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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 6 Nov 2008
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CCM bikes for an overland trip?

Has anyone considered british CCM bikes? They are dual or off-road, fairly "low" for off-road bikes, very light, they seem almost ideal for short riders or women!

Any thoughts? Or no one owned any of these and no one has ever considered them?
Definitely nothing on CCMs in this forum yet!

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  #2  
Old 6 Nov 2008
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If you consider that people will ride anything from a C90 and Enfield to a R1200GSA, my advice is ride what you want to ride and prove a point of doing it your way. The overriding matter is to ride a bike before you buy it, then find ways to get it ready to do overland. Any bike will do: there's a couple out there RTW at the moment called Nathan and Akiko bimbling along on a postie 110cc Honda...yes, 2 up!
Good luck, be positive, avoid any pessimists on the HUBB

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  #3  
Old 6 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maria41 View Post
Has anyone considered british CCM bikes? They are very light,
Herein lies the possible problem .. attaching luggage to a light frame usually brakes the frame ... Be carefull and look at the rear frame sections.
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  #4  
Old 7 Nov 2008
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The CCM has been around quite a while

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:40.
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  #5  
Old 7 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by maria41 View Post
Definitely nothing on CCMs in this forum yet!
Maria, you've not been looking hard enough!

I've posted quite a bit about my 604 CCM in the last few weeks.

I'm off to the Alps on it tomorrow (maybe Sunday - depends on the weather!) and overlanding it on the usual Mauri / Mali trail next month.


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  #6  
Old 7 Nov 2008
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Backofbeyond, great picture! Where did you get your fuel tank from?

Patrick, planning to leave feb 2011 to cross Turkey- Stan republics - Kazakhstan - Mongolia - Siberia to Vladivostok then ferry to south Korea, Japan Australia.
And back by the standard hippy trail (New Zealand / Malaysia / India / Pakistan / Iran/ Europe
Although the back bit will not be immediate! Vague plans yet and may change depending on politics /wars/ finances etc...

I just discovered CCM. it uses Rotax and Suzuki engines indeed. And WP suspensions! Parts are not a problem. In most of those countries I would still need to contact the UK to get parts shipped anyway. A small company would porbably care more about its customers than dinosaurs companies (no name!)

XTs range is good ... but a lowering kit would not be enough. Lowering a bike by 4 or 5 inches is not easy! The off-road DRZ400 is 93.5cm tall. Would need to lower by 13.5 cm minimum. That's a lot! Short of cutting the spring on the rear shock how can you do that....

I will have a closer look at CCMs definitely. They are a bit pricey, but for me it seems ideal: light and low off-road bike.

Can't buy any bike in the short term, I just bought a brand new Kwak Versys (fitted a lowering kit and scooped the seat!) and I don't have space for storing several bikes.

CCM offers so sort of off-road race circuit courses, so I may enrole! good opportunity to test their bikes!

Subframe is an issue but it can be fixed by a good welder.

Backofbeyond: let us know how it goes with yours in Africa!
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  #7  
Old 7 Nov 2008
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I've just come back from my local (friendly) CCM dealers after buying a few service items. Strangely enough we were talking about my fuel tank. It's actually one of a small batch that
CCM made for a Paris - Dakar entry in 98 or 99 and they are very rare. How I got this one I'll never know.

The Dealers said that they'd tried to buy the tank moulds from whoever had them (they didn't say) but without success. A pity really because it's the one big drawback of the bike. Before I got this one I tried to see if other tanks would fit. Neither of my Honda ones (40L Acerbis and 20L Clarke) are wide enough in the middle and I think you'd have to get on friendly terms with tank suppliers to see if tanks for other makes could be made to fit.
I know that another poster here, Chris of Motocross Africa, set off about a year ago on a 404 CCM (the one with the DRZ engine) to do UK - Cape Town and back and he never solved the fuel tank problem. (Anyone know what happened to Chris? - nothing new on his site since Feb)

The rest of the bike is very much a parts bin special using "wish list" bits - WP suspension, brembo brakes, excel rims, talon hubs etc. On the Rotax version there is an "anti wish list" of crap bits though - Dell Orto carb, dubious wiring, flimsy brackets, variable build quality, did I mention Dell Orto Carb etc. None of this is terminal if you have a strip it down and start from scratch approach to trip prep but if you want turnkey transport any CCM might not be the best choice.

I'd be surprised if the subframe is going to be a problem. Mind you I came to the CCM from a Honda XR600 with a subframe that looks like it's made of pipe cleaners so anything looks sturdy now.

In the UK CCMs are pretty cheap because of their reputation for unreliability. I bought mine from a dealer's ebay auction (couldn't sell it to normal punters!) and when I went to collect it had people warn me that - "they don't charge the battery", "they blow front fork oil seals" , and "the wiring's full of shorts, it'll keep stopping". That while I was just loading it on a trailer. None of it has actually happened and the bike has been day to day reliable for nearly three years.

I would mention that I have a history of taking the road less travelled when it comes to choosing bikes so you need to filter my comments through that. I came very close to buying a CRM250 AR Honda two stroke instead of the CCM but couldn't work out where to store the two stroke oil on a long overland trip.
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Old 7 Nov 2008
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and with a change of tires and kitting up, will do just fine off road.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:40.
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Old 9 Nov 2008
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Arrow

Hi PAtrick, yes the Versys is a great bike I really like it and for touring it is great.
However, for the next big trip, it has few draw back:

First of all with 17 inch wheels no way to fit off-road tyres on it.
Then with no ground clearance what so ever and the exhaust under the engine... oops!


Not a big problem the exhaust could be replace but the wheels are just a big no no.
With the GS I had enough problems finding 19 inch off-road tyres in south america.\
21 inch is a must.

And I cannot replace the wheels for 21 ich as it would be too tall for me. I am 163 cm with inner leg of 71 inch. SO for travelling I need about 80cm max. Below that I will keep dropping the bike.

I expect a lot of bad tough trail in kazakhstan and mongolia so a real off-road bike is a must. Weight to be honest is not too mush of a problem anymore. Got used to the Beemer tractor....

But I need to be able to "paddle". /seat heigh IS a big issue! This is the difference between dropping the bike or not in sand/loose gravel etc... I am so useless in the soft stuff!

Backofbeyond, thanks for the info. A big tank is absolutely necessary. Maybe CCM can built a couple as a one off?????? surely must be possible to get one made to measure not costing £££££? Something to think off anyway!

Cheers guys for your suggestions!
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Old 9 Nov 2008
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OK, then how about this bike? DR's can be made very very low if required.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:41.
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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Dr650

Yes the DR650 it is a very good bike. Unfortunately not very common in the UK.

I will keep an eye on those in Autotrader, from end of next year, early 2010. Incidentally there are plenty in South America and I did check them out closely. Good bike. Simple, light and can be easily lowered indeed.

Anyway, in 3 weeks time starts the NEC Motorcycle show in Birmingham. Yeeppee! All dealers should have their bikes on show! Fun day, I will sit on every bike!
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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"Yes the DR650 it is a very good bike. Unfortunately not very common in the UK"


Erm, if I may be so bold... As Patrick says, a lot of love went into this bike... Just waiting on the UK registration paperwork which should be cleared this week ;-)

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Old 10 Nov 2008
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Hi Mike! Wish I could buy it now. I am sure it would be ideal and I am sorry to miss such a good opportunity, but it is not the right time for me!

2 more years to work in a soulless job before I can go again! The only thing that will keep me sane is to do reseach for my next trip. And what is more fun that looking at bikes?!

By the way Mike I thought you had a beemer when you did South America??? Of did you get rid of it at the first opportunity (as I did for mine!) ????
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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Well rather that shipping the beemer to Oz and also wasn't sure how long I'd be there etc, I decided to buy something smaller and lighter there and I'm glad I did, it made a huge difference on the rough stuff. I actually really like my beemer though, its still in storage but will take it out when I sell the DR.

Soulless jobs rule!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maria41 View Post
Hi Mike! Wish I could buy it now. I am sure it would be ideal and I am sorry to miss such a good opportunity, but it is not the right time for me!

2 more years to work in a soulless job before I can go again! The only thing that will keep me sane is to do reseach for my next trip. And what is more fun that looking at bikes?!

By the way Mike I thought you had a beemer when you did South America??? Of did you get rid of it at the first opportunity (as I did for mine!) ????
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  #15  
Old 10 Nov 2008
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Be careful which CCM you go for

I had a 604e with the Rotax engine, great bike when it ran, but that was the issue the thing was a pig, very unreliable and crap electrics.

If you have to have a CCM make sure you go for a later bike with Suzuki engines and electrics.

I would still opt for something more mainstream. Parts will be much easier to get hold of.

How about the Suzuki DRZ400 or Honda XR 400. I have a TTR250 Yamaha its lower than a CCM and much more reliable.
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