$2,895! Cleveland CycleWerk’s Ace

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OK, forget I told you the price already. Look at this bike and tell me how much you think it costs. Even after I told him it was a Cleveland, Grant guessed $3,800. Forget what you already know about the brand and you’d likely think over $4k. Solid looks, components like upside down forks, wavy brake rotors and beefy spoked wheels at this price? The 250cc Cleveland CycleWerks Ace is going to be a winner. You’re reading about it exclusively on Hell For Leather.

How’d they get it so damn cheap? Scott Colosimo tell us he’s expanding into new markets like Indonesia and India, so was able to forecast larger production numbers. More units equals lower cost-per-unit. The engine is also slightly altered in comparison to the 250cc unit in the CCW Misfit cafe racer and Heist bobber, ditching the counter balancer for internal balancing.

Puts out the same power though. Scott tells us 16bhp and the whole package weighs 285lbs. “This is sort of our answer to people asking for a nice, standard motorcycle,” Scott told us a few minutes ago.

Scott sees the Ace as a standard-type motorcycle, but plans a range of affordable options that’ll help transform it into a cafe racer or scrambler. A bullet seat which retains the ability to carry a passenger will be offered, as will scrambler-style high-mount pipes and knobby tires.

This $2,985 price isn’t for some cheap piece of shit motorcycle. It includes a 12-month warranty and nationwide dealer support through New Jersey’s PIT Motors. Scott tells us parts will be easily and quickly available.

Regardless of assurances to the contrary, quality remains a concern for many with Cleveland’s Chinese-made bikes. When we interviewed Scott (pictured above with the Asian market version of this Ace that’s fitted with cheaper components), he assured us making a quality product was his company’s main objective.

“We’ve invested in quality where other people only invest in making the cost as cheap as possible,” says Scott.

This is the first of several Cleveland bikes that’ll be unveiled at the Indy Dealer Expo on February 18. Look for the others exclusively on Hell For Leather before that. Sadly, it’s going to be 4-5 months before the Ace goes on-sale in America.

We’ve written about CCW extensively. Check out our interview with Scott Colosimo, our CCW tag page and our numbers comparison between the Misfit and other 250s.

  • http://selfedge.com kiya

    Please post link to an online store when i can buy one right now.

  • Beale

    I’m in! Scott, I hope you guys can get them qualified for California without too much drama. I want one. At that price it gets harder to think about a used bike.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

    Is this thing gonna be available in California?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler


      • robotribe

        Crap. I just heard my checking account hemorrhaging.

        • Joel

          But thanks to CCW, it was just a very small, affordable hemorrhage.

          • robotribe

            Exactly. So low that it only hits the checking and the savings stay fat. Fantastic.

  • Scott

    Cool bike.
    Beefy spoked wheels, upside down forks, and wavy brake rotors automatically denote high-quality?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      No, but compare these components to those on, say, a TU250…

      • Alix

        Looks way nicer than the Tu250

      • cookey

        a wavy rotor costs more in tooling so there must be a material sacrifice

        same goes for the fork, i’d rather have a conventional that’ll last longer and work more reliably

        beefy spoked wheels… since when were nice heavy wheels a good thing?

        if they were the only 2 bikes available i’d take the TU without question

        and why so suprised at the price when a CBR 250 is $3999? way better components all round, more performance and a reliable residual…

        • jp182

          isn’t a CBR 250 aimed at a different demo then this bike?

          • Kyle

            im probably in the cbr demo, but damn this thing is sexy… and defiantly McQueen.

            • pavinguire

              +1 McQueen

  • NitroPye

    I’d buy that bike a drink.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    …is that a kickstarter I see?!

    Love the look, better than the misfit, actually. Can’t wait to see one in person.

  • Peter

    Will HFL get one to test? I’d love to see a long-term loaner reviewed.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, we’ll probably take a Heist for a spin some time this month and I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity to spend some time on the other models when they’re ready.

      • Peter

        Awesome. These CCW bikes are really the only new bikes that get me excited in a gonna-spend-some-money kind of way.

  • dux

    Please let Australia in on some Misfit action!!!

    • dux

      Oh, and the Ace too!

  • Corey

    I think my 675 just turned into a track only bike because it wants one of these guys as a room mate.

  • http://www.ClevelandCycleWerks.com scottydigital

    Scott from CCW here: tha Ace is our answer to “the standard bike” (what the hell happened to the affordable standard? We we are bringing it back.) Cookie: We have traditional forks available also. Basically like most of our bikes…. tha Ace is a blank canvas. Ride it like it is, or customize it. If you compare this to the Misfit, there are several differences. The frame geometry is not as aggressive, the frame is not as stiff, tha Ace was built to go over bumpy roads, and tackle the city….. A great standard bike. The Misfit is more aggressive, with more aggressive shocks (valving and springs), sportier geometry, DOM back tube, and it was tuned to take corners. We have been developing bikes now for nearly 3 years. What everyone is now seeing is over 5 years of work building relationships, setting up factories, designing, breaking, re-designing, improving, and finally manufacturing a full line of motorcycles. Wes is going to take the Heist out while he is in Cali. We are also going to get an Ace and a Misfit for Ray to road test soon. Talk is cheep, we will lead by our actions. Cheers

    • stephan

      congratulations scotty really nice work. as member of the 20-30 year old city kid demographic i would seriously consider a purchase had i not just spent my moto money for the year. in fact if i decided to buy new it would definitely be either one of your bikes or the cbr250. the fact that it’s already between you and honda means you’ve found a void that needs to be filled!

    • pavinguire

      Scott is a man of his word; HFL gets the Ace exclusive preview as promised on the CCW forum, another reason I bought a membership! I’m now torn between tha Misfit and tha Ace… but glad to have choices to be torn between… I’m in the over 40 crowd, have been riding since I was 12, ridden a lot of different bikes, but never lost the love for the small light weight machines, they’re simply fun, and being economical is icing on the cake.

    • adrian

      I think it looks great, and I love the premise behinds its production: affordable, good looking, sound bikes for beginners and enthusiasts. I’m in Okinawa right now, and The Ace would be perfect for this market; I love the Yamaha SR400/UJM looks, and the idea that aftermarket parts/support will be available stateside. The U.S. needs more cool small displacement bikes (i.e. SR400, FTR223, and now the CCW Ace!) Great job!

  • Kevin

    Wow, the return of the affordable standard? What’s next? Honda Mexico starts importing their small CC bikes into the USA?

  • Brendan

    Good shit.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the Hooligun.

    Especially if it can do power wheelies.

  • David

    Enough already, when can I get one in Canada?

  • jp182

    Wes, you better not let us down with some ride impressions or at the very least, notice when this thing goes on sale.

    I’m in NJ and I’m very interested in ditching my Ninja 250 for this.

    • jp182

      ooh and the Cycle House in Forked River is only an hour away :-D

      A good way to get some break-in miles in ;-)

  • ike6116

    I mean, I know it’s a cliche argument but my iPhone is built in china and it fucking rocks why do people indiscriminately shit on China?

    The only shame is that thing wont be available tomorrow, shit with tax returns, this thing would be mighty tempting.

    • Kyle

      half of it is politically motivated (and I dont ever want to see fucking politics get stirred up on here) because they own half our country heh, and the other half is out of competition. It just helps to says that they produce a lesser product that what we in the US produce. If everything is handled properly you can have quality products ship and you’ll only have to cover the transportation costs.

      Really Scotty only setup there because he couldnt get any legal authority to start in the US.

    • nick2ny

      iPhones may be great, but I wouldn’t say the way people “shit on China” is indiscriminate. Read: Independent UK article about iPhone workers

      It isn’t like this in *all* factories, and it is probably getting better, but…

      “Deaths from overwork are so common in Chinese factories that they have a word for it: guolaosi. China Daily estimates that 600,000 people are killed this way every year, mostly making goods for us. Li had never experienced any health problems, his family says, until he started this work schedule; Foxconn say he died of asthma and his death had nothing to do with them. The night Li died, yet another Foxconn worker committed suicide – the tenth this year.”

  • 5280 CB500T

    If he were to manufacture one of these in a 500 cc size, I’d probably pony up for one. Beautiful…

    • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

      For my riding, a 500 cc thumper would be optimal. I really just need to be able to hold 80 MPH for a few miles at a time.

      • ErikT

        Agreed. At that price, if it were 400 cc or 500 cc I’d be filling out a pre-order. If it could comfortably handle 70-80 mph it would add a lot more utility to the bike.

        I’m very interested to hear about how it rides.

    • Nate Berkopec

      if it was a 400cc even, I’d shell out tomorrow.

      • 5280 CB500T

        Glad to hear I’m not the only one who wants a bike in this displacement.

        Really, it seems that we’re missing out on a great opportunity for a really useful city bike if we don’t at least explore the 500 cc option. Not everyone needs or wants a liter bike (or bigger)…

        • Devin

          The last article Scotty commented on he said engines of that size are still a ways out. At least they are in the pipeline.

  • Michael

    Expand in India? Does that mean an Indian CCW factory? If not, how do they avoid the tarrif problems which supposedly caused H-D to have to open an Indian factory?

    • robotribe

      My guess: tariffs on HDs with higher manufacturing costs adds up to significantly more compared to Chinese made bikes with lower manufacturing costs. That, plus the cost of an imported American-made HD may alreadly put it at a disadvantage in a country like India where low-displacement and smaller capacity bikes rule.

      HD doesn’t make a 125 or 250cc economy bike, so the only way for them to make headway in the Indian market is as a premium brand. Add tariffs, and an HD in India could go from relative Mercedes level to Ferrari-class really quick.

      Then again, I’m no economist.

  • george

    looking at the quality of the ninja 250, and cbr250r, this is going to be a tough haul.
    there’s a gap in the market at 450/500cc which I would aim for, rather than just producing cheap bikes.
    here’s what I would aim for: http://www.vintagebike.co.uk/pictures/wp-content/themes/classipress/scripts/timthumb.php?src=http://www.vintagebike.co.uk/pictures/wp-content/uploads/gallery/ducati/Ducati%20250%20Mark%203%201972.jpg&w=570&zc=1

  • Jonathan

    I like the idea of a young guy trying to bring common sense back to the market. Nice looking bike. My BIG problem? Sweat shop labor. Based on QC and notorious indifference to safety v. profit, there is no way I’d trust my noggin on a bottom dollar Chinese bike. He is delusional if he thinks they will continue to deliver without cutting corners- especially if he doesn’t own the factory and have 24/7 supervision. Sorry for the buzz kill.

    • nick2ny


    • David

      You must be delusional or naive. Have a look at the back of all the stuff you posses, specially at stuff you really like and you’ll be surprised how much of it has been built in China.

      All my Apple computers, iPods and iPhones have been built in China and anyone that thinks the quality of those products is 2nd class is a blithering idiot.

      The Lenovo (Formerly IBM) laptops, legendary for their reliability and toughness, made and designed in China by a Chinese company.

      Just looking around my living room now I know my television, xbox360, wii, apple tv, blu-ray player, etc. All of these were made in China. These aren’t unknown brands, these are top brands with excellent quality control.

      Have a look through your tool chest, how many of those tools are built in China?

      The cars we drive may be built in North American, Japanese or European assembly lines, but I’m sure the suppliers have things made in China.

      BMW is manufacturing some of their engines in China. Engines that were previously designed and built in Europe but they are confident in having them made in China. If BMW, known for being sticklers for detail and quality of their components, can be happy with Chinese manufacturing, it should be good enough for me.

      Finally, I personally know a company in Canada that supplies a large part of the US with office equipment for schools. All their furniture is made in China and a large part of their work is meeting and overseeing Chinese production to ensure quality. Scott has already stated how much time he’s spending in China for this reason.

      You can build cheap and cheaply made things in China that will give you lead poisoning, but you can also build not quite as cheap, with good even great quality as well. That Chinese is inherently rubbish is ignorant and moronic.

    • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

      The Chinese manufacturers will make whatever quality of part you want to pay for.

      • Jonathan

        I have a Lenovo. Good machine. I have an Ipod. Nice design (total hose job with the battery issue, but let’s avoid that. Of course theyhave the ability to manufacture good quality. My point was that Steve Jobs isn’t going to get it up the butt. If you are a small player, you bet your life you run the risk of having you part “optimized”, “trimmed”, pick your euphemism. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will get what you spec”d. Do you really think the US toy company knowingly said, “yeah, use lead paint, I’ll take the liability for a savings of 25 cents per unit”. How about the hundreds of ships these built for us and others that are filled with PCBs, lead, and other goodies? Ya really think the shipping companies were told that they were getting that bill of goods? Sorry, I don’t buy the “conditional” argument (they CAN build good stuff, it’s just the greedy evil US buyer’s fault). I’m not attacking the Chinese people, just the unethical and unaccountable practices of factory owners. The whole point of any ethical decision is that you make it without just because it’s the right thing to do-it-yourself even if that means you won’t make an extra 2 cents per widget.

        • David

          Alright, I understand your point now. It’s a fair point, if not pessimistic. But there is precedent to justify the cynicism.

  • ken

    I prefer the seat shape on the cheaper, for home model , Cafe look to it.
    I am still questioning the arrival of the Hoolligun Motard,and a launch in Ontario Canada
    Perhaps Scotty could give an ETA this time around

  • brutus

    so will it be able to keep up on the interstate?

  • JonB

    Supply a big bore kit—302 maybe, as an option, as well as 19′s, and a wiring harness that eliminates the e-start.

  • Markus

    When are these coming to Europe?

  • Myles

    Good looking bike, honest seller


    (too much time on ADVforums?)

  • paul

    All the best Scotty. It’s exciting to see someone with vision walk the talk and make something happen. Shit talk and naysaying is too easy, but you’ve actually done something great. I really hope (and feel certain) that these bikes will do exactly what you wish , that is make riding accessible to a whole new generation. And these bike look good with loads of room for owner mods.

  • James

    Time will tell with regards to the build quality questions. Scott seems to know what he is doing and knows that he wont survive long in the market building junkers, but as with all things lets judge on the results not the words.
    Good on you HFL for giving the little guy some coverage, I would have killed to have the chance to buy a bike like this when I was learning in oz, good stuff.

  • slowtire

    I’d take a truckload of these to every college town in the US.

  • Mattro

    very attractive standard. makes me excited to see the other models alluded to here, as well.

  • Nate Berkopec

    Love the kickstarter. Can you imagine pulling out of an NYC bar with a leather jacket with this thing? Kickstarting those beautiful straight pipes… my god.

  • Gregory

    My KLR will cry if I replace it. How many motorcycles does a man need?

    2008 KLR 650 w milkcrate

    • DoctorNine

      It’s like condoms. It depends on the size of the garage to keep ‘em covered.

  • Ducky

    Looking forward to the review (keep it objective for us consumers though!). I’m definitely very excited about this company, keep up the good work Scott and co!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Aren’t we always objective?

  • jason

    The China thing makes me nervous. Hate to have that blow up under you. China still cannot get cars passed for export due to stunning lapses is safety and quality. Resale value is just not going to be there as well. A two wheel Yugo.

  • HammSammich

    High pipe, suspension upgrade and some knobbies, would make this a brilliant little scrambler, that could fill the void of my long lost 1972 Suzuki TS185…

  • motorbikeguy

    Is 285 lbs the curb weight? And when will this be available in Canada?

  • motorbikeguy

    Also, is it kick start or electric start?