MILWAUKEE-- Local motorized-bicycle company Cheata Bikes is proving that there can be many two-wheeled bike manufacturers in Milwaukee.
“There’s definitely the history of Harley here. I think Wisconsin has such a tie to motorcycles” says Cheata Bikes Founder Ravi Bhagat.
Bhagat started the company after building a motorized bike with his son so that the younger Bhagat could get to MATC from the family’s Third Ward condo. The first two bikes got stolen. “We’re thinking maybe there’s something to this that people really want the bike” said Bhagat.
5 years later Cheata Bikes are being sold to buyers across the country. The company says more than half of them have been sold out of the state. Much of that is attributed to the company’s marketing plan of placing the bikes in hotels across Milwaukee.
“All of a sudden you may see it one time and you think wow that’s really unique and then it pops up again somewhere else. It could be a restaurant a bar, a hotel, a festival” says Director of Sales Ryan Rosenthal.
The bikes can be ridden on the roadway or in the bike lane and top out at 30 miles per hour. Each bike holds a half gallon of gas which is good for about 75 miles says Bhagat. They are currently building the bikes to order out of their South Milwaukee facility.
It takes about 4 hours to build each bike by hand. Prices range from $1800 to $4000 for the bikes which are customizable.