The mighty Zipstar is now cruising China !!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by rhiekel, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Finally after endless work, the bike is now ready for China. Was amazed at the extent of work needed to get it ready, in light of the fact the bike is less than a year old......Lhasa and Shiangra-La, here I come !!
    These photos should also strike a bit of fear into David's heart. Have not yet decided on what I want to spend his 1000 baht bet that I will not make it into China.

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  3. Snail

    Snail Ol'Timer

    Well it looks good in the pictures but.......wouldn't spend that 1000baht yet. You might need it to pay for the truck to bring a broken down bike back
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ah yes, I could be wrong, but I seem to recall in the drunken haze that night, that your original magnificent claim was that you were going to ride the Zipstar bike back to Beijing / Shanghai, were the mighty machine was registered & came from. The bet being that you could not pull this off. Simply crossing the Chinese border & gaining entry into China will not secure you the 1,000 baht. You have to succeed in ending up at / or close to your stated heavenly destination. And yes, Shangrila / Lhasa would be acceptable alternatives to Beijing / Shanghai. But NOT Mengla (& 1st police checkpoint 16 kms in) & Jinhong (been there already & done that) or Kunming.

    If you decide to go into Laos the quick easy via Chiang Khong / Houei Xai, I might arrange a ride to the border to send you off.
    Either way I hope you succeed & look forward to the detailed photographic trip report we will get - I can & have eaten a lot of humble pie before. [:0]
    Good on ya Robert for having ago - don't you just enjoy life here & being able to attempt trips like this. [8D]
     
  5. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    oooh, I remember a drunken conversation and I'm in for a case of Beer Lao if you get in. I'd have to agree with Snail, keep a bit of rope with ya for tows and tie downs...

    see you in VTE
     
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Pardon My Ignorance but What is It? Looks a bit like one of those Platinums? Looks better actually so must be Robert's imput! When are you going? Best of Luck!!!
    Cheers Ian.
     
  7. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    Robert.

    All I can say is good luck. I've ridden this very bike and hope you've done a lot of work on the brakes. I don't recall there being any rear brake at all. If you make it more than 100KM into China and back to Vientiane on the Zipstar I will buy you dinner. I'm surprised you stuck with the 15 inch wheels and didn't swap them for 21 and 18 for better height and control.
     
  8. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I actually saw Robert and the bike at the Kafe last night. I must admit Robert has done an admirable job of preparation on the motorcycle. I guess now we all just wait and see......
     
  9. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    I did not know you needed two saddlebags to store all the JB Weld, duct tape and safety wire to keep it running.

    best of luck on the trip, looks a goodin.

    Prey tell, what was fettled with to get this mighty steed ready for the jaunt?
     
  10. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    1. Replace rear wheel bearings
    2. Replace chain, sprockets not available here. Have to wait until
    China to buy them.
    3. Repaint all the plastic parts. They were off anyway for the general
    rebuild so not that big a deal to paint them.
    4. Broken mount for the right handguard, weld together and paint.
    5. Rear subframe completely broken. Cut out the steel rebar used
    to fix it at some farmer's shop in China, and weld in steel plates
    that now make it stronger than new.
    6. Replace the goofy looking front fender with a Honda one. Was pretty
    seriously style impaired before.
    7. Re-foam and recover the seat. Was a torture device before.
    8. Speedo was broken. Pulled it off and put on digital tripmeter I had
    laying in my parts bin.
    9. Replaced all the turn signal indicators as they were broken or
    hanging down.
    10.New rear view mirrors.
    11.Make up steel racks to hold the soft bags from the side of the bike
    12.Fabricate up a flat rear cargo rack from aluminum.
    13.Seal all the valve cover plates that were weeping oil .
    14.Install power supply and mount for my garmin 276 gps
    15.Craypot is right the brakes were pretty wimpy. Pulled the entire
    system apart, cleaned it, and fresh brake fluid. Works much better.
    16.Tear the carb apart as the bike had a serious high speed miss all
    the way back from Laos. The main jet was plugged with dirt.
    17.Installed a cleanable fuel filter. The bike did not have a filter..
    18.Fuel tank was full of crap so clean that out
    19.Put on a louder horn off one of my Africa Twins.
    20.Right foot peg was bent off at a weird angle, cut it off completely
    and weld it back on straight.
    21.Stock grips were about as thick as paper. Pulled those off and put
    on some new ones.
    22.The rear taillight did not work. Had to trace out the entire wire
    loom to finally find a break from a bad connection in the middle
    of the loom.

    Other than a bit of work, a fine bike.........
     
  11. chiangsaen.peter

    chiangsaen.peter Ol'Timer

    Is the "ZIPSTAR" a bike Made in Thailand? She looks grest!
     
  12. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Jimoi, got the 10 meter rope. Hopefully will be using it to pull other stranded bikers rather than myself.

    Big and Tall, have lots duct tape, epoxy, and safety wire. Some of the parts in the desert are looking pretty remote, will not hurt to have some raw materials to patch things together and keep going.

    Ian the bike is a Zong Shen bike made and sold in China. 200 CC four stroke, 14 raw blazing horsepower.....

    Snail, too late !!! Already spent David's 1000 baht on Loy Kroh the other night. Now I have to get into China or will be in the hole. After they stamp my passport into the country the border official will be wondering why there will be a big smile on my face. Little will he know I will be dreaming about all the free beers and dinners and thousands of baht that will be headed my way.....

    Silverhawk, thanks. I put a lot more work into it than I thought I would. Had some time on my hands as I am waiting for the snow to melt in the Himalayan passes, so just sort of kept throwing things on it.

    Was conducting speed trials the other day. Max speed on the flat is 85 KPH. So looks like a cruise of around 65 to 70. Oh well, will give me time to smell the roses.........
     
  13. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Hi Robert,
    The 3 Moto Cross Bikes i have are 200cc and also have ZONGSEN Stamped on the Motors The Staff have Thrashed the Guts out of one of them and the Motor has never been touched. Never even Changed the Oil till i asked last week!!! They have managed to Break all most everything else on the Bike. So with that in Mind you should be Looking Good for Reliability. I changed the Sprockets as when i first got them they were so Low Geared and had No Top Speed. If you have a Chance to get out here i would love to take a look and you can have a Blast on ours, they are actually quite fast. The New Bikes i have Brought are 230cc, 11.5KW = 15.5HP WOW! Power depends on the Gearing though and they are also quite Fast but haven't tried Top Speed although 100kph is claimed.
    Good Luck and all the Best.
    Cheers Ian.
     
  14. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Hi Ian:

    Where did you find sprockets ????? I went to a couple of shops but the sprockets they had were not ever close. Bike has maybe 18,000 km on it . The chain was toast of course, and the sprockets were half toast. Not hooked yet......Did you order some along with the bikes??
     
  15. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Hi Robert,
    I could Buy Sprockets that Fitted from our Local Bike Shop here in Mae Rim and i got some Different Sizes in Chiang Mai also but i had to get the Centre Machined out so they would Fit. I can Show you some Samples out here. Alternately you can Buy Industrial Sprockets in Town with No Centre and i get them Drilled and Centred in a Machine Shop, I did this for 6 of my Small Off Road Buggys so they had a Lower Gearing for Climbing. My New Buggys have a High and Low Gearbox so Not necessary. Look forward to seeing you.
    Cheers Ian.
     
  16. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Hi Robert,
    Good on ya mate., another adventure.
    What is it with you tall yanks, I went down to the Aussy HU meeting last month and bumped into another 6ft plus yank who is an ex CIA pilot in South America. He is riding straight accross Australia from east to west on a 200cc Honda Ag bike with a home made side car attached. Mate, the trouble is big buggers like you resemble Circus bears on little bikes!
    Good luck on the Chinese border.
     
  17. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Well the mighty Zipstar is now back home in China. Think I saw some small tears of joy coming from the headlight. I crossed the border two days ago, and am now traveling north to Kunming. Having a great time. This is really a wild place to travel. Have had some bike problems but think they are ironed out now. Not speaking a word of Chinese, and no one here speaking a word of English, makes simple things frustating at times.......Have not seen a white face since I got here !! Am sure that will change when I get further north. So to the people who thought I would make it, thanks for the vote of confidence. ( That's you Greg.. ) To everyone else , it will be payoff time if I make it back alive in two months. Think it will be a truly epic trip.....

    Now at game playing internet cafe with a hundred teenagers play games. The computers do not even have usb ports..... So proof pictures to follow tomorrow when I get to a regular internet cafe.
     
  18. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Robert
    Well done in doing the supposedly impossible.
    Relieved to hear that the Zipper is still working
    - do keep the reports [& pix] coming.
     
  19. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Well done. I hope everything goes well for you most of the time, for if it were to be all plain sailing there would be no challenge or fun. And if there ever was a GT Rider with a steely determination to succeed & prove other people (the doubting Thomases wrong) then you’re one of them.
    Now I have to admit I was & am one of them, especially after your ride to Chiang Khong & the Thai /Laos border - running out of fuel, getting lost between Chiang Rai & Chiang Khong on a trip you've done 10 times before, having to “duck paddle” the bike over Khiu khan mountain just to reach Chiang Khong, then having to strip the bike down again for that mysterious carburetion problem, were just little hiccups to get out of Thailand.
    But my money is still on an electrical problem & not the carbie. You bought a new spare coil in Chiang Khong & if it aint that, then “we” are left with the CDI I think.

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    Pic above: yet another strip down in Chiang Khong, to solve the final teething problem.

    Whatever, you’re the MAN out there doing it & we are all jealous.
    So keep going & please keep us up to date with the journey & your exploits – don’t spare any detail, because we want the warts ‘n all as we know it can't be a perfect run & bike all the time.

    Now if it all goes well for me & I’m riding again in a month or two, I’ll try to pay the 1,000 baht bet at the China / Laos border on your way home.

    Best of luck, you’re a lucky man and yep I am VERY JEALOUS.
     
  20. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Good on you! Must be a Great Experience. Did you get the Brakes Sorted? How are the Roads and the Chinese Driving? All the Best and See you on your Return!
    Cheers Ian.
     
  21. aschoch

    aschoch Member

    Hi Robert,

    I pull my hat. I know you have had some pretty wild ideas about water scooters on the Mekong River before and admit I would not have thought that you'd pull this off. Just as Davidfl, I am very jealous coz you this is real stuff you are into. I have been to China many times (not by bike, though) and know what you are going through communication-wise. This makes your trip truly monumental...
     
  22. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Robert wrote...'Not speaking a word of Chinese, and no one here speaking a word of English, makes simple things frustating at times.......Have not seen a white face since I got here !!

    Considering your height, the Chinese must gawk and think you are the the white "Yao Ming" ;-)

    Best of luck on your journey. I expect your trip report, when posted, will be as stellar as the your prior report about Sumatra!
     
  23. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Yes I am still alive.....I have posted the start of the trip under ride reports other if you want to follow it.
     
  24. pexa

    pexa Active Member

    just read the update, the crash with the woodcart and all... very very lucky not to hurt anything big with yourself or bike. All in all VERY interesting reading & photos, and seems to be a truly magnificent, exotic trip. Good luck on your way & hope you find some time for further updates, too!
     

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