Freddie Krugger, the Belgian bike builder who single-handedly runs Krugger Speedshop, was the top placed European builder at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building in 2009 when he finished in third place. It was the third time he had reached this position, with each bike created in a style different from the previous one. His 2009 entry combined aspects of café racers and dirt track oval racers to create the bike “Overmile”.
At the 2009 World Championship of Custom Bike Building, Freddie Krugger was not only the highest placed non-American builder, he also was responsible for the highest placed V-twin motor bike at the event.
Ever since Krugger gained international recognition with a third place win at the 2004 World Championship, he’s been known for building custom machines heavily inspired by vintage race machines. While he began by building modern interpretations of board track racers, his style constantly is changing. This change was most clearly seen with “Goodwood”, a bike that mixed aspects of café racer styling with salt flat racers.
That café racer influence can once again be seen in “Overmile”, his latest Championship bike. Never one to rest on his laurels, Krugger has reworked the café racer theme by mixing in aspects of dirt track racer styling with the use of a V-twin motor and high-level pipes.
The most obvious influence of café racer culture on the design of “Overmile” is the outline of the frame, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Norton Featherbed frame so common among café racer specials. However, this particular frame was bent and welded up by Freddie himself in his workshop in Basse-Bodeux. Among the details that have been incorporated into the frame are cut-outs to clear the spark plugs in the rail that run along the side of the top of the engine, offering support to the gas tanks. The line started by this piece of the frame is continued through the bolt-on sub frame that carries the seat and tail hump.
Below the seat, the bike appears to run a rigidly mounted, tubular swingarm. This is due to the pull shocks that suspend it, being hidden below the transmission and between the bottom frame rails.
The shocks themselves are air shocks by French suspension specialist Fournales.
Making “Overmile” a truly international build, the front suspension is provided by Sweden’s Öhlins in the form of a USD fork set at 28 degrees, and the headlamp assembly is from a
Ducati Monster 696.
The choice of wheels on “Overmile” was dictated by the braking system used. The brakes, supplied by Beringer of France, are inboard discs developed for motocross bikes from a design created by the firm for use originally on aircraft. The disc is housed inside an oversized hub. It is claimed that this produces less gyroscopic effect and more braking power, with the caliper then mounted inside of the rotor. The motocross application of the brake and hub combination meant that spoked wheels had to be used with brushed aluminum rims. The rims are sized 21in front and 20in rear, and are built by Harley-Davidson.
Introducing the oval track racer flavor to the build is the use of an S&S Shovelhead style 103ci motor carrying a set of one-off high-level pipes, which have been finished in a black ceramic coating.
In order to create a bike suitable for racing the wheelbase needed to be kept short, which can be a problem when using a V-twin motor with a separate transmission. Freddie’s answer to the problem was to turn the Baker six-speed gearbox through 90 degrees, mounting it on its side. While moving the transmission allowed for a shorter wheelbase, it did create a lack of compatible primary drives. The solution Freddie came up with was to not run an engine plate and then use an open chain for the primary drive.
The bodywork that Freddie created for “Overmile” features several tricks that he has used on previous builds. The most obvious example can be found in the cut-outs to clear the rocker boxes in the low-mounted gas tank. However, that gas tank is not the actual gas tank. It is a dummy tank in two pieces. The right-hand side carries the battery, electronics and the compressor for the rear shocks, while the left-hand side carries the engine’s oil. The gas tank itself is built into the seat hump, a feature first seen on Krugger’s “Goodwood” bike. After the bodywork was completed, it was passed over to Freddie’s regular painter, El Cheapo, to apply the cream panel work and sign- writing.
Over the years Krugger has developed and refined the styles of his builds, drawing on his background in racing to build bikes that perform as well as they look. The only question that remains is which style of race bike will allow Freddie to step up to the plate and claim the World Champion’s title?
About the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building:
The Official World Championship of Custom Bike Building program encompasses some 18 events in total, in 16 different countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, The Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Russia, Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Total public attendances at events involved in the program regularly top 1 million motorcycle enthusiasts a year, in markets worth some 20 million motorcyclists and nearly 1 billion consumers in general.
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