Despite its name, the Café Racer isn’t a machine for tearing up the backroads, it’s more for those Sunny Sunday morning rides we all dream about. Weighing just 145kg dry, it’s supermoto-light and agile, but it doesn’t have the easy refinement of the best from BMW, Ducati, Triumph or Kawasaki - more a tougher, rawer feel.
Ride quality is on the firm side of compliant and girder-stiff billet aluminium yokes give the CCM’s front end the distinctively jarring feel of a new-generation Norton or Hesketh, or an old Bimota or Confederate.
A 19 inch front wheel and knobbly tyres don’t offer the last word in pin-sharp handling and the single front disc brake set-up won’t launch you over the bars, either, but if you want that you’re better off with a Triumph Thruxton R, or BMW R nineT.
Sitting neatly between mass-produced and artisan, the new Café Racer is powered by a 55bhp, 600cc single-cylinder BMW-designed Husqvarna motor, hung like a piece of art in a lacquered tubular steel trellis frame, so beautiful it’ll make your beard and turn-ups itch with lust.
If it’s a performance bike you’re after, look elsewhere because the CCM is all about taking it easy, feeling good and enjoying two wheels with the gentle breeze in your face. The motor offers just the right mix of smoothness and burbling character. Power is modest, but delivered seamlessly with a throttle response so buttery it would put any mass-produced retro to shame.
With high quality chassis parts and a tried and tested Husky engine, you shouldn’t expect any serious problems. CCM doesn’t have a dealer network, so you’ll have to order your Spitfire Café Racer directly from the factory.
Dealing directly with the people who’ll build your bike fits right in with the ethos of the Spitfire Café Racer. Your bike will even be delivered to your door and CCM will come to you for servicing (every 3500 miles), set-up and repairs. You can also spec your bike a host of official performance accessories and cosmetic trinkets.
For the price you can either have 185 cut and beard trims at the Bike Shed, or an exclusive, beautifully hand built British motorcycle, dripping in mouth-watering design and parts…and a two-year warranty.
The CCM Spitfire Café Racer is a bargain. Sure, it won't have the performance of its more expensive rivals, but then all retros are going the same speed when you’re cruising past a plate glass shopfront checking out your reflection.
You get a lot of mouth-watering kit for little money: a hand-built frame, spoked wheels, fully adjustable suspension, lots of billet ali, carbon goodies and a hand stitched seat from the same people who make posh Range Rover interiors.