sth I don’t have experience with. Again, I’m willing to pay 🙂October 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm #36162
In 3 years I have never been stopped in Chengdu I currently have a 110 motorbike. To be honest the rules are pretty slack. The only time to be cautious is just before a national holiday, thats when the cops need some cash.
Also regarding size the Harley Davidson shop is within the 2nd Ring Road and every weekend most of the Harley riders meet outside the shop.
If your going to get a motorbike, just make sure you get a good helmet and gloves.October 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm #36165
When you’re riding a motorcycle, especially in China, the first thing you should be concerned about is your personal safety. When I read your post my first thought was that you’re probably putting yourself at major risk by learning to ride a motorcycle in an urban Chinese mega city. It’s not for beginners at all. I got taught and licensed to ride motorcycles in the US ten years ago and I have never ridden anywhere as dangerous as China.
With that said, you’re right when you say that Sichuan Province is an incredible place to be motorcycling (outside of the cities, of course).
There have been many discussions about motorcycling in China on the forum like this: Motorcycles in China. Check it out for more info.
It’s not going to be easy for you to get licensed though. Getting a drivers license in China takes most drivers here a lot of time and money (many months) and they still usually come out terrible drivers. I’m not sure of what the process is to get a legit motorcycle license in China if you aren’t licensed in your home country. I assume it’s not easy.
I haven’t had a motorcycle in China for a few years, but I never got my motorcycle license in China. I regularly rode with half a dozen or so other expat motorcyclists in Chengdu. None of us had a legal license. None of us ever had any problems, either. I have heard of people getting fined and getting motorcycles confiscated, but never met one. You’re taking a risk for sure, but I think the risk is small. The real risk, if you ask me, is getting injured while riding in China, not the legal repercussions of riding unlicensed here. If you’re lucky you won’t have any major accidents in China but no one is going to be riding here without having close calls. I have had many.
I hope this doesn’t discourage you though, Western China is a beautiful place to have a motorcycle. The final thing I would add is that riding in the city is stressful and not worth it in my opinion. Minibikes are suggested here a lot and they are convenient (lower cost, fewer/no licensing issues) but I am personally not a fan of those or electric scooters. I’d rather get a real motorcycle (not a moped) or just ride a bicycle. I’m 6’5″ and that might have something to do with that though, I would feel like a clown on a bike that small. It might not be a bad place for you to get started though.October 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm #36176
Alright, small update: I found out it is possible to get a license in Chengdu. Just have to do it the way Chinese people do. Motorcycle lessons aren’t available though, so I can only take the road test and theoretical exam. Can anyone teach me some motorcycle skills? Switching gears is sth I don’t have experience with. Again, I’m willing to pay
I’m happy to teach you how to ride a motorcycle.November 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #37148
Yeah, you might want to try riding something slower here first, like a bicycle or more preferably an e-bike. There’s a saying about Chinese driving, I can’t remember exactly but its like: trucks can do what they want, buses follow the trucks, cabbies follow the buses, and everybody else is terrified of a, b, and c. To add to what Charlie said, literally everyone in China learned to drive within the last 20 years, in 1990 there were basically 0 private cars, so everybody still sucks at driving (except bus drivers, they’re freaking amazing). This is why you’ll find that everybody is constantly honking their horns.
From my understanding, inside the 3rd ring road the letter of the law is they will crush your motorcycle if they catch you, but for that to happen you have to either screw up or piss someone off, or just find a pissed off cop. Outside of the city, bikes are awesome, the reason I know all of this is I am also planning to get one and cruise around the mountains. I’ve heard of some people getting licensed but that the proper plates are more expensive than the bike, that regardless you’re still breaking the law riding in the city anyway, and that nobody outside the city is going to care more than they will care about getting you to pay a small *cough cough* fee, on the spot of course.November 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm #37253
Here’s my mini baby, parked at the police station – had to do some paperwork. No plates or license for the midget bike.. but wanted to see if anyone would care at the source of the fear. 😀 Nobody did. Put around 1200km on it since end of August mostly commutes to software park, but occasionally around town (all over town) or out of town fishing..
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.November 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm #37263
Cute bike… But your tall… Clown moped? heh. How fast can it go?November 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm #37265
Over 70, I ride from ikea to software park in morning traffic in about 15 minutes on average… at night once I drove down there when there wasn’t traffic – in about 9 😛 Mostly in bike lanes but occasionally on roads, and always on overpasses, woot.
The fact it’s small and I’m not is the whole point, it’s *so much fun* to ride, looks cute, and goes fast/very easy to control. I zip up the ramp into my building>elevator and park it at my door, and on the way out, ride it down the normal steps 😀November 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm #37266
Here’s my mini baby, parked at the police station – had to do some paperwork. No plates or license for the midget bike.. but wanted to see if anyone would care at the source of the fear. Nobody did. Put around 1200km on it since end of August mostly commutes to software park, but occasionally around town (all over town) or out of town fishing..
So basically you got the bike from Dumb & Dumber. Just when I think you can’t get any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!November 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm #37269
<p>Thanks for the replies! I know that driving within the 3rd ring road is illegal, but is it possible to drive ON the third ring? I know there’s a smaller next to it, but I’m not sure if motorcycles are allowed to ride there. <br /><br />I thought I found a driving school that could help me with a license, but as this is China, nothing is easy :p. The school said they could help me with lessons and that the tests were in English, but when I arrived to take the computer test they only had an English car exam. Back to square one….<br />I did buy a motorcycle (cheap Chinese dirt bike) and have been practicing for a few weeks. Last week I took it on a longer trip and it was a-ma-zing. <br />I do like to ride in company (for fun and safety reasons) so if anyone’s up for riding in weekends, please pm me!<br /><br />That mini-bike looks like fun! Seen them a few times<br /><br /></p>November 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm #37428
Tramper occasionally I go out of town on saturday or sunday with my buddy fishing, often a lake out near XinDu nice scenery out there, what area of town do you live in? You can ride on the side of 3rd ring of course as well..
AFAIK motorcycle license doesn’t need a written exam, the written exam is for vehicles and motorcycle is a practical test.. maybe that’s changed? Where did you go to take the test and did they tell you that you needed to write an exam for a motorcycle-only license as well or was it maybe a miscommunication?November 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm #37447
Getting license in CD is as easy as getting a right bike in a right price. You need to have your country’s local license. Make a translation of from a translation company with that red chinese stamp. You can go to any license office in CD or in the suburbs of CD there is more easy & the rules are not that strict, fill up your forum & pay the necessary amount get your test date. Come on the test day give it a shot. If you passed you will get your license. If not you have one more chance to go.
I own a kawasaki balius 250 usually I usually do long rides, but i’ve ride my m.bike every where in the city even at I went to the tianfu. I’ve got my own country license ONLY & my bike is not registered.
You think, the plates on m.bikes are all registered plates. 75% of the plates are fake you can buy them on taobao.
What I say is depend on you how you are going to face the cop if he stop you, i’ve been stopped couple of time & nothing ever happened not even a one ticket.
Never try to give bribe to cops if there are a lot of peoples they will refuse it & can file a case on you for giving a bribe. Just be cool, keep a smile on your face listen to them say yea yea yea yea ok ok ok ok. keep saying this in the end he will let you go 😀 (my own experience).December 6, 2013 at 12:05 am #37660
This morning I saw several cops with motorbikes what seemed like confiscating motorbikes. This was at the first ring road intersection with kehua bei Lu. I saw a similar thing last weekend at renmin nan lu section 2 where they chained up several motorbikes and there was a tow truck nearby as well.
Might be wise to be careful riding a motorbike these days. The police might want to fulfil their quotas or get some extra cash before Spring festival.
Just a heads upDecember 6, 2013 at 10:20 am #37664
Vincent there are cops every where man every day, every time. I guess those bikes proly would be parked in a wrong parking area or the parking time of the place end so they taking it to the police station.December 6, 2013 at 11:51 am #37665
Do you know a motorcycle license place in the south of the city at all? Really don’t want to go to PiXian or whatever, and thinking I’ll get a license just to be safer.
I ride mine to work every day, past tons of cops. They always have lots of police at every intersection along renmin nanlu towards software park, often see them stopping people…but I think it’s the same cops and they probably recognize the mini bike and masked up rider, so I haven’t been stopped since my 2nd day riding that route which was in like, august.
I’d guess the confiscations will happen much more likely within 3rd ring, AFAIK the local regulations and strictness of enforcement depend greatly depending on the rings. They recently claim they wont allow anything over is it 150 or 250? cc within 4th ring, was on the news…although enforcement will likely be a slow boil to come about.December 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm #37671
OK. I was riding home along YiZhou road, past the global financial centre. I was riding (squeeling) down the bus lane around 70?km/h full throttle, and at the intersection on the south side of yizhou road financial centre side, cops with their wands pulling people over. It’s friday, so I had 4 beers before leaving the office. Thinking: shit.
When I slowed down and rolled up to them pulling my goggles off, the 2 cops with wands just start laughing at the little bike and me on top, I said “这不是真摩托车，是玩具!” — they waved me on laughing.
BAM, mini moto for the win 😉December 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm #37678
It seems like everybody has been mentioning this event to me recently Furious debate sparked after Beijing expat hits woman in motorcycle accident, figured it belonged in this thread. LOL for “impeccable Mandarin” and also the anti-Japanese comments people made in response to an English guy.December 8, 2013 at 11:01 am #37692
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