Object of Desire: Chang Jiang 750 Sidecar

Recently, I've been afflicted by a disease common to many men (esp. expats it seems) in Beijing: I'm obsessed with an old sidecar motorcycle called the Chang Jiang 750. It's a copy of a 1938 BMW R71 motorcycle that was made in large quantities for the Chinese army through the second half of the twentieth century. Shops around town restore the surplus bikes and make them look absolutely gorgeous. A fully loaded and sweetly restored bike might run 30000-40000 RMB+ (about USD $4500-6000); although this is expensive by local standards, I consider it something of an affordable luxury.

Charcoal grey CJ750 with red accents

The bikes aren't super fast (they have a 746cc engine creating 24 or 36 horsepower), they leak oil, and you can't ride them on the freeways in Beijing, but I think they're just plain cool. (I'm torn between the charcoal grey and the deep blue. Of course, black just looks great too.) Plus, since they're older than thirty years old, you can export them back to the US afterwards. I just need to convince myself and the family this is a good idea...

Deep blue CJ750

There are quite a few websites on these motorcycles. Here are a few I found useful and seemingly trustworthy.

Community: CJ750.org

Shops:
Big Bill's Bikes aka ZMW
Jimbo's Classic Sidecars
Beijing Sidecars

Black CJ750 with red and yellow flames

(All photos from cj750.net -Big Bill's)

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1 Comment

lenny winkler Reply

i am interested buying a cj 750 side car but i cant seem to locate any one on this site to tell me how to go about it. if you could get me in the right direction i am ready to buy now. thank you, look forward to hearing from someone. lenny

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