Ping Li

Today’s interview is one that I am very excited about. This is our first rider from Asia. Ping Li is a long distance rider who has ridden throughout her country and has a deep poetic passion for riding. She rides a scooter but I’m including long distance scooter riders from Asia on this site because they are a lot more common and popular there. [Rashmi Tambe, Editor, Global Women Who Ride]


Name: Ping Li
Age: 55
Country: People’s Republic of China
Languages: Simplified Chinese, English
Years of Riding: 16
Height: 160
Current Motorcycle(s): YAMAHA8 – 110
Past Motorcycle(s): YAMAHA80 two, YAMAHA JY110
Kms/Year: 15,000 km


How did you get into motorcycling? I grew up in a military family and fell in love with engines. There were many kinds of vehicles in our army compound – trucks, luxury sedans, all kinds of jeeps, and the most flexible ones – motorcycles, all of which were in greenMotorcycling all over the world was one of my very first childhood dreams. I have a photo of sitting on a motorcycle from when I was a kid, which I’ve kept till today. It is still one of my favorite photos!

Finally, when I was older, I got my own lovely motorcycle. And finally, I could travel on it all around my country – the beautiful China –and make my dream come true. Yes, I really enjoy riding long distance on my bike. I love going far away from Beijing and returning after travelling around the entire country. Every year since 1998, I have ridden at least two 1000 km trips.

Our lives are too short. We can’t control how long we live, but we can control how well we live by doing more things we love. Unfortunately, we do not have wings to fly. Thankfully, we have motorcycles to let us do that.


What was your first long ride? My first long distance trip was going with a group of motorcycle friends to Shanxi Province in China. At the beginning of the trip, I was worried about whether I can follow their speed. So I always start earlier than others, then they caught up. The first time, I just follow the group, I even do not know how far it is, how many miles we traveled. On the other hand, I did feel exciting and fun, it was like nothing to be afraid of and the view was great!


Can you share a story from your travels? In 2005, we rode the northernmost village in China in Mohe county. When we were travelling back, a local friend told us about a shortcut. It was a horrible road full of puddles. It was hot and there were a lot of mosquitoes.We rode in the mud, and didn’t see anyone to ask for directions.

After 8 km of riding like that, we finally found a farmer in a field, and we were told that we had to go back since the road in front of us was under construction. We were so disappointed but we had to turn around. The 8 km took almost an entire day. There was a storm in the evening. It is difficult to forget that experience.


Do your kids ride? My son loves motorcycles a lot, just like me. However, I do not want him riding. Maybe I’m just like every mother and would like my baby to be safe.

Do you like to ride alone or with other people? I like to tour with a group of people. We stay together and take care of each other. Usually I am the team lead. Every one supports and respects me. 

Are you part of a motorcycle club? Yes. Our club is called Jing-A Regiment Motorcycle Tourism Club. We have more than 1500 members now. It is a warm home for every member. I am the starter and founder of the club.


Do you try to take part in any events regularly? Every year I take my bikes team to participate in the national motorcycle gatherings, where we meet more motorcycle fans and make new friends, experience China’s motorcycle culture, and share our knowledge and experience with each other.


Do you have a dream ride? To travel around the world! 

Do you have any advice for new riders? Take care of yourself by wearing good protective gear. Use your eyes and heart to enjoy the road.

The purpose of riding is not about just reaching the destination or about showing off in front of your friends. It is about how you feel out on the road, no matter where you are, what the weather is like, through good experiences or bad.



If I were to visit China, which places and roads would you recommend I should visit? I will recommend province of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, other northwest tour or Tibet. Those are my favorites. It is broad and borderless, you can just ride in whatever way you want. I am planning to have a road trip in Taiwan soon. Let’s see how it goes.

I have been to the U.S just last year. I rode on Highway 66 and Highway 1. They are very amazing. But believe me, a road trip in northwest China is even greater and more beautiful. There are many ancient places of interest. Some infrastructure might need to be improved, but I believe it is getting better. Come to China and experience it for yourself!



Is there any discrimination against motorcycles where you live? In China, motorcycling is not a popular activity. The government defines many rules that limit motorcycle riding. For example, in many cities you cannot ride a motorcycle in the downtown area. In Beijing, you can ride in downtown only if you have a Jing-A plat. With other plates you cannot even enter the fourth ring road via motorcycle.

You cannot ride a motorcycle on some highways. And you need to show your driver license and registration papers to be able to get gas in some gas stations.

What is the best time to ride there? In Beijing, it is somewhere between March and November.

Is motorcycle theft a problem? Yes, it is. There are many motorcycles stolen every year. In Beijing, a stolen motorcycle with a Jing-A plate is worth ¥80,000 (USD 13,000)

Are motorcycle related sports popular in your country and do women participate in these sports? No. Most people consider motorcycles to be just for transportation, like bicycles. They just ride them to avoid walking. There are very few women riders.

How do male motorcyclists treat women motorcyclists? There are a lot male motorcycle riders around me. They respect me, like me and treat me very well. Here we consider each other close cherished friends. We are all friends!

Is there any motorcycling activity you want to do but you cannot because you’re a woman? I like large motorcycles. I enjoy the sound of the bigger engine. But I know that the best motorcycle for you is the one that fits you best. My Yamaha 110 fits me best and we go everywhere.

Do men and women have the same freedom to pursue motorcycling activities? There is a saying in China: Women hold up half the sky. So yes! favicon

Riding on roads through forest, valley, desert, grassland
Listening to the wind,
Feeling the sunshine and the rain, on towards the sun
I’m coming, I’m coming…

Can you feel your body melting in the wind, your heart returning to nature?
That is the beauty of nature, the beauty of the wild,
The beauty of youth, the beauty of dreams…

My heart, my dream and my youth are all on the road.

– Ping Li


[This article was translated from Simplified Chinese to English by Lei Zhang.]