CJ 750 -Non GPz-

Jerry Clair darkclarity2k at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 12 19:49:11 PDT 2009

Hey guys, I thought I'd share a really cool expeirnce last night. My fellow English teacher from New Zealand
and I were walking home from the nangong back to Daoli district to enjoy the bustleing street life here in Manchurian city of Harbin. As we passed the huge structure of Long-ta tower [dragon] in the street light I spot this motorcycle. A PLA army-green Chang Jiang 750 side car, complete with a red star on the side car cover.
As we admired the 3 wheeler a man came out and he talked about the bike and started it. He happened to show his
policemans ID also. He then offered to drive us home which we accepted happily. I had to explain to my friend to lean out durning right hand turns and the slightly under powered bike [compared to our GPz beasts] thumped along
through the bizzare chinese traffic. It was awesome to feel the wind in my face. My daughter sold Nina for an air ticket for me to return home and give her away at her wedding. -sigh-
This bike's history is kinda interesting

BMW unveiled the R71 sidecar bike in 1938, just as Germany was preparing its European blitzkrieg. The Soviet Union either licensed or stole the blueprints — it’s unclear whether they changed hands before or after the German-Soviet alliance fell apart — and by 1942 it was producing the nearly identical Ural M72. In the mid-1950s, the Soviets traded the plans to the Chinese, who renamed the bike Changjiang 750, and the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company [now named Taiping aircraft] began churning them out for the PLA. Over the next 4 decades, factory engineers tinkered with the engine, but on the surface the bike remained a near-replica of the original R71, it's a Chinese talent of faithful imitation.

In the 1990s, the PLA began phasing out the Changjiang, and expatriates in Beijing and Shanghai decided that, “any Western male within shooting distance of a midlife crisis,” just might happily acquired them. By the next decade, Chinese men, whose mushrooming bank accounts and increasing free time made them susceptible, had caught up. The Changjiang’s rugged individualism appealed to a culture that had begun to prize Mongolian folk song ring tones, hiking boots on workdays, and, after decades of force-fed socialism, an originality captured in the borrowed term “diy” — do it yourself rather than follow the masses. The Nanchang factory still accepted small custom orders, so aspiring rebels could order their bikes new.

Alive and well in Harbin China


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