Eyes on the tiny tach atop the oscillating trilogy of analog clocks behind the teeny tinted windscreen: 84 mph and 7000 rpm indicated.
I tuck my toes in tight, lower my fiber-reinforced forehead and watch the rpm climb another thousand and 10 mph more on the (optimistic) speedo: 90-something is plenty fast for my 14.2- mile run to the C-Dub hub as we Misfits make up ground through the off-ramp-esses on the R6 guy who passed us a mile ago in the carpool lane. Closer, closer—until a midcorner ramp crest causes a momentary loss of front-tire traction, which realigns our perspective. Ahem…
Character? Yes, tons of it, including the man behind the brand, Scott Colosimo. Graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, entrepreneur and owner of Cleveland CycleWerks, Colosimo says “the Misfit wasn’t designed to be a performance bike, it was built to fill the gap for the wage-earning working man who wants an affordable motorcycle he can enjoy riding and maintaining himself.”
And yet it sort of is a performance bike in its own 250cc way, rolling on chromed steel wheels, an 18-inch front and a 16 rear. Braided lines deliver hydraulic pressure to the twin-piston brakes front and rear, and piggyback shocks and a skinny inverted fork work okay on this sub-300-pound machine.
Classically styled, fun, affordable and new-rider-friendly, the Misfit is a great platform for that café project bike you’ve always wanted to build. In fact, a second Misfit delivered with the stocker already had a bunch of Cleveland accessories in place—including $550 worth of intake and exhaust bits, plus lower bars and different mirrors—all of it pushing the dollarometer just past $4K. The standard bike, though, is a mere $3195.
After all the hauling mass and sipping gas without a burp or stumble, the only real qualitative complaint would be in regard to a clutch-lurch-slip sort of thing experienced when attempting to launch the Misfit hard from green lights: It prefers a more gentle approach.
Beyond that, no gripes. Classic style, a 28-inch seat height and a subterranean sticker price mean you’ll have enough left over for that tattoo you always wanted.