Clews Competition Motorcycles
or CCM for short, is a British motorcycle manufacturer
based in Bolton, England.
CCM was born out of the collapse
of BSA's Competition Department in 1971.
Alan Clews, founder of CCM, was a successful
Trials and Scrambles rider in the late 1960s.
He wanted a lighter, more nimble and modern
motocross bike, like the BSA factory engined
500 cc works specials. When the BSA Competition
Department went out of business, he saw his
opportunity and bought all the works parts that
were available. Clews started building motocross
bikes in his garage. Not having works engines
just made Clews develop his own extensive improvements
to the standard BSA B50 500 cc engine which
could be had by breaking up existing BSA B50
MX bikes. His reputation grew as a builder of
four-stroke motocross bikes that were capable
of competing with the dominant two-stroke bikes.
In the mid-1970s, the CCM racing
team achieved respectable results in the 500
cc Motocross world championship, with rider
John Banks placing in the top five several times.
Initially powered by BSA engines, the firm used
Rotax engines during the 1980s and 1990s when
production reached a peak of 3,500 annually.
Between 1983 and 1985 over 4,000 CCM motorcycles
were licenced to export bikes to North America
badged as Can-Am motorcycles.
In 1984, the firm secured a contract
to produce the Rotax-engined Armstrong MT-500
bikes for the British Army, and through overseas
sales won a Queen's Export Award. The MT-500
began as the Italian SWM XN Tornado, which Armstrong
acquired the rights to in 1984 when SWM liquidated,
and Armstrong modified it for military use.
Harley-Davidson bought the production rights
to the MT-500 in 1987 when NATO chose the machine,
and created a 350 cc version that reduced weight,
added an electric start, and upgrading pollution
standards, which was named the Harley-Davidson
Return to Clews ownership
The CCM company was acquired by
the Robson family in 1998 who procured Suzuki
DR-Z400 engines. In 2004, the company ceased
operations and its assets were bought by the
original owner, Alan Clews. In 2005 the company
launched two new bikes, the R35 Supermoto and
the FT35 flat tracker.