Cleveland - Single
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Cleveland D2-492-20-15
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 220
Model : Single
Production : 1916 - 1918
Category : (R) Street Bike


220cc - 1918

Original and up-to-date

Although the USA rapidly became known for its large capacity motorcycles, there were nevertheless exceptions to that rule, though few were successful. At the start of the 1920s, America even tried to export such small machines to Europe, including this highly original Cleveland.

Technically Advanced, But Overweight

In that golden age of motorcycling, the USA was famed for its technical skill and the first Cleveland was a perfect example, original and up-to-date. Chain drive was by no means universal at that period, and foot-change transmission was rarer still. Other advanced features were the oil-bath clutch operated by a long hand lever and the engine suspended below the frame. As was common practice in America, there was no front brake, just an external contracting rear brake. But there was a price to pay for those advanced features in the form of a weight penalty of almost 35 lb compared with its European rivals.

Optional Electric lighting

Launched in 1915 as a 222cc machine, the little Cleveland grew to 270cc with square engine dimensions (70x70mm) in 1921 and even offered electric lighting as an option. The greatest point of interest about the Cleveland was its engine. It was set across the frame, with a single shaft supporting the front. The crankshaft served as the primary and secondary shafts for the gearbox, as a worm gear to transmit the drive to the clutch, and finally to drive the magneto!


Engine: 222cc (63.5x70mm) air-cooled single-cylinder

Power Rating: 2.75 hp

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: swinging fork (front)

Brakes: drum (rear)

Wheels: 650x75 wire clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 176 lb

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

The Cleveland was a remarkably well-conceived little machine, which was even used by the US Army. Thee gears were foot-controlled; the lever operated the clutch.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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