The $3,200 solution to the modern motorcycle

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“Cool is being able to afford a bike that looks good and makes the owner feel good, but does not break the bank,” said the guy who designed this bike back when he first showed it to us in 2010. Finally, the Cleveland CycleWerks Misfit is available in the US. It’s not hard to define its USP —  the $3,200 price tag — but, for that price do you still get a real motorcycle? HFL is the first publication to in the world to ride the Misfit and, we’re extremely pleased to report that yes, the Misfit is fun, well-made and would make pretty much anyone feel good. It’s as real as any motorcycle gets, but we’d go further than that. The Misfit achieves something virtually no other motorcycle does. At any price.

Photos: Grant Ray

What’s wrong with the modern motorcycle?

Motorcycles today are wonderful things by any objective standard. Take the Honda CBR250R for example. Possibly the most significant bike of 2011, it packages all the traits Honda motorcycles are known for — performance, user-friendliness, quality, economy and a general cohesiveness no other brand really manages — into a $4,000 product that’s light, extraordinarily easy to ride and pretty much perfect for any new rider or heck, anyone on a budget or just looking for a fun little economical commuter.

The CBR250R’s problem isn’t the objective, it’s the subjective. Particularly in the styling department. A worldwide product, it was styled to appeal to the massive motorcycle markets in Asia first, European tiered licensing second and the US about a distant 20th. Honda sells more than 19 million motorcycles a year worldwide, but less than 100,000 street bikes a year in the US. It’s no wonder the company doesn’t choose to chase trends in the US, which creates a viable niche a company like Cleveland CycleWerks can fill.

Aside from styling, there’s also the question of involvement and character. A modern performance bike is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Even a 600 is faster than a GP bike from 25 years ago. For around $10k, you can get a vehicle that’d give any race car in the world a run for its money not just in performance, but in technology too. Ferrari got its five-valve head from Yamaha, a technology you can now find on the used market for around the price of this new Misfit. But, to fully appreciate even a 10-year old 600, you’re going to have to have nearly the talent of a GP rider, be willing to possibly put your life at risk and definitely your license. To enjoy riding a modern performance bike, you have to travel at least warp speed. Should riding a motorcycle really be about speed for speed’s sake?

Boom, bust and doing the ton

So the trend that Honda doesn’t want to chase is this whole cafe racer thing. Sure, cafe racers are bullshit bikes more about mimicking a trendy look than they are about achieving any mechanical function. And, as trends tend to do, they’ve reached their peak and are now on the decline. But, there’s no denying that they are popular, and popular amongst a subset of people who aren’t otherwise riding motorcycles — people under the age of 49.

The term cafe racer comes from 1960s England, where skint, spotty bikers would huddle around a cup of tea while wearing unfortunate white socks, attempt to emulate American culture, then tear all the unnecessary stuff off their bikes and tell tall tales about riding them fast. Back then, it was supposed to mostly be about breaking laws on fast bikes, but now it’s more of an excuse to dress up in questionable clothes and be all high and mighty about simplicity of purpose while being a slave to fashion.

Chasing young people buying their very first motorcycle, the cafe racer look is killer though. It’s hard enough to convince a member of a risk averse society, raised by their mother, to spend money on a motorcycle instead of an iPad anyways, so giving them something that looks like what they see in fashion magazines and in cheesy movies is just one less hurdle to clear on the path to bikerdom. Can you do the ton on a Misfit? Just about.

Classic looks, classic performance.

So the Misfit looks like an old motorcycle. And, it performs like one too. That it’s slow should come as no surprise. People complain that the 26bhp CBR250R isn’t as powerful as the 31bhp Ninja 250. So 14bhp is going to be even slower. That’s right, 14bhp, 12lb/ft and 296lbs (dry), none of which is impressive and all of which is only good for about 75mph.

But, the Misfit doesn’t feel slow. At least once it’s warmed up. Spoiled by all the fancy new motorcycles we get to ride, I haven’t had to operate a choke in over a year. So, when the Misfit was cutting out at every stop sign, just minutes into my test ride, I was initially pretty crestfallen. Well, until I realized that the petcock was off and there was a big |∅| symbol on the left bar. Fuel on, choke out and things were good to go. I could have made life easier by using the electric start, but I was trying to recapture a classic experience by using the kickstarter every time. Probably not the best idea stalled in the middle of a busy LA intersection. At least the Misfit starts easy.

Up onto the 405 and top speed was the least of my concerns. Heading up the on-ramp, every full-throttle, clutchless upshift had the bars wagging as the power kicked back in. Onto the concrete rain grooves and the skinny 90/90-18 front tire was tracking and wandering like it was possessed. In between bumper-to-bumper traffic, the tiny dimensions and low seat had me fearing people couldn’t see me. It’s as white knuckles as I’ve been since the last time I rode an RSV4 flat out at over 150mph. If riding a motorcycle is supposed to be about expending your brain’s capacity on nothing but riding, then just a simple A to B trip through west LA was really riding a motorcycle.

What you see isn’t necessarily what you get.

Part of the reason that first ride was so involving and so much fun was because I wasn’t going 75mph, I was going 95mph. That’s because our tester wasn’t exactly stock. CCW has two bikes in LA this week and, suckers for fast motorcycles that we are, we asked for the modified one first.

The two big add-ons, performance wise, are the tidy megaphone full exhaust system ($406) and its accompanying alterations to fueling (a 105 jet and a little labor). There’s also a Clubman bars ($120, but they’re really nice) and a little porting and polishing (performed by Tom Weaver) was done to the head as well. So equipped, this cafe racer will do the ton. Invest a little more and Scott Colosimo, who runs Cleveland, reports a GPS-verified 112mph top speed is possible. I wouldn’t want to do that on the 405. Not on the stock Duro tires.

The unique 250cc engine is based on Honda CG architecture, but modified to CCW’s specs with a unique head design and counter balancer. The cam is allegedly profiled for “performance,” a word you use loosely when 14bhp is being discussed. In modified guise, the power band is wide, with a decent rush at the top end. It’s also smooth, but characterful, feeling much more like the engine of a 1960s Brit bike than anything currently being churned out by a major manufacturer. Despite its lack of power, it’s extremely fun to use and you quickly try and see how long you can keep it on WOT without lifting, trying to carry as much speed as possible because regaining it takes so long.

The company plans a full catalog of accessory and upgrade components, all of which will be made in the USA. Eventually, motorcycle assembly could take place here. Remember that Scott’s original plan was to make the motorcycles domestically, only going to China when every American factory was so afraid of the liability, they refused to make motorcycle parts.

Speed is as speed does.

I tweeted a picture of the Misfit on Sunday, to which someone promptly replied, “My Thruxton doesn’t even have remote reservoir shocks!” This is where the Misfit starts to get really exciting. Those remote reservoirs aren’t just there for looks either, they really work. The spring rates are a bit heavy, but there’s good damping, so the ride is firm and responsive. The USD (yes, upside down forks on a $3,200 bike) are much the same. Bounce your body weight on them and they compress, then extend in a controlled, well-damped manner. It’s not quite Ohlins, but it’s better action than, say, a Gladius or Ninja 650.

The quality of that suspension is mirrored on virtually all the other components too. The dark chrome finish on the motor is deep and lustrous, the plastic parts are thick and sturdy, the switchgear moves with reassuringly solid feel. The foot pegs and levers — made from el cheapo pressed steel on the CBR250 — are here reassuringly thick and sturdy. The only sources of disappointment are if you look very closely at the paint, there is a little bit of orange peel; the CCW tank logos are stickers, not lacquered in; and there’s one or two bolts that are slightly longer than necessary, protruding a bit beyond their threads. I was not expecting anything like this quality of finish. It looks and feels like a decent European motorcycle.

Making every stock Japanese motorcycle look silly, the brake lines are stainless instead of rubber. When we got the bike, it had 22 miles on it and the pads weren’t bedded in yet, requiring a big handful of front lever to stop it. But by the 10th mile, they were mated to the wavy 290mm disc and you could trail them through a corner with two fingers and plenty of feel. There’s more than enough power too.

Get over the pint-sized dimensions and scrawny tires and the Misfit becomes a surprisingly able companion. It changes direction incredibly quickly and holds a line with confidence and without wobble. CCW is planning accessory rearsets, these stock mid-mount foot pegs do limit ground clearance a little.

A classic motorcycle for the modern world.

The most surprising thing about the Misfit? I never once found myself qualifying something with “for the price” or “for a first effort.” This is a genuinely good motorcycle, one with unique character, that just happens to be surprisingly cheap. In a world of monthly payments, it might be hard to get your mind around how cheap $3,200 is, so maybe this will help — CCW, a tiny company, is offering finance at $85 a month with $0 down. I don’t need to apply any adjectives to that.

The Misfit isn’t going to be for everyone. It is slow, it is small and it is made in China. But if you’re looking for a bike to learn how to ride on, one to provide impossibly cheap transportation or a fun little basis for a project, then it’s going to give you all the benefits of a modern bike — real brakes, reliability, a warranty and monthly payments — combined with the character, involvement and looks of a classic.

But yeah, for the price and as a first real bike (or a first with rear suspension anyways), the Misfit is simply stunning. As a sign of things to come, it couldn’t be any more positive, but it’s also a realistic, appealing product right now. You’re right Scott, this is cool.

Cleveland CycleWerks

  • Joe

    As I sit today bruised and busted looking at my disaster CB750 project, this bike is starting to look a lot more compelling.

    And, for the record, I am not trying to make a cafe’ racer, I just wanted to do a light restoration and ride a cool, older bike.

    I wish I could write an article detailing my project hell to convince broke, college kids like me to skip the project “experience” and by a CCW bike haha

    • Mark D

      Mmmmm, project bike hell! Enjoy your stay!

    • Aienan

      I have a 79 CB750K sitting in my backyard that belongs to a friend who is looking to get rid of it. It tempts me regularly, but it does need a full work over and rebuild.

      Thing hasn’t been registered since 1985…

    • The other Joe

      There are plenty of good bikes for cheap out there, you just have to find them. Craigslist worked for me. Last weekend I picked up a ’91 VFR750F that looks and runs almost like new for $2250. 8-10 weeks until I can ride it.

  • paul redican

    I wish Scotty and his business well, anything thats gets people onto bikes is all good in my opinion trend or not. There are a lot of people who would take this over a Honda or a Ninja just for looks alone and there’s nought wrong with that.


    How long do I have to wait for a revival of the boxy styled ’84 Nighthawk?
    That said, I’d buy this in a second with a scoche more capacity.

    • Troy R

      dude , i love my 84 nighthawk 700 too, but i think unfortunately its an aquired taste:-)

      • Raubert Van Harris

        Used to have an 84′ Honda Sabre 700. Loved the blocky headlight and other 80′s regalia

  • contender

    Nice write up. Do you know if dealers are allowing demo rides?

    • Wes Siler

      All the one I know of will.

    • Sauciér

      I think it’ll depend on the dealer. The one in Columbus balked when I asked to test a Heist last year.

  • Cheese302 [Street Triple R]

    great review, when can i buy one for my girlfriend (read: new daily rider)

    • Wes Siler

      They’re in dealers now.

      • Cheese302 [Street Triple R]

        sweet, i know a guy that works at PIT in jersey, i think i might have to stop in.

  • wwalkersd

    I love the looks and the idea of this bike, but in this economy, I sure wish it wasn’t made in China.

    Re the photos, why is there a small gas gauge set into a large dial face, and then a small tach? Wouldn’t it make more sense to swap them? Or is the tach optional?

    • robotribe

      I hear ya, but if it WAS made domestically (which was attempted at first, only to be turned away by domestic manufacturing companies when they heard the intention was to build parts for motorcycles), it would likely cost significantly more.

      • wwalkersd

        I know, I know. I’ve been following all the reporting here on CCW, and read about their travails in trying to establish domestic manufacturing. I still wish they could have built the bikes here. But if wishes were horses….

  • Mark D

    I was going to bemoan the lack of a pillion seat, then I remembered; 12 lb/ft.

    They look like the perfect beginner bikes, but I’m real curious about the 500cc versions in the works.

  • BigRooster

    Great review. I wish CCW well and hope this helps bring new riders into the fold. I dont mind China production so much but it would be nice to see a bike with the name Cleveland assembled in Ohio someday.

  • Rick

    Is this motorcycling’s equivalent to “Lomography”?

    I’d say some passage of time is needed before genuine goodness is bestowed on any contraption.

    • Robert M

      Looked up “lomography”:

      Using this as an example, it seems to me the genuine goodness is intrinsic to the object and is perhaps discovered over time.

      Funny thing about WOT and spending velocity wisely, the driving / riding habit it engenders requires a big adjustment when something with real power and speed gets into the mix.

    • BigRooster


      • Jesse

        Smile when you say NERD. *thumbs up*

  • DoctorNine

    Looks like a winner to me.
    Can’t go wrong with a balanced thumper as a first ride.

  • Mr.Paynter

    The first bike I bought myself was a cheap Korean import based on a CG 125! Bulletproof and fun for a lot of the reasons here but nowhere near the fit and finish (for US$700) but it looked good when I got it for what I needed!

    Anyway you could do an article where you put it through say 5000miles of all-weather riding? I’d like to see if the finish holds up?

  • bluemilew

    Read all of the articles on CCW, and still..

  • fazer6

    I think these, and CCW’s bikes are really appealing, and arguably better bikes than their Japanese competition. However, having come 30 seconds from buying a Heist a year ago, they have one major drawback. The team at Pit bikes was excellent, and even though I hadn’t ridden a cruiser style in a while, at the time I just wanted a small, affordable, cheap to own bike for a short commute.
    The CCW hits the first two, but sadly, not the last.
    Problem is insurance, often the highest monthly expence of owning a bike, more than the loan and a lot more than gas. With a typical Japanese 250 this isn’t the case, but jump to a 600 supersport, or liter bike and whoa, how much?! And that’s where the deal with CCW died.
    Since insurance rates are heavily statistics based (in the US anyway), an “unknown” bike gets the highest rate by default. I’ve owned over a half dozen bikes in the past decade, and paid insurance in a fairly narrow band, with some being really low and some fairly high. I have a clean driving record, and am in my 30s.
    I called every insurance company I had ever used, and then several more. The annual rates for the Heist were roughly half the purchase cost of the bike.
    For their target demographic this is completely undoable. Of course there’s always the option to forgo coverage on the bike, but then you can forget about getting financing, and how many twenty-somethings have three large lying around?
    I ended up buying the utterly vanilla, but very overlooked and superbly competent TU250. Monthly insurance is less than it takes to fill the 3 gallon tank with regular.


      That’s a fair point. M/c insurance is also high if you’re a new rider, and therefore the target market.

    • zero

      You’re right. Cleveland needs to start reaching out to the insurance companies.

      I just tried to get a quote for adding it to my Progressive policy and they weren’t listed as a Make. When I listed ‘other’ and wrote in the name, I got a message saying the would not insure it.

    • fasterfaster

      HFL fellas, please pass on the following advice to CCW: They need to give demo bikes to Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to determine depreciation, running costs, and repair costs of typical accidents. Aside from historical data, this is what insurance companies rely upon to set rates.

      That should quickly bring insurance rates inline or lower than other 250s.

    • Edward

      Great point, but I do question the utility of insuring something that is $3,200 new (plus taxes and fees).

      • Gavin

        Some states require insurance…

        • BigRooster

          They require liability insurance.

          • Gavin

            Yeah, but progressive wont quote on it at all, even liability. so its still a problem.

      • Tony T.

        If someone is financing it they will need comprehensive insurance (or a bond?) anyways.

    • Core

      That’s one of the bullshit things in this country, or at least in my state (It could be in others). I have been looking for work in my trade.. ( license for Heavy Equipment operation) and because I don’t have that magical fucking two years of experience, I can’t find work. And its do to insurance companies saying hey if you don’t hire someone with two year experience, your rates going to be so high your not going to be in business.. at least that’s my understanding..

      *sighs* Bullshit on a grand scale.

    • scottydigital

      Fazer, not sure where you are shopping, but many of our customer are paying under $300 a year for full coverage. I have a horrible driving record, and have 3 CCW bikes, all under $250 a year, full coverage with State Farm in Ohio.

      We are in the process with KBB at the moment.

    • scottydigital
  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    Insurance is for suckers. All the Melbourne hipsters would love these anyways…bring em to Australia!

    • mugget

      Yeah I was just thinking – any plans for Australia?

      Actually for that price it may even be worth importing one from The States… I have a couple of mates who just got their licenses, wanting bikes but money is tight ATM. We started a CB750 cafe racer project but abandoned it due to lack of time, so I’m sure they’d dig the look of this bike.

      CCW is winning!

  • Ankur V

    If I didn’t pick up a used Monster this past summer, I would be all over this. That $85 per month financing is a killer deal!

    • BigRooster

      Depends – over 48 months that is a total cost of $4,080, not too bad. If the term is 60 months, then you bought a $3,200 bike for $5,100 with an unknown resale value but most likely around $2K.

      Financing a $3,200 bike would be pretty stupid in my opinion, unless its done very short term – like 6 months.

      $3,200 is a good price for sure but I would never finance it.

      • zero

        It’s a 48 month term. Not a bad deal at all really.

        • BigRooster

          ..but isnt that like 17% interest? Bad deal.

  • Anders
    • Devin Stone

      Excellent call, Anders. I remember that article from back in the day and thought they made a brilliant point. Funny too, Wired is where I found out about HFL.

  • M

    hmmm… tax return needs to be spent somewhere, i reckon.

  • Alex

    Holy shit.

    I can’t help but really want one of these. I’ve got my Daytona 675 which in my mind will slowly become a track only bike and this seems perfect to inherit daily street duty. I’d been thinking of a 250cc, but the styling on this trumps the Ninja 250 and CRB250R by leaps and bounds, hot damn!

  • JRl

    That thing is a punch to the face of any “cafe racer”! Love it.

  • nick x

    Good job and I wish you all the best. It’S good to see that you are gaining some momemtum on this and I do beleive that the sales will reinfroce that.
    The insureance thing is a bummer though :)

  • Jason

    Sorry guys but I think all the complaining about this bike isn’t American, is completely unfair. All of us here believe that a bike is more than the sum of its parts, so to bemoan the nationality of the person assembling it is crazy strange to me. Are you sure the quality assurance is any worse than the Honda factory in Thailand or the KTM assembly plant in Malaysia? Or the HD plant in Milwaukee… actually scratch that, we all know that HD does not do QA :P

    This bike, and the rest in its lineup, designed by Scott in Ohio, to suit American taste and culture, of its heyday no less. Its sales and distribution network is American true and true. Its parts are crafted and assembled by people aspiring the American dream. When sold, its yuppie owner can prance around pretending to be James Dean. When he sees another James Dean wannabe, he has enough spare change to go to an American modder to be really wild, seeding a new culture. As the chopper market winds down, I’m sure the rednecks will get over their HD obsession and be more than happy to stop sneering at the “Chinese” bike and give you looks, power or whatever the hell you want.

    Just look at motocross right now. Sure, the base model is a kickass Japanese/Austrian bike, but look at the dominant aftermarket industry, made up of huge distributor networks, mom and pop garage outfits, and everything else in between. Based in Sol Cal, the industry is making tons of money, which it pours back into the sport, and bringing what was a deviant sub-culture into the prime time slot of a major TV network. We don’t see motocross as a Japanese or Austrian sport. We see it as American. So does the world.

    A motorcycle is more than the sum of its parts. It is merely an epitome of its rider, its manufacturing and aftermarket industries, its role in motorsport and of course lifestyle. This is more true in America than the rest of the world, where the motorcycle is just boring transport. To me, CCW is as American as GM or Apple. If we still want to keep enjoying our lifestyle in this economy, we can do a lot worse than buying the Misfit. Ok off my soap box now.

    • TuffGong

      I don’t think the Chinese made/American made comments are based on quality concerns. Knowing an American machinist or welder earned a paycheck making the bike means the money actually goes into our economy. Buying local is a relative term. Corporate earnings make individuals rich ,but do little or nothing for the US economy. American owned,designed and marketed is good.American built even better.Without money market manipulation,absence of environmental costs and living wages,the Chinese could not build it more cheaply than here. The real cost of this and every thing else made there is much higher,the bill has not come due just yet. I ride a BMW and have for twenty of my 33 years of riding and make my home in France,so I am not a protectionist ranter,just anti-corporate welfare and pro-social investment. Ride what you like where you like…Nice bike .

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

        Where’s Tom? I miss having him around.

  • damien

    My thruxton tweet got quoted! I feel special!

    Great write up. I’m going to make my buddy in LA buy this thing.

  • barryg

    It is astounding to me that the potential liability issue kills the possibility of US produced parts becoming integral to the build of this lovely little bike! I would hope that all the aftermarket bits that the bike cries out for will be made here, at least. And I hope that they make a bucketload of money for those companies prepared to take a punt.
    All the best to CCW for giving it a go. Well done!

    • jpenney

      Really? With headlines like Civic Hybrid Owner Wins $9,867 In Small Claims Case Against Honda popping up over gas milage think what would happen with a failed casting on a foot peg or welds on a frame.

      • Gene

        Come on now. That 50mpg rating was obvious BS, and Honda needed to get popped for it. That’s the same sort of BS as the “unlimited bandwidth!!!111oneone” ads from mobile firms, that then cap you, fine you, or otherwise penalize you for actually using that bandwidth. Those bastards deserve lawsuits.

        Plus if you’ve got failed welds on a frame, that’s pretty messed up. Kawasaki would get sued for that sort of thing as quickly as these people.

        I guess American companies no longer have any confidence that they can turn out a quality product.

        • NoSenseLikeSilersense

          You can sue a company for promising ‘unlimited bandwidth’ and that will not even make it to trial. That’s a common advertising tactic, perfectly legal. A faulty component is a liability, not a legally acceptable component.

  • jpenney

    Grrrr … was looking at the dealer list and the one closest to me (still 3 hours away) looks to be a total piece of crap.

    The first result when I searched for them was a link to Not a good start. The review on the Google search results were bad. From there I found some scooter forums that also have overwhelmingly negative opinions.

    The scenario seems to be. Bikes not setup correctly. Service slow. Customers cussed at when they press for reasons why the service is so slow.

    I hope CCW is able to ferret out crappy dealers quickly.

  • the_doctor

    Wow. That is like, no power, but, on the other hand, that is insanely affordable. Awesome, and I wish CCW the best.

  • Restless Lip Syndrome

    Love it! What a great concept that made it to the market.

  • Michael

    They gotta get these things into the bike schools.

    Not a big fan of the GZ250′s they use around here.

    But then again, the GZ250 has got a base price of 2,999 and 20 hp.

    When CCW puts out a 500cc version I’ll be checking it out, for sure.

  • Alix

    Any word on when the Ace is coming out?

  • Justin

    CCW, you ALMOST got me with this one. Really, I’m so excited for this. Excited to find out about it’s logevity, parts availability, and whether or not the hipster community at large picks this up and runs with it. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go put some money down on a CBR250R.

  • kb96gt

    Great write up and pics HFL.

    Insurance should not be a big deal. Just show the bill of sale and they should adjust it. It’s funny how many times you have to tell them THREE thousand, not THIRTY thousand for your brand new moto.

    I’ve had my Heist for 2000 miles and a year and a half. Not a single issue with it. This bikes taught me a lot about riding, maintaining, and customizing.

    Take these bikes for what they are, but also what they’re hopefully leading towards.

    • Adrian

      2000 miles in 1 1/2 years? Let’s hope you haven’t had any problems. That’s an average of around 3 1/2 miles a day. Not really taxing it. Your biggest problem will be rubber dry rot.

  • Rob Cavenagh

    Did any of you guys who are drooling over this bike read the paragraph on how it handled when the author took it on the 405? I would not own this bike.

    • Major Caenus

      There was a time not long ago when most bikes handled like this. It’s just that everything now has been enlarged and pussified. I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be taken on the freeway anyway


        If by “pussified” you mean “more practical”, then I agree. As many things as this bike does right, being freeway impractical is a major turn off. Dancing handlebars are never a good thing.
        I guess I should eat more lightning and crap more thunder.

        • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

          Shouldn’t we all?

          And it’s probably a great way to prevent speeding amongst newer riders!

    • Campisi

      Meh, with the five-oh salivating over the prospect of giving out tickets for going five over or just about anything else I’d rather be clenched at eighty five than bored at a hundred.

  • Core

    Its sharp looking, and affordable to someone with a job. LoL.

    I really have no place to be talking since I won’t be able to buy one for awhile, but I am curious about the riding position. Looks slightly uncomfortable, like you’d be in a racing position all the time.

  • scottydigital

    Scott from CCW here, at this stage we are walking, steady, and solid. We will begin to run soon. Image what is going to happen when we learn to fly! We just closed on our new factory in Cleveland last week, there are some exciting developments in store for the next few years.

    Thanks for the support from those who believe in what we are doing. Cheer!

    • Ben Incarnate

      That’s awesome, Scott. My girlfriend saw this article and immediately scrapped plans for any other bike as her first. Sadly, it’s a bit of a hike from Dallas to Austin to the nearest dealer – and I’m not totally sure how we’ll transport it back if she gets one, since I can’t imagine four hours at 65+ mph is a good break in routine, but… she’s grinning.

      • mugget

        Break in: go for a 5-10km blast around the city and back to the shop to have them change the oil and filter. The ride home and change the oil and filter again to be on the safe side. Break in done!

    • David Dawson

      That is awesome news! Glad to hear you’ll be able to make them here now!

    • NoSenseLikeSilersense

      I imagine that when you learn to fly your company will be able to clone any given bike within 3 months

      Maybe even 2

  • Dean

    I really wish you guys (HFL) would make this type of article available outside the paywall indefinitely.

    I have so many friends that I’m trying to get into riding (mostly unsuccessfully), but articles like this one could be helpful.

    That said, I never send them any HFL articles, knowing they’ll only ever see a single paragraph (because I don’t usually get to the articles within 12 hours, and wouldn’t expect friends to read my email that fast either way).

    Maybe it’s time for a “beginners” tag that exempts specific articles?

    • nick2ny

      I love it! +1

    • Ceolwulf

      Is a good idea.

      In the meantime I suppose you could print to PDF and email that.

    • Wes Siler
      • mugget

        Hot damn!! That is awesome!

  • scottydigital

    This is Scott from CCW, I am also posting this down at the bottom. I received over 30 emails from people replying to fazer6′s post about high insurance on CCW bikes. I am going to have to say that his post is 100% not accurate. Our bikes are affordable to own, even insurance. Please see current CCW riders insurance premiums below. This is a string in the CCW tha Riders Facebook group, all quotes are customer provided.

    Seth: It’s $330/year for me.

    Don: ‎$174 per year for Katja’s Heist and my Vmax combined

    Gregory: mine is about 500 a year, but I have multiple bikes on it and use a bike as my primary vehicle

    Lewis: ‎$25 a month

    Jeff: $230/yr. full coverage

    Edward: $‎300 yr. for my bike and truck

    Tim: I’m about 125 for the year on the CCW

    Brett: $90 a year for liability

    Atreides: $78 bucks a year for better than liability

    John: My customers are Paying an average of $90yr for liability, and $200yr for full coverage in Nevada.

    Matt: $280 yr in NJ for full coverage

    Bryan: NY $350 full coverage $500 deductible.

    • fazer6


      First off–This is great news. As I said, that was my experience, and that was a year ago, so things may be better now than then.
      That said, I still pay less than that for the Suzuki, with very high coverage and very low deductibles.

      It might also be very helpful to others to give the names and states of those insurance quotes, since PIT bikes was not able to help me in that regard last year.

      As stated, many websites (including Progressive and Geico, arguably the two largest bike insurers) do not have CCW in the drop down, so you have to call them–Some people just won’t want to do that, and when I did I got “No” from Geico, and a very high rate from Progressive (who now insures my TU).
      I’ve had State Farm cover several other bikes in the past, in AZ, and they said no (again, a year ago).

      Also, As other have noted, liability is good for staying legal, but if you need (or want) to finance, full coverage will be required, including set minimums in many cases.

      All the best of luck in your efforts to establish the brand, and get more people on much better starter and/or commuter bikes than the average newbie (i.e. 600 supersport or 1200 cruiser).

    • zero

      Great to hear. I guess Progressive, who I currently insure with, is just behind the ball.

    • John

      Misfit looks pretty tempting Scott, I forwarded the article on to se of my friends looking to start riding. Any word on when we’ll see the Ace or Hooligun?

  • HammSammich

    Hmmm…Speed Triple R or Base Speed Triple and one of these? Probably a good thing there are no dealers in WA State…

  • nick x

    Hang in there bro, you”re just getting started and drop me a line when you”re in Germany.

  • mugget

    Wes said ‘petcock’. Haa Haaa!

    • scottydigital

      :) hehe

  • Myles

    So if they were the same price – how does this compare to the tu250x? Nothing to do with the brand, or dealer network, or insurance, or anything. Just This motorcycle against that motorcycle?

  • lidewij

    Scott calls himself a motorcycle designer. That must be a bit overrated. Check out these links. The products he flaunts as his own are readily available. Although he probably improved the product which is a good thing, he did not design it or he was ripped off. I wish him the best of luck anyway. No guts no glory…

    • Kyle Turriff

      I’m a first time rider looking for an inexpensive, reliable, stylish bike. After reading the many articles on HFL and other sites along with CCW’s own I was sold.

      After I found this info out I now have my reservations about getting a Misfit. It could still be everything I need in a bike but I was drinking the Kool Aid with everyone else. I believed in Scott and CCW.

      Scott does address the styling on the Ace in the CCW blog ( Does the same hold true for the Misfit?

  • scottydigital

    I own Somoto lidewij………

    China and SE Asia are growth markets, so we started a design studio in China. My partner at Somoto is the Ex factory boss of CPI, who was at CPI when we started the Misfit………

    We have grown, I am busy running the business. CCW has hired designers, many of them graduates from the school I went to and taught transportation design at (Cleveland Institute of Art). Notice the beautiful images of Cleveland on the Somoto website? Those are CCW images…….

    If you think our bikes are cool, quality built and priced right then buy them. If not, don’t.

    I only get involved when someone blatantly mis-represents what CCW is about, you call into question my integrity in your post, and for this, I have to set the record straight.

    If you think strategically aligning my business with strong manufacturing partners is dishonest, then you have a ton to learn about this world.

    Build up, do not tear down! Later hater

    • Kyle T


      Thanks for the clarification. Consider my reservations non-existent.

      I hope to purchase my Misfit this spring!

      • scottydigital

        No worries Kyle, I am a bit of a dick sometimes, had a little moonshine in me when I wrote that reply. Cheers!

  • Prof.MochPhillHoftstein

    This article is full of Silerisms. Statements that simply don’t make any sense, that are often patently untrue, but which Siler utters with complete conviction because they seem to support the nonsensical point that he is trying to make. Oh let’s give credit where credit is due: sometimes his point does make some sense, just not nearly as much sense as he seems to think. Then to top it off he gives a virtually completely hypocritical and narrow-minded example to support his point. This site is far better off without him.

  • NoSenseLikeSilersense

    I’ll believe your nonsense about how this is a good bike to own when you sell your rsv4 and buy one yourself

  • DelayedFantasyRealisation

    Hey, I feel like I fully appreciate my sport bike even though I don’t ride it at ‘warp speed’. I guess that I’ll be getting a MotoGP ride any day now, thanks to you, Wes! Surely after I print this out and send it to each MotoGP team it’ll just be a matter of time.

  • Wtfnow

    A wonderful argument

    Now if I could only ignore the fact that most of what you said against other bikes is simply not true, that in fact without all those other bikes this bike wouldn’t even exist, and the question of whether this is worth even the asking price you completely avoided answering. You have no idea how long this bike will last in normal use. But the day I come back from China with a copy of a Porsche 911gt3 and need a ‘journalist’ to swear that it’s worth a quarter of the price of a real one you will be the first that I call.

  • RobG

    Not to knock this bike (at all), but the Cafe Racer thing is akin to the Harley thing… a bunch of people in it more for the image than for the ride. I’m not sure which set is more ridiculous.