1918 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle
Engine no. 12273
Motorcycling in the United States was effectively only ten years old when the Cleveland Motorcycle Mfg. Co. introduced their lightweight machine to the public in August of 1915. Already riders who did not wish to own a heavy weight motorcycle were clamoring for something light, easy to ride and inexpensive to operate. Companies like Indian and Excelsior marketed lightweight motorcycles but they never captured the hearts of the buying public. The Cleveland was not only reliable and easy to ride, but very affordable.
The heart of the Cleveland was a 13 ½ cubic inch two-stroke engine that rewarded the owner with 75 miles per gallon of gas. Oil was added to the two-speed transmission and the gasoline. While Cleveland's competitors never seemed to grasp the operation of two-stroke engines, the little Cleveland would run flawlessly all day long. Literally thousands of the Cleveland lightweights were sold across America and the rest of the world.
The rider engaged the clutch by moving a hand lever, located on the left side, forward. The gears are selected by a foot pedal located on the right side of the bike. While the contemporaries of the Cleveland used pedals to start their engines, this little lightweight had a real kick starter found on the left side of the motorcycle. The brake was a completely up-to-date contracting band brake operated by a foot pedal. Being an inexpensive lightweight motorcycle, the Cleveland had no handicaps. Weighing only 150 pounds, the machine could carry a 200 pound man at speeds of 35 to 40 mph for hours on end.
This 1918 Cleveland motorcycle is from the Bud Ekins collection. The remarkable little motorcycle had its 2 ½ horsepower single cylinder, air-cooled engine mounted across the lightweight cradle frame. A two-speed transmission was incorporated directly onto the crankcase and operated with a heel/toe lever much like early Honda Cubs. Power was transmitted through a steel plate multi-disc clutch and a worm gear reduction drive. Ignition was by a reliable chain-driven Bosch magneto. Through 1919, all Clevelands had rubber foot pegs like modern motorcycles. This Cleveland is being sold in unrestored condition. Except for a missing tool box cover, the motorcycle is complete and in very good original condition. Whether the owner wishes to restore this motorcycle or merely get it safely operational, it will reward the new rider with miles of riding pleasure. Offered on a Bill of Sale.
- The title for this lot is in transit.