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2002 Cannondale E440 - USA mfgd Enduro bike, 1/449 made For Sale

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  • £7,500 Or near offer
  • 2002
  • Hereford
Message the seller
Price £7,500 Or near offer
Ad Type For Sale
Category Motorcycles
Make Cannon
Model Cannondale E440
Year 2002
Mileage 3 miles
Country UK
Region Herefordshire
Town Hereford
Telephone 07940 543059
Status Private
Date 19-Dec-2020
Ref C1280781
This is a piece of off-road motorcycling history with just 3 miles showing on the odometer, and made by the famous bicycle Company during their brief venture into motorsports. Its been imported from the USA with taxes paid (& NOVA cert) but not yet registered in the UK. The bike runs perfectly, starts on the button, and all components work as you would expect on a new unit.

The exact history of this bike is unknown, but suffice to say the cleanliness and lack of wear would confirm its never been ridden "in anger". The USA dealer who sold the bike originally in 2002 suggested it was one of a batch in a buy-back scheme, returning for engine modifications, before being re-sold, perhaps by the liquidators. Differing engine/frame numbers could confirm this, and the minor dirt in the frame crevices, but not on the engine, also adds weight to the argument.

The bike could be registered for road use here in the UK, but I feel that due to the innovative design, and the fact that Cannondale only produced around 1,500 motorcycles before closure, it really deserves a place in a museum.
Cannondale never had the opportunity to export to markets outside the USA, so its possible this could be the only E440 in the UK.

Some background history .....
The origins of the Cannondale Company can be traced back to 1971 where founder Joe Montgomery started producing bicycle trailers and other outdoor products. Bicycle production started in 1983, and soon gained an excellent reputation for their stiff, but lightweight, aluminium frames.

In the late 90s, the bicycle manufacturer attempted to break into the motorsports market, with an off-road motocross motorcycle. Cannondale Motorsports was created with a mandate to produce three models of motorcycle; the X440 motocross, E440 enduro versions, & C440 supermoto, with the E&X becoming the predominant designs.

The hand-built machines were made with premium outsourced components, such as Ohlins suspension, Magura controls, Sagem fuel injection, and Acerbis plastics. Many innovative features were incorporated at the design stage such as the cassette gearbox, an oil filled aluminium frame, forward facing fuel injection, and a fuel tank with a very low centre-of-gravity. On the specifications alone, the USA based Dirt Rider magazine named it the bike of the year some two years before it was available to the public.

Unfortunately, while the innovation was many years ahead of other main stream manufacturers, the penalties manifested themselves in engineering problems that Cannondale struggled to solve. At the onset, the design was based on using a 450cc Swedish sourced engine, but this was dropped in favour of an in-house designed unit, to be hand built in the USA. The characteristics of the new engine did not find favour with the press, and when coupled with other failings, resulted in some very unfavourable comment. Perhaps Cannondale rushed the bike to market, but reviews of the day revealed the motorcycles to be heavy, under sprung, fairly unreliable, and difficult to start when hot. The Company attempted to address the main issues, but with a 1992 retail price of US$7495, Cannondale were losing money on every bike they sold. The reputation stuck, and Cannondale filed for bankruptcy in January of 2003.

At the time of closure, the total production had been less than 1,500 units, with almost all being sold into the American Market. Although Cannondale had plans to sell in both Europe and Australia, events overtook them. The remnants were purchased by Pegasus Capital Advisors. who promptly closed the motorsports division, selling off any remaining stock. ATK bought the rights to the engine, and went on to use it in both their enduro & quad-bikes, but the new ownership put an end to the Cannondale Motorcycle as such. The bicycles survived albeit with manufacturing taking place in Asia. Some five years on, Dorel Industries added the brand into their stable ensuring the name survives.
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