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The Thunder Rolls on as British bike maker CCM takes a brave new step
 
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The Thunder Rolls on as British bike maker CCM takes a brave new step - August 15th 2005


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    Bolton based CCM motorcycles is set to enter a bold new era when it launches its brand new FT35S model at the International Motorcycle show at the NEC later this year. The street version of its American style flat tracker marks a radical shift in direction for the British manufacturer, although the new model does take strong influences from the firms successful off road history.

    Following a buy out late last year CCM is now back in the care of the Clews family who originally started the company back in the early seventies. However whilst founder Alan Clews remains a big part of today's business, it's his son in law Gary Harthern who is the new driving force and providing the much needed finances for this exciting new project.

    " I think what CCM needed was a fresh set of eyes and a clear vision of where it is going in the future. Whilst we will continue with the R30 and other new similar models, I wanted to create a new ethos that would reach out to the road riders, but give them something a bit different. CCM has a great off road tradition, and I believe that the FT35 range will be great for riders who are looking for excitement without the need for getting dirty." Explained Harthern.

    The FT35S prototype is currently going through its final phases regarding cosmetic styling, but will closely resemble the original drawings shown here, when it is revealed in the flesh to the public in October. The plan is for the road going range to have three engine sizes. With a 400cc single, a bigger 650 cc single and maybe even a 750 cc twin currently being evaluated, all are believed to breath through Mukuni carbs.

    The retro style American flat track racer is based on a completely new chassis that has a much reduced seat height compared to any previous CCM model, and that has an ultra low centre of gravity to give the bike a very nimble feel whilst still maintaining straight line stability at speed.

    The White Power upside down forks have reduced travel to suit, as does the oversized White Power single rear shock that connects to an all new, shorter cast aluminium swing arm without the need for any linkage. Brembo callipers front and rear will provide the stopping power, whilst the K+N type air filter and low slung exhaust give the FT35S that real Harley flat tracker feel.

    Alongside the road going range CCM is also developing a full on race model that will not be street legal, as it will be stripped bare, with all the lights and unnecessary parts being removed to save weight where at all possible. The idea behind this is to create a bike purely for track use, either for fun or for proper competition use. CCM's Sales and Competition Manager, Austin Clews has admitted that they have been watching closely the emergence of the British flat track scene and he hasn't ruled out a full factory assault on the series next year.

    " A big part of CCM's heritage has been its racing success, so it would be great to recreate some of that winning magic back on the track. Winning at the weekend does certainly help selling bikes in the week, but at the moment our resources are being directed in to making sure that the FT35S is a real object of desire by the time it reaches the dealers' showrooms." Commented Austin.

    Production is scheduled for early 2006 with initial customers expected to take delivery of this very special machine late in the first quarter of this year. Anyone wanting to get their hands on one of the first batch as they roll of the production line shouldn't delay in placing their order, as an undisclosed overseas customer has already placed a sizeable order after having seen the factory drawings and proto type machine. At the time of going to press no price had been confirmed, but it is expected to be in the region of the existing R30 model range when it is officially launched.

    Full details on the new FT range are available at www.ccm-motorcycles.net.