A two

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klikk for å bytte språkIn the early years of motoring the Americans saw an enormous demand for personalized transportation and many marques were offered on the American market  The early American motorcycles were as opposed to their European counterparts often of large capacity, tall and wide. This were all advantages considering road conditions in the USA of those days.

But in between all these big wee twins and fours were also a market for a few small capacity lightweight developments which took a totally different approach to the problems.

The roundtanker
1919 Cleveland, last of the "roundtankers"
Motor sectioned
Patented engine construction
Light motorcycles with small engines seemed a promising market.

The manufacturing company which were making nuts and bolts in Cleveland, Ohio ventured into the field of motorcycle production.

The flat 

1920 -flattanker, a totally new cycle
In 1915 they launched a remarkable little two stroke engine which were to be kept almost unchanged for 10 years. It was very clear that the team at Cleveland had looked more than just closely at the newly launched British made "Baby" Triumph little two stroke. The simplicity of the two stroke engine and the new and patented transmission made the little Cleveland such a cheap and simple alternative.
It was a light unit construction of 230cc two stroke with the crank pin up front of a heavy flywheel. Engine rotation was along the length axis of the motorcycle. A subtle form of "speed adjustment" by means of a small two speed gearbox controlled by a pedal followed immediately behind the simple all steel gliding crankshaft sealings. The weak little motorbike did not benefit much from this feature. It is said the only effect of a gear change was a change of noise level...

Power train speed reduction was through a large patented worm drive. Within the worm wheel was a little Eclipse cluch which was controlled directly by a large hand lever. The power from the clutch was then transmitted one to one by chain to the rear wheel sprocket.

intricate power transmission
patented drivetrain
Starting the Cleveland was by a kick pedal working through the wormwheel backwards, not an easy task. Drivers were reccommended to sit astride, press down on the seat, both feet on the ground and "walk" the little motorcycle a go..... The earliest Cleveland were black frames and light grey paintwork(like HD) on fenders, toolbox and tank. The bike featured typical British details like lever speed regulation of a Brown & Barlow carburettor, pressure relief valve, footpegs with rubber footrests,and a pendulum front fork.

As the "Great War" ended Cleveland changed to the color Olive drab (also like HD)like so many others.For 1921 the glory of the war were not that shiny, so Cleveland chose dark blue with cream colour wheels as their livery. For 1920 Cleveland "Americanized" the bike by putting on cast iron footboards and larger pedals at the bottom, a flat tank above a new frame tube at the top and and the tiny tube front fork were replaced by stamped out sheet metal construction. To compensate the added weight the capacity was increased to 270cc with a new cylinder. and put in a flat tank.

My own Clevelands came in different baskets so my last of the roundtankers and my first of the flattankers has slowly been completed with finds from several sources.

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