Tuesday, 20 April 2010


CCM (Clews Competition Machines) made a name for themselves producing purposeful twin shock motorcross bikes in the 1970s, more recently however the British company has moved towards developing hardy enduro and supermoto bikes.

The 98-02 604E Dual Sport model came with two sets of wheels when new, for both on and off road capability. An oil-in-frame contains a twin port, four valve, 600cc Rotax motor from Austria. Although not revolutionary in it's design, the Rotax engine is well known for its simplicity and ease of maintenance plus abundant levels of torque. Power is a conservative 52bhp and torque an impressive 36ftlbs.

Throwing a leg over the 604, the riding position is immediately recognisable from a modern motorcross bike. The wide, fat Renthal riser bars and firm, thin seat are designed to allow movement on the bike whilst allowing for excellent cornering control- this is definitely no long distance tourer! At 123kg the CCM is neither overweight nor particularly light in this segment, nevertheless, if you are used to more conventional road bikes, dropping it would not require the assistance of Geoff Capes.
Avoiding kicking the big single over, I opt for the electric start which rewards instantly with a deeply satisfying crackle from the Remus branded standard exhaust. A clever choke mechanism keeps the engine idling at a happy note and within a minute or two we are up to temperature with one another. Unable to ignore the level torque on offer, the CCM dispatches with first and second gears very quickly, surging up to it's top speed of 100mph within the first 100m or so. Then you reach your first corner..

A dab of the excellent 320mm Brembo brakes up front, combined with the composure of the sophisiticated USD Paioli forks makes the CCM feel planted entering a bend, "Is that all you can muster?" it seems to ask the rider. Press on harder and the bike simply takes all you can throw at it. Off camber, uphill, downhill, rough or smooth, the WP rear shock has it all covered, the wide 17in tyres hungry for ever more demanding lean angles.
Once I reach a half mile long striaght I finally find the characterful Supermoto's flaw- cruising. Up to 75mph the bike is bucket loads of fun, any more and you are not on a twisty enough road. As a trip to Scotland is looming, I intend to add a higher final gear and find a few more bhp- check back soon!!

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