Cleveland Cyclewerks releases its neo-retro Falcon electric motorcycle
The promise of a cheap, fun electric motorcycle has been a long time coming. The cheap ones don't look like much fun, and the fun ones don't look like much cheap. But we're getting closer and closer to the kinds of machines that'll tick the right boxes for a daily electric commuter that'll leave a smile on your dial, even if you'll still need to keep your roaring dinosaur burner for the real crazy stuff on the weekends.
Cleveland CycleWerks has pulled the blinding hood off its Falcon BLK and released it into this space, going for an angular, neo-retro, bench-seated cafe racer kind of a look and a set of specs that are achievable within a reasonable budget, even if the performance won't set your pants on fire.
The motor is a 13-kilowatt (17.5-hp) waterproof mid-drive feeding a chain back to the rear wheel along the right side. It makes 39 Nm (29 lb-ft) of torque at the shaft, but this will translate to a lot more at the wheel when final gearing is considered. The power doesn't sound like a lot, but it'll take you to somewhere north of 85 mph (137 km/h) in short bursts, and happily sustain a 65 mph (105 km/h) highway speed without overheating.
The battery is a pair of 2.2-kWh "Angry Pixy Power" packs, using Samsung cells, combining to give you 4.4 kWh and a claimed range of up to 180 miles (290 km). We are prepared to call BS when we see it, and this is a steaming pile if we ever saw one. Even though this bike is lightweight at 79 kg (175 lb), you're putting a rider on that doubles that weight, and we'd estimate you'd need to ride it fairly conservatively in the lowest power mode to get 70 city miles (113 km) out of it. If you can find a 180-mile hill to roll down, then maybe. We'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
There are four power modes; Eco, Custom, Ego and Wheelie mode, a mode close to my own heart. The lattermost two enable an "Angry Pixy Boost" that gives you 20 seconds of an unspecified amount of power, presumably until the motor overheats. If Eco mode is really rated to give you 180 miles, we'd be surprised if it outputs enough to boil a saucepan of water.
The frame is "robot bent" and hand-welded, a simple design that sits the battery as a big ol' box in the middle, with some weather and shock protection and a squiggly pattern on the sides. Other than that, she's super clean, with a barely-legal tiny headlight, single bar end mirror, blacked-out rims and small 2-piston disc brakes on 200-mm rotors at either end. Suspension is non-adjustable, and for some silly reason Cleveland has decided to fit high-grip Michelin Pilot Power sportbike tires to it instead of a long-life compound.
The price? Oh dear. It's US$14,995, or four grand more than a Zero FX ZF7.2 from a well-established brand carrying nearly twice the battery and making nearly three times the power. There's a "Falcon 01" edition available for $7,995, but that's an e-bike/e-moped thing with half the battery, governed to 750 or 1,500 W.
Nice enough looking bikes, but they're not going to set the world on fire at those prices. See a video below, featuring some of the least exciting irresponsible riding we've seen in a long time..
Source: Cleveland CycleWerks