CCM ROTAX 570cc Home Built Special…The classic motocross racing scene can be divided & then subdivided in to various specialised departments, but one area that seems to have the most fanatical devotees is the Four-stroke racing department. From my observations the last thing these guys want to do is take the easy route & buy, restore then race a production Four-stroke motorcycle from yesteryear, oh no far too simple, there must be a law written down somewhere that states something like “if you wish to race a four-stroke machine then you have to build your own”. I have nothing against these guys at all, they bring a welcome bit of variety to the race track & paddock, it`s just that it seems a very difficult, time consuming & frustrating path the tread, spending many hours building & then ironing out all the little niggles you get when building a one off must be a real headache. I always think would it not have been easier & probably cheaper to just go & buy something in good condition that was built by a proper manufacture & spend all that time you saved, riding instead of working in your garden shed on ” THE PROJECT”. Luckily we live in a free society, well almost free, & if you want to take the long way round the houses you can & this is exactly what Geoff Stokes the owner, builder & racer of this CCM / ROTAX special did, it`s been a long way though as its taken Geoff 17 years, not all of it was spent in the shed, no its probably best to described it as a rolling racing project, well you have to have something to twiddle with on those long winter evenings don’t you.
It was quite by chance that Geoff just happened to be parked a few cars down from me in the Polesworth paddock at the first round of the 2016 National Twinshock Championships, strolling along I spotted the bike being fuelled & fettled ready for the practise sessions. I don’t suppose the machine would win first prize in a concours competition but nevertheless the bike looked interesting all the same so I decided to barge in & take a few snaps, thankfully Mr Stokes forgave my intrusion & was quite happy to tell me all about his creation. The spec of this one off special is as follows, the CCM frame I am told dates from 1982 or 83, the engine originated from an Armstrong MT500, this was then bored out to 571cc, front forks at some point belonged to a Suzuki but the front wheel came from a Husqvarna, the rear swing arm & wheel are KTM items but the rear shocks are from the same Armstrong that donated the engine, I told you it was a one off.
The owner turned out to be just as interesting as the bike, originally from Yorkshire Geoff now lives in Normandy France & had just popped over to take part in the race meeting, I must say that’s one hell of a pop ! Apparently Geoff intends to do quite a few of the National Twinshock rounds this year so you could well be lining up along side him on the start gate. From what I gather there isn’t much of a classic racing scene back home, if he wants to partake in a spot of racing he can mix it up with riders of a similar age but they are, more often than not, mounted on modern machinery. Geoff told me “What can you do when you started racing in 1963 & you are still addicted to racing bikes from your younger years, you just have to make the long trip so you can get your fix”. It turned out our man has a bit of a motocross history, in solo racing he won the 1974 “Strongbow Cider Championship” & then moved over to sidecar cross from 1976 until the early 80s, he was pretty handy at that too as he won a round of the British sidecar championship at some point along the way. It just goes to show you never know who you are going to park up next to when you slide along to the races. Hope you enjoyed the article…..Mr J.