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Cleveland - Serie A - Type 481 - NO RESERVE - 221 cc - 1917

Cleveland - Serie A - Type 481 - NO RESERVE - 221 cc - 1917

This properly restored Cleveland motorcycle dates back to 1917 and was during WW1 in France by the U.S. Army. (Series A type 481).

My French grandfather bought this motorbike from the U.S. Army at a dump sale in around 1920. After his death, my dad shipped it in parts to the Netherlands and fully restored it. The new tyres were imported from England.

I want to sell it as there are few opportunities to use it in the west of the Netherlands. The motorcycle has always remained in the family.

Worked on and restarted with lots of love. It was used a few years ago. There are 2 videos available:

Last French registration certificates date from 1955 (issued 8 July) under number 156 CY 77 and from 1931 (issued 5 July) under number 8685 RF 1.

The Cleveland Motorcycle manufacturing Company of Ohio built around 40.000 motorcycles between 1915 and 1929.
Their production started with this single-cylinder, two-stroke lightweight before progressing and finishing with a mighty 100mph four cylinder.

It all started with this model: A simple, light two stroke which unusually mounted with the crankshaft in-line with the frame.
Early models lacked a kick-starter – the rider using a compression release when push-starting the machine for the compression ratio was low enough to enable a 'walk-start.'
A kick starter was adopted for 1917.

The machine became popular because of its lightweight and practical nature.
Clevelands set several endurance records and were often winners in the lightweight class of races.
The engine was coupled to a two speed gearbox and the magneto was positioned at the end of the very long engine shaft, past the rear down tube.

The first endurance record with the lightweight Cleveland was set by George Austin from Seattle.
Weighing almost 100 kg George himself was no lightweight, but in November 1917 he managed to set a 24-hour record of 872 km in bad weather, darkness and under appalling road conditions (roads were very bad at that time!).
His reliable Cleveland didn’t miss a beat and was very economical, averaging almost 35 km per litre (just around 3 litres per 100 km).

Note the big handle on the left of the machine: It doesn’t control the gears, but the clutch.
For changing gear you must use the small foot pedal on the right.

The Cleveland is a practical machine for oldtimer club runs: it weighs just 80 kilos and can attain a comfortable cruising speed of more than 50 km/hour.

Brand Cleveland
Model Type Serie A - Type 481 - NO RESERVE
Engine size (in cc) 221
Year of first registration 1917
Condition Good
Registration papers No Registration Papers
Frame number 191578
Engine number 286
Located in country Netherlands
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