Chinese motorcycles and stamps, is there a lot to tell?

No doubt that the reader will experience an enormous drive to hear the answer to this important question. However, I beg this same reader for some patience, as I want to introduce us, as newcomers within the MFN, first.

My spouse Marjoleen is collecting stamps, and especially stamps with motorcycles as motive, for many years now. This spring (2010) she joined the Dutch Motorcycle Philatelists. Since 1990 she rides a motorcycle herself, both a classic BMW R27 (a single cylinder from 1961) and a BMW R65 for longer holiday trips. The undersigned, writer of this article, rides a motorcycle since 1974. As a student with an almost chronic lack of money I rode in that time on affordable remainders from the 50's and 60's, but already then with a strong preference for BMW. On a 1953 BMW R67/2 Marjoleen and I held our first vacations. And when we were married, and Marjoleen had a job while I still studied, a BMW R60/2 from 1964 became our daily means of transport. Later I realized that we should never had sold the R67....

BMW R67/2
A BMW R67/2

As things go, we got 3 sons, we continued to ride a motorcycle and life went on. I enjoyed to see Marjoleen's collector's mania for motorcycle stamps developing. In due time it became a challenge to look, wherever we come on our trips, for motorcycle stamps. And surprisingly, most times this brings us a new discovery! We still have the R60/2 and during the years it is joined by some other classic BMW's. And..... a heavy Chinese army motorcycle from 1961, but that is a separate story that I would love to tell whenever we find this motorcycle on a (Chinese) stamp (it is a Chang Jiang 750 M1).

This brings us at last to the question above this article. Reading newsletter no. 93 I was looking at the item list of the autumn auction, when item no. 7 caught my eye:

Chinese Personbal stamps with ao. motorcycle policemen on Jialing

We see a sheet of presumably personalised stamps. The stamp that caught my attention is the 3rd from the left, 2nd from top. We see 2 policemen, each on a Chinese motorcycle. And about this motorcycle there is a lot to tell. It is a Jialing JH600 in police trim. This is a single cylinder 600cc (29 kW or about 40 hp) that is also built in a civil trim. Someone who knows the BMW F650, already has a clue on which type of motorcycle it concerns.

Jialing JH600 in police trim

The Jialing JH600 is equipped with a proprietary Jialing engine and frame (roughly following the F650 specs), and has Showa front forks and rear shock, Bosch-Motronic and Siemens-VDO instruments and electronics. The manufacturer is the China Jialing Industrial Co. Ltd., which has a license-agreement with Honda already since 1981. In mean time this factory in Chongqing as a government-owned company has grown to become the biggest manufacturer of motorized 2 and 3 wheelers in China. Each year millions (!) of motorcycles and scooters leave the factory, amongst which the JH600 that we see on the stamp.

Advertisment picture of the Jialing JH600

Advertisment picture of the Jialing JH600

The Chinese popular army has instructed this manufacturer to develop a sidecar version based on the JH600 - which is already built since 2005 - for modernization of its rolling-stock. Meanwhile this order is being executed, and tens of thousands of these combinations will be supplied to the army.
I have included a few pictures of this motorcycle, which show it better than is visible on the stamp in question.

Jialing JH600 with sidecar in military trim

How I came to this knowledge is written on another paper, but I just wanted to share it with you after seeing this stamp.

And, as the attentive reader might have seen already, I promise: when someone can show us a stamp (not a personalized stamp) carrying the image of a Chinese Chang Jiang 750 army motorcycle with sidecar, I will write down the history of this heavy army vehicle, that has served the Chinese popular army since 1958 in large numbers. The history of this vehicle goes far back into the former century, and starts with a German motorcycle brand mentioned earlier....

A Chang Jiang military sidecar combination
A Chang Jiang military sidecar combination

With kind motorcycle and stamp collector's regards,

Bart Sanders
Marjoleen Sanders-Kreemer


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