In 1938 BMW built the R71 for service in the German military. Sometime in the next 10 years the Russians got a hold of the blue prints and started building the M72 – this is where the Ural came from. Go forward 20 years and the Chinese got their hands on the plans and started building the Chang Jiang 750 (or CJ750) and have been building it ever since. CJ might not fit into the “Small Shops” category accurately, but their presence in the US is almost zero. See, like most things Chinese, the allure of a CJ lies in the price. From factory to your garage door, you could have a brand spanking new 1938 technology, with a sidecar, for under $4,000. Parts support is fantastic, and I’ve heard through the grape vine that they are exceedingly easy to work on. And for those who are going to pull the patriotic card, please show me the same product for the same price being manufactured here in the states and I will spend my money there instead. I will have a CJ in my garage one day, have no doubts.
Do you know of a shop I haven’t featured yet? Please send submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org