Cleveland CycleWerks Heist and Ace
Cleveland CycleWerks Heist and Ace

Cleveland CycleWerks motorcycle review

American-designed and Chinese-made Cleveland CycleWerks motorcycles are putting the fun back into urban motorcycling.

Cleveland CycleWerks Heist

The company has been making the Heist hardball chopper-style urban bikes for some time at the attractive price of $4795 rideaway.

Matt Jones of Rocker Classic Motorcycles, the Queensland retailer, says they have been a popular bike with learners and people who want a second bike for around town and commuting.

Now they have expanded the range with the more conventional Ace Standard at $4595 and the Ace Deluxe at $4695. They’re a mix between street tracker and classic Brit bike.

None is designed for track days or highway touring, but they certainly do make commuting and urban motorcycling great fun.

Cleveland CycleWerks  Ace deluxe
Ace Deluxe

The bikes are designed in Cleveland, Ohio, and produced in China to the company’s strict quality standards.

They are all powered by a replica XL250 single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with 10.5kW of power and come with a two-year, unlimited km factory warranty not a third-party warranty.

Starting with the Standard, it comes with conventional gatored forks, a simple cradle frame, low seat height, weighs just 136kg, fuel economy of 2.9L/100km and a top speed of over 100km/h. It looks like an old XR Harley flat tracker in its orange and white checkered livery.Cleveland CycleWerks Ace Standard

The Deluxe has a more Ace Cafe look with upside-down forks, tracker bars and wider 110/70 17 tyres. It has discs front and back, while the other models have a drum rear.

Despite being basic machines, they even include a gear indicator in the simple single instrument pod, lockable fuel cap and five-speed gearbox.

They come with electric start and a kick starter as both a back-up and a retro fun element.

The chopper-style Heist is a hardtail model with a sprung seat.

Cleveland CycleWerks  Heist

All bikes have an interesting style, but they are also blank canvases for further customising. One new Heist customer, Peter Bruce, says he is bobbing the rear fender, heat wrapping the headers, slash cutting the pipes and switching to mini-ape bars with the help of the folk at Rocker.   

Shop owner Matt says a Misfit model will be coming soon with a more modern “CB” universal Japanese motorcycle style.

We rode the Deluxe and the Heist around the streets of Redcliffe and they tracked well through the urban potholes, even with the Heist’s hardball suspension.

Cleveand CycleWerks Misfit

The Heist has a more deliberate feel while the Ace has a more precise, if nervous, steering thanks to its steeper rake.

Even though they are small bikes, we didn’t feel like we were riding monkey bikes. There is generous legroom and a sturdy, big-bike feeling.

While the engine wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding, if you are eager with the free-revving engine and willing to work the light clutch and positive transmission it will hustle through the traffic briskly.

Cleveland CycleWerks Ace deluxe
Ace Deluxe

The Heist actually had better stopping power than the all-disc Ace as it features steel braided lines that give it more feel and bite.

They both get up to 80km/h fairly easily, but become breathless toward the top and hit the limiter early in each cog. The Heist has a slightly higher gear ratio.

Highway cruising will find the bikes at their limits, but would be fine for short blasts.

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  1. Hey – Kayleigh – I bought the CCW Ace new – and have put 220 miles on it. Its been all problems. Plenty of times it wouldn’t start. Then it died on me a few times while I was riding in traffic. The last time the engine cut out when I was going 25 mph and I was able to coast off to the side of the road. If I’d been going 50 and there was no side of the road it could have been bad. The guys at the distributor that sold it to me are nice guys – they want to do $400 in repairs to get it running safely, and I already put $300 into it – it had been sitting and I felt like maybe it was for that reason – but I am reluctant to get back on that bike especially after reading what you’ve written.

  2. I have been in a lawsuit with this company for over 3 years now and they refuse to pay what they owe me. I am a small girl who wanted a bike that sat close to the ground and would be a great learning bike for someone my size. Instead I got a POS that fell apart before the 150 mile mark and left me stranded on the road multiple times for hours. My husband also purchased one of these bikes the same time I did and his shift lever fell off mid-ride, the clutch cable broke, the battery melted, and the overall cheap wiring caused major electrical issues. All of this happening before the bike was even a year old!!!! These are just some of the examples we have that led us to a lemon Lawsuit with Cleveland Cyclewerks.

  3. Hey the prices are way off, the actual prices are too high at 3.2k but to state them even higher is way inaccurate. Also the Honda XL250 had a OHC 4-valve engine @ 249cc and 2x the power of the engine in these.

  4. Wow sounds like you guys really drank the kool aid! Or more likely just reprinted a press release as an article.

    Total crap bag bike, seems like everyone else knows that but you and the advertorialists

    1. Hey KJ – say what you wanna say but don’t be a dick head with your derogatory comments. Geez, I hope I didn’t use too big a word (derogatory) for you to understand. Look it up if you need.

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