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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 13 Aug 2006
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Exclamation CCM 644 - a cheaper, lighter and more reliable KTM?

Has anyone owned or used a CCM for an overlanding trip? I'm planning to 'do' Africa next year and I've never heard of them until recently.

On paper they look like decent bikes; the 644 DS Enduro has a Suzuki air cooled engine, WP suspension, Brembo brakes, Renthal bars, Pirelli MT21 tyres. It is lighter than a KTM 640, it even comes with a bashplate so stick some hand guards on and a bigger tank (only 12 litres) and looks like you're laughing. Best of all, they are cheap. about 4500 new, and a quick look on the internet and ones with a few thousand miles on a year or two old are going for 2500!

I'd planning on test riding one in the next few weeks but I was wondering how other people have found them? Apparently they have being running (despite some financial problems) since before the 70's, so someone must have done some miles on them! Any advice please let me know,

Cheers,

Chris www.motocrossafrica.co.uk
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Last edited by Chris of Motocross Africa; 13 Aug 2006 at 17:08.
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  #2  
Old 13 Aug 2006
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Hiya Chris,
Funny you should post about that particular CCM....there's one leaving tomorrow morning with our little group to North Africa and the Sahara! I've done all the pre-trip prep and mods on it and am quite imrpessed with the build quality so far.It's owner is Dan Esteve(one of the group leaders) who up until last year had a KTM 640 Adventure.His main reason for changing to CCM was the pathetic reliability of the KTM and so far he's very pleased with the 644.The rear subframe is quite strong and made of steel(i've strengthened his and fitted water and petrol containers) so more "fixable" in the bush than Alloy.The sump guard is stainless steel and pretty good as standard,although only protects the underneath.I've added "wings" that protect the clutch and generator covers incase of a tumble.Overall a very capable bike,light and goes well.I belive CCM has breathed on the Suzuki motor a bit as it feels like it's got a bit of head work and a cam by the way the power comes in over about 6000 rpm(grin-worthy!).If you want a couple of pics,pm me and i'll send you some when i get back(about 2.5 weeks from now).
Jon.
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  #3  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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I'm currently prepping an older version - with the Rotax engine rather than the Suzuki - for West Africa at xmas. The rest of the bike - frame, suspension etc is much the same as the Suzuki. I chose it purely because the Rotax engine has a kickstart as well as an electric start and I didn't want to be stuck if the battery was down.

The good bits have been mentioned - steel frame, suspension, brakes etc. The bad bits are that as a small manufacturer some of the development work leaves a bit to be desired. Carburation is dreadful on the (my) Rotax version and the Suzuki has an issue with the airbox. The rear silencer mount needs looking at as well for long distance work. The vibration from an out of balance wheel snapped mine so corrugated pistes might be a problem.

The std seat is unusable for anything more than about half an hour at a time and even my rebuilt one (motorcycleseatworks) is painful after about two hours. These are small things though and overall I think (hope) its got the makings of a reasonable solo overlanding bike.

I'd be interested to know how others have dealt with fuel capacity. The stock 13L tank is way to small. It was a pain on a recent trip to France nevermind Mauretania. I eventually managed to buy a 23L one left over from CCM's Paris/Dakar entry in the late 90's but there's not to many of those around. Anyone know if any other tanks fit?
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Old 14 Aug 2006
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JonStobbs

Jon, Sorry I can't PM as I haven't posted 15 posts yet, but some photos would be great.

Cheers

Chris www.motocrossafrica.co.uk
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Last edited by Chris of Motocross Africa; 15 Aug 2006 at 13:28.
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  #5  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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backofbeyond

Back of Beyond,

Where did you eventually find the large tank?

Chris www.motocrossafrica.co.uk
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  #6  
Old 22 Oct 2006
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JonStobbs

Jon,

If you have any photos of the CCM from your jolly I'd still be keen to see them.

Cheers,

Chris
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  #7  
Old 22 Oct 2006
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KTM's are fashionable (for some), so you might find current 640 owners upgrading to the bleeding edge 690 next year. You might be able to get a 'cheaper than they are now' little used 640 next year.

Then again, it's amazing what repairs can be made with a welder and some liquid gasket...

Are you in Edinburgh, Chris? I'm sure Callum (Saltire Suzuki on Dundee Terrace) used to deal in CCMs. He can maybe give you some reliability advice. They don't sell them, so it should be impartial.
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  #8  
Old 27 Oct 2006
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Thanks for the advice DougieB. No longer in Edinburgh, down in London now but may still give them a call. I'm still favouring a CCM, only now I'm thinking a 404 rather than the 644. I think the 18kg weight saving would be very worthwhile for the sort of off-road trip we're planning on. Anyone have any opinions or experience of one, particularly for overlanding or Africa?

Cheers
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  #9  
Old 28 Oct 2006
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And for if anyone would like to see a CCM 404 in action, please watch this video (with cool music too):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d-gEzp8aSg



NB Found this at the CCM Forum, see below:

http://ccmowners.co.uk/ccmowners_for...p?topic=1370.0

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  #10  
Old 29 Oct 2006
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Hi Chris.
Sorry i missed your last few posts.The 644 went very well out in Morocco,no problems whatsoever with anything.The heat didn't cause any problems with the aircooled engine,subframe held up well to the pounding.Fuel range is a little short but was still doing 230+ kms between fills,and the seat was excellent.If i can work out how to send you photos via the PM engine i will,otherwise i'll PM you my email addy and send you them via your email.
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  #11  
Old 1 Nov 2006
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CCM v KTM

I currenlty own a CCM 644DS ( which is presently for sale see the for sale forum) I used to own a 640 Adventure in my view the CCM is a much better bike except that unlike the KTM it doesnt come ready equiped for overland travel .The engine is nicer not as much vibration , I think its more powerful but I could be wrong on that the KTM vibes dont encourage you to explore the limits of the rev range , its Japanese air cooled , but with an oil cooler so its a simpler engine and well proven in a number of other applications .The suspension is essentially the same as far as I can tell as are the plastics , all acerbis . I think the build quality of the CCM is better than that of KTM but it still not up to Japanese spec - it does need a lot of work to make it an overland bike though but you can get them very cheap ( again see the for sale forum)
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  #12  
Old 6 Jul 2008
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Hi Guys,

Am I too late for this thread?

I am thinking of a CCM and would love to hear more about the mods etc.

How do they stand up to the extra load?

Cheers
Toby
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  #13  
Old 7 Jul 2008
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Thumbs down

I can only speak from experience but avoid the older Rotax engined bike. I owned one for 8 months from new and it was a pig. Dont get me wrong it was a great bike when it ran but so many things went wrong it spoilt all my fun. The electrics were especially bad. As for being more reliable than a KTM well I havnt owned a KTM but I would go for something more mainstream. Any of the BIG 4 or a BMW. I like Yamahas but thats because my TTR 250 has never let me down and does anything I ask of it. CCM's are like TVR's they have a lot of moods. Call me boring but I want to enjoy my trip not spend it fixing the bloody bike. An XT 600 may not be the best at anything but it gets the job done. Also if your electric start works you dont need a kick start. That 604 was a bitch to kick over.

Last edited by stuxtttr; 7 Jul 2008 at 20:58. Reason: bit extra
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