Tuesday, 26 May 2015

CCM GP450 test ride

I'm looking around at bikes for both UK use and for our big trip. I've narrowed the choices for me down to 3 options. My DR350, the KTM 690 and the CCM GP 450.
So I arranged a test ride last week at the CCM factory in Bolton where they are assembled. The factory is a great place with the history of CCM all over the place, some great bikes on show plus a load of bikes being prepped for the military as they have replaced the old Armstrong bikes with the CCM as the dispatch bike.

John, the sales director, was a cool guy, we met up at the allotted time on a grey damp Friday afternoon, got kitted up and headed out. He has a route he likes to take people on which involves bendy B roads, fast A roads, some byways and even a bit of motorway, so I got a good feel for the bike on loads of terrain.
I like the look of this bike, I like the seating position and the higher more offroad biased handlebars. I really like the 190 ish mile fuel range and the fuel tank position under the saddle and on either side of the twin radiators. The Paris Dakar style front fairing is set up well and will take a decent GPS unit too.
CCM GP 450...
This particular bike was a bit jerky at slow speeds which on a couple of times had the back end stepping out as I was leaned over coming out of a bend, but that could also have been the greasy roads too and me being over eager... It reminded of the 2007 XT660R I had with the same issue, so hopefully there would be a mod somewhere that would smooth this out if CCM haven't already sorted it.
The engine pulled in all gears and seemed to be really happy in 3rd and 4th, with a short 2nd, I'd maybe play with the gearing options a little if I buy one as it'll do a lot of offroad stuff with me these days.

The brakes were good and positive,  progressive at the start and with a bite if you needed it.

The suspension and tyres were road biased, so a little too hard for the off road bits, that said the set up inspired confidence on the road, even in the wet.

I need to look at the options list as it'll need to carry soft luggage and a hard top box, Metal Mule make these specifically for this bike so they would fit with the whole UK bike ethos which I like.

A big thankyou should go to Chris, the designer, another quietly cool guy who obviously knows his stuff where bike design for over-landing is concerned.

On the whole, I like these bikes, I like the 450cc engine, the riding position and the concept. I'm not sure it's in my budget range at the moment at around £8500 with the extras so it may have to go on the wish list, but it is on the list now.

Things I thought it could do with was a rev counter, (though this is personal as I use that more than a speedo), I also found this particular bike a bit 'buzzy' through both the bars and the footpegs, though that could have been a few things and not the engine itself, I'd need to play with it a bit more to find out the why.

There is a cool little article in a old copy of the Adventure Bike Rider mag for the CCM which has a better and more detailed review from someone who knows what they're talking about as opposed to me and my hobby biking knowledge... Look for the cute chick on the cover and that's the right copy

Very glad to have ridden it, now need both Geoff and Lucy to ride to get their opinions too. For me this is the bike you can just turn up, hand over your pounds, get on and go ride round the world on, knowing that the small CCM team can send you a part anywhere in the world you can get a parcel should you need one!
Next up is the KTM in the search for the overlanding trip bike... Watch this space..

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