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Bike stuff => British beef => Topic started by: elessimo on March 28, 2016, 01:03:17 AM

Title: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: elessimo on March 28, 2016, 01:03:17 AM
Good Friday indeed: the forecast predicted the only dry day of the Easter break. Luckily it was the day that CCM were visiting the Baron Inn at Bucknell in the Shropshire hills where I’d arranged a 3pm test ride.
So Debs and I dusted off the TDM and joined the stream of holiday traffic coursing up the A49 to Ludlow. Our usual watering hole, the Rose and Crown, had closed and turned into a pottery shop so we found in the market a foodie stall selling Lentil & Pumpkin Dahl and a Felafel Wrap: job done.

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090303_zpsbfnm3cxm.jpg)
Ludlow

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/12717973_10153684212479440_6601722727547179447_n_zpsqcnpozax.jpg)
Lunch

Radar arrived a few minutes later on his MV Brutale and after a quick catch-up we set off confidently out of Castle Square, down a lane and into a very nice car park. I don’t have a satnav so memorise routes instead but the bridge over the river at the Charlton Arms was closed and my improvisational skills can be a bit random.  Making the best of a bad job I gave Radar the full tour, showing him where the Preece family had held one of their famous car park picnics – one with a glorious view down do the river Teme…

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090301_zps9op9bndi.jpg)
(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090300_zpsscbrgfq3.jpg)
Radar on his Brutale

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090302_zpsriupklhp.jpg)

So, back past the castle again, ignoring the sniggering locals, and eventually down to rejoin the A49 going north. But soon we left the traffic and took the A4113 down through Leintwardine, cutting over the gorgeous River Redlake and into sleepy Bucknell, where a big white van and five bikes were waiting.

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/12495072_10153684213944440_3088319073742483303_n_zpsrifwbki4.jpg)
Elessimo & Debs at the Baron at Bucknell

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/734915_10153684216064440_8798533468431210897_n_zps9sl44kub.jpg)

Radar was amazed to find that he could sit on the lowered version (790mm) with both feet firmly on the ground, while I chatted with CCM’s latest dealer, the guy from Stafford Motorcycles who’d signed up that very day. He’d turned up on a DCT Africa Twin but said he’d swap it for a GP450 if  offered. Then he spoilt the effect by exiting the car park in a spray of gravel…..

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090304_zpsmov9sqid.jpg)

First impressions: personally, I think the small adventure bike look is great; the lowered seat meant I could have both heels flat on the ground and slightly bent knees, giving excellent stability; very light to move around (145kg with 20 litres of fuel in the under-seat tank); the components are all high class: bonded alu chassis; Brembo brakes; Ohlins/WP forks; Tractive suspension; etc.

So we ignited the detuned BMW 450 motors and set off, 3 punters with Darren leading and Ben sweeping. This was the first single I’d ridden since my old SP380 in 1994 – compared to my recent diet of counterbalanced twins and gorgeous triples this sounded a tad clattery. But once I’d found the slightly elusive gear change it all started falling into place. We racked up a few miles on tarmac, chucking the bikes into the twisty lanes and adjusting to the way of the single.

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/e7bde4f0-a1ac-4e4d-8ee5-1fc11ff405d4_zps2j4m1n5h.jpg)

Then it was up into the trails, wending our way higher through the trees. Darren had given us three novices some useful advice so we barrelled up the rocky, gravelly route standing up at 30mph: the tyres were incredible – tracking faultlessly through whatever lay before us. This would have been impossible on our normal bikes and nerve-wracking on any big adventure bikes, but the CCMs made it all so easy. Darren pulled a few wheelies and flew high at the one big jump: I took off there too, gaining less height but still feeling like Eddie Kidd.

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090306_zpsrana4fij.jpg)
(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090307_zpsr4xh52fc.jpg)

At the top of the hill we stopped for a chat and then turned the bikes around: again, so light and easy.

(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090309_zpsxsrvtotw.jpg)
(http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b526/elessimo/P1090310_zpsqzckjqjs.jpg)

By the time we got back to the Baron we were all hooked. With its 20 litre tank giving a 250-300 mile range, those superb tyres and chassis, that lack of weight and the good array of adventure accessories, the GP450 would be an excellent green-laning, short commuting, B-road loving, all-rounder. OK, it only makes 40bhp so might not be great for long distance two-up trips or autobahn touring, but for everything else it is has enough power to be great fun. And for a solo round the world jaunt on country roads or unpaved tracks it would be pretty perfect.

So it was back to Hereford on the old Yam, down the A4110 through Yatton and Canon Pyon: traffic-free and bucolic. Then on to the Forest through the back roads: St Owens Cross and past Symonds Yat – a good finish to 125 miles of sunshine and glorious biking.

So that means that a minimum of three bikes could now (possibly) cover all bases:
1) a café-racer, sportsbike, big cruiser or rat-trike to visit the pub (depending on ego, skill, age or sanity level) 
2) an Explorer, GS or similar for comfortable two-up mile-munching touring
3) a CCM GP450RS for twisty fun, green laning & RTW solo jaunts.
Obviously, this is the bare minimum…

Darren, a previous Isle of Man podium winner, is racing one of these CCMs this season, pretty much in standard trim, having converted from Honda, while apparently several CCM buyers have already completed the Trans-Americas journey from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Jealous, me?

This bike is in a category of one: far better than the much cheaper CRF250L; far better off-road, much lighter and £thousands cheaper than the ubiquitous GS & Tigers; far less hard-core, lower and cheaper than a KTM 690R Enduro with Rally Raid kit; 70kg lighter (and with a 20mm lower seat option) than a CB500X with Rally Raid kit.

Base model around £7,500 - good for a small, versatile all-rounder; top spec with loads of adventure accessories at about £9,500 - great value for a ready-to-go Round The World bike.
Now to rob that bank....     8)
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: Radar on March 28, 2016, 04:51:24 PM
Looks like you enjoyed this bike too, good varied selection this year, Honda, Harly and CCM

I can see you on one of these
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: elessimo on March 28, 2016, 10:45:38 PM
Looks like you enjoyed this bike too, good varied selection this year, Honda, Harly and CCM

I can see you on one of these

Varied indeed, Radar! I think the CCM is the funnest of them all....    8)
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: Radar on March 29, 2016, 07:57:39 PM
Did you know that Imperial Data, our great and glorious leader, has owned a CCM? Very briefly...

(http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j289/Radarspit/CCM/P1010009.jpg)

http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=4226
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: elessimo on March 29, 2016, 11:36:42 PM
Yes, I've heard the story....

Bought it, but never made it home if I recall properly..... Blew up?!

Must admit I love the looks of those R30s - I've seen a lime green one at Huntley a couple of times: looks like a huge praying mantis - wonderful!     8)
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: Radar on March 30, 2016, 08:52:59 PM
Yes, I've heard the story....

Bought it, but never made it home if I recall properly..... Blew up?!

Must admit I love the looks of those R30s - I've seen a lime green one at Huntley a couple of times: looks like a huge praying mantis - wonderful!     8)

Follow the link in my earlier reply and you will get the full story of the day
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: imperialdata on March 31, 2016, 06:30:42 PM
Still bitter and twisted about that...

Anyway, nice review Steve, interesting bike and looks like you might be tempted if the price was right. You're certainly getting through the bikes to test. What's next?
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: elessimo on March 31, 2016, 10:23:14 PM
Still bitter and twisted about that...

Anyway, nice review Steve, interesting bike and looks like you might be tempted if the price was right. You're certainly getting through the bikes to test. What's next?

Thanks Dave: yes if I had the dosh the CCM would be perfect for me around the pot-holed Forest lanes. Have to see what happens at work....
Next I'm looking at the new Multistrada Enduro, the Super Tenere or maybe another KTM.    8)
Title: Re: CCM GP450 review in the Shropshire hills, Mar 2016
Post by: Radar on April 01, 2016, 11:50:49 PM
Still bitter and twisted about that...

Anyway, nice review Steve, interesting bike and looks like you might be tempted if the price was right. You're certainly getting through the bikes to test. What's next?

Thanks Dave: yes if I had the dosh the CCM would be perfect for me around the pot-holed Forest lanes. Have to see what happens at work....
Next I'm looking at the new Multistrada Enduro, the Super Tenere or maybe another KTM.    8)

All good bikes, look forward to the reviews. Give me a shout when you are riding them and I will try and keep you company