Ever heard of CCM Motorcycles? Chances are that you didn’t. Let me start with a brief history of the brand: CCM, short for Clews Competition Machines, was founded in 1971 by Alan Clews. Alan was a successful trails and cross rider in the 60s and raced mainly BSA machines. But when the BSA Competition Department collapsed in 1971, Alan saw an opportunity to create his own company. Alan started working on motocross bikes in his garage and soon grew his reputation as a builder of four-stroke bikes that were actually able to compete with the dominant two-stroke bikes. Fast forward: after a short sidestep with the British military and a license to Can-Am motorcycles, the company was sold to the Robson family who bought the license
Fast forward: after a short sidestep with the British military and a license to Can-Am motorcycles in Canada, the company was sold to the Robson family who bought the license of the Suzuki DR-Z400 engine. Unfortunately, they ceased operations in 2004 to get bought back by the original founder, Alan Clews. Next to a focus on motocross racing, CCM has introduced the GP450 back in 2014; a road legal, light-/middleweight adventure bike built around a 450cc BMW four-stroke engine.
After a very successful year in 2016 and a big cash injection, CCM announced the CCM Spitfire on the MCN in London last February, one of the show makers. The CCM Spitfire is built by a small group of mechanics and designers who work behind the scenes of the brand in their spare time. They call this facility “Skunkwerx”, after Lockhead Martins “Skunk Works”, the innovational heart of Lockhead Martin. CCM says that the Skunkwerx team “was able to build a dream bike without the hassle and constraints of budgets and bureaucracy.”
The CCM Spitfire is powered by a 600cc single cylinder engine which produces 55hp and 58Nm. Looking at the specs of this engine, it looks like it’s taken from the SWM RS650R (but that’s just guessing). The frame is made from T45 high-strength steel which also was used to build the fuselage of the Supermarine Spitfire plane; that’s also where the name comes from.
Stopping power comes from Brembo, supplying a single 320mm disc on the front and a 240mm on the rear. Suspension is also top-notch: the front USD fork is supplied by WP and the mono shock comes from Tractive, both fully adjustable. The beautiful 19″ wired wheels feature some cool flat tires. The total weight of this cool machine is only 121kg dry. Lead designer Christofer Ratcliffe: “Every frame will be different because of the welds and each will come with its own signature. We kept the blueing because we were proud of our guys who build them, it makes every frame unique. We wanted to make a pure motorcycle to show what we can do by building the machine to how we think a motorcycle should be.”
With a limited amount of only 150 pieces it’s hard to call this a production bike, but looking at the used materials and the fact that it’s completely hand-built, the price of £7995 – could easily be called a bargain.
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