CCM Bobber 2018
17th February 2018
Spitfire | Scrambler | Alan Clews | Skunkwerx
◄PREVIOUS STORY NEXT STORY►
Maybe it was inevitable that CCM would eventually get around to manufacturing a bobber. These days they're all the rage, and CCM has already been flirting with cafe racers and flat trackers in order to enhance (or perhaps dilute) its more traditional range of "Skunkwerx" Spitfire series bikes.
Founded by Lancashire man Alan Clews—a highly respected trials and scrambles racer of the late 1960s and early 70s—Clews Competition Motorcycles (CCM) has enjoyed a long and convoluted manufacturing path which has included military machines, motocross bikes, supermotos and even a flirtation with the adventure scene.
In doing so, some would say that CCM has totally confused its identity, largely through being bounced around a series of ownerships and torn between commercial impulses, always chasing the buck and seizing whatever (dubious?) opportunity came its way.
Clews had the original vision when he purchased as much BSA Competition Department stock when the factory went bust in the early 70s. His dream was to produce world class motocross bikes, and through dint of personality, hard work and shrewdness he did exactly that. So okay, it was never quite the knock-down, runaway success that was hoped for. But Clews certainly hit the target if not always the bullseye.
Today, Alan Clews is retired. The business is managed by his son and various family members, but Clews, naturally enough, still takes an interest. A team of eleven work at the Bolton, Lancashire factory producing the current range of bikes.
▲ The Clew is in the name. This 2018 Scrambler is how we prefer to see CCM motorcycles. But we haven't got to balance the factory books, so the new Bobber concept is, to us, a necessary evil.
The new Bobber is a variation on the existing Spitfire series, and boasts all the expected/obvious bobber cues. Single saddle. Light weight. Flattish bars. Low stance. Whitewall tyres. And a general stripped look.
Great emphasis is placed upon things such as highly visible blued welds, leather this, bespoke that, hand formed components, billet aluminium accessories—and all served up with lashings of marketing hype. Hence the factory brochure phrases such as "The uncompromised spirit of the Spitfire Scrambler", or "Built. Not Bought. The new FT6 [flat tracker] – it’s personal", or "Café cool and race bred pedigree. Not just another café racer wannabe..."
Great stuff if you like stuff like that. But underlying the dismal hype, we wonder if CCM (like other manufacturers) stopped telling us how wonderful their product is and trusted us to figure it out for ourselves, we just might appreciate the bikes all the more.
That aside, the CCM Bobber has just been unveiled at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show. Like all CCM machines, the production numbers will be limited, and we haven't seen a price list. So your guess is as good as ours (and we're guessing around £9,500—which explains the limited numbers ethos).
Being a British firm, we'd particularly like to see CCM grow and prosper. However, if the company were to return to its more ... well, traditional roots and ethos, we wouldn't kick up a fuss. At the moment, we feel much the same way about the Bobber as we do about, say, the Norton Hi Rider; i.e. interesting and even amusing, and it will no doubt grow in pure kitsch appeal, but we wouldn't want one right now.
That said, we've got no doubt the new Bobber is beautifully engineered and will create a lot of passing interest out on the street. Triumph won't be impressed. Neither will Royal Enfield. But that's their problem.
CCM is taking orders now. But note that we're not 100 percent sure about the bike details as listed below. CCM might well build great motorcycles, but the firm's website could use a little more hand-tooling and polishing, not least with regard to navigation. So talk directly to the company for technical/performance clarification.
2018 CCM Bobber specifications
Engine type: Single cylinder, liquid-cooled four-stroke
Bore x stroke: 100mm x 76.5mm
Torque: 32 lb-ft (58Nm) @ 5,500rpm
Power/weight ratio: 0.41 HP/kg
Oil capacity: 1.8 litres
Induction system: Fuel injection, Mikuni D45
Frame: Steel, TIG welded
Front suspension: Inverted fork, 120mm wheel travel, adjustable
Rear suspension: 120mm wheel travel, adjustable
Front brake: Single Brembo caliper, 320mm disc
Rear brake: Brembo caliper, 240mm disc
Dry weight: 135kg
Seat height: 830mm
Overall height: 1,100mm
Overall length: 2,117mm
Fuel capacity: 14-litres
Wheels: 16-inch CNC billet hub
Front tyre: Avon AV72 Cobra – Whitewall MT90B16-WW
Rear tyre: Avon AV72 Cobra – Whitewall 150/80B16-WW
Ground clearance: 140mm
Special features: Floating damped hide leather seat, air-cooled dual pipe exhaust manifolds, mid-positioned foot controls, lowered suspension option (80mm travel), LED headlight
◄PREVIOUS STORY NEXT STORY►