Early in the morning, 24 beautiful sleepy faces appeared on the Chinese streets in front of the hotel. We of course departed exactly on schedule, that is, if our daily 45 minutes late is said to be on time. Nevertheless, today was going to be a big day! We were about to get our official Chinese license plates!
Full of energy we arrived, on time, at the 'Traffic police Yining'. We had to park our vans in a row on the large parking place and all vans were shortly checked. "The documentation process will take about 2 hours…" So we started investigating why Wave 1 is still not working perfectly.
Although 'Wave 2' has been riding 8500km straight without any problems, we never had the chance to fully repair our backup motorcycle 'Wave 1'. As you probably know, we started the tour with 'Wave 1', and already in Germany things went wrong. While driving on the highway, the motor was set to reverse, which broke the inverter. We replaced some inverter parts during the night in Munich and the next day we departed with a working motorcycle to Vienna. Again, during the trip, 'Wave 1' broke down and we had to take a backup up day in Vienna to prepare backup 'Wave 2' and repair 'Wave 1' again. Although 'Wave 1' was fixed again overnight, we started this day with Wave 2. After having successfully traveled to Romania and the day after to Bulgaria, we split up the team in Sophia. Half of the team already traveled with 'Wave 2' to Istanbul, while the other half visited an impressive media event in Bulgaria with new backup motorcycle 'Wave 1'. Sadly, when al television cameras were aimed at our motorcycle for the demonstration, backup 'Wave 1' broke down again. Almost two weeks later, in Iran, we finally had the time to fully replace many electronic parts including the whole Inverter. Then at the border of Kazakhstan we prepared the software of 'Wave 1'again. The rear wheel was rotating in a few minutes and on first glance this looked promising. However, still a mysterious problem was there.
After one hour at the traffic police it became clear that these two hours would take the whole day... The documentation process for our driving licenses was going very very very slowly. We even had to print and scan our own Chinese licenses with our own printer. So this was the time to finally strip 'Wave 1' completely, and of course solve the final mysterious problem. After some hours, a strange shortcut was measured in the High voltage system. This would indicate a fundamental assembling mistake. After eliminating possible locations of the shortcut, we eventually found a source: a cable. Only if the cable was hold in certain positions, the shortcut was measured. Eventually the cause was as follows; the electromagnetic shielding (similar to chicken wire) penetrated the isolation tape around the high voltage cable. Sadly, finding the cause took us the whole day, so fixing had to be done another time.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team was in shock. 'The toilet' was a gutter that carried excrement through each stall to the final outlet after cabin 4, which meant you could watch other peoples feces float by as you were making your own droppings.