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Australian Chang Jiang

My Chang Jiang

During 1999 I was transferred from Perth, Australia to Beijing China, a move that I was not altogether happy with at the time.  I had only been in Perth for two years after immigrating from the UK in March of 1997. I had become accustomed to the warm weather and the lifestyle of beaches and the laid back Aussie attitude!  This transfer, however, turned out to be not so bad after all. There was all the nightlife of the "San Li Tun" Bar street and the Expat community from all over the World that gathered in such places.  I soon started to notice the old black bikes with their sidecars and thought that this was a good look for such an attractive single Western guy that I was!  It certainly looked the "biz"  when you heard the put-put-put and saw the shining black machine whiz past with the added bonus of not being required to wear a safety helmet.  I soon located a Chinese contact who was more than interested in finding me a suitable machine for purchase.  My first glimpse of my new baby was not that exciting, "she" had been neglected and treated as a mere form of transport by some Beijinger!  Anyway, off I went to the bank to draw out my 15,000RMB........Yes that's right, around USD$1875.00.  I had a bit to learn about the Western price and the Chinese price for the same things!  I eventually met the original owner, a woman of around 30 years old who had sold the bike to the bike shop some weeks earlier.  She also seemed awkward with the fact that I had been willing to pay just over twice the price that she had received for the sale of the bike! The bike was an M1M which only had around 7000Km's on the clock.

Wanting my bike to be better than anyone else's was a difficult feat in BJ as I did not know the right contacts to getting things done the "Western way" when it came to Engineering and fabrication of after market goodies.  I had not found the 100's of Websites that may or may not have been around at the time and could only dream of getting back to the UK for a Summer vacation to purchase all of the parts that I wanted.  The first major upgrade that I had decided to make was the fitting of BING carburettors to the bike.  This was driven by the annoying fact that during heavy traffic in Beijing the fuel would vaporise in the stock carbs and cause misfiring and the like, which did not seem to be the best look. I took measurements of the cylinder mounting studs for the stoke carbs and drew a diagram of new stubs required to allow a BING carb to fit on to the side valve cylinder.  I purchased a pair of BING carbs from a UK second-hand dealer MOTORWORKS and also the rubber mounts and a few different sized main jets to allow some fine tuning of the carbs to the bike.  You can find more detailed information, including the parts required and the drawings and photos on Fitting Bing Carbs page of this Website.

In 2000 I was again transferred from China to the Philippines, where I spent the next 12 months apart from my bike.  I exported the bike along with my household possessions back to Australia where they went in to storage awaiting my return. In late 2001 I was finally repatriated to Australia and had my beloved bike delivered back in to my custody in April 2002.  I then went about stripping down the bike and doing all those jobs that I could not get done in China, proper Chrome work,  a decent powder coat job on the frame, a 2-pack paint job......the list goes on and the $bucks$ go up!  I had decided to keep the authentic look of the bike, as much as possible, and to this end stuck with the standard black colour.  I did change the indicators to the Chrome type and also the rear light cluster had to go and was replaced by the Coffee can type.  As you will see from the pictures the BING carb modification does away with the original pipes to the air filter and due to the larger size of the BING carbs I had to fit some after market conical air filters, however, I kept the original oil bath air filter to maintain the look of the engine and gearbox.

I had a few dramas getting the bike registered and eventually had to travel to Western Australia to achieve this.   This was more to do with the bike being Left-hand drive than anything else as some states do not allow Left-hand drive bike to be registered, but Left-hand drive cars are OK????  Their logic not mine......... I have entered a few details of importing a bike to Australia together with a few links on the Imports page of this Website. 

A recent modification that I have completed is the fitting of an electronic ignition system to the stock CJ distributor.  This was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be and after doing a little homework at the local Car breakers yard and on the Web I had purchased a suitable 4 cylinder electronic distributor suitable for conversion.  It was from a Mitsubishi vehicle, probably a Colt or Scorpion model, the distributor was roughly the same diameter as that of the CJ750 but that was not really the important part.  I went for an electronic ignition system that was totally contained in the one module.  That is to say that the trigger unit and the amplifier were all contained in the one little "black box" on the distributor base plate.  I must of hit lucky because it really was almost as simple as removing all the points post and adjustment screw from the CJ750 base plate, turning the base plate over to allow the module to fit where it needed to be with full metal plate contact beneath it (important for correct operation and to prevent over heating and premature failure of the "Black box").  The CJ750 cam lobes were removed by releasing the centre screw and simply lifting off of the drive shaft.  The Mitsubishi trigger lobes were removed from its distributor in the same manner but some modification was required to allow it to fit on to the CJ750 distributor drive shaft and engage with the Bob weights to allow the mechanical advance to work. I also removed the Stock coil and replaced it with a pair of high output coils from the same type of Vehicle, they were the modern dry type coils with an "E" center core and I fitted them under the fuel tank so that they could not be seen. These coils are much smaller than the old oil filled type. The final result was perfection!  Easy starting and BIG FAT BLUE sparks at both plugs, the timing is as close to 6 degrees as possible, whilst using a timing light it is evident that there is a lot of "Chatter" between the drive gears of the distributor so the timing marks do jump around a bit, but no worse than with the standard contact breaker setup.  For more details on this modification check out the Electronic Ignition page on this website.

Happy Riding Folks!

If you have any questions or comments regarding any of the information contained on this site please use the forum button below to leave your message and I'll get back to you ASAP!

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This Web Site was Updated on: 27/08/2008