Biking birthday blowout: CCM celebrate 50th anniversary with a series of biking events

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British bike brand CCM are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a series of special-edition bikes and events - starting with the CCM Golden Jubilee Scramble on June 27.

The Bolton-based firm, best known nowadays for the Spitfire family of stylish, hand-built singles, was founded in 1971 by up-and-coming scrambles rider Alan Clews as Clews Competition Machines (CCM).

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In the 1970s and '80s CCMs competed at the highest level in motocross, trials and even road racing. From the 1990s the firm began focusing more on dirt-inspired road bikes such as the R30 supermoto and later the GP450 adventure bike.

A CCM R30 supermoto

But CCM’s greatest success has arguably been the Spitfire. The lightweight, tubular steel-framed, 600cc street single was launched in 2018 and its minimal style and punchy, raw performance quickly proved so popular it spawned a whole family of café racers, scramblers, bobbers and even flattrack variants – some endorsed by homegrown bikesport royalty including Carl Fogarty and Dougie Lampkin.

Now, to mark both the golden anniversary and the rich heritage, the firm – run by Alan’s son Austin – are planning a series of celebrations, and it all kicks off at the Golden Jubilee Scramble on June 27.

Preceded by two CCM-themed tours of the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales on June 23 and 25, the Scramble takes place at Westmoreland County Showground near Kendal. It will feature an historic line-up of classic CCM scramblers and crossers being ridden in anger and be attended by former CCM greats including Bob Wright, Vic Allan, Jimmy Aird, Perry Leask and Steve Tonkin. CCM-riding spectators also get free entry.

A 1972 CCM motorcycle

But that’s just the start of a year-long series of celebrations which starting to take shape. "CCM are planning a number of celebratory events when guidelines allow and we’ll be sharing these in the coming weeks," said CCM Marketing Manager John Drogan, adding: "There are a host of new machines ready to be revealed throughout the golden anniversary year, too."

CCMs are also set to star in two upcoming Hollywood blockbuster movies – Marvel’s Black Widow starring Scarlett Johanssen aboard the modified Scrambler which inspired CCM’s recent Blackout model, and a second, still secret, A-lister action movie which also features another CCM motorcycle in a chase sequence.

50 years of CCM:

  • 1971 Alan Clews buys up parts from BSA’s defunct competition department
  • 1972 Clews rents his first factory building in Bolton and adopts the name CCM
  • 1981 Armstrong buy a share and Armstrong-CCM build Rotax-powered machines
  • 1998 CCM is bought by the Robson family who use Suzuki DR-Z400 engines to make road-orientated models
  • 2004 Clews buys CCM once again and launches the new R35 models
  • 2017-18 Husqvarna-powered Spitfire models developed

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.