I’ve wanted to go to this place for a while, and finally made it this morning. It’s on Henan Road, way down below ChungKang (Zhonggang) Road, and into the bit where it’s narrower. I’ll put a photo and full details on my site in due course; in the meantime PM me for full directions if you need.
The 1st floor has a specialised big-bike repair shop and next to it a BMW showroom, which has quite a few BMW motorcycles of different kinds, and some BMW helmets and apparel.
The 2nd floor, reached through the BMW showroom, has various other makes of bikes and quite a comprehensive range of helmets, apparel and accessories.
There were certainly some shiny nice bikes there but as they might as well have been starships for my ability to afford them, I concentrated on other things. There were no 250cc manually geared motorcycles there at that time, but the friendly and enthusiastic staff told me that they could order bikes in, and that they could do all necessary servicing and repair work inhouse. They sell the Kymco Venox, and told me that indeed it does have a standard white number plate and the c.c. is 249.4. That figure of 252 I quoted above must be an error on one of the Kymco sites. They also sell Honda Hornet and VTR 250s. The Hornet is around 270,000NT and the VTR (a v-twin as opposed to the Hornet’s four cylinders) is cheaper at 220,000NT. I imagine the Venox is around list price of 180,000NT.
They told me that, as I thought, the most popular size of big bike was 900 and above. Don’t know why Taichungers like such big bikes. They do mostly seem to attract an older, BMW-riding crowd, and I don’t think BMW makes anything below 600cc; at least not that that shop sells. They told me they have a riding club that goes places at the weekends. That club doesn’t yet have any small-bike riders, but I imagine I’d be able to keep up if I went out with them on the back roads, because they’ll want to look after their expensive BMWs so won’t be pushing it.
They have a fair range of four different brands of helmets; Shoei and Arai, plus an Italian and a German make which I forget the names of now. Unfortunately their Shoeis, Arais and the German make are all designed for Asian shaped heads - that is wider and flatter than so-called ‘European’ heads. They don’t stock the American models. The most comfortable make for my head shape was the Italian one and at 10,000NT it won’t break the bank. They have a breath deflector and decent-looking vents.
The apparel they stock is not bad, although tending towards the flashy and perhaps a bit over-the-top. How many people can really be bothered to don a full race suit for pottering about in the hills? For more practical and versatile protective gear, I’ll post more info. later. They have some nice mesh jackets for hot-weather riding and a good variety of raingear at various prices. They have a good range of gloves of all styles for racing, hot weather, warmth or rain protection. They sell back protectors and Terminator-looking body armour.
Of accessories, worthy of mention are some magnetic fuel tank bags and some decent pollution masks. I bought one of the latter- it’s actually designed and made in the UK and has replaceable filters made of Dynamic Activated Charcoal Cloth, which sounds very impressive.