Cleveland CycleWerks Malaysia is the exclusive distributor of the popular Cleveland CycleWerks (CCW) motorcycles from America.
The whole mantra behind CCW is to produce two-wheeled machines with a custom-inspired design that is visually irresistible, has a low capacity and to top it off – making it very affordable.
I had the opportunity to review one of CCW’s popular bikes, the Heist.
It’s an authentic bobber that’s built to bare-minimum and as naked as the Malaysian law will allow.
The whole design of the bike revolves around the idea of “less is better”. Bobbers are lower and lighter bikes that are usually “old-school” in style as compared to a chopper, which has longer forks and a modified frame.
The design of the Heist just oozes with the “bad-boy” image.
That image is further enhanced by the old school peanut tank and the sexy rear end.
The macho image of the bike is brought under the spotlight with blacked out styling throughout the machine, except for the alloy rims, stainless steel spokes, chromed valve cover and chromed headlamp.
The minute I sat on this 229cc four-stroke single-cylinder two wheeler, I had to go into the “bobber-mode”.
To my dislike the bike was a tad small for my six-foot frame.
This bike would have been ideal for those around 5ft 8in in height.
But according to my riding mates, I look cool on the bike.
The handle bars are positioned well, offering good control.
Meanwhile the foot controls are well-placed ensuring pleasant riding experience.
The indicator buttons are situated on each bar and easy to handle with my gloves on.
Heist saddle is wide enough, but would have preferred a thicker saddle; but I am not kicking a fuss.
The bike is light, weighing in at 125kg and it is easy to handle in town – even in traffic jams.
I took the Heist onto the Karak highway and the bike is able to provide smooth, quiet shifts with a pleasant engine sound.
The 229cc engine’s top-speed is about 115kph.
I was doing 110kph and did not feel any vibration from the belly, handle or on the side mirrors.
It was a fulfilling ride indeed, and this is mainly because of the engine’s counterbalance keeping the chassis stable.
The Heist has some of Honda’s DNA, as the engine is based on a unit built by the Japanese manufacturer back in the ‘70s.
So, engine reliability should not be an issue at all.
I agree that 110kph, is a no land-speed record.
But for a light bike, the torque delivery is smooth and very pleasing.
Power from the single-cylinder gives the needed power instantaneously to move from first to fifth gear without any hiccups.
The five-speed transmission and the cable-clutch is very smooth.
I only need to pull the clutch light, tap on the gear and off I went.
I was very impressed with the Heist’s ability to tackle both sharp and wide corners.
The torque was good enough for me to exit the corners.
I did not have any problems with ground clearance on this bike.
I must admit, the Heist is able to take corners much better than many other easy-riders or cruisers of bigger capacity. Bravo!
While going over a hump on the Bukit Jalil road at 60kph, I was nearly thrown of the saddle.
Only then I remembered that this is a rigid bike – meaning the shocks are under the saddle and is similar to the shocks under a bicycle seat, which has very little rebound damping.
I should have adjusted the rear tyre pressure so that it has a little bit more compliance to it.
I immediately adjusted the pressure and the Heist became a pleasant ride, even without a proper rear suspension.
Meanwhile, the front forks felt decent, but definitely needs improvement to ensure a comfortable ride – especially if you are going to ride for more than 100km.
The front brakes consists of a hydraulic-type 290mm disc with dual piston callipers, while the rear is a smaller hydraulic 240mm disc with dual piston callipers.
Both brakes are more than sufficient to stop this machine at any speed.
I define the Heist as a blank canvas.
Like any other customised bike, there is always room to personalise.
After riding the bike for three days, there are three things that I will do to the bike; first – change the handle bars to the ape hanger handle-bars, get louder exhaust pipes and turn the black peanut tank to a brightly coloured one.
The Heist is a classic American bobber, built with loads of attitude and style.
When I have the extra cash, I will certainly buy this bobber, park it in my living room and stare at it every day.