Ride A Vintage People's Liberation Army Motorcycle
By James Grahame
The CJ 750 sidecar motorcycle is based upon the 1938 BMW R-71. These vintage Chang Jiang military bikes are restored by the 30 person Yiqi Motorcycle Company at a 3000 square foot factory in Beijing. The company also runs the CJ Sidecar showroom in Shanghai. They offer versions with left or right-hand sidecars, and even a solo model. Custom paintwork is available in a variety of styles, although WWII military recreations are their biggest sellers.
The company site mysteriously states,"Though the Shanghai Government has stopped to register the license of CJ Sidecar Motorcycles, we can get authentic license of other provinces of China. So foreigner customers can ride
their motorcycles in Shanghai with our license.
We provide a written contract with our customers when they come and pick up their bikes that guarantees the bike we sell to the customer has a real legal motorcycle plate, and the customer can use it in shanghai. If because of the plate, the customer got fined by the policemen or something like this, then our company will take full responsibility.
The reason why we sign a contract with our customers is because many foreigner who bought some illegal bikes in Shanghai from some small companies. The policemen caught them, and kept their bikes, or fined a lot. Some customers do not even dare to drive their bikes on the street."
Sounds like there are some interesting stories to be told. One thing's for sure, I probably wouldn't be willing to risk my life on one of these old army workhorses - even after restoration.