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Myths and Truth:

Since we have launched the Big Bill's Bikes’s website <www.cj750.net>, we have received an average of 30 e-mails per day asking various questions about the Chang Jiang 750. These questions range from repair to import, to places to ride, market information, history of the CJ, maintenance, competitors information, prices, and fake and "authentic" Chang Jiang 750 sidecars, on and on. The following FAQs are extracted from our e-mails and put together by Chang Jiang 750 riders to help other Chang Jiang 750 riders. We hope it will save us some time too and give you a good idea about owning a Chang Jiang 750. There are a lot of information to digest so hopefully this FAQ will be able to answer many of your questions especially for those overseas that does not know the market situation in Beijing or China for Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. Do your research, ask around and get all the details.

If you have any points or notes that you want posted or any points that we have not covered please feel free to let us know. And especially if you note any corrections to what we have written, or if you have any additional questions please feel free to e-mail us. We are sure that many Chang Jiang 750 enthusiasts will find the information useful. We hope everyone Chang Jiang 750 owner can send us some useful information.

Are Chang Jiang 750 sidecars high maintenance?

YES, YES, YES, we should stress, that YES they are ! Do not buy one if you live outside China and do not have the “know how”, or do not enjoy doing some tinkering. Chang Jiang 750 sidecars require an basic understanding of engines and respect for old technology. This sidecar motorcycle will give you lots of fun and will also keep you busy on weekends. If you are in China there are many places that can fix your bike cheaply, if you are in a western country you will definitely need to be able to your own maintenance, understand how motorcycles work, or it will end up costing you lots of money to keep a Chang Jiang 750 sidecar running properly. If you do buy one, do note that they all have a bit of oil leaking and all require loving tender care, just like a girlfriend you would want to keep forever. A well built and maintained Chang Jiang 750 will provide you endless fun and a poorly put together Chang Jiang 750 will be your worst nightmare. This is really a motorcycle for the enthusiast / tinkerer. If you are in Beijing, then you are in Chang Jiang 750 heaven. There are repair shops in every district, labor is cheap, parts are available everywhere, there are many local clubs, and importantly you can use your Chang Jiang 750 as daily transportation with not much worry.

If you are outside China when buying one of these please consider the cost of labor and parts before making your purchase. If you are getting a Chang Jiang 750 from a shop that does not have a good record for maintenance, or you are buying from the “factory” you may end up very unhappy. If you are in China, you will regret not buying a CJ sooner !!!…ask any rider, shop around, visit the various shops and join us on our weekend rides up the mountains.

What are the differences between an old Chang Jiang 750 and a new Chang Jiang 750?

Some of the older Chang Jiang 750 are made of a heavier metal and in some parts such as may also be made of thicker metal. Examples of this are new fenders and hinges, older fenders are thicker and heavier and the back fender use large hinges. There are even some old Chang Jiang 750s that have different frames sizes. In terms of performance, most of the parts are the similar so really depends on the part you get and importantly who puts it together. The Chang Jiang 750 and their parts vary somewhat on quality and variances due to the different times periods it was made and the fact that many of the dies and cast are worn out. Many of the parts old and even new parts require some small amount of work and tooling to make it fit perfectly. Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are high maintenance motorcycles thus it requires some tolerance, patience and very regular maintenance to keep it in good running condition, new or old. This is technology from the 1950's and some of the parts are still being made the same way as they were in the 1950's.

Many of the new Chang Jiang 750, actually almost all are now being refurbished and put together from old and used Chang Jiang 750 from PLA surplus. It is best to see the “new” Chang Jiang 750 before buying it unless you specifically know what you are getting and plan on customizing it. In terms of quaility it really depends on who put your Chang Jiang 750 sidecar together.

Are there many fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecar motorcycles and fake parts in China?

We get this question very often, almost everyday especially from people wanting to buy Chang Jiang 750 sidecars and parts. There is no such thing as a fake Chang Jiang 750. There are some poorly made parts and occasionally these substandard parts get into the market which some people may consider fakes. Also there are variances of how well parts fit because every production run is different and there are different sizes of Chang Jiang 750 frames from different years. Many of the moldings and dies for the Chang Jiang 750 parts are extremely old and worn so the parts that are produced are not exactly precision parts.

There may occasionally be fake parts on the market, however we have never purchased any fake parts; what we have seen is many substandard and poorly made parts. This happens frequently and usually requires some modification to make it fit and work properly. Like in most developing countries where labor is cheap, and there is not much emphasis on quality, or consumer warranty, the quality of products sold on the market varies greatly. It just depends on where you get your parts and your Chang Jiang 750 if it is going to be put together with quality parts.

Pertaining to the fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecar question, that is like asking us if we have seen a UFO. The most frequent e-mails about this are from buyers overseas, especially from America. To date, we have seen thousands of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars every year and participate in the yearly Cool Bike Festival, YinChuan Motorcycle Festival and repair hundreds of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars and have not yet seen a “fake” Chang Jiang 750. Among our group of Beijing friends that have an average of 15 years or more on Chang Jiang 750, they also have not seen a “fake” Chang Jiang 750. We would be very interested in seeing a “fake” Chang Jiang 750 especially when the international community (outside China) keeps asking us about it. We have seen poorly made parts which is understandable considering the age and technology of the moldings and machinery that makes these parts together, and we have seen some very poorly put together Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. We have seen some export dealers that claim the age of their Chang Jiang 750 sidecars to be older than they really are, you can check on our 1960’s page to see the differences of older Chang Jiang 750 sidecars from the 1960's to ones from the 1970's.

Importantly to stop these rumors of fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecars, we have a standing offer of 10,000RMB to anyone that brings us a fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecar. This has been valid offer since we put up this site in Dec. of 2004 and to date no one has taken up the offer.

Pertaining to fake parts, some dealer’s get there parts from Nan Chang and some from distributors in Beijing. In Beijing there are two main distributors for Chang Jiang 750 parts. All the dealers from time to time will get parts from them, or get them directly from dealers in Nan Chang. All of the parts now are not made by the Chang Jiang factory, the factory has been closed since 2002, but put together by other manufacturers that use to OEM for the Chang Jiang factory. Those manufacturers will also sell the parts directly to the market. The Chang Jiang factory is no longer operating unless an extremely large order comes in. Even then they rely on outside OEM because they sold much of their moldings to pay off their debt. Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are very popular and there are hundreds and thousands of them in PLA storage and coming into the market all year round along with parts that have been in storage for many years. Many of the Chang Jiang 750 sidecars parts available in the market are from PLA storage. Big Bill's Bikes is one of the few dealers in Beijing that has access to PLA bikes and also a large inventory of PLA Chang Jiang 750 sidecars for restoration.

Depending on where you get your Chang Jiang 750, it is possible you might end up with a Chang Jiang 750 with very poor quality parts, or put together sloppily, basically a lemon. However China has thousands of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars, actually so many of them that they are frequently sold as scrap metal and many junk yards around Beijing have them laying in the dirt waiting to be melted. Thus, it does not make sense to make a fake Chang Jiang 750. You can actually buy a Chang Jiang 750 by weight from some Beijing junk yards and also from military surplus. It would be curious to know why would anyone fake something that is sold by weight and even by the container load as scrap metal? There are all sorts of parts available in Beijing and most local dealers will not use poor quality parts because they serve the local community and cannot run away especially when they have an actual shop and it is their livelihood to keep their customers happy. What does usually happen is that some dealers may sloppily assemble a Chang Jiang 750 or some of the parts may not work well or not fitted properly.

As a smart consumer, you should ask why would someone make such claims that there are fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecars?!

Why are there lots of rumors of fake parts?

Parts are made at different times thus varying in quality and specifications, also there was a transition period in the 60s, 70s, and 80s with the machinery from the Chang Jiang factory using Russian parts to Chinese parts and changes in engine design. Because of the variance on many of the parts, some parts may need slight modifications in order to fit. Some parts are hand milled, some are machined milled, some are pressed, so it all depends on when and where the parts are made; there are some variances in size and quality. We have seen frames that are from the same year that are two inches different from front to end. Chang Jiang 750 sidecar frames are hand welded and the frame jigs are different in size. Quality control is not very important for many of the guys that OEM parts. There is not much in the way of consumer protection, or standards concerning this, so some of these poorly made parts do end up in the market. The quality of parts just depends on when the product was made and your luck. Actually most of the parts currently used on the market today are NOS PLA parts and again, most all Beijing dealers get their parts from the same sources.

An interesting note is that due to the differences in size of frames on old Chang Jiang 750 sidecars, some parts from different years have to be modified so that they will fit properly; we have noticed that there are claims that this is “fake vs. genuine” when actually it is due to variance of part from different years and also there are poor quality parts made. If you try to put a 1960 gas tank on a 1970's frame you are going to have to do some drilling and it will not fit perfectly.

Best thing to do is check the quality of the parts. You should not have to pay extra for parts because most Chang Jiang 750 parts are easily accessible, unless it is extremely old and even old parts are inexpensive. Most Chang Jiang 750 shops will use PLA old stock parts as normal parts. It seems like the international community has an attachment to the word PLA and will pay a premium when its added on in front of the parts or Chang Jiang 750. In Beijing PLA parts are common! The majority of the local dealers seldom uses poorly made parts because they have to deal with actual clients that live in the neighborhood. In China it is customary to bring their Chang Jiang 750 sidecars in and wait while the repairs are going on and even for the customer to work with the mechanic to fix the Chang Jiang 750. It is far better business to use good quality parts to start with, and this is what Big Bill's Bikes does.

The quality of some parts are hard to tell unless it is actually road tested. Thus it is wise to insist on the builder riding the motorcycle for a certain distance after building it to sort out all the minor problems. And do not be surprised when you get a new bike, or one that is rebuilt, that may have problems. This is especially true for bikes shipped overseas, unless your builder has test rode the motorcycle even then you may find many problems till it is broken in.

Pertaining to the rumor of fake parts, or vintage parts, some one must have an ulterior motive for making up such rumors. To the local CJ750 riders here, it does not matter if the parts are PLA parts, stock parts, vintage parts, OEM parts, parts that need a bit of modification, most parts are equal if you can make it work right.

Are Hong Yang’s, or Dong Tians or Chang Hongs fakes?

No, Hong Yang’s are CJ750 sidecars register under a different name. Most of the Chang Jiang 750 sidecars that they put together are from old CJ750 or PLA inventory. Some of the parts might also be OEM from NanChang factories where they have the molds, tool and die. Dong Tian is an agent that brokers Chang Jiang 750 sidecar. They do not make sidecars themselves but run an import export company and also represent many OEM factories that sell motorcycles and the Chang Jiang 750 sidecar is one of the products that they sell. We recommend that you buy a Chang Jiang 750 from a shop that customizes them or one that business is based on repair & maintenance, rather than a shop that just brokers Chang Jiang 750s as a third party.

Are Big Bill's Bikes’s cost so low because of fake parts?

The prices listed on Big Bill's Bikes’s site are the normal market price for CJ750 parts and Chang Jiang 750 sidecars in Beijing. There is no such thing as a fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecars or parts. Actually, Big Bill's Bikes prices are the same as most of the shops that cater to the local market, which is why we decided to list all the dealers in Beijing so you can check on prices. Unfortunately, the internet have not offered these prices until now and since we have put up our site, you may have noticed that the quality of sidecars, chrome and polishing has gone up and importantly prices have gone down. So do some bargaining! and see what you can get. Check around and ask people that actually live in Beijing. The price of Big Bill's Bikes’s Chang Jiang 750 sidecars includes using all PLA NOS parts, actually most reputable Chang Jiang 750 shops products are very compatible. Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are just too common in the Beijing and PLA parts are every where. If someone tells you that they are the only ones that have exclusive access or that there are CJ750 sidecar that are fake…its Bullshit!

As Big Bill's Bikes services many expatriates and also local Chang Jiang 750 Clubs on a daily basis so we do not operate with two prices. Our motto is “No Bullshit” and we guarantee our work because most of our clients are in Beijing and visit us frequently. Also, we rely on word of mouth advertising, and recommendations from satisfied customers. Price has nothing to do with quality in Beijing, all the shops source parts from the same places. We can give numerous examples of people paying extremely high prices for lemons and end up bringing it to us to repair, or buying it from someone that claims to be a dealer and latter finding out the guy does not even have a shop and he is too busy to offer after sales service. Check around all the local shops, you will find the prices very similar. Go where the locals go. There is no reason why you should pay more because you are a foreigner.

Do "Chinese" shops have low quality workmanship?

No, definitely not true. Aren’t all the shops in China Chinese ? … and the Chang Jiang 750 sidecars worked on by Chinese? Quality really depends on where you go for your Chang Jiang 750. If you are in China it is going be a Chinese person that repairs your bike. The standards of the shops are different than those of western countries. What do count is quality workmanship, the time, the effort, and experience that help makes a Chang Jiang 750 run well which requires many years of experience. In Beijing, there are only a handful of shops that can be considered as having quality workmanship. You can usually spot the work quality of a local shop by the amount of customers that the shops have.

We have been riding for many years in Beijing and still have not found any foreigner or foreigners (except for Jim Bryant <www.bmwsidecar.com>) that are “hands on” repairing or building Chang Jiang 750 sidecars in China. So if you know one that actually hands on build them, please let us know.

Another point to note about quality is that there are many bikes produced in Nan Chang by small manufacturers that never see the end users. These shops may sloppily put together a Chang Jiang as fast as possible and will not spend the time to make sure that it is properly put together and test ride it so someone might end up with a very poorly made Chang Jiang 750.

Many of the Chang Jiang 750 parts are handed milled and requires an experience eye to see if it is good quality and experience to make it work properly. Some of the parts may require some tweaking to make it work properly so a poor looking part may be “fixed” to make it work properly.

What is a “genuine” Chang Jiang 750 versus what Big Bill's Bikes or local the “Chinese” shops offer?

We get this question quite often just like the fake parts, actually almost everyday from people overseas that are interested in buying a Chang Jiang 750 online and it gets a bit annoying to answer. From these question, one is led to believe that there is a “genuine” Chang Jiang 750 dealer. And that all the rest are fakes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Would this not be a bit odd for a country that has tens of thousands of people riding these bikes and over a million Chang Jiang 750 manufactured, the PLA is unloading their inventory of hundreds of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars every year, and military surplus of thousands of them, there are junk yards with heaps of sidecars motorcycles in them, then someone would actually go to the trouble of manufacturing a fake Chang Jiang 750 sidecar.

Big Bill's Bikes has been in business for since 1987 and helped hundreds of people every year with acquiring their Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. On any day there are about 30 or more Chang Jiang 750 sidecars being serviced at the Big Bill's Bikes shop and we have seen thousands of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars so it would be interesting to see a “genuine” Chang Jiang 750 that is different than any of the other Chang Jiang 750 sidecars that comes into our shop. It would really be an eye opener for all of us. I seriously doubt that you will get a “fake” Chang Jiang 750 or a Chang Jiang 750 that is not “genuine” especially when most of the shops get their parts and Chang Jiang 750s from the same sources. Buying a Chang Jiang 750 is not like going to Silk Street as one might portray. What we have seen that is quite unfortunate are a few foreigners, is they are paying more than three times the market price with their hard earned dollar for a Chang Jiang 750. And in fact their “genuine” parts that are available at many of the shops in Beijing. PLA issued sidecars are actually very common as are the parts, actually most PLA sidecars are used for parts because they do not have legal licences. Check around before you buy your Chang Jiang 750 and look for an honest dealer.

What is the quality of a Big Bill's Bikes customized Chang Jiang 750 sidecar motorcycle?

Big Bill's Bikes customizes Chang Jiang 750 sidecars with details such as 12 layer paint jobs, high quality chrome parts that do not rust, and high performance accessories. We make the Chang Jiang 750 stunningly beautiful, and importantly they perform better and run faster. For those that prefer their Chang Jiang 750 stock, Big Bill's Bikes also has stock Chang Jiang 750 in black or PLA green rebuilt with no special modifications. For those that like WW-II, BMW R-71 style sidecars Big Bill's Bikes has the most detailed replicas available in China. Check out our WW-II pages for details.

Because of our excellent quality workmanship and no bullshit prices, most buyers will prefer to upgrade and customize their Chang Jiang 750. Most popular upgrades are the aesthetics such as using chrome parts and custom paint jobs. Also, performance motor upgrades including the low profile, 3 ring pistons and constant velocity carburetors. OHV 32 hp polished engines are very popular. For high end bikes, we have polished aluminum engines that shine like chrome. A beautifully customized Chang Jiang 750 reflects the style of the owner. Big Bill's Bikes prides itself in offering a custom built, performance Chang Jiang to the foreign market and or international sales.

A test of the quality or our workmanship is that our customers ride to Yin Chuan every year to participate in China’s International Motorcycle Festival, to Tibet, Xin Jiang and every weekend up to the mountains in Beijing. Look at the details of Big Bill's Bikes’s customized Chang Jiang 750 sidecars and compare.

Does "Chinese" chrome rust?

We have received many e-mails about "Chinese” chrome rusting. All chrome parts have to be maintained to keep its shine. Normally there are three grades of chrome parts available. In the past only poor quality chrome was available. Recent developments have provided a quantum leap in chrome quality. So yes, until recently low quality chrome did rust. You can actually see the differnent quality chrome on our tail light page.

Since 2003, better chrome parts have been available and are used in our premium restorations. A excellent chrome shock cover will cost about 30 USD where as a lower grade chrome shock cover might cost 5 USD. Big Bill's Bikes has three grades of chrome for customers depending on their budgets. Most dealers will use the lower grade chrome due to the price constraints. What kind of chrome you get depends on how much you want to spend. Keeping your chrome polished and will prevent it from rusting. We custom build high end Chang Jiang 750s with high quality chrome parts to even include chrome 32 OHV engines for half of what our competitors charge so check around.

Check out the high quality chrome on our premium Chang Jiang 750 and also chrome page. Big Bill's Bikes have some of the best chrome parts in China, as the factory that we use have been trained by German technicians in the process of chroming. Big Bill's Bikes suppliers can even chrome engines, aluminum and plastic parts. Depending on you budget we have stock (low quality) chrome from Nan Chang to good quality chrome from local factories (Yung Le) and also excellent quality chrome from the best chroming factories (Fu Hao) in Beijing. Fu Hao is the factory that provides chroming service for all the top end CJ’s built in Beijing.

What you have to be careful of when order a Premium type restoration is that the builder might mix in stock chrome with excellent quality chrome to cut cost.

Are polished engines not as good as the original textured finish?

Polished aluminum engines look much nicer, and they do require maintenance to keep their shine. Technically the reduction of surface area does slow down the rate of heat dissipation of the motor. The surface of the engine block is only a small component to the dissipation of heat. Most of the heat in the engine is at the end of the pistons where the combustion happens and the fins there dissipate much of the heat. Big Bill's Bikes has polished many engines and have also chromed engines and has not had any problems with overheating. There are also other factors that effect heating such as valves and gas to air mixture, and how one rides his Chang Jiang 750 sidecar. How well the polished engine keeps its polished shine depends on the workmanship of the polishing and also the metallurgy of the engine. Check out our accessories for close up pictures of our detailed polishing. We have very high quality polishing, at very competitive pricing. We have 2 grades of polishing for our customers to choose from.

A very important point about high grade polishing. If any chemical or water is used to clean a polished engine it will immediately start to tarnish. Polished engine requires extra maintenance to keep its shine.

Are old parts better than new parts?

No, the quality depends on the parts you get. There is much nostalgia to old parts however lets not forget the cottage industry of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and the Russian writer and economist Lysanko’s influence in revolutionizing the planned economy, the great leap forward. Take aside the nostalgia and baseless Bullshit that a dealer makes; in reality we have seen good quality and poor quality with PLA NOS parts and also new parts. Actually with many of the parts you never really know what is old or not unless you actually bought the part first hand install it and let it run. Importantly in Beijing is that prices are the same for new parts or PLA NOS parts.

What is important is that your shop uses good quality parts and some of these parts it is almost impossible to tell untill installed and tried. Most of the parts in Beijing are from PLA military storage and there are loads of new old stock parts around and they cost the same or in many times even cheaper than new parts. Old parts (NOS) are very common and is available in all the local Chang Jiang 750 shops, it is so common most people don’t even take notice of it or differentiate so the prices are all the same. As long as the part is good it should work properly no matter if it is old or new.

Are their many old Chang Jiang 750 sidecars and parts in China?

Yes there are, especially at the end of the year when the military unloads their storage of Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. The military unloads these Chang Jiang 750 sidecars as surplus, depending on who you buy from and when you buy them, they normally cost a few hundred U.S. dollars to purchase. There are many old Chang Jiang 750 around and every year we put together about a dozen of the 1960s Chang Jiangs M72. Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are not going to be extinct and as a matter of fact, every year there are more old Chang Jiang 750 sidecars coming on to the market. If someone tells you that PLA stock is hard to find, or that they are the only ones to have something, or that they are they have rights to PLA stock, or that something is extremely old and hard to get you better check around and come talk to us.

Are PLA bike stronger?

It depends on how does one measure stronger. Older PLA Chang Jiang 750 sidecars have some differences in some aspects than civilian Chang Jiang 750 such as 6v engine and no reverse gear, in a few cases the bucket may be made with thicker metal, older fenders may be made with thicker metal. However there are also many military sidecars that have been converted for civilian use and also many military issues parts are sold in the market, so the quality of those civilian CJ 750 are the same quality of the PLA issued CJ 750. The PLA Chang Jiang 750 sidecar with 6 volt engine will have a battery holder behind the transmission, 6V engine, no reverse gear transmission, and a few other small differences. We have also seen many civilian Chang Jiang 750 with the same type of frame and details. Overall, both civilian and military Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are almost identical. Almost all exports CJ 750 sidecars are PLA Chang Jiang 750 because civilian CJ750 sidecars have documentation and plates which have a residual value and PLA CJ 750 sidecar are much less expensive to purchase.

Many of the older 12V engines converted from 6V engines because you can get 6V engines in the junk yard and upgrade them for about 1,000RMB where as a new 12V engine is about 3,000RMB.

Click here to read about why most export Chang Jiang 750 are PLA!

What is the major difference between a "new" Chang Jiang 750 and a rebuilt Chang Jiang 750?

The differences on a Chang Jiang 750 depend on who you buy your Chang Jiang 750 from. There is no such thing as a totally new Chang Jiang 750. The Chang Jiang factory is no longer in operations however there are aftermarket manufacturers that put new Chang Jiang 750 sidecars together. Most of the new Hong Yang's are rebuilt military Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. For buyers in Beijing we have both "new” Chang Jiang 750 from Nan Chang and also Hong Yangs which are rebuilt from PLA stock available at list price of only 18,000RMB to include Beijing “Jing” A licenses.

For export we suggest that you purchase only a rebuilt CJ750 and not a “factory” CJ750. Most shops that rebuild CJ750 s will pay more attention to the details and also some will test ride the CJs before they send it out. Many of the “new” CJ750’s are assembled from refurbished used and old parts with little effort to control quality.

Is a rebuilt Chang Jiang 750 better than a new Chang Jiang 750?

It depends on where you get your Chang Jiang. The reason that some of the “new” Chang Jiang 750s are poorly put together is that the factory will never see the end user and they also leave the factory without being road tested.

The dealer that gets the new Chang Jiang will most likely not take it apart again so some unfortunate buyer of a new Chang Jiang 750 sidecar might get a poorly slapped together lemon. If you get a locally assembled Chang Jiang 750, the dealer will most likely spend some time ensuring that everything is put together properly. There are some dealers that even just put some pinstripes on their "new" Chang Jiang 750, add some clear coat and call it a custom paint job.

Most of Big Bill's Bikes’s clients will customized their Chang Jiang 750 from a 97 Chang Jiang 750 and for export Big Bill's Bikes clients will get a sidecar rebuilt from PLA stock. Check out our process page to see details. Zhang has been customizing Chang Jiang 750 sidecars for close to 20 years. All of Big Bill's Bikes’s Chang Jiang 750 sidecars are test ridden to ensure that everything is at its best performance before the customer gets the keys.

Why do some shops only want to sell me stock Chang Jiang 750 or new Chang Jiang 750?

Most dealers do not want to spend time or have the resources rebuilding a pre-owned Chang Jiang 750 and customizing them aside from the paint job. Even then there are a few shops that will just put some clear coating on and claim it to be a new paint job. They can sell you a stock CJ750 and make over a thousand U.S.D dollars with no work. Why buy an average bike that’s been slapped together from a second party when you can get one that has been put together with care and attention to detail?. You can buy an excellent, personally customized CJ750, at a better value from Big Bill's Bikes and importantly with Beijing plates. Also in Beijing, some of the bigger shops are not in a convenient location so if you get a Chang Jiang 750 from them, you will most likely have to choose a shop closer to home for repairs, why not just buy it from a shop that will actually maintain your Chang Jiang 750 for you.

Why do some shops want to sell me a Chang Jiang 750 with yellow Hebei plates?

A whole can of worms here. Hebei plates are mostly fakes or are illegally registered. A shop will sell you a reconditioned Chang Jiang 750 or a “factory” Chang Jiang 750 without proper documentations basically to make more money. Also, they save themselves the trouble of having to register the Chang Jiang 750 for you. It is illegal to buy and ride a Chang Jiang 750 with fake plates. These fake plates have no proper documentation and may be for a questionable source. A Chang Jiang 750 with legal plates in Beijing, list price (suggested retail) is only 18,000RMB with all documentation and insurance. There is absolutely no reason to buy a CJ750 with fake Hebei plates. Read our “Owning a CJ in Beijing” for more information. You put yourself at legal and financial risk when you buy an illegally registered CJ750.

Also CJ750 sidecars without legal plates or documents are from unknown origins and may be quite questionable about how it was obtained. You risk financial liability and legal liability riding a Chang Jiang 750 with fake plates. Stay away from them and get a legal Chang Jiang 750. Protect yourself with insurance. Importantly check out the prices… there is no reason you should have Hebei plates on your CJ 750 when there are fully legal Chang Jiang 750 available and most likely at the same or less expensive price.

If you own an illegally licensed Chang Jiang 750 bring it back to the dealer. If you get into an accident the dealer is 100% responsible so make sure you get a document from him that he sold you the sidecar. If you are held financially accountable just bring the police to the dealer and let him take care of it. It is not worth the liability to own an illegally registered or Hebei plate Chang Jiang 750 especially with all the bad traffic, crazy drivers, blind people on bicycles, and deaf pedestrians.

Are "Chinese" bearings bad?

Almost none of the bearings made in China have problems. Cost is a major factor for not using imported bearings. Actually many of these "imported bearings" are made in China for export. The bearings for the triple tree mount is 5 USD for Chinese bearings. For a set of German BMW tapered bearings, they are 70 USD and require permanent modification to install. Most Chang Jiang 750 buyers will opt for the less expensive option. Engine bearings and wheel bearings are not as expensive, about 10 USD each so those are quite common on Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. Most of the Chang Jiang 750 riders we know say that they do not find a major performance difference after installing the German bearings. If you have a very hard impact with alloy wheels, whether it’s a Chinese, German or Japanese bearing, it is most likely going to be damaged. Big Bill's Bikes often uses German NSK or SKF bearings for the engines, and wheel bearings on request and for mostly for export. Check on prices for installation of imported bearings. It is not as expensive or as uncommon some dealer claim.

Is it true that the local bikers in Beijing do not use 6v engines?

Basically yes, most bikers in Beijing prefer the 12v engines. Many of the local bikers ride their Chang Jiang 750 in very adverse conditions and find it troublesome to have to get on and off their Chang Jiang 750 to restart their engine, especially when going up hill or in wet muddy roads. Many of the 12v engines are converted from 6v by adding the front section on for the alternator and distributor. The starter goes on top where the 6v generator use to be and you get a 12v Chang Jiang 750. We can tell you a list of foreigners that find their 6v a pain and converted it to 12v.

To convert a 6v to a 12v normally cost about 1,500RMB. Many of the old 12v engines are converted from 6v engines so its basically the same engine.

Are 6v engines better than 12v engines?

No, one cannot compare oranges to apples though it is still a fruit and that is a very broad and subjective statement. Actually, many of the older 12v engines are converted from 6v engines. A dealer will like to sell 6v engines because there are heaps of them lying around and can be bought by weight thus….more profit. After riding for over many years and also with our friends that have been riding for over 20 years we have not yet found any evidence or facts to prove that a 6v engine is better than a 12v engine. What does make a big difference in reliability and quality is who actually built your engine.

Is there a difference in performance between 6v and 12v flathead engines?

Aside from nostalgic reasons there are no technological reasons the 6v is any better than the 12v or vice versa. They are two different styles of engines that are very similar and each has its own selling points. Big Bill's Bikes has access to an inventory of over 30 never used new 6v engines from 1972 with transmission and rear drive. Any buyers interested in low mileage used 6v engines please let us know because we have heaps of them available. We have seen both engines work and fail. The main difference is 2 hp, however in actual performance each CJ750 is different and would be hard to compare.

Are 6v engines more reliable?

There is no basis for that statement though an extremely small amount of people claim it, actually many older 12v engines are converted from a 6v engines. How reliable your engine is depends on who put it together, if it is broken in properly and how well you maintain it. We have seen good engines and bad engines. If the 6v engine is so reliable why are there so many of them lying around and not being used? It basically comes down to nostalgia for those wanting an old 6V engine.

Are 32 hp engines better?

In terms of performance, YES
In terms of acceleration, YES
In terms of top speed, YES
In terms of hauling weight, YES
In terms of gas efficiency, YES
In terms of less overheating, YES
In terms of aesthetics, that is subjective and depends on the owner preference.

What are the disadvantages of a 32hp engine?

The engine is much larger thus there is much less foot room on the right side. To properly install a 32 hp engine in a sidecar motorcycle, the cooling fins need to be filed down next to the sidecar frame. If you already own one, make sure the cooling fins are not touching the frame. We have seen quite a few 32 hp installed improperly with that problem. A 32hp engine is bit more complex to fix, however it is still a very basic engine. Overall there is not any real disadvantages to going with a 32 hp engine. For our long distance trips, we recommend using 32hp engines. When performance and power are needed, to accelerate pass trucks, going up hills, better power you will be much happier with the 32 hp. Also, 32 hp engines tend to run much cooler, burn less oil, use less gas.

For all our long distance trips we prefer to use the 32hp engine for the following reasons: better gas mileage, more power, less over heating, faster acceleration, higher top speed, hauls more weight with less stress, burns less oil. On our long distance trips we cruise at 90km/h over extended periods of time and usually at that speed our 24hp engines are very stressed especially if we are traveling on mountain roads.

I have seen some 32 hp OHV 6v engines, are they any good?

We have seen a few of those engines around (poor suckers that bought them). When we took it apart to fix them, and found that they were 32 OHV 12v engines modified to be 6v. This is done by removing the front part of the engine, some welding to the front of the crank shaft to install the distributor, remove the starter and install a generator on top. The unfortunate foreigner paid over 2,000 USD for such an engine because he thought that he was getting a limited edition genuine collector’s engine. There was a few of those 6v 32hp OHV engines made by the factory as samples, however it was never sold on the market. If someone is offering you one of these engines, our recommendation is to double check with a reputable CJ750 shop. You can bring it to us for an inspection to see if it is modified from a 12v engine. For the cost of a few beers, I am sure any of the local shops can do such a modification too and save you lots of money. Why would anyone want to pay a few thousand USD for a 32hp ohv 6v engine when they can get a new 32 hp 12v engine for 500 USD? Do the math!

Are new engines poorly made?

No, all Chang Jiang 750 sidecar motorcycles are high maintenance and do not have the precision of a new German or Japanese motorcycle. If you get your Chang Jiang 750 from a reputable dealer that actually works on the Chang Jiang 750 themselves there should be no problems that can't be fixed. Some of the new engines are pressed and molded, the older engines are machine milled and even some much older engines that are hand milled. Some people have nostalgic preferences to old things and for some reason people's rational gets out of tune and mix intrinsic values with instrumental values. We have seen both good and poor quality in new and old engines. If you live in Beijing, it is easy to have an engine rebuilt. It should cost no more than 1,500 RMB to have everything replaced in the engine (pistons, rings, crankshaft, bearings, valves, sleeves).

What really is important for you to have a good engine is patience in breaking in your new engine properly, and having it tuned properly, and using good motoroil.

There are four (4) different color engine plates on the side of engines?

Light blue tag: Nan Fang Dong Lei machine factory
Black tag: Chang Jiang Dong Lei machine factory
Red tag: Lehe Jie Xie machine factory
Dark blue tag: ChangZhou Done Lie machine factory

The red tag engine for Lehe Machine Factory are now extinct because the factory no longer exist and are only found on 6v engines. Most of the shops in Beijing say that the light blue tag engines from Nan Fang is usually better built.

What the performance of a Chang Jiang 750 sidecar motorcycle like?

The Chang Jiang 750 is a very old design. It is to be ridden at a leisurely pace. Every Chang Jiang 750 is different. Even the same Chang Jiang 750, can feel different on different days. And even on the same day, during the first five minutes of a ride, and after an hour riding the CJ. Chang Jiang 750 riders need to get to know and understand their CJ, as they all have different personalities. Treat the Chang Jiang 750 as you would a girl friend, it needs to be understood, pampered and taken care of.

How do I get the best performance from my Chang Jiang 750?

Break it in properly. Keep it well oiled, timing correct, valves adjusted properly, points set and spark plugs all checked. Get the high performance carburetors or new CV carburetors and 3 ring pistons and you will find your bike performing much better, more responsive and faster. Make sure the pitch and angle of the Sidecar to the main bike frame is correct or you will not get top speed.

Can I take the sidecar off and ride it as a solo?

Yes, for Chang Jiang 750 owners that want to take their sidecar off we recommend keeping the battery on the side, and using quick release electrical plugs, and racing tires. It takes about 10 minutes to remove the sidecar.

Do note that solo Chang Jiang 750 is head heavy and the frame flexes a lot. It is a “plunger” frame, and they take some getting used to. Remember that the Chang Jiang 750 is 1930s technology and treat it accordingly and you will enjoy your ride. It is advisable to not lean too deep into turns and also to use alloy wheels.

Written by Chang Jiang 750 riders for Chang Jiang 750 riders!

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