CCM plans tie-up with Suzuki
British bike maker CCM is looking outside Europe for engines which could power a new range of singles and twins for 2003.
For the past few months, the Lancashire firm has been in negotiation with Suzuki to buy a variety of engines beginning with its DRZ400 engine.
Sources also suggest that other Suzuki power plants, such as the 644cc single and V-twin SV650 could be included in future deals.
The search for a new source of engines has been forced on CCM after Rotax cancelled production of its 604 four-stroke single late last year. CCM moved quickly to buy up every remaining unit, and managed to gather around 530 engines before all sources dried-up. These final units are likely to be used throughout 2002 to power the successful R30 Supermoto.
The Blackburn firm has been building prototypes based on many new motors, of which the DRZ-based competition bike is gaining the most favour.
A factory source said he thought we’ll be seeing the lightweight 398cc racers first unveiled in the factory off-road and supermoto teams.
" These will be seriously special bikes, " he said, " Very lightweight, with top-quality components throughout. They’ll be shifting to new 48mm upside down forks, after feedback from the 2001 Supermoto season. And it won’t be unrealistic to expect CCM to experiment with big-bores on the Suzuki units, taking them closer to 470cc and well over 55bhp. "
The DOHC 4-valve single may lack capacity compared to the out-going Rotax, but there’s little doubt that the high-revving, liquid-cooled engine can out-perform the ageing air-cooled Austrian lump. Indeed Stefan Chambon’s Yoshimura-prepared DRZ400 encountered little competition in this year’s Superbiker Supermoto race in Mettet, Belgium, despite facing rivals up to 700cc. The machine’s low weight and high revs gave it a significant advantage, especially in the tighter sections.