BEIJING (dpa) - Once biker Kin One gets astride the saddle of his Harley Davidson motorcycle and heads out of Beijing, he is filled with "this cowboy feeling, the feeling of freedom"."It's a living machine, just like a horse," enthuses the 30-year- old who runs the Hamma Halei bike-shop, which translates into English as Chrome Horse Motorcycles, in the north of China's capital.Kin One first discovered his love for the legendary machines, first built in 1903 in a Milwaukee backyard by William Harley and Arthur Davidson, during his art studies in the United States. "The legend lives - in China too."Three years ago Kin One founded the first - and to date only - Harley Davidson club in China which currently boasts 65 members and includes company bosses, self-employed workers, specialists and the sons of Chinese functionaries - anyone who has the ready cash to afford one of these expensive machines."We want to have fun together, learn from each other." The oldest member of the club is 57-year-old manager Adam Liu.When the bikers get together and start up their beefy V-Twin engines, the noise is overwhelming. Understandably, Japanese bikes are not welcome in the club. "It's like horses," says Kin One, "not the right bloodlines."In Beijing alone there are some 300 Harley Davidsons, perhaps 2,000 in the whole of China, but "some rich people only buy them to look at".However Qian Boshen, nicknamed Qian Harley because of his affection and passion for the legendary bikes, is only too keen to show off his Custom Softail "hog"."My life begins the moment I start to ride my Harley," says Qian. "I feel different to other people. On the road I'm proud."The 24-year-old has spent some 12,500 dollars customizing his bike, decorating it with chrome and emblazoning the tank with painted flames. A part of the money he earned from teaching English and other jobs, the rest he borrowed from his girlfriend, a dancer. His jacket boasts the motto "Chrome Sweet Chrome".In much the same way as anti-heroes Wyatt and Billy in the 1969 film "Easy Rider" starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper thumbed its nose at the establishment, China's Harley freaks regard themselves as rebellious and special. The China of today reminds them of the conformist, narrow-minded America of the 1960s.Chinese Harley riders hate the police who stop and harrass them, who feel themselves to be above the law. The bikers also complain that a large part of Beijing and increasingly more highways in China are off limits to their heavy machines.They are also annoyed that their long hair and ear-rings are regarded as repugnant. "Too many people do not accept us," says Qian Harley, "maybe they too would like to have a Harley and long hair. But they do not trust themselves. That's why they hate you."After many years of enforced communist conformism, modern China is having problems with those who are different."If you are better or you have more, then they hate you. If you have less, then they despise you," says Kin One, who is further outraged by the fact that the Chinese custom officials often turn up and confiscate their expensive machines on some trumped-up charge, although the bikes are properly registered. Customs then sell the motorcycles on to other dealers.But the powers-that-be are everywhere. Kin One has just recently lost another case against the authorities. "We can't do a thing." But he hopes that China's entry into the World Trade Organisation will help change the system. "We are only hoping - we are wishing, we are waiting."He still regards himself as a true son of China - "Beijing is my home, my heaven". Although he says he loves "the free feeling" in the United States, he does not feel comfortable there because Asians are badly treated or all painted with the same brush.Chinese traditions are important to him. The individualism of the West where children leave their mothers and fathers is looked on with disdain "Children must return their parents' love and sacrifice." says Qian Harley, who still lives with his folks.Among the many Harley riders in China there is not one woman. "Chinese women are too conservative for that born-to-be-wild feeling. Chinese men don't want women to be like that either," says Qian, to the general agreement of the other club bikers.A girlfriend, wild and sexy as a cover girl would be acceptable - but only as a girlfriend. "My wife will have to be of a gentle nature, must be able to cook well, has to love me. Above all she must be accepted by my parents and look after them."