Chang Jiang 750 M1

Chang Jiang 750 M1, a Chinese copy of the BMW R71
A reader from Sydney snapped this picture yesterday, and it got us stumped. At first glance it appears to be a 95-point restored 1938 BMW R71 sidevalve. But on closer inspection it’s not German. We reckon it’s a Chang Jiang 750 M1, and goodness knows what this Chinese bike is doing in Australia. The CJ750 is based on a 1956 Russian copy of BMW’s R71, called the IMZ M-72. The Russians then sold the tooling for these bikes to the Chinese, and in 1961 the CJ750 appeared. Virtually all CJ750s have sidecars, and there’s a small but thriving underground industry keeping them alive. In the USA, a Colorado company called Long River (the literal translation of ‘Chang Jiang’) specialises in restoring and recreating the CJ750, and their fascinating website is well worth a visit. If you’ve been tempted by the retro, militaristic appeal of a Ural, it’s worth checking out the equally authentic CJ750. [Thanks to Jonathan Zwartz.]

  • JS

    Others may know better than I, but the transmission does NOT look like a CJ. The little lever for maintenance/bench shifting is a BMW feature and I do not believe it was ever carried over to the CJ.

    Front and rear fenders also look BMW, but these are repro’d in China now, so that is really not a good indicator.

    Gas tank, taillight and signals are typical CJ.

    The short block however IS a CJ. Electric start is a dead give away.

  • misteradiant

    then it’s a custom using parts from related manufacturers, like most bikes you see here. if the engine is a cj, that’s usually enough to classify it as a cj.

    like people have been doing with harleys and hondas for a long time.

  • rapier

    I saw one of these when I was in Shanghai, from a slight distance, and could not quite figure out what it was..It looked quite sharp in a fiery red. Admittedly I didn’t knock myself out trying to find out. I sort of figured it was not a BMW, although I am not sure why.

    I can’t even begin to imagine what this company must have been like. I suppose all the output went to the army or the police.

  • Fraser

    Hey guys, just type “Chang Jiang 750″ into wikipedia. There’s an interesting history of the marque on there. There’s also an American guy named Jimbo living in Peking that rebuilds them, whacks in an R80 or R100 BMW NOS engine and exports them around the world to whoever wants one!

  • Darren

    There is one on eBay Australia ATM ….

  • SImon Power

    It’s definitely the good ‘ol cj750. I live in Shanghai and have one of these. It’s fantastic! You do have to tighten everything and keep the oil up to it, but parts are extremely cheap and mine just purrs. I have a friend who just had one restored and shipped back to Australia, I’ll be doing the same in the next 12 months, so expect to see one in Brisbane and another down Ballarat way i the not too distant future.

  • sp99029

    these bikes are so slow, underpowered, mechanical brakes, they need constant work, parts are cheap but shipping parts here is very costly, ebay warns every bidder of risk of loss…..and few paeople actually ever recieve the bikes they pay for out of china…..or parts…lol
    also they are very hard to licence in usa because they will not meet any epa standards….and Us customs will not allow them through customs clearance. most have fake papers saying they are old pre 1975 but they are built yesterday and all the papers are false…..which customs is also on to.
    best to buy the bikes already here in usa…..or go to china your self and tear the bikes down into parts….customs allows parts into the usa….but other than that ….consider your self warned …..

  • sp99029

    great bikes if you know about them ….lots of fun…..and you will be intantly the coolest dad /grandpa on the street………but get used to the facts and know what you are buying………they need constant adjustments. and there are no shops in the USA and only a few parts. most sell for 5,000 to 8,000 here in USA….but then they are already licenced too!
    I have many of these if anyones interested just email me.

  • thomas

    I just got myself a CJ, great toy if you’re into mechanic!
    I ran into these bikes which are much cheaper than BMW’s or the russian copies Ural after doing a tour with some guys in Shanghai China (www.shanghaisideways.com), they don’t sell CJ’s but put me in touch with a local who wanted to get rid of his.
    They also have a club: http://www.peoplesridersclub.com

  • Gordon

    You can get a fully restored one in Suzhou China for 30000 RMB about 3000 pounds with sidecar in any colour you want

  • Rod Watson

    I would say it is probably my friends bike , he worked in Shanghei ( dont know the spelling) for several years , there is a company there that bought a lot of these from the chinese and cleaned them up , they are a Ural copy and cost about $6000 by the time hr got it to Sydney , its fun but very slooow.