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Cleveland motorcycle

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Cleveland motorcycle
Negative #: 41,801


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Motorcycle Collection — Pope, Cleveland, Autoped, and Simplex

Cleveland motorcycle
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

This motorcycle, bearing engine number 5283, cost $175.00 in 1918 at the Cleveland Motorcycle Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Advertisements of the period claimed this machine could travel 75 miles on a gallon of gasoline and that it had a top speed of from 35 to 40 miles an hour. This make of motorcycle, introduced in August 1915, when the price at the factory was $150.00, was one of the most popular lightweight motorcycles of the period.

In 1951 the motorcycle was disassembled, cleaned, refinished, and reassembled. The 1926 District of Columbia license plate—on the vehicle when it was given to the museum—was then refinished in its original colors.

Physical Description

The 2 1/2-horsepower, 1-cylinder, 2-cycle, air-cooled engine has a 2 1/4-inch bore and a 2 3/4-inch stroke, providing a total piston displacement of 13 1/2 cubic inches. A Brown and Barlow float-feed, single-jet carburetor, with auxiliary air control, is bolted to the inlet port at the front of the cylinder and is controlled by a pair of levers on the right handlebar. The motor is lubricated by a mixture of oil and gasoline in the fuel tank. A Bosch high-tension magneto, with spark plug, supplies the ignition.

The cycle's frame is of heavy-gauge, seamless steel tubing, brazed at the joints; wheelbase is 54 inches. The engine and gear box are secured in the frame by two large suspension bolts. The gear box, which is integral with the aluminum crankcase, contains a set of two-speed sliding gears of chrome-nickel steel, a heat-treated, alloy-steel worm with a titanium-bronze worm gear, and a clutch composed of 13 disks of hardened and ground steel. Low ratio of the gear box is 10 to 1; high ratio, 6.1 to 1. The transmission gears run in an oil bath.

The clutch is engaged by moving forward a lever on the left. The brake is operated by depressing a foot pedal, also on the left, which contracts a band on a drum on the left side of the rear wheel; and the gears are changed by means of a foot pedal on the right side. A kick starter is attached to the left side of the gear box.

The rear wheel is driven by a roller chain from a sprocket on the output shaft of the transmission, on the right side of the machine. There is no guard over the chain. The steering fork is fitted with a coil spring and its tubular handlebars have rubber grips. A cylindrical muffler, of cast aluminum, is mounted in front of the crankcase.

The wire-spoke wheels have metal rims and mount 26-by-2 1/3-inch clincher tires (of the 1920s) that have been equipped with new butyl-rubber inner tubes. Each wheel has a mudguard, and there is a stand at the rear of the frame. A cylindrical fuel tank, equipped with a shut-off valve at the bottom, is suspended from the frame over the engine; and a small, metal toolbox is attached to the rear underside of the tank.

The footrests, adjacent to the brake and gear-shift pedals, are rubber covered. The saddle is a Mesinger "Auto Cushion." The motorcycle has no battery, generator, lighting equipment, or warning signal. Its total weight is about 150 pounds.

Date Made:
Dist of Columbia, Ohio
Gift of Richard and Russell Fiedler

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