Live Auctions

No Reserve: 1971 Chang Jiang CJ750

When a seller advertises any classic vehicle and states that it could serve as a project or yard art, you know that you are dealing with something that will require a significant commitment. That is the case with this 1971 Chang Jiang CJ750. A product of Chinese manufacturing, these are a rare sight on American roads. This one requires a total restoration, but once complete, it is a motorcycle that is guaranteed to turn heads. Alternatively, the buyer could follow the owner’s suggestion and transform this into a garden centerpiece. Located in Lutz, Florida, you will find the CJ750 listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached a mere $202.50 in a No Reserve auction. Even if considered purely as yard art, that price looks very affordable.

The story of the Chang Jiang CJ750 is a convoluted one. While considered a Chinese model, it can trace its roots back to engineering from a 1938 BMW R71. The engineering of that model was copied by Soviet engineers and released as the IMZ M72 in 1942. Roll the clock forward to the 1950s, and IMZ sold the tooling to a Chinese manufacturer. After a few delays, the first CJ750 appeared in the late 1950s. Pinning down an exact date is difficult, but manufacturing continued in various forms until the 1990s, when foreign competition spelled the end of the Chang Jiang CJ750. The history of our feature motorcycle is unknown, but it appears that it’s been sitting for many years. The first thing to note is that the wheels are not original. The CJ750 rolled out of the factory wearing wire wheels, making these a later addition. While Chang Jiang produced some standalone motorcycles, virtually their entire fleet came equipped with a sidecar, as we see here. With a pillion seat, this gave the machine the ability to transport three people and luggage with a combined weight of 800lbs. There is plenty of surface corrosion for the buyer to tackle, along with a few spots of penetrating rust. However, the frame appears to be in good condition, making this restoration no more complicated than any other classic motorcycle/sidecar combination. Sourcing some parts may prove to be a challenge, but with a few examples making it to the US, a bit of persistence could pay dividends. It is also worth mentioning that the owner is unsure whether something may be bent in the front of this classic because the forks, front wheel, and handlebars don’t line up. That is an issue that will require some investigation. Overall, it will represent an affordable starting point for a restoration project if the bidding doesn’t go much higher than its current level.

It’s easy to see how some people can consider the Chang Jiang a clone of a BMW when you examine its mechanical configuration. Just as large capacity V -Twin engines are often associated with classic Harley-Davidsons, horizontally opposed four-stroke engines instantly draw comparison with offerings from BMW. While IMZ drew inspiration from that manufacturer, few parts were interchangeable. When IMZ sold the design and tooling to the Chinese manufacturer, Chang Jiang maintained the status quo. Our feature motorcycle is the M1M version, featuring a 746cc side-valve twin that should produce 24hp. The power found its way to the rear wheel via a four-speed manual transmission with reverse gear and shaft drive. The M1M model brought a couple of notable improvements over its predecessor. As well as the inclusion of a reverse gear, the electrical system was upgraded to 12-volts, while the company also included an electric start. It appears that this classic is mechanically complete, but that may be the extent of the good news. The owner admits that the engine doesn’t spin, indicating that it may be locked. Getting it to turn freely could be possible, but it may take a spot of persistence. There are owner’s clubs within the US that may assist if the buyer is unsuccessful in this area. Otherwise, it may be a case of adapting a different motor and transmission if this machine is to be returned to active duty.

We’ve seen many classic motorcycles over the years here at Barn Finds, but I believe that this is the first Chang Jiang CJ750 to cross our desks. There are a few about on our roads today, and there is a supportive network of owners who may be willing to assist the buyer in returning this classic to active duty. While the price hasn’t gone particularly high at this stage, there have still been twenty-one bids submitted. That indicates a few people like what they see and may be willing to tackle this restoration project. If you love classic motorcycles and yearn for something different, this auction could be worth watching.


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Wow. A machine that stumps Adam to find a 1/4 mile speed!!! 🏍
    It’d be interesting to find out how and why this thing got here, why the wheels were changed and how the front end got FUBAR’ed. It’d be great yard art for a motorcycle wrecking yard, a candidate for the motorcycle version of the 24 Hours of Lemons or an avid riders garage lightning rod but making it dependably rideable again might be a real challenge. For less than $250 though it might be fun in a masochistic way..
    You find interesting stuff,Adam!

    Like 13
    • Terrry

      This is because he couldn’t find a sun dial.

  2. Derek

    Comstars? Odd choice…

    Like 3
    • SMS

      Look like stock CJ wheels. They had a couple of different designs.

      There are a few running around with BMW motors in them. Most I have seen had the sidecars used on other builds.

      Had a friend who was a dealer for these. Went to an event and did the hill climb in reverse. Sold a few but the electrics and poor quality steel made him drop the line.

      Like 1
  3. Howard A Member

    Ah so( forgive the slur) interest is low for this, and for good reason. Anybody who is anybody would NEVER buy something like this if they wanted a BMW type motorcycle. Asians have been profiting from cheaper knockoffs of a much more quality ( and price) item for ever. It’s what they do, with outstanding success, I might add. A guy down the block had a restored one like this, with a side hack, and I’m not the best BMW spotter, but I couldn’t tell the difference,,,,on the outside. I’d NEVER in a million years trust the innards over a German machine, mom was right, you get what you pay for. $200 bucks and 21 bidders, going up a buck at a time. Now that’s the kind of auctions I like,

    Like 10
    • Frank Sumatra

      Toss all of the “Asian”-made stuff out your house. You will be amazed at how much space you will have. “Ah-so” indeed.

      Like 12
      • Christopher Benjamin

        I’d have a empty house, except for my 63 T Bird !

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Boy howdy, you got that right. Amazing how we “lost our way” so gradually, in the name of profit, tumbleweeds blow through our former industrial districts. It’s so intertwined now, and most have found other jobs, suddenly going back to “the way it was” would devastate the worlds economies. It’s here to stay.

        Like 1
    • Terrry

      Going down the road..”chiang jiang chiang jiang”

  4. Ike Onick

    As rare as a Jeep Honcho.

    Like 10
  5. ErnieGopher

    Actually, this is the more “powerful” Overhead valve model that makes somewhere north of 30 hp. But that makes little difference when you consider the weight of this entire rig. 0 to 60 times should be determined using a calendar or perhaps a sundial. Given that, it could be a fun project for a backyard restoration. Nothing here is very complicated. And if the engine is stuck, well no worrries. This is 1930’s technology so bring your stone ax for roadside repairs. And this bike will need roadside attention every trip even after you get it sorted. These can be fun, but membership in one of the Chang rider groups is an absolute necessity. If this bike were an alcoholic beverage it would Mallort. People see it, comment on it but if they actually try it they often question your sanity!

    Like 2
    • Stevieg Member

      I have tried, and liked, Mallort. Maybe I should bid on this bike!

      • Erniegopher

        Actually, I currently have two. So I’m at my limit. I did however have both converted to actual BMW engines. They’re fun, but not long rangers for me, although I do have a good friend who has traveled the world on these bikes.

  6. Charlie Mullendore

    The engine sure looks like it has overhead valves to me. Pushrods tubes above the cylinders, rocker covers, much like a BMW /2. The heads would be flat and finned if it were side valve.

    Like 2
  7. Fred W

    Be a great and affordable piece for a museum to restore, for appearance only. Part of motorcycle history.

  8. Alex

    Man. And I thought Ural owners hated themselves. A Chinese version of a mid century Russian knock off built in the early 70’s. In China. These were still for sale new when I got into the hobby (I’m 39) and I looked into them as a slightly cheaper alternative to a Ural. I just want to say here that Urals are awful to own and work on. Awful. This has to be worse than that. Worse than a Ural… this is only good for yard art or parts for some masochist who already owns one of these motorcycles. Anyone who tries to restore this will end up like the hero in some H. P. Lovecraft story: driven mad by terrible indescribable horrors.

    Like 10
    • Terrry

      Not to mention, Urals are slow as molasses too. You might get 60 mph out of them tops.

      Like 1
  9. Perjen Member

    Don’t forget about two-stroke oil. oil pressure in these engines is extremely poor. I know because I’ve tried. Also, surprises come on a running leash when driving this.

    Like 1
  10. Gerard Frederick

    Let´s see now, we have a Chinese knock off of a Russian bike, which was a knock off of a German bike and it´s in knocked-down condition. No thanks.

    Like 5
  11. Lance

    Restoration costs would be Ca Ching. No thanks.

    Like 1
  12. Steve Clinton

    I would prefer the deluxe version, the “Chang Jiang a Ding Dong”. (sorry)

    Like 2
    • Stevieg Member

      That was funny Steve

  13. Bommer

    I’d reconfigure the drive train with Harley then pull into Sturgis SD in this rust bucket. People would be wow! how the hell did he make it down the highway driving that while snapping their pics of this show stopper, lol.

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      And with the collective brain power of the folks who attend Sturgis, it would be tossed on a bonfire as an unwelcome “Rice Burner Commie-czar”

      Like 3
    • Jimbosidecar

      The Harley DID have a knockoff of this. The Harley XA from 1942.

      Like 3
      • SMS

        That is so cool. Don’t remember hearing about the XA before. Thanks

        Like 2
  14. ClassicCarFan

    hmmm…that’s no side-valve engine… This must be the M1S which did have an OHV motors very similar looking to a 1970s BMW, unsurprisingly as it is a shameless copy.

    Hard to see the appeal of spending good money restoring an old one. . I remember these from when I was riding motorbikes growing up in the UK. I seem to recall they were mainly sold on two attractions, they were dirt cheap compared to the mainstream manufacturers and some people just liked them because they were a little, er…. “different” a kind of crude throw-back to an older age for the alternative lifestyle kind of folks?

    Like 2
    • SMS

      Nope, not a shameless copy. The Germans sold the design and tooling to the Russians who sold it to the Chinese.

      Like 4
  15. Greg

    There’s one problem with this… whatever it is, getting repair parts. It’s a Leveite, leave it right where it’s at

    Like 2
  16. Danny V. Johnson

    I’m suspicious. I have some background with the import of CJ motorcycles. All of the CJ750s, that I ever saw were the early “Flatties.” I believe that engine is a 650. There is a lot of misinformation in the article.

    • Jimbosidecar

      No, Chang Jiangs came from the factory with the flathead 24HP motor, but many were converted in China to the 32 HP OHV motor which was manufactured for the police bikes

      Like 3
  17. William Hunter

    Ah the memories. Owned one a few years ago – brought it back with me when I returned from my ex-pat assignment in Shanghai. Overall an average motorcycle. Mostly a novelty and head turner – lot of questions and a lot of interest. Supplies are readily available on the net – if you know where to look and are ready to wait for shipments to arrive.

    Like 2
  18. ClassicCarFan

    SMS – “The Germans sold the design and tooling to the Russians who sold it to the Chinese.” yes, that was the original flat-head copy of a thirties era BMW. Earlier CJ750s had the side-valve ( “flathead”) motor.

    The later model CJ750 did have an OHV engine…..which, like I said, looks remarkably like a 1970s BMW…

    see link here to info on the factory OHV motor

    Like 1
  19. Jonathan A. Green

    There is a lot of misinformation about these bikes because it is built, sold, and made of misinformation. That being said, a basic flat twin BMW style engine should be pretty bulletproof.

    This is technically an “Infuriator” – bring it home, and your wife will be furious.

    Like 1
  20. Chuckster

    It’s got shaft drive , drop in a LS motor and smoke that tire

    Like 1
  21. Lee

    Bet there’s a porta-potty somewhere under that rust.

    Like 1

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