There is a new motorcycle on the roads of Nepal and it goes by the name of Cleveland CycleWerks, and yes, that is how you spell it. The company, with its headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, was started by Scott Colosimo and Jarrod Streng in 2009, even as all the manufacturing takes places in good ol’China. It may be new to Nepal but Cleveland CycleWerks already sell their motorcycles in 23 countries globally. Currently featured in their roster are the Ace Scrambler, Misfit, FXR, and the Ace Deluxe. There is a potential for more additions in this lineup, which includes a possible custom bobber—quiet an exciting prospect for motorcycle enthusiasts in Nepal. At the moment, we have with us the Cleveland CycleWerks Ace Scrambler; and in this review we get to decide whether it leans more towards its American retro-urban styling heritage or gives in to the shoddy make of its Chinese manufacturers. The new kid in the block has plenty to prove.
Adopting a design styling that finds a balance between retro and urban, the Ace Scrambler, from afar, is a good-looking motorcycle. You do get a feel of the scrambler heritage that harks back to classic styling elements like the rounded fuel tanks with knee pads, low seat height, round headlights, and classic muffler.
However, on closer inspection, you realize that the Ace Scrambler is not going to be winning any awards for quality build. The fit and finish is adequate at best. Sit on the saddle and the first thing that stick out like sore thumbs are the shoddy dual dials. It appears that the designers at Cleveland CycleWerks slipped a painted visiting card in place of the speedo dials and forgot to replace it before the motorcycles were rolled out for sales.
But if you can overlook these flaws the Ace Scrambler is a good motorcycle to look at and embodies the text book scrambler feel with elements like the seat upholstery, knobby tires, a circular tail light, and headlamps. The Cleveland CycleWerks plate on the side is a nice touch. Massive single caliper discs up front give it a masculine appeal while the dual shocks in the rear maintain the classic appeal.
If you want to really get into the retro-urban feel, you can opt to kick-start the 229cc OHV single cylinder engine into life. You may not get a thundering rumble but you do get a decent enough noise to get things rolling. Clunk it into gear and it’ll bring all 15 horses in the engine to life, spurred on by 16Nm of torque. While you might not be clocking any lap records in the Ace Scrambler it is a fairly spirited motorcycle.
The suspension setup, though, was very soft and the Ace Scrambler bottomed out on intermediate to large road undulations. Slightly stiffening up the suspension could be a good idea.
Vibrations do tend to creep in at higher revs, and the knobby tires are not the best fit for the tarmac. They do, however, do a good job once you’re off the asphalt.
You don’t get a lot of fancy frills with Ace Scrambler, and on a scrambler made for some roughhousing, it is not a gaping fault. It does mean that there is no ABS, but the 300 mm discs up front and the 210 mm discs in the rear do a good job of bringing the machine to a stop.
Overall, the Ace Scrambler is a mediocre motorcycle to get you around town and maybe for a short highway run. But you’re probably better off with something else if you plan on doing long hauls regularly.
The Cleveland Cyclewerks Ace Scrambler is a head turner and will get you noticed on the roads. For young guns who want to get started on a motorcycle that looks good and will get you from one place to another, this machine gets the job done. We are certain fresh graduates looking to go abroad would find this a good mode of transport until they leave.
As a long-term companion though, it might not be the perfect partner. On the bright side, there is plenty of potential for modifications and personalization on the Cleveland Cyclewerks Ace Scrambler. However, because modifying your motorcycles is against the laws of Nepal we cannot advise anyone to tweak these machines.