Motorcycles

Cleveland Cyclewerks releases its neo-retro Falcon electric motorcycle

Cleveland Cyclewerks releases ...
A top speed over 85 mph makes this thing highway-capable
A top speed over 85 mph makes this thing highway-capable
View 4 Images
The Falcon's blacked-out rims and pizza-tray rear sprocket are hard to ignore
1/4
The Falcon's blacked-out rims and pizza-tray rear sprocket are hard to ignore
The Falcon is a nice-looking electric motorcycle
2/4
The Falcon is a nice-looking electric motorcycle
A top speed over 85 mph makes this thing highway-capable
3/4
A top speed over 85 mph makes this thing highway-capable
Removable batteries make for flexible charging options
4/4
Removable batteries make for flexible charging options
View gallery - 4 images

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 Falcon is a nice-looking electric motorcycle
The Falcon is a nice-looking electric motorcycle

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..

Cleveland Falcon on the streets

Source: Cleveland CycleWerks

View gallery - 4 images
10 comments
Bionic88
I like it a lot, but not at that price. And posting it w/ those "BS" range claims (ha!!) makes it even a harder sell. I looked them up online, and apparently they're "thing" is retro style bikes.
minivini
That is NOT a $15,000 bike even if they endow it with some voodoo magic that gives it the (fantasy) claimed 180 miles.

It’s cute. Cute like the $2000 Chinese e-bikes we see daily while reading tech blogs. Someone at Cleveland has been drinking too much Detroit water...
Karmudjun
Awesome article - after watching the video it is apparent that they love their work - and are proud to show it off as if it were cutting edge.....it is merely cuter edge and at a price to 'burn'.

NOT in the market for one of these, but maybe if they: a) get the price reasonable and; b) amp up the power & range for those of us who have compared "rice-burners" against "Ahmerahkin-mussel" for years, maybe I'd get off my reminiscing and think about new memories of two wheeling the road. Appreciate your calling BS when more than warranted - I've always wondered what pristine conditions yield those mpg and range metrics on internal combustion (powered) vehicles.
Michael son of Lester
One of these days someone will begin to produce an e-motorcycle with good specs at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I don't think this is that bike. Now if they managed to take the 1 from the $14,995 price tag, then maybe. But as it stands, I can't see a lot of these e-motorcycles hitting the streets. Sad really, since I would love to retire my old CB450-4 Honda.
mediabeing
$14K for a hard tail??
Not a chance.
fastpart
The $15000 is for the first 20 hand built bikes. they will be all cnc and custom parts. founders edition bikes. full production model will be substantially less. i watched the live unveil last friday, i believe the video is on their facebook page.
T N Args
Maybe they will do something legal with it in the next video. Are they trying to sell it to skateboarders?
PaleDale
That is a shame, I am still holding out for the bike that will cruise on 105 km/r, do 100k's per charge and cost < than $8k AUD. This one had the right specs, (BS range claims aside) but that price is unrealistic at best.
Doodah
At a hair over 3k, the Onyx is where the value is IMO. It can go over 60, has reasonable range for something you're probably just riding around town for less than 20 miles a day, and looks super cool. Not sure why these other brands feel like their prices are justified. My big regret is not doing the Onyx Indiegogo campaign, but I'm hoping they do another for their next iteration, and I'm hoping that they re-design their battery removal process which looks clunky at best.
Doodah
One other thing, this is one of the first times I've read a Newatlas article that wasn't overly polite about a product. Maybe it's a response to the ridiculous price this thing is at, but I like the tone.