The $3,000, brand-new motorcycle - RideApart

Uploaded by drive on 23.04.2012


SCOTT: I was going to buy a bike when I was at college,
and my mom had a [BLEEP]
She flipped out and basically said if I bought a bike in
college, I was excommunicated.
She would never talk to me again, never
help me with anything.
WES: This is Joshua Tree.
That's Scott from Cleveland CycleWorks.
Welcome to the RideApart.

I just spent all day riding a [BLEEP]
Talk to me about that.
SCOTT: You had fun.
WES: I had fun.
It doesn't make any horsepower.
It doesn't have flashing graphics.
GRANT: You can't do a burnout on it.
WES: I can't do a burnout on it.
SCOTT: You can't do a burnout on it.
WES: Mostly because I'm a [BLEEP].
SCOTT: He can.
I can.
But you can't.
WES: Well, I'm special.
SCOTT: You're special, that's true.
GRANT: Yeah, he is, yes.
WES: I'm a special person.
SCOTT: I'm from the Midwest, I'm from Cleveland.
And distinctly, Cleveland's a working-class sort of city.
You don't have people that are trying to prove to people that
they make $1 million a year.
There's people that just legitimately want to ride a
cool bike that they can afford.
And for that sort of person, our bike makes sense.
It's not a OCC sort of bike.
But it's a cool bike you can even be proud to ride.

The whole idea is someone that's buying our bikes, they
can work on it.
We have manuals on how to adjust the valves.
It's a very simple motor.
Four valve dual overhead cam--
you can't touch it, you have to take it to a dealer.
The overhead valve motor, if you need to adjust the valves,
you can do it in the bike.
The idea behind what we're trying to do is you're riding,
you need to do a little of maintenance,
you could do it yourself.
You can adjust the chain, adjust the valves.
It's a whole concept, it's different than what's been
going on in the motorcycle industry.
It's like, I went to school to change the world, but you can
only change the door handle.
And I'm using the door handle as a metaphor for everything
that's wrong with the whole car industry.
GRANT: I think you're absolutely right.
I did this conference once in Pittsburgh with JT back in
February, and we had done the [INAUDIBLE].
The guy who spoke before us designed the door handle on
the new Ford Mustang.
And his entire lecture was about his job as a designer
with Ford, and now he designed the [BLEEP]
door handle on the new Ford Mustang.
And we basically got up there, and we'd been drinking the
entire time.
So we started through with the bottle of whiskey.
We were like phew, I'm glad to not be hearing about that guy
anymore because that sounds [BLEEP]

SCOTT: We looked at what you needed to make a legitimate
bike in the US.
And what you need is you need to be able to do short jaunts
on the highway--
any of those situations where you really want to
power pass the cars.
As we progressed, the whole idea behind the company is to
make riding accessible to more people.
GRANT: OK, let's talk about that profession.
Where do you see CCW going as its models develop?
SCOTT: We're always going to be a value-driven company.
So you'll never see us trying to be
Indian or Harley Davidson.
For me, that's been done.
And if you look at Excelsior-Henderson, or
there's been so many companies that have tried to be Harley
Davidson and failed.
Because Harley's Harley, they're here.
They exist, and there's no need for another company to
become Harley Davidson.
People are always going to buy Harley because it is Harley.
So for me as an American company, trying to become
that, it has no value.

WES: I have a hard time with the lack of suspension.
I'm bitching because I bitch, but my ass is not sore.
The bike handled great, it was great in corners.
I rode a Victory Judge, which is like a $18,000, 1800cc
ridiculous chopper, two weeks ago.
This has more ground clearance, better handling,
better brakes, a better engine.
It's a little less shiny.
I feel like my penis is a little bit
smaller when I ride it.
SCOTT: It is.

So the whole idea behind Tha Heist, which is the bike that
you rode, is it basically gives you the presence of a
much bigger bike for a lot less money.
So if you go to a bike night--
Cleveland, we have a Quaker Steak & Lube.
That's the big bike night, you could find 1,500-2,000 bikes
on a nice night.
You take this bike to a Quaker Steak, and you go to a bike
night, and basically, people have no idea what it is.
They think it's a $8,000, maybe $10,000, old Harley.
WES: With the proportions, the engine doesn't look
small in the frame.
It looks like a nice, big, chunky engine.
And you park that thing, and it generally does look like a
bad ass motorcycle.
SCOTT: Well, here's the thing.
So the bike is physically a little bit longer, it's a
little bit bigger than a Harley Sportster.
It's not a big, stretched out, custom--
it's a bike that's proportioned
very well to the rider.
You're a big guy, how big are you?
WES: I'm 6'2".
SCOTT: So you're 6'2".
WES: I don't feel out of place on it.
It's actually comfortable and natural, there's not a huge
reach to the bars.
The seat is comfortable, there's not a huge
reach to the pegs.
SCOTT: You're on the upper echelon of someone that would
ride that bike.
6'2", you're pretty big for what that bike is.
But the whole idea is it's an affordable bike, it kind of
has the presence of a much more expensive bike.
And the way we get there is by using that 250 motor.
So the 250 is what really makes it affordable.
We basically took a very simple motor, it's overhead
valve, it has rockers.
It's easy to work on, and it has a lot of torque.
In my company, design is the number one, it's the most
important thing.
Our bikes are inexpensive, but people desire them.
It's quote unquote "entry-level," but it doesn't
look entry-level--
there's a difference through design.
It's appealing, it's a whole different concept.
The US was built on people dreaming, and that's lost.
It's lost, especially when I have 98% of the people I'm
telling I'm going to start a motorcycle company, 98% of
those people telling me it's impossible.
This is America, nothing is impossible.
I mean really, nothing's impossible.

I was so happy, and it took me to get fired from a
comfortable job to be able to have the balls to do this.