1979 CCM Factory Works Competition Motocrosser

1979 CCM Factory Works Competition Motocrosser

Clews Competition Machines (CCM) hails from the north of England, born from the collapse of BSA’s Competition Department in 1971. The firm has specialized 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 500cc 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 B50MX 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 500cc 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.

The 1979 CCM on offer here was part of the famed Mike Taggart collection for several years. One of only four Factory Works Competition machines, the BSA B50 was bored out to 580cc and a Weslake 4-valve head was fitted with roller-bearing camshaft. A 36mm Dellorto carburetor mixes fuel and air and gases escape through one of the sexiest exhaust treatments on any bike. Result: 51bhp at 7,000 revs! The bike in superbly restored condition retains its original Akront rims. Possibly ridden by one of the works riders John Banks or Bob Wright, but no records exist.

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