KRAUS MOTOR CO.
Satya Kraus and his band of brothers have been at the forefront of building performance Harleys since long before it was trendy. The 2018 Harley-davidson Low Rider they built was no exception.
Kraus needed to figure out how to retain the Low Rider aesthetic without morphing it into something else. “I kind of looked back into the traditional Softail styling,” Kraus explains. “Let’s keep that low-slung fender and make it a bike you can sit down in rather than on top of.” But obviously, a Low Rider that still made sense for the Kraus signature performance styling. New suspension, mid-controls, a nice bar setup, and a little bit of traditional Low Rider were exactly what he ended up with. And we approve. If you thought you spotted a little Rockermodel throwback in the seating area, that’s because you did. “The way that frame lays, I didn’t want to see another big puffy seat, so we fabbed up an aluminum seat [pan] to give it more of a chopper seating position,” Kraus says.
After digging into the build more, Kraus says it was a pretty easy and straightforward bike to work on. “We didn’t see a lot of challenges, but we did a bit of fab—took 2 inches out of the gas tank, moved the gas caps, and rolled the bottom of the tank so it had a nicer shape to it,” Kraus says. Luckily for him, a lot of Kraus Moto parts actually fit right on the bike pretty easily too.
“It’s a really big honor and privilege to work with Born-free and Harley-davidson for trusting us to do what we do with their bikes,” Kraus says. “I’m excited to display the bike in Milwaukee for the 115th, and to show that community what we’re doing with performance.”
We’re fond of the attention to detail paid to this build without it going over the top stylistically. That’s the Kraus style in a nutshell: nail the performance, while retaining the stock DNA to show the possibilities of what can be done to a factory bike.
POP’S GARAGE FABRICATION
You might recognize the name Pop’s Garage Fabrication from last issue’s cover. Well, it’s no mistake that Nick Erickson and his crew were chosen to be part of this program. The Atlantabased shop has been building killer Dynas and FXRS for years, and Erickson was stoked to get his hands on his new 2018 Harley-davidson Low Rider project.
Pop’s has developed a unique style over the years, with an exposed battery-box area that takes on a racy aesthetic and ditches a lot of unnecessary components. The same applied with this build. Rebuffini front forks got the call for the Low Rider’s front end, so a set of Rebuffini rear shocks obviously made sense too. Nick enlisted the help of Peter Fosburgh, of Frankenwerks Fabrication, to help out with the tail section and titanium-exhaust-pipe fabrication. And the wheels, rotors, and sprockets were designed and made by Justin Lowe, from Revolution Speed.
“I thought it was a big honor and opportunity to do something unique with the new platform,” Erickson says. “We wanted to have the tail section, number plate, titanium exhaust, and just open that area around the rear shock, like a cross between a BMX and a tracker.”
We all deal with time constraints differently, but moving shops is never a fun one when you’re handed an opportunity like this. “Moving shops from my home shop to a new building at the exact same time as getting this build and trying to get it all done was definitely a challenge,” Erickson recalls. “But I operate better under stress.”
Sometimes it takes those trying times to really understand your priorities and then just knuckle down and make it happen. Some of us are able to do that, some of us aren’t. Nick and the Pop’s Garage guys fall into the former category.