One company who has been striving to get their foot in the door for the past 7 years is Cleveland Cyclewerks. Despite a volatile economic climate they’ve managed to stay afloat with their low cost, high-quality approach and now have distributors in 23 countries. As part of their strategy, Cleveland has been working with custom builders around the globe to reimagine their motorcycles and this bike by HThree Custom Garage is their Indonesian dealers latest collaboration.
Cleveland Cyclewerks use an American design, Chinese manufacturing approach and has a modest range of small capacity motorcycles that use a distinctly retro-inspired aesthetic. The aptly named 250cc ‘Ace’ is Cleveland’s Cafe Racer styled motorcycle and it was the basis for HThree’s custom creation. Blending chopper and café racer styling may have purists screaming blasphemy, but in the custom world, an occasional deviation from the norm is what helps to keep things fresh. HThree’s frontman Hendra wanted to create a motorcycle that demanded attention so he looked to the era in American motorcycling when gaudy color palettes and unconventional engineering were at their prime, the 1970’s chopper scene.
To prepare the bike for its transformation Hendra reduced it to nothing more than the engine and forward half of the frame. Using milled aluminum components he constructed a girder styled front end that utilizes a small spring mounted between the top and lower triple clamps. In the rear, he converted the Ace’s classic twin shock configuration to a single shock set up. An Ohlins adjustable shock sits behind the engine and is attached to the rear end via a custom made swingarm that was milled to match the new front end.
For the bike’s new wheels Hendra milled a set of custom 19-inch rims from aluminum which he has fit with huge radial disc brakes and calipers to keep them clutter free. After welding a new rear subframe in place he began the task of creating the bikes new bodywork. Using an unmistakable cafe racer inspired style he shaped 1mm steel plate to form the fuel tank and tiny rear cowl. Knurled, rear set brass footpegs and custom made handlebars revise the riding position and a new stainless steel exhaust system frees some extra oomph from the modest 250cc powerplant.
Despite the drastic changes to the bikes running gear, its paint scheme is the most striking modification. Flaked orange candy paint embellished with gold leaf details, airbrushed effects and pinstriped panels screams seventies style. Hendra isn’t one for sticking to the rules as he’s made it obvious with this outlandish Cleveland custom. If attention is what they’re looking for then Cleveland certainly picked the right workshop to do it.
We all know the big names in motorcycling. The companies that have pioneered two-wheeled transport for decades. Manufacturers like Triumph, Honda, Harley Davidson and Ducati who are the powerhouses of motorcycle engineering. But what about the new manufacturers? The brands who are trying to get their own slice of the motorcycle market.