Krank Kustom Motorcycles R65
By Ross Sharp - 19 Apr 14
Some people have been building and restoring bikes for years but many of us are making up for lost time. Dirk Scholl, originally hailing from Germany, spent two decades bobbing around across the pond teaching folk how to scuba dive, time not lost I'm sure but nowadays bikes are what floats his boat. It appears that a girl lured him away from the warm, sunny beaches of America to Chester, England (she must be quite something) and two years ago Dirk opened a small workshop to customise bikes for friends and customers who weren't friends just yet. Have a look at Krank Kustoms previous work over on Facebook. Inspired by Brit bikes, particularly Bonnevilles and Commandos, it seemed feasible, and cheaper, to try and transform a 1982 R65 into something more nostalgic. Modern era builders La Corona and Blitz produce bikes that get Dirk going so his Beemer was destined to be a mashup of styles. The bountiful eBay came up trumps with a donor in very good condition so efforts could be directed into customising rather than rebuilding. The subframe was shortened and looped with a slight kick-up before adding the homemade saddle, covered in proper cow. The relatively bulky R65 tank was recycled and replaced with a Kawasaki KH unit and given plentiful coats of Epsom Metallic Green. Dirk is so happy with the colour that he might well paint the next project with any leftovers. Wheels and frame are powder coated satin black, giving over centre stage to the deep, dark paint and brown hide. The dash has been on a diet with just a small speedo ahead of the Renthal bars, warning lights and ignition switch are nestled in a small infill panel where the old Kawasaki frame would have poked through the head of the fuel tank. The Bambi-like behaviour of R65's forks can be cured with some form of brace or super sturdy mudguard. Luckily Harleys also suffer so a front guard was liberated from the parts bin and encouraged to fit with the help of a grinder and some fettling. Dirk prefers the ride of the earlier BMs and the R65's slightly more nimble handling combined with the lighter flywheel in the motor feels positively spritely on modern Metzeler rubber. Reverse cone megas are long but seem to fit with the overall stance whilst drumming the faithful Boxer beat. Next on Dirk's bench is a '72 Bonneville T120R for a full nut and bolt resto but his appetite for another custom is unabated as he scours the land for a Harley Sportster engine for a Norely project. So if you have something suitable or live near Chester and need some work doing get in touch.