Reviews on 2012 Cleveland CycleWerks Tha Misfit

Published on by thepandacover

You may strange with name of bike from Cleveland CycleWerks with "tha", all CCW bike names are prefixed with “tha” to prevent copyright hassles. With an MSRP of just thirty-two hundred bucks, Tha Misfit from Cleveland CycleWerks is the motorcycle option to similarly-priced 125cc scooters. Tha Misfit’s 229cc engine capacity out-displaces those scoots by more than 100cc, and it strikes a much cooler profile. But is Cleveland CycleWerks a steadfast motorcycle company and is Tha Misfit worth its retail price?

From its kick-starter to fuel petcock and handlebar-mounted choke, the Misifit does more than look the part of a vintage cafe racer, it adheres to the simplicity of the era. The carbureted, air-cooled Single exemplifies British one-lungers frequenting the Ace Cafe when not engaged in doing “the ton.”

Along with a stock Misfit, we also tested a modified version outfitted with a 14-tooth front sprocket (one tooth less than stock) and DID chain ($67), bar-end mirrors ($91) and clubman bars ($119). Engine upgrades include a ported and polished head with modified carburetor ($550) by Tom Weaver of, the shop responsible for all things performance-wise for CCW. It’s capped off by a G&D stainless steel megaphone exhaust ($399). The modifications are available from Cleveland CycleWerks dealers, but, like adding anything aftermarket to any motorcycle, the 12-month manufacturers warranty does not cover damage as a result from installing said items. The combination of head, carb and pipe ($950) bumps power output from 11.6 hp and 10.5 ft-lb of torque on the standard Misfit to 16.2 hp and 13.3 ft-lb of torque on the clubman version.

Firing by way of electric- or kick-starter, the two-valve, counter-balanced Lifan engine shows a lack of sophistication in its fuel delivery. It’s challenging to keep them running when cold, and their responsiveness can best be diplomatically described as lazy. And the clubman Misfit kept stalling at stoplights after high-speed freeway stints. We think its jet kit needs some revisions, as the clubman version also refused to idle as well as its stock counterpart after completing its dyno runs.

Dyno boss Carry Andrew, owner of HyperCycle said:"These bikes are obviously primitive in their use of electronics. There was no redline on the instruments and no rev limiter, so it continues to spin higher even though it makes less power. One thing was obvious just by the way they behaved on the dyno, they were not in very good tune."

The 18-inch front/16-inch rear wheel combo strikes a balance between stability and flickability, but it’s the Misfit’s light weight (251 lbs dry) that gives the bike its jackrabbit handling qualities. Dual-disc brakes provide surprisingly good performance for such a modest roadster. Feel at the lever is relatively good thanks to steel-braided lines activating the Misfit’s two-piston calipers on wave-style rotors. The Misfit’s gauge cluster, however, is another story. The large speedo is appropriate, but the equal-in-size fuel gauge is cartoonishly big and should be swapped with the small tachometer sitting atop the two.

Speedo accuracy seems to be questionable, as an indicted 46 mph equated to 37 mph when riding past a radar stand. Lastly about the gauges, the neutral and blinker indicators are so dim they may as well not even light up. The mostly black bikes, with a few chrome highlights (engine and valve covers, and wheels), small flyscreen and rear seat cowl strike a timeless silhouette that fully-faired bikes can only dream of. Ed-in-Chief Kevin Duke even saw hints of 1970s Ducatis in the Misfit’s stance and profile, especially in its sidecovers and tailsection.

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