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BMW vs Chang Jiang: Almost everything fits

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It has been researched: When you buy something, it remains 'new' for 6 weeks. Then it is in your system. This should take into account the concept of the honeymoon. You should therefore enjoy those six weeks to the fullest. And enjoy a Chang Jiang? Amazement comes first.


The 750 cc OHV looks like a BMW / 5 signed by a clever six-year-old from the late 71s. The engine is an ode to the BMWs of the XNUMXs. The transmission radiates the XNUMXs. And that was the time when the Russians started copying the BMW RXNUMX. If the case hadn't been made so sloppy and loveless, you could call the Chang Jiang an ode to BMW. Now it's just a matter of cutting and pasting. And that has been done quite consistently. To test the BMW link for value, a visit to Theo Terwel was scheduled.

Theo is a BMW restoration specialist and is mildly conservative

He has always kept some of the parts he has left over from projects. To be sure. In the meantime, the time that Theo BMWs from the / 5 line, actually only the toppers, restored the R75 / 5s is well over. The market is now crying out for perfect GS and G / S models. But there was still some / 5/6 stuff. That was allowed to fit. In addition, the tank, head part fenders and buddy of the BMWs turned out to be 100% suitable for the Chang Jiang. Where the dimensions and the fit of the German rear fender turned out to be improbably much better.

In addition, the bulky welded Chinese rear fender turned out to weigh ten times as much as the BMW specimen. By the way: the Chang's bolt-on rear frame is just the stupid, ugly brother of the BMW's. The mounting brackets for the turn signals are completely identical. Only the original copies are quite shoddy chromed. Endearing: the separate flashing lights resemble the German ones like two drops of water. They are packed ex works in neat, stitched sleeves that are 'secured' with a lace and a bow.

A BMW / 5, / 6 fork should fit in the front

Measured on the eye and on the wet finger, that would also work. Measuring slightly more accurately showed that the CC distances between the fork legs on the Chang are somewhat larger. The diameter of the pipe in the headset is identical to that of the stanchions of the BMW. But with a complete transplant of a BMW front, that should not be a problem. The pivot point of the headset is correct. Its length too. But something went wrong while copying the cap nut there. At Chang Jiang they used a slightly different thread for this. The BMW triple clamp has the same thickness, but the CC distance is different for the swing arm front fork. The lower headset tee from BMW is much nicer. And there is already a ball bearing at the top of the headset. Whether that is Chinese ingenuity or an aftermarket improvement? Who knows may say.

The buddy of a BMW is identical in that the lock catch has a slightly different notch.

In peace

For the time being there are other priorities, but further discovering the Chang can be done nicely in between. And during the planned trip to Genemuiden, some trifles such as the clutch springs can be picked up. But adopting such an unwanted foundling? That has a unique charm. To be continued. Surely.

Read also: Margin Life: A Chang OHV column

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He tries hard to look like it

There is a few mm difference in the CC size between the legs

100% identical dimensions

BMW is also very careful with the hubs

Made in China. Heavy & bulky

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6 Comments

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  1. I don't really know the Chang Jiang. Heard and read about it, but otherwise never seen one in the wild. The cut and paste work from a once BMW copy seems clear. But then copy paste 1.0.
    Endearing to watch. Also that rear mudguard that ensures that even without a duo passenger enough pressure on the rear wheel….

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