Cleveland CycleWerks debuted its new FALCON electric motorcycle at a streamable launch this evening. As the guy who covers most of the electric motorcycle news around here, I’m happy to see an electric bike that isn’t just vaporware. Cleveland CycleWerks has actual, physical models, and they’ll sell them to you for $7,995 to $14,995, depending on specs and trim.
We’ve featured Cleveland CycleWerks on Common Tread before because of their unique take on affordable bikes. The FALCON is CCW’s first go at a full-sized electric motorcycle, though, and they’ve given us a healthy helping of specs to get an idea of what the FALCON is all about.
CCW partnered with Cleveland-based TorrMetal Corporation for rapid prototyping and part production. Cost-effectiveness has been a major obstacle for startup EV manufacturers, and even major ones.
CCW does build the frames in Cleveland. The chassis gets a monoshock and a 48 mm inverted fork with 4.7 inches of travel. Tires are narrow on 17-inch rims.
The bike itself will be available in two variations, at least for now. There’s the base FALCON 01 and the upspec FALCON BLK. To get things started, CCW is offering $500 off the price of the first orders, which they’re calling “Founders Edition” models. They get some extra features over the standard models, including glowing Luminor accents for the BLK. Kinda reminds me of the EL glow on digital watches.
The top-spec BLK maxes out at 13kW of power, or about 17.5 horsepower, and the 01 is limited to fit either 750W or 1500W ebike restrictions. That may not sound like a lot, because it isn’t. The redeeming detail is that these bikes weigh just 150 to 175 pounds! Up to 375 pounds of rider(s) and cargo can be accommodated. I am reminded of the mighty ant. The 01 can manage 65 mph (off-road for pedal bikes), with the speedy BLK touching 85.
The complete specs are available here, and these are the highlights. The batteries (BLK bikes come with two) are hot swappable (!) and constructed with 18650 cells from Samsung. That works out to 2.2kWh for the 01 and double that for the BLK. Full-power range is 50 miles (01), or 100 miles (BLK). That jumps up to 80 and 160, respectively, when using eco mode. Custom modes are also available. Both bikes charge to 80 percent battery in 45 minutes on a standard home outlet.
The batteries are managed by the punnily-named FALCONtroller, which seems to be proprietary, at least on the surface. It connects with your phone over Bluetooth, and from there, riders can choose between power, eco, or any custom modes they've added. There's also a short “Angry Pixy Mode.” In a post-Ludicrous world, it seems like most fun EVs need to have some kind of funny max power setting, and the FALCON’s will open the taps for 20 seconds of boost. The motor itself is a waterproof unit that’s nothing too crazy, though I haven’t tried Angry Pixy Mode yet.
Since I came from the bicycle world, I found the FALCON’s bottom bracket design to be pretty intriguing. It’s a two-piece design, so CCW can mount these bikes with forwards, rear-sets, or pedals, depending on how the bike is meant to be used. On paper, this seems like a clever way to be able to sell the bike in different places, since EV/ebike laws are nowhere near universal at this point. I’d like to see how that holds up in actual use, especially among the pedal crowd.
Brakes are pretty straightforward except for an optional upgrade on the BLK. CCW has partnered with another company called Sphere Brakes to offer “the world’s first hydraulic sphere brake.” A spherical surface allows them to pack more surface area into a smaller package than conventional brakes, and I’d be very interested to try these out. I might write more about them once I have more information.
Cleveland Cyclewerks still offers a range of gas bikes (I like the looks of the FX line). Will they move to electric only as time goes on, as Curtiss has done? Time will tell. I’m thinking my commute would be a perfect way to test a FALCON, though...
CCW’s investment page paints a positive view of the future for electric two-wheelers, current crisis excepted, and I can’t blame them for wanting to get in the game. Preorders are now available with a deposit.