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Chang Jiang 750 Directory


The best way to explore Beijing and the surrounding areas. Geographically Beijing is protected by a mountain range on the north. This mountain range is where the Great Wall runs from the east all the way to XinJiang. To the north is the grasslands where the emperor use to hunt. To the west is the desert. In the surrounding areas of the Great Wall, aside from the mountains, there are waterfalls, fish farms, river rafting, horse riding, camping areas, holiday resorts, and lots of winding road and beautiful scenery.

I would like to invite anyone that is interested in motorbiking in China on a sidecar to join our friends in Beijing for a weekend ride. Check out some of the pix on my site here and you will see why. Own a CJ750 in Shanghai - join a ride in Beijing ... only at Shanghai Sidecars.

German origin

Basically Hitler needed them cause he was not allowed to build vehicals used for war purposes. These vehicals had MG mounts and Grenade launchers mounted on them and could mobilize soldiers quickly. The Chang Jiang 750 sidecar is a spin off of a great invention by the Germans like the Mauser 98, Walter P38, these bikes last forever.

Early 1930's

The rising German administration of the 30's, needed military equipment, but the terms of surrender imposed under the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I prohibited Germany from any form of military vehicle production, including large capacity motorcycles and sidecars. Germany developed a strategy to get around the restrictions by pursuing joint ventures with Russia. This was achieved by the signing of a 7 year trade agreement known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. It was signed in Moscow on 23 August, 1939, by the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop). There was something in it for both sides, Russia had already recognized that German technology was far superior to theirs, and Germany needed the production hardware.

Despite the co-operation agreement between Germany and Russia, Germany apparently only ever willingly shared information about the then new BMW R71 design. This model was only built in Germany for a short time and in limited quantities (from 1938 to about the end of 1939), it was a migration from the stalwart Wehrmacht BMW R12 model. The BMW R71 signaled the move away from the conventional pressed steel frames, to the higher strength oval tube frame design which was easily able to cope with the additional stresses of a sidecar attachment. Tens of thousands of these bikes were made for the German army for the initial start of WWII. The BMW R75 was then introduced in the spring of 1941, built according to German war ministry instructions, without cost limitations. This high performance war machine had incredible off-road capabilities. The non-aggression treaty lasted until Operation Barbarossa of 22 June, 1941 when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. These beautiful sidecar motorcycles are one of the great inventions that have been developed for military applications. Other great collectable items include the Mauser broom handle piston, the Walter P-38.

Russian Allies

The Russians were allies to Germany prior to war so Germans gave them the dies to make their own sidecars. Just what Statlin needed with a bit of modification came the URALs and Depners. Now you can tell these bikes are loved by some of the greatest leaders that lived.

Prior to the German invasion of Russia, the Russians are one point were allies with the German. There are two versions of this story, one the Germans gave some blueprints to the Russians who evolved the motorcycle to the Dnper and Urals. Many versions of these sidecar motorcycles had two wheel rear drive thus allowing it to move through the roughest terrain, snow and ice. Russia retained certain BMW tooling and designs for the BMW R71 motorcycle, and the Russian militarized R71 versions were designated the M72. This was almost identical to the BMW R71, and also featured the familiar horizontally opposed, 746 cc flat twin, side-valve engine.

The second version of the story is that after the German surrender, the Allies had access to the shattered remains of Germany's once impressive automotive industry. The BMW motorcycle factory, which had been relocated to Eisenach during the war (and producing the BMW R75), fell into Russian hands as Eisenach was in Russian occupied territory. The Russians took possession of all the BMW blueprints and tooling, and shipped the few remaining BMW R75 motorcycles and all the production parts left at the factory back to Russia. The R75 dual wheel drive system design technology was also then apparently used to create the relatively advanced, Russian military dual wheel drive overhead-valve "Ural" and "Dnepr" models.

The Russians were great allies of the Chinese people and during the communist revolution era of the 1950’s and that takes us to the next evolution of the sidecar motorcycle.

Chinese version

One can ou can say from one great man to another - Statlin gave it to Mao. The Chinese made millions of this bike and in the 1960s and 1970s they were everywhere in China.

The BMW R71/ M72 was renamed the "Chang Jiang 750" which became the CJ750.

During 1950, the Chinese "Peoples Liberation Army Beijing No.6 Automotive Works" had been attempting to develop a suitable military motorcycle by "reverse engineering" a Zundapp KS500 military motorcycle. The Chinese KS500 based machines entered production in 1951, and in total 4248 machines were built before responsibility for the manufacture of military motorcycles was transferred to Hongdu Machinery Plant and the Xinjiang Machine Plant. Both of these factories are subsidiaries of the State-run aeronautic manufacturing industry to this day.

Back in the USSR, now that the side-valve model had become obsolete, manufacture of the old M72 (BMW R71) was offered to their Chinese communist neighbors who wasted no time in dropping the KS500 based machine for the tried and tested BMW R71/M72 design motorcycle. The BMW R71/ M72, renamed the "Chang Jiang 750" entered production during 1957 at the Chinese Nanchang aircraft factory. Many of the older M-72 bikes that are around today have both Russian parts and later versions have only Chinese parts.

Around 1985, the story goes that the Chinese, realizing that the original R71 side valve engine was now somewhat less than state-of-the-art, entered an agreement with the Russians once again, with the objective of improving the engine's performance. The Russians provided OHV engine technology, and soon a OHV 750cc-boxer engine, which is remarkably similar in design concept to the BMW /2 engine entered production at the China South Aero engine plant.

Since the start of the use of the Chang Jiang 750 sidecar, the PLA ordered 30,000 of these bikes every year. Thus from the start of production in 1956 till 2005 over 1.5 million Chang Jiang 750 sidecars were built.

Now, the Chang Jiang 750 is still making history…..though some might be far fetched truths, there people making up stories about about how hard they are to find, or that they have the original "genuwine" article, or that there is an exclusive right to distribute, these bikes are available all over Beijing and many parts of China. Others like us just love these bikes cause they are fun, easy to own, cheap, and importantly we hope you can own one too. Do your research, depending on who's story you believe you can own one of these bikes for less than 10,000RMB or up to 100,000RMB.