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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.


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.

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