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- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 08 May 2008
Some bikes have a clear cut purpose in life. whether it’s the racetrack performance of a GSXR1000, or the luxury touring lifestyle of a BMW K1200LT.
The CCM R30 slots into this same category, even though it might not seem that way at first glance.
You see, just 5 minutes riding the CCM R30 reveals its primary function; to put the biggest, daftest grin on your face, whilst still remaining sober. It wheelies, it slides, it thumps and shakes like a proper motorbike, yet you feel no fear, only deeply mental, totally hooligan joy.
The R30 is a bike which challenges most bikers´ ideas of what makes a great weekend motorcycle, so let´s start with a controversial statement; The era of the superbike is almost over in the UK.
I mean, there´s hardly any point in spending all that money, buying matching leathers, boots, helmet, end can etc, only to pootle around at 65mph on Sundays, scared to death that if you open the throttle up for more than three seconds, your licence, your job and possibly your mortgage could all be seriously at risk - for the heinous crime of enjoying speed for its own sake.
It´s a sad state of affairs, but in my opinion, it isn´t likely to get better, but worse, as insurance companies, the revenue hungry, semi-privatised Police and safety bandwagon local councils, will all conspire to make owning 170mph motorbikes almost pointless within 5 years or so.
But there is some good news. You see motorcycle manufacturers continue to search for new model niches and the R30 is CCM´s best effort to date in adapting their enduro thumpers to tarmac based, weekend leisure biking.
For a start, it looks sexy, different, tough. Looks count for something in the bike market, as Ducati´s popularity continues to prove. Here, the CCM R30 has a kind of rakish, stripped-for-action style to it that catches your eye and impresses you with its overall build quality. Then again, five grand for a single cylinder bike is a big wad of cash to most people, so it should look good.
The engine inside the CCM is the same Rotax made, four stroke, four valve single that powers the Blackburn company´s range and has been a sterling choice of power unit for enduro bike makers all over the world. It betrays its roots, with a harshness when revved and loads of bottom end torque, but the unit does feel a little more subtle, with a broader spread of power, than its CCM Supermoto cousin.
Claimed max power is 57bhp, which is definitely enough for a bike that is so light, and aimed at traffic jam-busting and back lane scratching. Top end is probably somewhere between 100-110mph, depending on the wind direction/rider´s lardy aerodynamics, but acceleration can´t be faulted - the thing just rockets forwards as soon as you turn the throttle.
Despite a good gearbox and light clutch, the CCM can be a little tricky to adapt to in town, where its tall seat height and on/off low rev throttle response can make the bike seem nervous, a bit twitchy to any rider raised on super-smooth four cylinder bikes. The R30 we had on test also had a saucy end can fitted, which emphasized the low end response. Really, before you buy one of these bikes, it´s probably a good idea to try one of the CCM Supermoto trackdays, which will allow you the chance to re-learn your riding style - you have to think differently to get the best from the R30.
ALTERNATIVE WAY OF LIFE
In terms of handling, the R30 has that bit of edginess that most big trailbikes always transmit to the rider. Get your weight forward over the tiny gas tank, stick a leg out in slower corners and gas it up - the R30 may squirm a tad, but it never really threatens to pitch you off. Faster corners can be more of a problem however and hanging off, as you normally would, simply upsets the bike as it goes into the turn.
That said, you can make rapid progress, especially on gravelly B roads, purely because the CCM has two useful characteristics; top notch suspension and incredibly light weight. If you thought an R6 was a skinny little thing, then moving the 132kg ( dry ) CCM around your driveway will make you realize just how light a motorcycle can truly be. It´s enduro class tallness can be initially intimidating, but the CCM R30 is a very `chuckable ‘ machine, and that soon translates into tons of rider confidence in the twisty bits.
The huge front forks have a fair bit of travel for a road bike, but are firm enough to avoid the worst moments of pitching that a pure off-roader can sometimes display on tarmac - once a powerful disc brake is stuck onto the front wheel. A White Power monoshock at the back is perhaps too firm for some older riders, but for riding the R30 close to its limit, the rear shock is fine and gives plenty of feedback.
Obviously, such a single-minded machine like this has few luxuries. Instruments are very basic, the mirrors aren´t a whole lot of use and carrying any sort of luggage, or a passenger, would be a pretty daft idea. In terms of value for money, the CCM doesn´t really stack up too well against something like the 600 Fazer, which tours, commutes, does 140mph and probably makes great toast on its radiator too, all for the same money.
Yet I reckon this is a genuine alternative for the sportbike rider who feels that the party on the other side of 100mph is very much over. To be honest, the roads are too damn crowded for three figure speeds, regardless of the legal consequences, so unless you´re a trackday addict, it surely must be time to look at getting your kicks on something slower, yet just as satisfying to ride near the limit.
I´ll hold my hand up in praise of a taste of danger, of taking the odd risk. A rush of adrenalin occasionally is one the reasons I´m still addicted to two wheels, after 26 years riding bikes. The feeling that you get when the CCM suddenly lifts its front wheel when you gas it in 2nd gear, or twitches sideways exiting a roundabout may upset the law, local busybodies and dayglo vest fondlers, but I like it. I need it.
Maybe you do as well ?
Get CCM motorcycle insurance for the R30.
4 Stroke Air Cooled4 valves per cylinder598cc57hp @ 7000rpm
|Claimed peak power|
|300mm front, 28mm rear|
|Tyres (Front) Dunlop|
|120 / 60 (R17)|
|Tyres (Rear) Dunlop|
|150 / 50 (R17)|