No, not an American bank robbery but a bike that hailed from the USA never the less. The Cleveland Heist is powered by the mighty 250cc Lifan single cylinder four stroke.
And so it began.............
One Morning just before Xmas Regan walked into the shop just as we were opening up hailing "wait 'til you see this really cool bike Kirk and I have just bought!" When he showed me the photo on his phone, to say I fell off my stool laughing would be an understatement. However, this opening comment was quickly followed by a far more sobering "I don't know what you're laughing at, your going to customise it for us".
So how to tackle a bike that didn't cost a lot, for two customers that didn't want to spend a lot! We set about getting the bike onto a bike ramp and firstly getting rid of all the bits that made it look awkward. So, bye bye then to the headlight, instruments, exhaust, emission controls, handlebars, seat, etc. Then it was time to work out what things we could add or change to give the bike some personality. We firstly decided that the rear light was OK but needed to move from the rear mudguard to a side mount unit to help un-clutter the rear end. We swapped out the tyres for a set of whitewalls, fitted a new seat and handlebars and the bike started to take shape. Rick decided that a long narrow exhaust would suit the bike so he fabricated a pipe and then set about wrapping it, leaving just the last few inches of steel on show. With the emissions equipment removed and the new pipe fitted Rick then rejetted the carb to get the bike running sweetly. From here on it was down to small details such as brown grips to compliment the brown seat, a new small headlamp up front and a speedo mounted to the left hand side of the tank. With this all done we gave the boys a call to see if they liked the look. For a bike that cost in total under $5k (NZD) we think it packs a punch.