So here it is at last, my handmade aluminium super lightweight CCM GP450.
I first saw one of these at the Overland show in Stratford last September. I had previously posted this shot of the bike belonging to the bike's designer, Chris Ratcliffe.
The bike is essentially a lightweight Adventure bike and is made by a tiny company in Bolton called CCM.
It uses a 450cc single cylinder 4 stroke engine sourced from the discontinued BMW GP450X and only weighs 125KG.
It's a full 100KG lighter than the class leading adventure bike.
For me, it's a bike that I can ride on green lanes, take to Iceland, go bike packing with, thrash round a track and more importantly, actually be able to pick up and manhandle.
I'd managed to borrow one from the factory for a weekend's trail riding/tuition at the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex in Mid Wales later in September.
I turned up late as the van had broke down and Darren, their factory rider was waiting for me and some other stragglers to turn up. I ended up riding with my Mountain bike trousers, Race face shin/knee pads and some size 12 boots borrowed from Ben.
I still remember the look on Darren's face when I said I'd not ridden a motorbike for 20 years and not owned one for 29! This was an off-road trail riding weekend.
"It's ok" I said
"I used to race Mountain Bikes, it's all the same, you just twist the throttle instead of pedal"
"Oh no, it's nothing like that mate, you'll have to stay at the back with me"
"you'll be fine"
That lasted about 10 minutes.
I was right, it's a bike and I hated it. It was rubbish.
It kept stalling and stuttering and was pretty much unrideable at low speed without riding the clutch.
This however disappeared when using plenty of throttle, which encouraged a slightly out of control, but highly entertaining riding style. Foot out, side saddle with rear wheel spinning. I liked this bit.
On the 2nd day I was chatting to Chris and it transpired his bike had a power commander and a carbon can fitted. This meant an extra 12 or so horsepower and smoother running. No jerkiness at low revs and could pull from walking pace in top gear.
I had a quick 10 minute blast on it and THIS was the bike I wanted, I had an epiphany.
The Ginger knob in the photo is the rear suspension pre load adjuster which in my case needed fiddling with furiously to get a decent rear end action.
The spot lights are fantastic for off-roading. Not sure I like the Union flag bits everywhere.
Decent brakes from Brembo, also like the home grown over braided brake lines and the anodised nipples.
There's very little on the bike that you would want to upgrade or swap out( actually I forgot, I asked for proper off road tyres instead of the standard 50/50 ones), it's a real stunner and I can't wait to go on my first adventure on it.
It comes with the racks and a set of nice looking custom fit soft luggage. The only gripe here is that they also come with dry bags to put your stuff in before packing them. Seems a bit pointless not making the bags waterproof in the first place really.
CCM, if you're reading...This would make a fantastic backdrop for the Spitfire, without the scaffolding obviously.