China Jialing JH125L.



This is a the story behind this little motorcycle, and why it is important to keep the machines being produced.



Photos Courtesy "Otterman"...

The story starts with Honda of Japan.

In the late seventies -early eighties Honda built the little XL125 and XL 185, as a machine to act as a work horse in the outback of Australia  and deserts of Sudan, along with use in Africa, to in fact, anywhere were the going got rough to get from A to B, the bike was a total success and millions were sold World wide.

The use of the imported XL;s in the UK were more of an off-road pleasure bike and one that could be ridden by the young.


With the Japanese not standing still for long on their design of motorcycles, and quickly losing the thought of copying others, that had got them into the motorcycle market big time in the sixties.

Honda passed on the manufacture under licence of the little XL trail bikes to the Jialing Manufacturing Company, now (China Jialing), in about 1985.

These were sold under the Jialing name, and produced in vast numbers.



These were still going to developing countries as well for use as a Work Horse for rounding up cattle etc, in other parts of the world.

The machines were also a big hit with the Police Forces, and for Military use.

Other Chinese motorcycle manufactures and agents climbed onto the band wagon, and started making and selling the model under their brand names.

This is how I got mine.

I had seen this little Jialing Trail bike being ridden by trials expert rider and manufacturer Jon Bliss, and I wanted one, Jon used to buy his through importer Cyril Chell, and used the Jialing engines in his Special trial machines.

After the vast influx into the UK of Chinese motorcycles  by every Tom Dick and Harry, in the early years of this century (2003-5), newer models  the GY1-3 range had appeared, and not many of the XL copy bikes were actually still  being brought into the country.

Long story, I searched every avenue, and kept a constant watch on the new

e-Bay where most were getting sold through the New revolutionary way of selling.

I found one in the late spring of 2005, and purchased it at the grand total of £575, not a bad price for a New machine, but I knew what I was getting.

The Machine arrived in a steel crate on a pallet at the garden gateway, the sad day of the funeral of my mother.

I had to get the machine through the gateway before I could leave.

It took me two weeks to put the machine together how I wanted it, and I could see why the Chinese motorcycles had such a bad reputation at the time.

There was nothing wrong with the basic machine, but the way it had been put together, the engine was absolutely fine, as I found out when I installed a bigger barrel and piston conversion later. 150 cc all for £60.

The problem at this time, and it has all changed for the better now in 2016; was that with only about three minuets to put a machine together  some jobs were badly rushed, by inexperienced work force.

Some of the frame bolts had been cross threaded, and  mudguards etc had just been thrown on, but not fitted properly.

The wiring loom had been positioned the wrong side of the fork yokes, and the steering wanted adjusting, in fact, most things wanted adjustment.

 But after the fortnight and replacing most of the frame bolts with stainless Allen bolts, I had a "Made In China" bike I was very proud of.

I later moved the battery, that's mounting at the time had been an after thought for this model, as the original Honda XL was only kick start and not electric. It now sits under the cover where the air box was, and a different filter is fitted.

The little bike fired up first time I put fuel into it and ran like a watch.

First test ride proved the brakes to be inadequate and in need of bedding in and centring.

The brake shoes were not that brilliant and soft, so these were changed after one lining came unattached.

On my "Maxus" that was the brand name it came with, I altered the footrest position to make it more in line with a competition Trail-Bike.

 I also removed the passenger footrests and rear luggage rack.

And made up a alloy sump bash-plate to replace the steel one fitted, and fitted a plastic trials front mudguard instead of the high level one.

An alloy rear short mudguard flap helped keep crud  building up on the number-plate.

Later when I removed the the engine unit to fit the big-bore kit, upon refitting the unit there was a rear engine mounting out of line, so instead of forcing the bolt in, I cut off the bracket, repositioned it, and re-welded it.

The frames at that time were welded in jigs by semi skilled labour.

Now they are welded by robotic arms in better jigs.

So you see I knew what I was getting at the time 2005 and got a great deal of pleasure getting this super little offroad machine to my liking.


So why do we want to keep them in production?


Well for the still developing countries the bike is a God send, for uncomplicated travel and carrying goods, with the simple pushrod and even the later OHC engine unit ,maintaining the bikes is easy, based on the motors designed by Honda to be simple and just keep running.



We then get to the late eighties early nineties, and  Englishman  Mike Norman had come up with an idea about building a more inexpensive way of carrying patients and goods in the developing countries, other than spending a fortune on a kitted out Land-Rover and then putting very inexperienced drivers behind the wheel. The eRanger was born.




A sidecar was the answer and he put his idea into practice, and started the Ranger Production company in his home town of Daventry UK...


2016 News Page Video.




The idea took off, and The Jialing JH125L was the chosen machine to attach the purpose-built sidecar too. 

The company has grown and grown, and the vehicles have saved thousands of lives.

The units are now manufactured in a purpose built factory in South Africa.

But the China Jialing JH125 and 200 L are still used as the workhorse.




As you can see leading link forks are fitted to the motorcycle to not only aid the steering of the machine, but to soften the ride and stop front end pitching.

The problem with telescopic forks for sidecar use is that they twist and alter the trail of the fork, and therefore become difficult to steer, especially if the driver is only slightly built.




Here Is a better example of the little ambulance in use.





And Here Mike Norman shows us around one of the units.


Interview_Summit Day 2 - eRanger from Zooxel on Vimeo.


More on the eRanger Ambulance below.



Clinton Health.

A team of our engineers from South Africa  will shortly be visiting Addis Ababa  to carry out commissioning and driver training for 60 eRanger Ambulances .

The Ambulances are part of a CHAI Maternal Health initiative for Ethiopia in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

The units will be deployed in the Highland regions into three districts, giving much needed referral capabilities in harsh conditions .

The training of the drivers will include driving skills and maintenance, and will be carried out using a Train the Trainers approach.


From eRanger.


Jialing have a second brand name for machines that come from their other factory in Chongqing-Jialing-Jiapeng-Industrial Co LTD.

Jiapeng although these are the same machine, just built in another venue.





This is a better photo of the the 1985 copy of the Honda XL 125S made by the China Jialing Group. Although the Honda XL had the OHC engine fitted as does the Jialing, some of the other branded bikes had the Honda CG copy pushrod engine fitted . My "Maxus" is an example of this, and both motors as I have said were designed to be simple and to Just keep running.

Although they have been said to be gutless in some peoples minds, just look at the way they pull the Ambulance sidecar over most terrain.

Here in the UK, we now have the "Quad" culture used by most farmers, which I feel is OK and started by Honda, but I strongly feel that a little "workhorse like the Jialing JH125L, would be a far better proposition for use of checking livestock, and getting up adverse camber banks where a Quad is very unstable and not so manoeuvrable.

And don't forget they are also a very good little "Trail" bike.


I am  currently deciding whether to import some of these little machines back to the UK?

More News.2016...

We are currently trying to put a charity run together next year (2017) with a run starting from Lands End, to Banbury in Oxfordshire.

Now from Banbury to Scotland.the twist is that we will be stopping of at Most TSB Bank branches on route.

To make the exercise more appealing to the general public on route, we have decided to fit sidecars to both Jialing bikes, which will give us the advantage of carrying a passenger too.

This should prove how the little machines are  up to the job of saving lives in emerging nations too.

 Here is a sketch of the proposed sidecars a cross between a trials sidecar and a small road going one.

Looks like I will be busy. 



It was then decided that  It would be so much better to use a actual eRanger ambulance on the run, so one was ordered from Mike Norman .

The problem was the time scale in getting it to the UK, as these are now built in South Africa.

Solution was to build a copy with just the photographs I had at the time, as this had to be built for a TSB conference at the beginning  of February 2017.

But we got there, and built it in the time scale, ONE Month.

And used that the Sidecar-E for the Charity run as the actual eRanger was on route by ship at the time, paperwork was the biggest problem in the delay...


More on the eRanger Ambulance.




And these two are on an adventure, riding the Pair of eRanger Ambulances from England to Bamako.

And when the adventures over the two machines are going to be handed over for use as Ambulances.



Check out  Facebook ,"Austin to Africa Charity Race" page


Well if you have been reading the 2017 News page regularly, you will know that we now have our own eRanger Ambulance arrived that will be used in as many events and shows that we can possibly do in 2018, to bring awareness, to the good these little machines do in the emerging nations of the World.

The ones in most of the Africa countries are operated by dedicated and trusted individuals and respected charities, but there is a big problem with a lot of council district run machines, in that lack of maintenance and money spent on machines, mean that when they stop they are left and neglected.

There are dedicated people trying to rectify this problem. but it is the nature of the upbringing and lack of education to most in Africa's vast population , that does not help the situation,but a lot are keen to learn and want to maintain the machines.

 The infrastructure of most out of town communities means lack of facilities and the biggest problem, are impassable roads in the country areas..



We will try and give a better indication of the situation with clips of video's etc that shows up the problems, and also how much eRanger Ambulances can help.



We Have now been following Claire and her mission to set up

"Pikilily Workshop" for over twelve months.

If you have been following the news pages.

And have decided to take our eRanger ambulances to has many local motorcycle shows as we can this year 2018 in the UK.

To not only to bring awareness to there use, but to try and bring recognition to what Claire is doing with Pikilily.

And she does need all the help she can get to take the project forward.


For the full story take a look at the Pikilily Facebook page.




Latest updated Video


Photo Courtesy Pikilily

Pikilily staff with one of the two renovated eRanger Ambulances.

More about Claire and Pikilily later.


Here is a good example for a start. 

at what eRangers do.



This video just shows the distances there are between villages, and how the need is great for these machines, and need to be in good running condition, and don't forget this is a good road.






Could a "Volunteer Service" work like this in Africa with secure stations to house the Ambulances, that were fuelled and ready for operation.

 If it works here I see no reason if  set up properly, and under control of a responsible group ,it should not work anywhere, it works like this in most countries...




If you have looked at the 2018 News page you will see that Claire now needs to find her own funding for the two eRanger Ambulances she and the team have renovated. But the district medical officer is still telling her where he needs the bikes kept.

This to me is the whole problem with any project in Africa once the tinsel has blown away from the "good the government is actually doing" ,they forget about any project and it dies.

 In Tanzania eRanger delivered 433 eRanger  ambulances in 2011-12,

and if you have listened to Claire, you will know that most of them are now sat decaying somewhere, or have been vandalised and had parts stolen.

Why I hear you say,

 The government paid £2,580,000 for these machines, well not quite true because they failed to pay for some of them, although they were excepted and used at the time.

 The initial funding provided twelve months maintenance and training, for the riders mechanics that were supposed to look after the machines, and would be funded for spares and maintenance, along with wages for the operator.

But after that period the funding dried up, and the maintenance stopped, and has soon as something went wrong with the machine, it was parked up and left, and has you know, parts would have been robbed from other machines, and nothing to do with the Ambulance service set up.

Reading a report, it seems that the present government know nothing about the 433 eRanger ambulances..

Because when questioned about supplying transport for care of medical patients, the minister said that "buying Ambulances would be his top priority". and we know what that means.Now.

Basically they are saying that we don't care about our population, they need to look after themselves, which to a certain extent is correct, but, if you are now prepared to spend another fortune of the countries money that you have not got, on more expensive glitter, as NEW ambulances would be, and, forget about the £2,580,000 that you spent on the last charade, when the money you are budgeting could be spent putting the eRangers back to good use.

And the cost would probably be equivalent to two new expensive purpose built four wheel drive Ambulances.

The Big story is that the country still relies on health funding from overseas, in the many international organisations that fund World health care in Africa, and in fact the World.

There is a National health Financing Strategy. but this keeps getting put on the back burner , for lack of funds and disbursements.

The problem is that there is No compulsory National Health insurance, because they can't collect the contributions, the very poorest of the population  pay the biggest proportion of any private health insurance, but are then given the least medical cover.

VAT is also difficult to collect, so that way of funding a health policy is also a non starter.

 So this is why individuals in other parts of the Globe and who have a concious with a determination to help in some small way, are left to do just that the best way they think possible.

So is Claire  and other groups that have funded individual, and fleets of ambulances wasting their time?

Of coarse not, anything to save human life is a good cause.

 But how do you get it right in a situation where you think you are getting cooperation from a government, or NGO council, and then they pull the plug.

 The whole service of running a eRanger ambulance, seems to have to be on a semi commercial basis however it is funded.

And the people that are within this group must be responsible and keen to run this service, whether  Volunteers or not.

Any funding seems to need someone like Claire, or a responsible manager to make sure the service runs smoothly.

 Here is a good example of a responsible set up.

 and funded by bikers.


Video Later but look at "Riders for health"...

Doing a bit more research, it is quite obvious that setting up any sort of service in Africa is difficult.

The main problem as Clair knows, is that the bureaucracy in African countries  takes a long time in making any decision.

The fact that all 433 eRanger ambulances were delivered with the initial training and spare parts is fine, but how do you keep up with the maintenance and daily checks, and also replace parts before they are worn out, if there is No system in place to carry out this work.

What most MoH's don't seem to appreciate is that Transportation in the system is the priority, if you can't get patients to a clinic, or expensive drugs to the patients, what good are you doing.

The patient stuck in a remote village will die, and if the drugs don't get to the patient that needs them, they are also wasted.

The other factor to keeping transport running in Africa, that has been highlighted by the chaps from "As-seen-from-the-sidecar", is that getting spare parts into the  African countries takes a lot longer than expected, mainly again because of "Red Tape", and the other factor is, the import duty charged on these spares too.

 So unless there is a Free route for essential spare parts or a vast stock in  house, there is always going to be a long "Down Time".

This even goes for things like tyres, as we have seen.

 So a program of funding this type of maintenance and training has to be carefully looked at, before anything can be successfully achieved.


More on this subject later.



and Pikilily



E-Ranger "Type" Conversion.


Today we started the conversion of my Jialing Trail bike,

 to become the tug for the E-Ranger "Type" sidecar for our Charity trip in July this year. (Two of them)...

Problem is I need to get this build up and running quickly as a resemblance of what we are going to use, needs to be pushed onto a stage at the TSB Conference in February.

 So No deadline then.

 My brother insists that we build the full sidecar by then, so even more pressure, but the one thing working with a events company like his, they always run to a tight schedule so we will see.

I did say that it even needs a Blue flashing light attached as well. 


I will start a "Scrapbook" of the sequence below now.


Photos Courtesy "Otterman"...

I did like this little bike too.



Saddle off. panels off to be painted White.



The Seat Is the right colour, so there is one result.



We tried one of our Trials sidecars against the Jialing to work out the wheel track and body height.



That's better we had it too high on the first attempt.

12" to the middle of the base tube looks about right.

 I did think that a 1 meter track was about right but offering this "Chair" up proves that this is too wide, and trials sidecar width 34"-36" seems now about right.



Mel, started to prep the tank and panels for respray.



Mixed the paint. BUT.



Finishing masking.



He then declared, after spraying a test piece.

"It's just to cold at this time of night, we should leave it until Monday".


I said "I hope you are not going to make a habit of saying that"

He assured me he would spray the parts on Monday.


My Brother went off to pick the steel tube up this morning, so by this time Saturday next week we may have a start of a Ambulance "Sidecar-e"®...


I have spent an hour stripping out a sidecar wheel that I know has been fitted to a trials sidecar, for many years, and was ridden by a British Champion at one time.

 So I thought if that wheel is up to that sort of battering, it would be up to the task as the type of sidecar wheels we need for our Charity Bikes.

The wheel in question is from a Honda C90 Cub with larger bearings to take a 17mm spindle. 

So I searched the Net, and have found New wheels, at a reasonable price, and tyres, and inner tubes.

So one of each is on its way, and the new bearings from "Simply Bearings".


Game On. for the"Sidecar-e."®.


Saturday 14 Jan 12.47 pm.


The old drawing board was brought back out.



Monday 16th at 3.05 pm.

The tub for the sidecar gets started.



By 5.011 pm 

 The Tub bottom frame section is nearly finished.



More tomorrow.


Tuesday 17th Feb.2017...

Day two of the SideCar-e build.



Getting there.

Today all mounting plates were made, mudguard and step tubes attached to the tub, and the carrier for the Jerry can and

 fire extinguisher made.



Tomorrow, the stretcher /seat unit, and maybe a start on the safety cage.

And make a five inch roller for the tube bender.



It's been a cold few days in the workshop, but progress has been steady on the SideCar-e, build.

The pictures below tell the tale better than I can describe.

The framework was off to the the Powder coaters at Redditch on Monday, but we have decided a change in plan is probably the better decision, Why?

Well we feel it would be a lot more sense now we have got this far, to fit the motorcycle to the framework in the next three or four days, and get everything to fit, (A Dry Run) as the term goes, and then send it off for a couple of days to the powder-coaters. Then it will only need reassembling, and most holes drilled are slightly oversize, to save re-drilling them when the frame gets back.

So yes I am pleased with the progress, but I am not saying too much because we all know that problems can set in, But we have been there before.



"Big Wheel keep on turning ".



All attachment brackets on including light plates.



Stretcher frame nearly done.



All rubber mounting plates fitted and tested.

I Have decided to update the design on the front end re-enforcement has I have spotted a little problem with the e-Ranger.


Update Monday.


Monday was one of those days you know you are going to get in any build, so one or two glitches. because of the time scale.

I thought hard about the sidecar suspension mounting on the way home on Saturday, and to be honest we should not have welded on the mounting plate Saturday evening,

 But we did.

And looking at it today, the arm needs to be more horizontal to be in the correct position for the ride height.

 So a new angle plate has to be made.

The mudguard rear strut was too close to the wheel, so that had to be altered too.

Main problem is the biting cold at the workshop, and that place is cold on midsummers day.

Why! I hear you say, put the heater on!

Pointless because with the other paying work going on, the big doors have to be open all day ,

and I have to work around this activity too.

 But at the going down of the sun, work had progressed, and the stretcher was virtually finished, and would have been, had I bent the right number of tubes.

 So I am off today to hopefully get the sidecar finished, and then Wednesday we will try and mount it to the bike, now the new rear tyre has arrived, we can get the ride height again correct.

 Pictures tonight hopefully. too 



A Good day today, not quite so cold, which helped.

 I was told that the sidecar frame work had to be finished by Thursday, to go to the powder-coaters at Redditch, so no pressure then!

 But I had set it in my mind today to finish this anyway, and I must say by dark I had nearly accomplished that. 

 I had to get my human measuring stick Mel to help me get the frame height right, as we had agreed a couple of days ago, and it seems about right. 

Then at dusk the boys all lent a hand to offer up the SideCar-e tub to the bike, to work out the rough positioning of the SideCar-e for tomorrows mounting brackets.



Malcolm about the right size we think?



Sitting down on the job again then Mel!




Looks a bit like a small race car at this point, New F1 formula perhaps now Bernies gone.



The Boys are back in town.

At The "Arena"



"Baby That's Cold Outside".



OH NO , I forgot to walk the dog!



 "Winnies" Guard dog instincts take over, but it is only Malc. And the other four Guard dogs would have eaten him by now.



End of week update........Mel and I finished the SideCar-e framework on Wednesday, bitterly cold again, but we got there by five thirty,

Mel set up his camera all afternoon taking one minute shots for a time lapse video he is making of the build.

So Thursday the frame went off to the powder-coaters at Redditch, they have white in the gun on Monday, so we are hoping for a call mid afternoon.

Chris and I spent the afternoon on the Jialing fitting a new back tyre and repairing the puncture, this proved to be waisted time, as today Friday, it went flat again...

So I have ordered two new tubes.

We also made the front mounting bracket for the sidecar, and fitted it.

Mel had finished spraying the tank and front mudguard, but we just ran out of time to fit them, in the coldest day so far this year...

 So today Friday, when I got to the yard at one pm, it was warmer outside, than it was in, so the bike got wheeled out on a trolley, and I fitted the bracket we had made, again after drilling the strut mounting holes.

My Brother fitted the new battery, we put fuel into the tank, now fitted, and tried to start the little bike.

 She turned over fine, but would not fire. we checked the spark, good, so I fitted a new plug, and tried again, still no joy, but I knew in the back of my head, it would be down to that ethanol enriched petrol again.

So the carburettor was removed, and not an easy task on this little machine, there was crud has normal with ethanol fuel. So the two main jets were blown through, and the carb was refitted whilst I was doing some machining for son Lee, boring out some T45 tube so that the carbon-fibre seat tube fitted nicely, on a cycle he was building for a show, and that had to to be glued into the frame later that day.

The boys had got the Jialing running on choke, but she would not run without it, so I think the, idle jets are blocked, piano wire job again.

So early start in the morning as we have to have the machine looking like a motorcycle, because Gareth is popping over to take some shot of him with the bike for the TSB publicity machine.

So more tomorrow. 




Gareth checking out the little Jialing. "Maxus".

In it's New TSB livery,

Ready for International Recognition.


More Tomorrow.


Well a mild panic has set in,


 Well I gel-coated the tub mould on Sunday, but getting to the yard yesterday it was still not hardened, Oh, I hope it is the cold, and putting heat onto it today will rectify the problem.


 The little bike would not run at the weekend and I diagnosed the Old ethanol problem again. I ordered a new carb, and spent an hour last night cleaning the old one, yes pilot jet blocked solid with crud, so I left the jets soaking in vinegar all night , and have just managed to get my guitar wire through the pilot jet hole this morning,

so at least I have found that problem.

 The back mudguard was removed yesterday so that Mal could spray it white, and I made up the footrest sidecar mounting.

We have a problem with-the suspension unit height, but I think I have come up with a remedy.

 No Pressure then.

Mikuni PZ 27, carburettor stripped and now de-ethanol'd.

I hate that stuff.


More Tomorrow. 


Sunday 5th Febuary 2017.


Photo Courtesy"Otterman"


Had a hard day yesterday on the SideCar-e project, still had what looked like a tub frame at 2 pm, but struggling with the lights, and fitting them with the tub in place .

Also had to finish the side-car wheel axle, and the tyre fitted, although a 250X17 stamped onto it just did not look big enough, so this had to be changed again when brother and the boys got back from the job they had been doing.

 Then four of us fitted the alloy panels, with some difficulty, as the panels were cut for us just a bit too wide, so these had to be re trimmed on the band saw.

 See what I mean you always get these problems. Then the rivets got for the job were rubbish, so they had to be replaced.

But by six o'clock it looked like the picture above.

 The plugs would have been fitted  but in the melee these have been mislaid too.

 So today I am off to do the Graphics, bruv will finish the wiring I hope, and, we will all spend a hour snagging the little niggle jobs,

 Pictures Tonight with Gareth.



I think he likes it!!



So Do We.


Photos Courtesy "Otterman"


Update and more photos tomorrow,



The Square Tube Bender,


For my reference





More later and then the Panic may take over.


Continued on the "Charity begins at home" page...