CJ750 not such a dog after all
It's some months since your message but I thought you might beinterested in my experiences on a CJ 750. I owned one of the original bikes imported into South Africa in 1999 but it gave me so much trouble (electics, gearbox) I dumped it.
Last week, I borrowed another CJ750 and sidecar from a touring company in Cape Town and did a 900km trip through the Karoo semi-desert and Cape winelands.
The sidecar was full of baggage and tools so my girlfriend rode pillion. Out on the open country roads ('B' roads - I don't like highways!), the heavily loaded outfit handled very well. It likes to lope along at about 80km/h. AT that speed, everything feels nicely harmonised.
The rubber tractor-style seats are comfortable to sit in all day, but on the downhills my girlfriend had to brace herself on the pegs because she kept sliding forward off the seat.
At slow speeds however, the steering wobbles are unpleasant and even the steering damper does not do very much to cure this. And on the slow mountain passes with tight corners, you have to work the machine around the bends - slowly!
The Chinese tyres are also crap, and may be one of the main causes of the front wheel behaving so badly at low speed.
I had no real problems - a couple of loose brackets on one mirror and a fraying clutch cable. I also reset the carbs as we came down to sea level.
Overall, I was more impressed than I expected to be. The outfit is slow and agricultural, but it will do what you want as long as you are not in a hurry. The gearbox needs a firm boot but it doesn't like to be stomped - if you do that, you are gonna be drifting around in a swamp of false neutrals.
If I was to own a CJ750 again, I would do the following modifications:
-- Install leading-link forks (Earles forks) for better handling and steering
-- Replace all the tyres (all four) with decent European/US rubber
-- Replace all the Chinese brackets and bolts with European hardware (Allen bolts etc)
-- Strip the cheap chrome finish off the rims, spokes, silencers and handlebars and have them properly re-chromed or painted, and repaint the rest of the outfit.
Happy riding ...