Cleveland CycleWerks made its debut at the 2018 Auto Expo and showcased four motorcycles from its international portfolio. The bike maker was supposed to commence sales in June, but the launch was pushed to October. However, at an event in Mumbai, we had an interaction with Pranav Desai, director and CEO of the Indian arm of Cleveland CycleWerks, who confirmed that the brand's first dealership will be inaugurated on September 20, in Vashi, Mumbai.
He also added that only the Cleveland Ace Deluxe will go on sale first and that the Misfit will be launched by October or November, 2018. The Ace Deluxe is the most affordable motorcycle in its portfolio and has been priced at Rs 2.23 lakh. The Misfit, on the other hand will retail for a higher Rs 2.49 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom).
The company will have one dealership per city and it has finalised dealers in 10 major cities, most of which are based in South India. Cleveland also has plans to retail its motorcycles online in the future, but hasn’t divulge more details about this, as of yet.
All the motorcycles in its portfolio are imported as CKD kits from China and locally assembled in Pune. According to Desai, Cleveland has been able to achieve only 5-6 percent localisation for their products. However, the brand intends to localise around 30- 40 percent of its components in the next few years, which will help in bringing down the price of its line-up.
The Cleveland Ace Scrambler and Ace Cafe will be launched next year as they are currently undergoing ARAI certification. Talking about future strategy, Desai added that Cleveland has plans to launch smaller 125cc motorcycles and larger 450cc motorcycles, down the line; but that depends on the response its products receive in our market.
The Ace Deluxe is a retro-styled naked offering and is powered by a 229cc; single-cylinder motor. The air-cooled engine produces 15.4hp and 16Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed gearbox. It features a square-section single-downtube frame suspended on USD fork and dual shock-absorbers with five-step preload adjustability. The motorcycle weighs 133kg, features a 14-litre fuel tank and boasts a ground clearance of 150mm. Braking hardware on the Deluxe consists of a 298mm disc brake with a twin-piston calliper at the front, a 210mm disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear. The Ace Deluxe will not feature ABS, according to Cleveland; the certification for the motorcycle was done before the new ABS mandate came into effect in April, 2018. The bike's saddle height stands at an accessible 760mm and the motorcycle runs on aluminium wire-spoke rims.
Cleveland accepts that the pricing of its products is on the higher side, but the company claims that the retro-styling of their motorcycles – and the fact that it’s an American brand – will help them stand out in our market. With respect to pricing, it will face competition from established offerings like the KTM 250 Duke and the TVS Apache RR 310.
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