– Cleveland CycleWerks tha Heist vs. 2012 Honda Rebel vs. 2012 Yamaha V Star 250-
“I haven’t ridden in eight years, so I feel like a beginning rider. Again.”
Those are the words of Melisa Ganzon, a long-time friend of Editor Duke. A graduate from the MSF Basic RiderCourse more than 11 years ago, Melisa has three years of riding experience under her belt.
However, her extended absence from two wheels (to start a family), along with her petite female stature and willingness to step back up to the plate created an epiphany in our collective Motorcycle.com mind: Melisa is an ideal candidate to participate in our 250cc Cruiser Shootout.
Pint-size Cruisers, Beginner Bikes, or Both?
Suzuki also has an offering in this segment, or at least used to, with the GZ250 that’s powered by a 249cc, air-cooled, carbureted single-cylinder. Unfortunately the last model year that Suzuki imported the GZ was for 2010, so that leaves one less offering from the Big Four, while Kawasaki doesn’t even bother entering a model in this class. Until recently the Honda and Star essentially were the 250cc cruiser class, but a new player has emerged in the small-displacement streetbike segment.
Cleveland CycleWerks (CCW) is an Ohio-based motorcycle design company founded in 2007 by owner Scott Colosimo. With four current models in the CCW lineup, it’s tha Heist that fits this shootout.
Although the Chinese-manufactured 229cc air-cooled, carbureted Single (found in all CCW models) that powers the bobber-themed tha Heist is a few cubic centimeters shy of the Star’s 249cc air-cooled V-Twin, the CCW engine makes for a diverse mix of motorcycles when we also factor in the Honda Rebel’s 234cc air-cooled, parallel-Twin. This trio of 250-ish motorcycles, each with a different engine configuration, represents what’s available for riders shopping pint-size cruisers.
With a quarter-liter or less of engine capacity, the modest levels of power produced by each engine make them appealing to newbie riders. But even experienced, price-conscious riders shopping for a gas miser should find that there’s enough go-juice on tap – even from the least of the three – to allow sufficient acceleration to stay ahead of city traffic. Nevertheless, with respect to engine power we have a clear winner.