The Dream’s Alive
A rebel WITH a cause
Check out a new “on line” magazine and an article we wrote, go to http://www.allaboutbikes.com for that.
A vintage motorcycle is much more than a collection of old pieces/ parts. Early on in the industrial revolution it was recognized that having a 2 wheeled personal transportation machine was a desirable thing.
Long before, the horse gave riders that feeling of freedom and many “cowpokes” formed a strong bond with their horse. Those early “bikers” saw their motorbikes as the industrial age horse and formed a similar bond. The early days of the motorcycle saw these machines go from a curiosity to a viable means of transportation and the people who braved these early steeds were the true roots of what is today a way of life, a way of escape and a way to make a statement of how you feel about yourself and the world. Remember watching “Rat Patrol” on that fuzzy B&W Magnavox well, now you can live the part with a CJ side car motorcycle!
Today, the motorcycle industry and community is a huge marketing factor. Millions of dollars are spent in racing, specialty performance riding as well as touring and just enjoying the wind in their face, flirting with gravity and throwing energy at the atmosphere.
See, I fit in that last category . I can’t have, at this point in my life, a month to take a cruise. I don’t feel talented enough to do wheel stands for 2 blocks and I sure don’t wanna dig into a curve at some ridiculous speed feeling the blood rush to my head. I just want a bike to get away from things on, I want something special, I want 2 wheels (or as it has turned out 3) to burn fuel in my own special way. A 4 mile ride puts me at work, it’s 2 miles to the store and downtown is a handful of lights away, I want a bike to get me to those places. I take a Sunday morning ride just for the heck of it, going really no where but just get out there. That’s my style of riding and I want a unique bike for that purpose.
So why not buy some “Ninja” crotch rocket? It hurts my back to bend over that far, besides, the performance and technology used in today’s motorcycles can put you into a full body cast in the blink of an eye. I don’t ride like that, I don’t want to have a power to weight ratio that can put me ahead of the space shuttle, I just wanna take a ride on a cool machine! I have a 1975 Honda Goldwing, a very nice and historic motorcycle and one that has settled my wanderlust for a comfortable set of wheels for many years. It is a smooth riding classic machine but in the years I have owned it, the bike has aged and now with 30+ year old parts on it all holding hands I am concerned about the reliability of the my GL1000. You simply cannot get out on the road with a machine with that many original parts and feel comfortable. Now what, do I have it rebuilt, do I spend what would be big bucks if I could even find someone who could do the job and find all the parts to do that? I love my “Old Gold” but she’s just not a reliable piece of equipment today.
“I love old things that work like new”, new not in the sense of a blistering road rocket but new in the way an original machine originally performed. I like the retro look, of course, of older vintage motorcycles but I also like the feel they give me while operating them as they were intended to work when new. I like the feel of “grind-it-till-ya-find-it” non-sync transmissions– finesse it man, finesse is how ya do it, grab a handfull of gears and make it go.! I love the feel of that classic, smooth running motor bringing you up to the top of each gear and the feel of pulling in the reigns of that beast dropping into that next cog and letting those few harnessed ponies out then hold on for some fun. I love the feel of a vintage machine, the squeaks, the rattles, the adjustments that need to be made constantly and all that goes with moving along the earth the same way they used to “back in the good ole days”. Unfortunatly, I feel collecting vintage bikes today has lost the true feel you get from actually using the bike and experiencing this “wander lust” if you will of actually experiencing what it is to not only own a machine such as this but also experiencing what it’s like to actually use them. I mean not just for a ride on a closed track but really going places on it. It is so bloody expensive to bring a classic vintage motorcycle or any vintage vehicle back to it’s original glory that most folks that own them are afraid to take them out and get the tires dirty– and rightly so. It is a shame but they are probably right, I mean how can you take out a machine that you have scoured the world for parts, lovingly assembled and now have invested big dollars that you never figured to. How do you pull up to a restaurant, park the bike out front and go in for a beer? It’s just not sound thinking to take a risk such as that with the investment and there I feel lies the problem.
But then you are not getting the full impact of what it is to own and operate a vintage machine like that, you are shortchanged! Therefore I do not recommend owning a “trailer queen” if you are looking for a real experience. We have found an answer for you — The CJ750 is essentially a clone of the historic BMW R-71, the original and first design of what is arguably regarded as the first really reliable motorcycle design. In 1938, BMW introduced the 2 cylinder opposed, drive shaft driven, twin carb. motorcycle when most other bikes were reguarded as little more than a toy, an oddity and while most motorcycles of the age were not very fast, could not carry much of a load and broke down frequently, the R-71 was none of that, it was a fire breathing monster for the day. 750cc was huge at that time, twin carburetors gave the dragon power and performance like had never been seen, the drive shaft design ran on when chains failed and the design of the bike was rugged and reliable. The Germans brought the bike design to Russia after WW-II who copied it and produced the rugged and strong Ural M-72. The soviets now had the “bigger & better bike”. Harley Davidson tried to copy this design coming out with the X-A in the 40’s which was all but a reverse engineered copy of the R-71 but when the war ended they went back to their “V twin” design. In 1957, the Soviets got China into the muscle bike business helping them get started building their own version of the BMW which was named the Changjiang 750 (translated: Long River). And this motorcycle is what we are working with today.
The CJ750 had a long production life well into the 80’s. 1.6 million copies were produced by China for military use in the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army). This bike truly has a historic heritage and is one of those vintage bikes that set the stage for all future motorcycle interest. Now, wouldn’t it be cool to actually have one of these historic performance machines in your garage, completely frame off restored and ready to fire at the push of a button—- and ride? I mean picture yourself there! putting along, folks looking and you and wondering where the *&%$ did that thing come from!
Cooperative Motor Works working closely with LRM (Long River Motorworks) out of Beijing China have taken this historic vintage motorcycle, have had them totally restored and actually modified to make them more reliable and able to give you the feel today of what it was like to ride this vintage bike the way it originally was, it’s the real deal and the real feel. We here at the Co-op are not a dealer rather we are enthusiasts helping expose the bikes LRM is offering. After seeing their quality, I am convinced more folks need to see these and we’re offering to help people pick one up and help in any way we can. We can help break them out of the crate and set them up for you and also we can help you with service. Why do we do this— because I believe in them that much! This motorcycle has been completely restored, a 12 volt negative ground electrical system complete with electric start has been fitted to it (hey, retro is one thing but I’m not standing there on a cold day stomping that &^%$#) with all other functions renewed and refreshed. They are built in a collection of configurations, basic full military as in these.
Both with and without a sidecar, the CJ 750 is an awesome looking bike. A true vintage “riders” bike. You don’t just look at these and dream what it would be like to ride one– wind in your hair and all of that– Oh no, these bikes are road ready and want to go! This bike gives you the “full package”, good looks, a historic design and the ability to get out on the road and experience what it is to own and ride a motorcycle when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Yes, this is a real “prehistoric” ride.
Why have you never seen one of these on the road?
That was the first question I had for LRM when I discovered these machines. Turns out they have been building these bikes and importing them for over 5 years, one at a time. Folks designed a bike, they built them custom and then they were shipped. That’s all well and good but that explains why they are hard to find. After receiving mine, I felt many more people would be interested in one of these if they did not have to send funds to China and wait. When you see one of these, you want one— right now. It was hard to hurry up and wait for mine so thats our big deal here now. We are teaming up with LRM to bring these unique bikes in quantity here to the states, have them checked out, set up and ridden then ready to offer to buyers– right now!
That’s another unbelievable thing about one of these fully restored, updated and ready to ride vintage bikes, compared to a new bike, compared to paying someone to restore a vintage bike these are downright cheap! Not cheaply built in fact you can take one of these home, ride it to a bike show and probably take home a trophy– they are that nice! The full military, side car, flat head motor bike I got was only $7000 complete delivered here to Orlando ready to title and ride. Solo bikes (ones without a sidecar if you want) are in the $6000 range. There are many custom options available, polished engines and differentials, chrome here and there, colors whatever you want and more. If one of the bikes we have here is not what you want, anything can be done to make your bike truly your style. Of course these options will effect the final cost of the bike.
Below are some basic features of this CJ 750, there are other options such as an overhead valve motor (OHV) among others:
- 750cc opposed flat head 2 cylinder motor (original BMW design)
- twin carb, (side draft)
- Drive shaft driven differential (no chain)
- 4 speed transmission (w/ reverse) “jockey shift” or toe/ heal on all.
- 12 volt negative ground electrical system
- electric start
- all restored from the tires to the seat
Check out the LRM web site, go to www.longrivermotorworks.com and look around. We here at the Co-op are excited to be paired with LRM to offer you these unique machines in a secure, supported position and that along with the quality of the LRM bikes is what is important when purchasing one of these.
You are welcome to call Marcus at LRM (our contact) and talk (first person) to LRM people or call us on our toll free line 1-877-275-4462.