The adventure bike market is currently dominated by high capacity bikes of 800 – 1200cc being some of the most common. There has always been debate over the weight and size of some of these (220kg+) monsters and their suitability for getting to difficult to reach area versus lower capacity lightweight bikes than could potentially do more.
Some mainstream manufacturers are currently working on new bikes under 500cc to plug this gap and although many of you may not have heard of CCM Motorcycles their history, particularly in motocross and racing, goes back four decades.
CCM has been around since 1971 having been set up by Alan Clews in Bolton, UK. The first motorcycles were built in his garage at home and CCM Motorcycles have continued to create, develop and manufacture British built motorcycles since.
From the 1970’s through to the 1990’s CCM were regularly on the podium in the British Motocross Championships. The CCM Team of Tom Church & Stephen Sword went on to greater success in 2010/11 with Tom Church securing the British indoor Motocross Championship on board his CCM and Stephen Sword coming tantalisingly close to securing the 2010 British Maxxis MX1 Championship. He finished overall 2nd in 2010 and bowed out of the competition in 2011 due to injury. Swordy led the 2011 British Championship field at Foxhill’s with a sensational first leg win but had to retire from the 2nd leg whilst in the lead due to a recurring injury.
Greg Hanson secured CCM’s first ever GP race win in the 2008 veterans World Championship on board the revolutionary CCM 450 MX. Greg was no stranger to the CCM team having last raced a MX GP on board the factory Rotax powered CMX500 back in 1989. CCM’s last foray into GP MX racing, after much success in the 70’s and 80’s.
CCM’s DNA was all about racing. They entered the original Paris-Dakar in 1998 and won the manufacturers prize for 100% finish rate. It will come as no surprise then that CCM will be returning to ‘action’ with a race version of the GP450.
The concept of the GP450 Adventure has been in development for over 5 years. Recognising the need for a lightweight Adventure bike that could truly be capable of handling offroad terrain whilst also enduring the long distances on road, CCM worked on developing a product that would fit this niche.
Oryx Adventures, officially launched on March 12 in Muscat, have brought the first CCM GP450 Adventures to the Middle East and were kind enough to allow us to test one for the past month in the UAE.
At 130kg, yes a whole 100kg less than the mile munching monsters we see out each weekend (usually on highways) the GP450 is exactly what CCM tells you. It’s a lightweight adventure bike. But don’t take ‘lightweight’ to mean anything other than how heavy this machine is (or isn’t as the case is).
With its light weight and rally styling how does it handle? Immediately you feel the difference between the GP450 Adventure and other adventure bikes. The weight difference aside handling on the GP450 is superb with the lightest of inputs on the bars or pegs translating into instant controllable turns. Power is smooth and there’s plenty of it either riding solo or two-up.
One thing we really like about the bike is that the control is 100% in your hands. There are no electronics to control the bike. Your traction control and anti-locking brakes are in your hands not on a computer chip. This is a bike that you ride, you control and you make it do what you need it to do through your input, skills and experience. This lack of electronics isn’t detrimental to the bike and will without doubt be beneficial to your riding experience.
The GP450 Adventure has all the handling of an enduro bike and a build quality that is well above the level you would expect from a smaller manufacturer. CCM have always been known for the detailed approach and quality of work and it shows clearly here. CCM’s design and build capability coupled with that BMW 450 fuel injected engine is perfect match and has produced an excellent bike.
This is an adventure bike you don’t worry about dropping because you can actually pick it up on your own multiple times per day unlike it’s 200+kg big brothers that are more popular for this type of riding. Unless you’re spending a lot of time on the weights in the gym your capacity for self-righting a 1200cc adventure bike runs out pretty quickly. We took it out in the dunes, up the mountains and gravel trails without any concerns that the bike would let us down or that we wouldn’t be able to manage whatever the terrain threw at us.
You might also think that a smaller bike like this would be uncomfortable for longer rides but its not. You’ve got a very comfortable seat and, unlike the majority of adventure bikes, have four different ride heights to suit different sized riders. The screen gives ample protection from wind for the upright seating position.
Will the GP 450 Adventure fit the bill for day long rides on and offroad? Yes, without a dount.
Will the GP 450 Adventure holds its own for desert riders? Absolutely.
Will the GP 450 Adventure keep its head up and a smile on your face for weekend camp outs and more? Sure will.
Is it a capable round the world tourer? Well, on March 13th a team from the British Army started a ride from the southern most tip of South America heading for the northern most point in North America and we have believe that the bike is more than capable of that task. It has also been tested by some of the top enduro and adventure riders and has had glowing reports.
Will the GP450 take over the BMW/ KTM/ Honda large capacity adventure market? No, it doesn’t have to. That isn’t really the point of the bike. CCM have built the adventure bike that many adventure riders have been screaming out for. There are no unnecessary frills, no added fluff, just a solid frame, a reliable and powerful engine, varying ride heights and a bike that puts the control back in your hands. It has the versatility of a 450 mx bike built into an adventure package. If you've wrestled a large adventure bike for a whole day through tough terrain you'll appreiate that!
The most important word here is fun. The GP 450 is a fun bike to ride anywhere and at any time. You can do the road tours in comfort, you can hit the trails and dunes and not have to worry about compromising on performance just fit the tyres that suit your style of riding and off you go.
The guys at Oryx Adventures have clearly clicked on to this being an all-round capable tourer that perfectly fits their need for road riding, trails, gravel track, rocks and dunes.
Oryx are offering a variety of tours in Oman and can base the itinerary on your needs if the regular half-day, one day and multi-days tours don’t quite fit with your schedule. Oryx have taken the decades of British build experience at CCM and married it with the diverse environment and rich culture that Oman has to offer.
- Displacement: 449.50ccm (27.43 cubic inches)
- Engine Type: Single cylinder, Four-stroke
- Engine Details: Titanium valves
- Power: 40.23 HP (29.4kw) @ 7000 RPM
- Torque: 42.80 Nm (31.6 ft.lbs) @ 6500 RPM
- Top Speed: 145.0 km/h (90 mph)
- Compression: 12.0:1
- Bore x stroke: 98.0 x 59.6 mm (3.9 x 2.3 inches)
- Valves per cylinder: 4
- Fuel System: Injection. Electronic intake pipe/ keihin digital engine with overrun fuel cut-off.
- Fuel Control: DOHC
- Cooling System: Liquid
- Gearbox: 5-speed
- Final Drive: Chain
- Clutch: Multiple-disc, wet, Cable operated
- Average Fuel consumption: 4.50 litres/100 km (22.2 km/l or 52.27 mpg)
- Emissions: 104.4 CO2 g/km – Euro³
- Service Intervals: 8000km (5000 miles)
- Dry Weight: 125kg
- Power/weight ratio: 0.31 HP/kg
- Seat Height: 890mm
- Overall Height: 1,475 mm
- Overall Length: 2,170 mm
- Wheelbase: 1510 mm
- Fuel Capacity: 20.0 litres
- Ground Clearance: 360mm
- Frame Type: 6082 T6 Forged Aluminium , machined finish, Lightweight Bonded
- Rake (Fork Angle): 26.75°
- Trail: 108mm
- Front Suspension: 47mm Dia Upside Down forks, Rebound damping 18 stages, compression 12 stages
- Rear Suspension: Cast Aluminium swingarm & linkage system, shock absorber with Pre load adjustment, 12 damping stages, 24 compression stages.
- Front Wheel / Tyre: 21” 90/90-21 54S TT Dunlop Trailmax
- Rear Wheel / Tyre: 18” 120/90-18 65T TT Dunlop Trailmax
- Front Brake: Brembo Caliper, 320mm Disc
- Rear Brake: Brembo Caliper, 240mm Disc
- Optional Equipment Storage Type: Left and Right hand lockable panniers
- Storage Capacity: Hard and Soft Luggage
- Lighting: Additional front Spot Light.
- Maintenance: On-board vehicle specific toolkit & puncture repair kit
- Optional Camera: Front facing HD Video Recorder with Storage & USB
- Tractive Electronic Suspension: Adjustable Preload - on the move
- Seat: Tall Seat option
- Gear Ratios: Optional Sprockets