History of the CJ750 Sidecar

In the early 1930’s, BMW licensed a Russian company “Uralmoto Zavod” to produce BMW sidecars. This allowed Germany to meet the terms of surrender imposed under the “Treaty of Versailles” at the end of World War I which prohibited Germany from any form of military vehicle production, including large capacity motorcycles and sidecars.              

However, at that time (1938 to 1939), while Germany shared the BMW R71 classical motorcycle with Russia, they kept the BMW R75 blueprints for themselves in preparation for World War II.  

After the WW2 German surrender in 1945, Russia commandeered all the remaining BMW sidecar blueprints & tool sets and shipped the few remaining BMW R75 motorcycles, as well as all the production lines, back to Russia. The BMW R75 motorcycle OHV engine and dual wheels drive system technology was also then apparently used subsequently to create the relatively advanced Russian “Ural” and “Dnepr” models.

In the 1950’s, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China was looking for a replacement for their obsolete army motorcycles and sidecars.  At that time, the USSR’s commandeered side-valve BMW motorcycle R71 models had become obsolete and this model was offered to China in exchange for goods (as was the system between communist countries at those early stages of the cold war). The Chinese apparently exchanged tons of apples and eggs for the production line.

The BMW R71 was a perfect solution for the Chinese army during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, mainly assisting them in mobilizing their troops & supplies along the almost impassable farm roads in China at that time. The Chinese renamed the bike the “ChangJiang” after the longest river in China (the Yangtze-Kiang is the 3rd longest river in the world) and entered production in 1957 at the “China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company” not far from Beijing.

Cape Sidecar Adventures offers tourists the thrill of touring the Cape Peninsula in one of these classic vintage sidecar which is practically unchanged from the 1930’s