CLEVELAND - There are thousands of motorcycle riders in the Cleveland area, and Scott Colosimo is one of them. But Colosimo doesn’t just want to be part of the number, he wants to increase it.
The Cleveland Institute of Art graduate started Cleveland CycleWerks five years ago. His mission: To manufacture reliable and affordable motorcycles.
“It’s always been the plan to manufacture in Cleveland. It’s just been finding people to work with us, really.”
But Colosimo did have a hard time finding suppliers and part makers to work with in northeast Ohio. Eventually, he did find them, in China
“The Chinese entrepreneur is hungry. They have a thirst for manufacturing and they want to make things.”
Cleveland CycleWerks has distributors across the United States and throughout the world, and they’ve sold more than 10,000 motorcycles so far. The bikes they design and build have received national attention in the motorcycle world. That attention has given Cleveland CycleWerks the local support they were looking for.
“We almost had to prove to Cleveland that we could do it before people were willing to accept that we could do it. Very strange.”
A former meat packing plant on the west side of town is where Cleveland CycleWerks is setting up shop.
“This whole raw space here is going to be our storefront, our showroom and basically, where people will come in and experience the factory" said Colosimo, as he walked through the gutted building constructed at the turn of the century. "And we’ll have windows where I’m standing that will look into the factory.”
Customers will be able to see the connection between the finished product in the showroom. Colosimo wants the look of Cleveland CycleWerks to be rough and factory-like, to reflect his respect for the rich history of manufacturing in Cleveland.
Colosimo plans to bring 20 new jobs to his motorcycle showroom and design and assembly plant.
Sometime next year, the motorcycles that roll out of Cleveland CycleWerks, will be built in the city that bears their name.
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