Bart Sanders in the Netherlands      Page 1    Page 2    Page 3
Since January of 2011, Bart has been selling new Jialing 600Bs, vintage Indian Enfields and vintage CJs.
 
"Some news from this end of the earth! Earlier than ever, The Netherlands are covered in snow for almost three weeks now."
"Here are some nice pictures of us taking a just finished M1M to the road license authorities and passing the tests without a glitch!"
 
"I have some news: Albert Koblens and his son Jelle have won a prize for one of the best classic motorcycles during an oldtimer event in Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands."
"The jury had never, ever heard about or seen a Chang Jiang 750 M1M and were very impressed by the motorcycle and the up to that moment unknown history of this Chinese brand. So, Albert & Jelle managed to leave a Norton from 1928 and a 1957 BSA behind and got their flowers and their award."
 
Our 2010 Holiday powered - again - by Chang Jiang 750 M1 (and a BMW R65)

This year's holiday was to be the first with "only" the two of us, my wife and myself. This year, our youngest son decided not to join us and have his own plans for his holidays and we agreed. So, this was a new sensation for us having celebrated all our holidays since 1983 with our sons.

What did not change was our means of transportation: our CJ750 M1 and the BMW R65. Again, we decided to use the same formula: drive some 250km per day on country roads - which boils down to averages of around 40km/h - and take a small hotel when travelling or put up the tent when we arrived at one of our destinations. This takes you to the best scenery a country can offer, have no stress on overcrowded motorways and relax the whole day long while driving at ease. Once you arrive you are still fresh and you have enough time to see things, dine and enjoy the place you are in.

Further below you can find the photos plus short explanations, but I will first give you an overview of the various stages on this year's holiday.

Our main destination was Gdansk (Danzig) in Poland and we would then see how things develop and what route to take next. Because we had never really been into Poland, except for a small visit to Swinoujscie in 2006 when we were in Usedom (see the report on these web pages), we decided to split the distance to Gdansk in two more destinations: Dziwnowek (not far from Swinoujscie), then Ustka, and finally our main goal - Gdansk. All these towns are harbour towns near the Baltic Sea and we were told that the scenery is beautiful and some important national parks can be visited along the coast. This part of Poland was German territory before the war called "Pommern" but became Polish again after the Second World War, now called "Pomorskie".

Overall, we were lucky to have fair to very good weather and when it rained once, it was at night so almost all our days could be enjoyed outside and without rain clothes. The trip to the first big stop in Dziwnowek took us there via small hotels in Bad Driburg and Magdeburg (both in Germany). The town of Ustka was the next destination and with only 180km to drive, we had time enough to pack and unpack the camping gear and the tent on one day. After five days we used the same routine and had to drive some 160km in order to reach our first main target, the city of Gdansk.

Poland was an eye-opener: beautiful landscapes, clean, a boosting economy, very friendly people and - not unimportant - a standard of living at almost a quarter of the "old" Euro countries. Poland is an EU-country since 2004, but decided to keep the Zloty as the official currency and keep the costs of living, wages etc. as low as possible. This policy seems to pay off, with a 6% increase of their economy per year they outperform all other EU countries. On the downside is a desastrous road-infrastructure which will cost large amounts to get it on an acceptable level. The main roads are fair to good, but once you decide to visit a smaller village in the countryside, be prepared for various surprises!

The city of Gdansk is a "must see" and we didn't regret for a second to visit this old city which is completely rebuild after being hit very hard by the WWII events. More than 90% of this city was destroyed and a small photo-exposition showed by comparison the remains of various buildings "then" and the rebuild situation "now".

In the photo-section below you can find the details and the stories, so I will conclude this overview with our decision what to do in our second half of this holiday: Because Sweden is quite near using a ferry boat, and since we also had never been into Sweden, we took the night-ferry from Gdynia to Karlskrona and drove to Simrishamn (Österlen) in the very south of Sweden. Also here we were lucky with the weather, bar one very heavy thunderstorm, having a very good time enjoying the landscape, the culture and people in the very South of Sweden. The ferry from Trelleborg to Travemünde took us back to Germany and with one overnight stay in a little town called Goldenstedt (below Bremen) we had one final driving day that took us home via the eastern part of the Netherlands.

After some 2,700km (not counting the sea miles from the ferry boats), we were home again. Except for one blown head gasket on the CJ750 M1, I have nothing to report. Not even a spoke broke down, so I am very pleased with the reliability of our Chang Jiang 750 M1, now in service for more than five years and clocking a total mileage of more than 21,000km!
On the second travelling day we stopped for coffee in the city of Brandenburg, not far from Berlin.
After entering Poland via Kolbaskowo, we got our first impression of Poland at a road stop on the E65 not far from Szczecin (Stettin).
The old town of Kamien Pomorski has an important trading harbour since the 12th century at the Baltic Sea. A small event showed local and Viking traditions.
Via the city of Kolobrzeg (Kolberg) we relocated to Ustka, a bigger harbour town in Pomorskie.
Stork nests can be found everywhere in the countryside of Pomorskie and a lot of them are indeed occupied with couples raising their young ones.
These photos try to give an impression of the road infrastructure in the countryside.
Almost always starting as an acceptable version using concrete, inevitably these roads deteriorate into tractor- or sandpaths which do have its own charm. The sandpaths are to be prefered over the ones paved with large stones, for sure if these pavements are wore down resulting in large height differences between the center and the two tracks. Because there are many small villages all connected via a fine mazed infrastructure, this will cost a lot of time and money to bring back into an acceptable state.
The city of Slupsk (Stolp) was once called the "Paris of Pommern", but was almost completely bombed and only thirteen old objects could be saved and restored. Here we see the New Gate from the 14th century in the back and the tram line which passed this gate to the west of the city.
In order to visit the largest "moving dunes" area of Europe - the Lacka Dunes next to Lake Leba - we had to walk some 5km from Rabka/Leba to the national park area to admire the sand dunes with heights of over 50 meters.
These dunes "walk" a couple of metres per year swallowing everything which crosses their path. Being a national park, all is left over to mother nature and the only thing done by man is a constant relocation of the walking paths which may be used by visitors.
On our way to the Lacka Dunes, we passed a historical rocket research centre from the german Luftwaffe before and during WWII, which was taken over by the Polish and Russian armies during the cold war period.
Surprisingly, we found this beautifully restored M-72 including an information table with the M-72 history.
Hopefully, some readers of these Chang Jiang (and also M-72) web pages are able to translate this information into English and publish it on these pages.  
 
We may find some new information on the relations between the BMW R71, the M-72 and even the Chang Jiang 750 M1 - so if anybody can, please do so!  
On the same evening, driving back from the Lacka Dunes, our CJ750 M1 passed the 20,000km mark on the odometer and promptly at 20,021km Comrade Chang decided to blow out the left head gasket! Luckily the engine kept on running, so we decided to stop at a small auto repair shop we had already seen on our way to the Dunes. However, we did not expect much action at 18:30.... But, on the contrast, when we stopped a young mechanic opened the door and asked if he could help. Actually, he had already heard the hissing noise of the blown gasket and came into action together with his brother who spoke English. They quickly concluded that Ural M72 parts were identical so they started to make some calls and drove away to pick them up, not forgetting to instruct their mother to make coffee for us. They promised to be back in 15 minutes. And indeed, they returned with Ural aluminium shield plates and a roll of gasket material to put in between them. The mechanic wanted to start fixing the gasket, but I told him that I wanted to do that myself - we still had to drive some 30km and it was getting late - so we left them after paying for the parts and the coffee as a token of our gratitude. Surely, in our regions you will not get any assistance after 18:00 on a Friday evening having a problem with an engine nobody knows anymore...
The next morning I cut the gasket from the roll (I can make three more gaskets out of that roll), took off the head, inspected the inner surfaces meanwhile which showed all was OK, and carefully fastened the head again. Problem solved!
Finally, the city of Gdansk! The first picture shows the famous wooden 14th-Century crane tower standing out on the waterfront.
It's the oldest and biggest port crane of this type in the Baltic area, operated by many men the crane could lift up to 2,000kg. in one operation. To our surprise, one of the sales stands on the "2010 Jarmark" (Year Market) featured Belgian beer from Lindemans. To connoisseurs, this is a famous brand and the brewery had decided to start selling their beers into Poland. We did not mind!
A more serious site in Gdansk is the 19th century Sea Lantern at the entrance of the ports of Gdansk. Note that in 1939 this Sea Lantern was on German territory, while the other side of the river called "Westerplatte" belonged to Poland. The very first shot in WWII was fired from a window in the Sea Lantern by a German soldier aiming across the river and attacking the Polish troops on Westerplatte.
A couple of minutes late, the cruiser Schleswig-Hosltein started to fire at the Westerplatte. This first shot coming from the Sea Lantern started World War II. Later that day, Sept. 1st, 1939, Hitler declares "Seit 5:45 Uhr wird zurückgeschossen" (from 5:45, we are returning fire) falsely implying that Poland started the hostile fire. The last photo shows the peninsula called Westerplatte and the tall monument which commemorates the history of the site.
Some impressions of the beauty of Österlen, the southernmost part of Sweden where we stayed another six days before we started our journey back home.
The ferry boat from Trelleborg departed at 17:15, giving us a number of magnificent sunset views over the Baltic Sea.
On the last day back home, we crossed the Dutch border close to Eibergen and finished our 2010 holiday travelling over Dutch soil.
 
Below: More images of the unloading.
 
The first images of freshly unpacked motorcycles. Some more are still expected to arrive.
 
I am happy to send you some pictures of a new shipment of six CJ750s which arrived last week. Today, they were picked up by the owners after all the paperwork was done! There are two M1 and four M1M models, all with sidecars and in various colours: green, desert, grey and black. These units have been supplied again by Mr. Li Yan.
Sadly, from a photographer's point of view, all motorcycles stayed in their crates and were loaded at the blink of an eye, so we cannot see brand new CJ 750s fresh-out-of-the-box! We will have to do with a couple of sneak previews, one M1 and two M1M versions.
 
It's winter time and this year, my son and I decided to join a ride organised by a club of Ural and Dnepr enthusiaststhe VMC-Ural/Dnepr. VMC stands for Vlaamse Motor Club, or Flemish Motorcycle Club.

We have had real winter weather over here, but the last remains of ice and snow are melting away these days and today turned out to be a great day with sunshine and not-too-cold temperatures of about 3-5° Celsius.

The ride showed a very good collection of 15 sidecar outfits with a total of 24 participants. That's a great result, considering the time of the year!

As you may know, Belgium is famous for its superb gastronomy and excellent beers. It reflects completely on the way they organise their motorcycle rides. At the start of the trip, each participant is welcomed with coffee and croissants, the lunch is in a good restaurant, and at the end of the day one is offered a choice of hot soup, hot dogs and/or homebrew beemarvellous!

The trip took us for more than 1/3 over small country roads with no tarmac, covered only with sand, mud and sometimes the remains of ice and snow. Driving on these small farm roads through forests, hedges and open fields puts each Ural, Dnepr or Chang Jiang in its natural habitat. For these conditions, such motorcycles have been constructed and it clearly shows. None of them had great difficulty in mastering these sometimes very worn out roads.

But, it is wintertime and after saying goodbye to the VMC comrades, we drove for an hour to reach our Dutch border again and there heavy fog started to build up, so we had to take it a bit more careful in order to get home safely.

!!!
 
Also this year we organised a camping weekend for Dutch Chang JIang 750 drivers and this time with a great response: seven sidecar units, two solo bikes and a total of 13 participants/drivers/passengers/campers!

The weather was as good as the forecast was bad, we had no rain and after foggy early mornings a lot of sun, luck bestowed on the brave ones!

All the bikes ran really well on our up and downhill routes. On Sunday morning I took the bunch to a forest with old roads crossing these woods. Having seen better days, these roads are still used for local (farmer) traffic and are open to normal public. No better place to hold a small off-road contest! A triangular course with one up- and one downhill part was quickly located. Five sidecar units with or without passenger were told to drive as fast as one wanted! My son Reinier clocked the efforts until he and I took our own chance for eternal glory and.... we did the fastest lap! A Desert Tan CJ 750 M1M managed 2 minutes, 54 seconds, with only the driver on it. One M1M with a passenger managed to do this even a second faster and Reinier and myself set the record for 2 minutes, 43 seconds on a CJ750 M1! The honourable BMW R12 set a time of 3 minutes, 34 seconds with a passenger, and our runner-up took the briefing very literal and made a time of 5 minutes, 10 seconds and no passenger. All in all this turned out to be great fun!
 
Here we are again, our 2009 holiday report is available now!

My wife Marjoleen and our youngest son Reinier (becoming 16 years young during our trip) and myself on our trustful companions: her BMW R65 and my Chang Jiang 750 M1. The bikes clocked 2017km on our 2009 holiday trip which took us to the coasts of Zeeuws Vlaanderen (a part of the Netherlands which is very close to Vlaanderen, Belgium, the Normandy coasts in France and finally, Paris before returning home.

As usual we drove some 250-300km a day before setting up our tents or registering in a small hotel along the way. Leaving around 11 AM and arriving at our destination around 5 PM gives us ample opportunity to enjoy the day to the max!

So, let me give some comments to the pictures:

Our first stop having crossed the Dutch-Belgian border around Turnhout "en route" to Zeeuws Vlaanderen. (I will not even try to translate this...).
We arrived at 4 PM and put up our tents on a small but very good camping ground managed by a farmer. This has become very popular these days, giving the local farmer some extra income and the camper a quiet, comfortable and spacious camping ground. Not more than 20 families are allowed on these types of campings.
One week later, we are driving to Normandy and stop for a café-au-lait and something to eat in St.-Omer in France.
After taking a small hotel, a fine French diner and a good night's sleep in Le Hourdel along the Somme Estuary, we are driving to Arromanches the
next day. Arromanches lies in the midst of the British and Canadian D-Day landing zones
Sword, Juno and Gold.
Around 5 PM, we arrived in Arromanches and discovered the remains of the so called Mullberry-B artificial harbour which was erected a few days after June 6th., 1944 by the British army and its engineers.
After a couple of days, tanks, trucks, half-tracks and much more heavy equipment could be unloaded and put to use in the combat which was taking place on the various battlefields after D-Day, in and around Arromanches and all the other beaches invaded by the Allied forces. The Mullberry-A harbour being set up at Utah Beach could only be used for a few days before a heavy storm on June 19th. destroyed the American unloading area. The invading armies were lucky that the Mullberry-B harbour withstood the hurricane and they kept on transporting goods from ships onto the beach before the US forces were able to take the large Cherbourg harbour on June 25th., 1944, which was defended by the German forces fiercly, knowing that once Cherbourg could be put to use by the invading armies, Normandy would soon be lost. The Allied plans succeeded and after a month. Cherbourg and Mullberry-B had been able to unload vast amounts of war supplies. It was decided to keep on using the Mulberry-B harbour in Arromanches well into the fall of 1944 and together, with the unloading capacity of Cherbourg, the Allied forces managed to unload 10 million tons of equipment in just a few months. This was a crucial part of Operation Overlord, the code name for all the D-Day operations and the months after June 6th., 1944.
After Arromanches, we put up our tents on this camping ground on the Normandy coast in Ravenoville-Plage, not far from Sainte-Mère-Eglise.
The remains of the german Batteries of Crisbecq have been made available to the public, after being secured and cleaned in order to show how the German army tried to defend the Atlantic coasts from Royan all the way up to Norway in the so-called Atlantik Wall designed and built by the German Organisation Todt.
Their practical impact was rather small, however. A lot of Allied young men have been killed by enemy fire from installations like Crisbecq Battery, but by far not to the extent the Allied planners feared for. One of the reasons was unknown to us: the troops inside these batteries consisted of young men enlisted in German occupied territories like Georgien, Sudetenland and Austria, who had no real motivation to put up heavy fights. No german elite or SS-units were present here on D-Day.
The Crisbecq Battery was able to cover the Utah Beach area, but the US 4th Infantry forces which landed here, had not such a hard time in securing the Utah Beach landing zone. In fact, on June 6th., 1944 around 10 AM, Utah Beach was cleared and the German soldiers had surrendered.
Utah Beach as it is nowadays.
Omaha Beach was a completely different and sad story, however.
The troops landing here have suffered from large numbers of killed and wounded men.
As can be seen in all of the museums in Normandy, Omaha Beach was a massacre. Just barely, the US 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions were able to take Utah Beach in the late evening of June 6th., 1944. The US War Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer tells its silent but impressive story of all these individuals who struggled on Omaha Beach to stay alive, but lose it anyway.
On the same day we also visited the German War Cemetery in La Cambe, close to Colleville-sur-Mer. It was impressive in all its modesty and sobriety. Also here lay young men who wanted or were forced to fight for a cause.
This day gave us a lot to think about. The guns here are silent for 65 years now, but sad enough this silence is still not heard all around our modern world.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: "For thousands of years now, men have spoken of the mother's tears. It must be admitted that such speeches have not prevented the sons from dying."
One of our trips took us via Ecauseville (Zeppelin hangar) to the town of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, one of the first towns to be liberated just after D-Day together with Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.
The true story of John Steele (82nd Airborne) whose parachute was caught by the church tower, when being dropped in the night of June 6th., 1944 is still being told today. John Steele survived and died in 1969. (Click here to read about him on Wikipedia.)
The church of Sainte-Mère-Eglise and its monument for John Steele.
Time to turn back to our present times. A four-day stay in Paris was just the way to do this!
From Paris back home in two shorter daytrips via the Belgian town of Mons-Bergen...
... with its typical atmosphere of "savoir de vivre!"
 
"Finally, some more pictures from this side of the pond. Yesterday was a marvellous day and I organised our first real Dutch ride-out with CJ750 owners. I counted 15 participants of which five werepassengers, 10 motorcycles of which nine had a sidecar, and eight of them being a CJ750vone 6V, one OHV and the rest 12V M1M types. What about the 9th sidecar unit? One of the CJ owners also has a collection of (pre)warbirds and he brought his BMW R12 which officially belonged to the "Nederlandsche Krijgsmacht" from 1935 onwards. This pre-war Dutch army unit features a unique sidecar built by Jan Bos in Amsterdam under the "Hollandia" trade brand. This one is a so-called officer´s sidecar and it is believed that only two exist. One is in a museum in Delft, and this one which you can see on the pictures." To view the images, just click on the picture.
 
"We have had lots of snow lately - so time for a short ride-out with our sidecar outfit. My youngest son is driving for the first time of his life on a deserted farm road, yes in the snow! It was also a good time to test my new/old Russian Double-8 camera, a LOMO-Lada made in 1970 by the optics factory in Leningrad. So, I could shoot my film and Reinier enjoyed a fine afternoon with our sidecar outfit. Except for the usual engine stops at start when learning how the clutch and gas work together when start moving, Renier quickly adapted and made some nice rounds, even in second gear!"
 
"Just a picture from a ride my fellow CJ driver Arthur Beijer had two weeks ago with two of his colleagues. As you can see, most of the attention span is directed towards the CJ750 M1M solo!"
 
I got a nice report of Iwan Wilms who went to the Lake District in England with his family. The CJ750 you see on the photo is the one, although the engine is an M1S and not an M1M as the ID plate suggests.
Short description: "Two weeks of camping in the Lake District. We mastered steep hills, some of them having 25% of slope! The Chang performed very good. Despite some heavy rains, the engine always started with the first kick. Long hill climbs in 4th. gear produced some over-heating tendency, but for the rest all was OK!"
 
It's getting to be a tradition by now, sending you some impressions of our annual summer holiday!

My wife, youngest son and I enjoyed three weeks of doing "nothing" in Austria and Switzerland, not forgetting getting there and returning back home. Our formula has not changed: We drive some 250km per day before checking into a little hotel and once we have arrived to our next point of destination, our tents are put up and we start to explore the area we are in.

Also a tradition is that my wife drives her BMW R65 and we (son and I) drive our sidecar outfit. This year I decided to use the CJ750 M1M which I finished this winter, and which was tested already three months ago when we had a long weekend in the mountains (see this "blog" further down).

Before we show you some images, let's see how the M1M performed and compare it with the CJ750 M1 (the 6 Volt, 22 HP version) which we have used the last two years during our holiday trip. Well, the M1M surely did its job well. It took us back and forth for some 2600km and the engine runs well. We started at 1600km on the clock, so it did not yet completely finish the breaking-in period of 2000km when we drove off. So, is there nothing to report? Only minor stuff. This M1M definitely has a larger tendency to over-heat compared to our M1. All timings are exact, spark plugs are showing an identical coffee brown color, and fuel consumption is good. We achieved some 280km out of one tank of 18 liters. This is one liter to 15km , which is a fair value for such a fundamentally sub-optimal SV engine. The oil consumption is at 1cc for every km, so 1 liter of oil to 1000km, just like the M1.

One thing did happen however, without stopping it though. On the last day of our journey driving home, the engine developed an increasing sound in the AC-generator area. Nothing really alarming, but there was a noise which was never there before. It turns out, that the generator rotor had suddenly started running eccentric. At assembly, everything was perfect here, the two copper rings where running almost without eccentricity (I measured 0.05mm which is a good value). Knowing that the AC-rotor sits on a short shaft, bolted onto the crankshaft, I suspect that something has dislocated. The bolt is tight though! Strange phenomenom... I already posted a question on the CJ user group on Yahoo.

Anyway, that was it. Nothing more. So, basically the M1M did its job very good. Taking the fact into consideration that the roads in the Alpine region can become very steep and stay that way for many kilometers. We almost never had to use first gear, second and third gear mostly pulled the sidecar, two persons and luggage over a mountain pass. And, not unimportant, not one spoke has broken. Two years ago I had to keep on repairing broken spokes on our M1. I guess the rims and spokes have a far better quality now.

Anyway, let's have a look at the photos!

The first day took us from my hometown to Kronberg in the Taunus, just north of Frankfurt. We see Reinier pulling his helmet off at the last pause before reaching Kronberg.
Although we had a bad weather forecast, the sun kept on shining also on our second day trip. Here we stopped in front of our small hotel in a beautiful medieval town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber - lots of American and Japanese tourists here!
Rothenburg o.d. Tauber at sunset - it really is a lovely place!
Just before we reached our first endpoint (Egg in the austrian Bregenzer Wald), we made our final coffee stop in Isny (Allgäu, Bavaria) which is close to the Austrian border.
Our first real mountain trip took us to the Faschina Joch (a local word for a mountain pass called "Faschina"). We had to take a short cooling down break. Mr. Chang evaporated too much fuel too early in his floating chambers...
After six days we moved on to our second holiday destination, the Engadin in Switzerland. To get there we had to cross two passes, Hochtannbergpass and Vorarlbergpass which we see here. It rained in Austria (it tends to do this often over there...) but weather improved quickly again as we see here.
Entering Switzerland via Martina, we put up our tents in Scuol a couple of hours later. A bit chilly still, but fine weather!
Our son decided to glue his chopsticks used at a local Chinese restaurant onto the nose of the sidecar. For a Chinese motorcycle, it does give a nice touch to it, or not?
One of our trips took us to the Munt la Schera, a massive mountain on the Swiss-Italian border. The hydro-electricity plant built in 1968 just behind it left a working tunnel which was then converted into a tunnel for normal traffic. The almost 3.5km long tunnel lead us to the town of Livigno after passing the Lago di Livigno, the water basin for the electricity plant.
Here we see the massive concrete wall closing the Lago di Livigno. The tunnel ends just at the beginning of this engineering masterpiece.
When you drive through the town of Livigno, you will cross the Forcola di Livigno, a mountain pass at the Swiss-Italian border where the road leads you to Bernina pass and finally St. Moritz.
Just a nice view on one of the major Alpine mountains, the Ortler Gruppe. We parked our sidecar on the road leading to the Reschen Pass, on the Italian-Austrian border. When you take a map of the area, you notice that it's a three-country border area. Austria, Switzerland and Italy meet here.
This, however, is in the heart of Switzerland again. We drove to the Albula Pass which connects the Engadin to towns like Fillisur and Chur.
One of our last trips took us to the Marienberg monastery in Alto Adige, Italy (Abbazia dei Benedettini di Montemaria, Burgusio). At present 10 Benedictine monks live here and do their work and prayers ("Ora et Labora").
Entering the gate puts you into another world, time gets a different meaning and the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful. The museum inside the monastery shows the history of the monastery since St. Benedict built it. We stayed much longer than we planned...
All things come to an end, but not before we travelled in three stages back home. So, we packed our camping gear and some three hours later we arrived and stayed one night in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The next day we drove to Ingolstadt, home of the famous Audi automobile factories.
And Audi can show a very long and old history which they do in their modern and very state-of-the-art museum. We see the start of the Audi production again, just after WWII with the automobile in the front and the small, 125cc two-stroke motorcycle just behind it. Lined up are the famous DKW motorcycles which belonged to the Audi group and carried the group all through the fifties. The famous NSU factories were added to the group in the sixties. Volkswagen became the mother company. But, Audi managed to keep its own developments finally leading to the Audi R8 of these days.
On the third stage I happened to see the rear tyre surface at a gas station. As you can see, we were lucky to note this severe wear and tear of the rear tyre!
So, the reserve wheel was quickly switched into position and we continued our final kilometers - now much more safely...
With mixed feelings, back home again - a fine holiday period came to an end!
 
"By way of Ruud Pols - one of the Chang Jiang drivers I know - I was informed on an interesting event which took place this weekend. A Dutch club of army motorcycle collectors and drivers organised a camping weekend and a number of cross-country rides.

Although the main focus lies on army motorcycles built before, during and just after WWII, our Chang Jiangs were accepted to participate. So, my youngest son Reinier and I decided to join the large Saturday ride. The camping ground and start of the tour was located in a small village called De Harskamp which lies in one of the largest forest areas of The Netherlands called De Veluwe. Not coincidentally, many Dutch army units have their barracks in this area. So, optimal conditions for prolonged drives across the country on unpaved roads, open for general traffic."

We arrived at around 10:00 and so did a number of other drivers. Here we see a couple of German participants with their BMW and Zündapp machines. Although we counted one Harley-Davidson and four English bikes (Triumph, BSA and Norton), the vast majority this day proved to embrace the BMW R75 and Zündapp KS750 models in various configurations.
Our group of three Chang Jiang 750's in three engine variations: M1, M1M and M1S.
The first stop for lunch and everybody is taking off their rain suits.
A first impression of the large number of German war motorcycles...
...like these BMW R75 and R12 examples.
The tour had a total length of around 130km and these three pictures show the ratio between unpaved and paved roads.
For around 60% we drove on very nice, but also on very bad unpaved roads. But, the worse it got, the more fun all drivers had...
...especially when the rains had left large water pools!
Spot the Chang Jiang 750 somewhere between the large number of German outfits!
"Conclusion: A great day with many challenges! Interesting note aside, the three Chang Jiang drivers never had to get their tools out of the bag..."
 
"People over here are driving more and more with their Changs. One of my last year's buyers Nick van 't Land has made a trip to the mountain area called Les Vosges in the northeastern part of France."
The proud owner of the M1M supplied by Li Yan on the first drive out after the trip to the Vosges area.
The mountains in the Vosges area are of the mid-sized category, so around 1300 meters high. But, that's enough for wintersports, downhill biking and...
...getting above the fog and clouds on a rainy day!
The group accompanying Nick (the guy in the middle) toasting for a successful trip so far. Nick's M1M performed without a glitch and after consuming 900ccm of oil the outfit returned home safely with another 1560km on the clock. The carbs on this one may have their breaking-in pins removed safely now!
 
"As announced, here are some impressions of a very nice long weekend in the Alps!

My son Richard drove our CJ750 M1M solo while I used my BMW R60/2 to have three days of motorcycling fun in the alpine region called the Bregenzerwald. The other team members Uwe, Ludwig and Wolfgang drove a NSU OSL 251, a Horex Regina 400 and a Jawa 500cc 4-stroke twin.

Did the CJ750 M1M do its job? Yes, in 650km of mountain roads it consumed 400cc of oil and performed flawlessly. Still in its break-in period, having the third throttle stop still in the carbs, the bike had no problems mastering the various 16% hill climbs on our trips."
Myself just before.....
....and Richard just after we started our first tour.
Our group of five motorcycle addicts, one youngtimer and four......
Beautiful view of the Alps shining in the first warm days of this year.
If it works, don't fix it - here something did not work, so we had to fix it. Turned out to be a loose wire to ground, the NSU could keep on thumping.
A rare Jawa 500cc OHC twin. Please note the tail light, does it look familiar?
Yes, this Czech design could well be the original tail light which was copied for use on the Chang Jiang motorcycle or sidecar. By the way, a 350 cc Jawa twin two-stroke is still being made as a copy in China. Some pics can be found on the Internet.
And a final shot of our group near the Bodensee in a village called Hard.
 
"From the December 2007 shipment, four machines have obtained their official road license and are in service."
"The latest addition is this marvellous M1M from Arthur Beijer. The pics show a typical Dutch landscape in springtime: vast fields of tulips! And, of course, the proud owner himself."
"Oh yes, you may anticipate some action with Changs in the Alps. My son and I are going for a long weekend to the Alps and while I will drive my '64 BMW R60/2, he will drive our M1M solo. Stay tuned......"
 
"Finally we are having the first real days of spring. While yesterday still showed some rain, this Sunday featured warm and splendid spring time weather."
"It does not come as a surprise: we decided to have our first ride out this year!"
"A very nice BMW R35, something you may not see very often outside of Europe."