Fred Krugger (not to be mistaken with the wrinkly chapfrom the Nightmare on Elm Street movies) builds some fairly “out there” custom motorcycles. While many will claim his builds are over engineered, impractical show bikes no one can deny he is worthy of the many trophies that line the walls of his pool room. Krugger’s V-Rod powered ‘Veon’ with its fully automatic adjustable riding position, took out first place at the 2010 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, and rightly so, it was an amazing bike. His Buell XB12R ‘Goodwood’ land speed bike remains one of my all time favourite custom motorcycles, but I’m still not sure how I feel about this his latest build the ‘Tribute to Japan’ Honda CB450 Cafe Racer.
The ‘Tribute to Japan’ was built by Krugger to be displayed on the Honda stand at the Brussels Auto Salon in Jan 2013. With a ’66 Honda CB450 “Black Bomber” as a base, Krugger transformed the iconic Japanese twin into his own vision of a Cafe Racer. In typical Krugger style the bike features some truly unique custom features and one off components that are sure to raise at least one of your eyebrows.
Most bizarre of all the work done on the bike is the reversal of the cylinder head. This isn’t the first time I have seen this done on a motorcycle and it will never cease to bewilder me. *UPDATE* Later this year Krugger plans to race the bike at Bonneville Salt Flats where he will run a custom made, front mounted airbox to filter the mass of air being rammed into the engine. Running a setup like this looks amazing but with close to no filtration the carbs would be sucking in water, salt, dirt and small birds, which I’m willing to bet does not improve performance. To make the head reversal possible Krugger spent around 30 hours welding, machining and milling to get the fit right then added tuneable cams and sproket for easy tweaks out on the salt.
I’m a huge fan of the exhaust setup, with each pipe slinking up beneath the seat and exiting out of the custom tail section. It’s a very neat way to minimise clutter and to keep your bum warm in the winter months (*UPDATE* the underbelly of the seat is kevlar lined to keep rear end temperature at a comfortable level). The bikes rims come from Harley wheel specialist Renegade Wheels and have been wrapped in classic Avon rubber. Beringer brakes front and rear supply ample stopping power and a set of Wilbers short rear shocks stiffen the ride and level outthe bikes stance.
The custom seat, tail section, front fairing and modified tank are all Kruggers own design and have been finished by custom paintshop Daddygraph painting. A Japanses tribute bike wouldn’t be complete without a rising sun motif and this one’s got plenty of flake in it to ensure that no one misses the reference. I’m looking forward to the Tribute to Japan’s performance report from the Bonneville Salt Flats. I’m thinking it won’t be having any issues clicking over the ton.