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CCM

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

CCM
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Official Site: ccm-motorcycles.com
Wikipedia: Clews Competition Motorcycles

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A manufacturer of motorcycles founded in 1971 and based in Bolton, England, UK.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Clews Competition Motorcycles page on 19 May 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Clews Competition Machines or CCM for short, is a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Bolton, England. CCM was born out of the collapse of BSA's Competition Department in 1971. The firm has specialised in producing single-cylinder four-stoke dirt bikes.

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. Having no access to BSA works engines, Clews made his own extensive improvements to the standard BSA B50 500 cc engine, obtained by breaking up 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.

Initially powered by BSA engines, the firm used Rotax engines during the 1980s and 1990s when production reached a peak of 3,500 annually. Between 1983 and 1985, over 4,000 CCM motorcycles were licensed to export bikes to North America badged as Can-Am motorcycles.

In 1984, the firm secured a contract to produce the Rotax-engined Armstrong MT500 bikes for the British Army, and through overseas sales won a Queen's Export Award. The MT500 began as the Italian SWM XN Tornado, to which Armstrong acquired the rights in 1984 when SWM liquidated, and Armstrong modified it for military use. Harley-Davidson bought the production rights to the MT-500 in 1987 when NATO chose the machine, and created a 350 cc version that reduced weight, added an electric start, and upgrading pollution standards, which was named the Harley-Davidson MT350E.


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TypeTitle
2008 BookRolling Thunder: CCM Motorcycles: The Odyssey by Peter Henshaw; Parker House


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