Monday, 26 September 2011

My Bike

I thought the petrol heads out their might want to know a bit more about my "Rally Bike"

Well to be honest it isn't a Rally Bike!

It's a 2002 CCM 604E Dualsport

A what? Well that's what most people say, CCM stands for Clews Competition Motorcycles, based in Bolton, so let's have a bit of history...

CCM was born out of the collapse of BSA’s Competition Department in 1971. Alan Clews, founder of CCM, was a successful Trials and Scrambles rider in the late 1960s. He wanted a lighter, more nimble and modern motocross bike, like the BSA factory engined 500 cc works specials. When the BSA Competition Department went out of business, he saw his opportunity and bought all the works parts that were available. Clews started building motocross bikes in his garage. Not having works engines just made Clews develop his own extensive improvements to the standard BSA B50 500 cc engine which could be had by breaking up existing B50 MX bikes. His reputation grew as a builder of four-stroke motocross bikes that were capable of competing with the dominant two-stroke bikes. In the mid-1970s, the CCM racing team achieved respectable results in the 500 cc Motocross World Championship, with rider John Banks placing in the top five several times. The full story can be found here – Wikipedia

CCM have been through many owners since then and have produced bikes under the name of various owners and made a name for themselves in the 1980's building military motorcycles (although never badged as CCMs) based on 350 and 500cc Rotax Engines.

Between 1998 and 2004 CCM was in the hands of the Robson family when the range of 604 bikes using Rotax 600cc engines and 664 using Suzuki 650cc engines were built. There was also a 404 based on the Suzuki DRZ 400 motor than continues in sporadic production to this day, the factory having come back to the ownership of Alan Clews in 2004.

My bike was built in 2002 with a Rotax engine and is essential a large trail/enduro bike, however CCM did cash in on the growing popularity of Super Moto, essentially a racing series that combines tarmac race circuits with dirt sections. This started as a "made for TV" event in the USA called the "Super Bikers"  that pitched Road, Flat Track and Motocross (MX) Racers together on a circuit that included all three surfaces. I remember seeing the show and was amused to see the Americans, who had chosen Harley Davidson XR750 TT Bikes (TT being a form of flat track race where the infield of the tracks are used so bikes have to be capable of right hand turns and jumps) being trounced by the largely European Motocross riders who were on 500cc two stroke MX bikes fitted with 17" road race wheels and huge brakes. I was hooked!

The idea took off big time in France in the late eighties and the name morphed into Super Motard (essentially super bikers in French) and eventually Super Moto (super bike). Naturally enough road bikes using this format started to appear in the mainstream.

CCM originally built super motos to go racing, with WSB world champion Carl Fogarty famously riding for them. And of course they built essentially the same bikes for the road in the form of the 604E Supermoto.



No not my bike, but a very similar CCM works bike based on the 604 ridden by Carl Fogarty

So the 604 was built in three versions, the 604 Enduro in full trail trim with 21" front and 18" rear wheels and long off road suspension. The 604 Supermoto with 17" wheels and 1" shorter suspension and finally my bike, the 604 Dualsport.

This was basically an Enduro with the longer suspension but also came with a pair of 17" wheels, allowing the owner to switch between enduro and supermoto guises, hence the "Dual Sport".

Although technically a "British Bike" it is in fact a largely European sourced machine, "assembled" in Britain.

Whilst the frame and swing arm are produced in the UK as are the handlebars (bought in from Renthal), it has a chequered origin...

The Rotax Engine and Remus Exhaust are both sourced from Austria
The Dellorto Carburetor, Brembo Brakes and Acerbis Seat and Bodywork are all Italian
The White Power Suspension is from the Netherlands
The Wheels are made in Spain
And other parts are sourced from the USA and Japan!

So a real parts bin special but those parts were some of the best available at the time, this shows in components such as the White Power suspension, which is hardly any different from that fitted  these days to the Dakar Rally winning bikes  from KTM (Who now own White Power).

My bike is in largely standard condition with only minor changes:

  • 30mm handlebar risers (actually KTM ones) to improve the riding position.
  • Hand Guards (again by KTM) to protect hands and levers
  • Mirrors have been removed
  • Maxxis Cross Enduro tyres with heavy duty inner tubes
  • The chain guard has been removed to assist rear wheel removal (and is not legally required on a single seat "off road" bike).
  • The large, heavy and breakage prone rear light has been replaced with a lightweight Acerbis LED one.
  • This has required the rear indicators to be relocated forward into a more protected position.
  • The front sprocket has been replaced by one with only 15 teeth (standard was 16) to lower the gearing
 So hopefully that is all it needs to survive it's first rally this coming weekend!




With thanks to http://ccmriders.co.uk/ for much of the information

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