Article By: Bruce Tessmer Of S&S Cycles
Originally Published In The December 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Here in the states we like to go fast, but we have to watch it or we’ll end up at odds with “the man”. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to just get on your bike and ride it as fast as it will go? Well, the cost of relocation may be a little high, but sections of the Autobahn in Germany have no speed limit. When you mention the Autobahn, a lot of folks think “Oh that highway with no speed limit!” and they think the whole thing is unregulated. But the Autobahn is really a network of controlled access highways, and the no limit sections are only in less densely populated areas. If you live near an unregulated stretch, life is good.
In Neustadt, near Stuttgart, there’s a guy named Max Krpanic, who does business as Dr Mechanik. Max takes advantage of the no limit zones to test and demonstrate the bikes he builds. His shop specializes in “High End Customization”. He also likes to go really fast. As he puts it, he was “contaminated with the virus of speed” at an early age, building his first motorcycle at the age of 14. Recently Max posted a video on Facebook of his custom 1994 Road King® with an S&S V124 engine running on the Autobahn. He starts at an on ramp and just rolls it up to 220 kph (137 mph) like it’s a walk in the park. That’s as far as the speedometer goes.
He calls this bike ELEGANCE. That’s right. ALL CAPS! “I like cars which are very decent but with lot of power. You can drive them fast but you are not gonna get stressed. I like this concept. So I got an idea to build a bike that is easy to ride but that runs as hell. I change the pulleys and the belt and put the 6 gear in to it as an overdrive. That makes the engine run low at speed of 120-125 MPH and allows long distance ride without getting killed thru vibrations. Also the range gets extended and the bike works very smooth and runs fast. As I had that concept in my head I knew that it had to be named ELEGANCE.” Looking at pictures of the bike, it really does look elegant, but it really goes too. That begs the question, what’s more important style or performance? “I would say that performance is actually style. If you have style then your bike is built to perform, and this is some kind of fundamental, that is actually why motorcycles are cool. I love this brutality, I love this crazy acceleration and the speed. Beautiful motorcycle that performs is the best style that I can imagine for a bike. So I would say, beauty of a bike + 124” makes tons of style!?
Not having a speed limit opens up a lot of possibilities. It also creates a type of sub-culture that is almost impossible to imagine here. Any one for high speed philately? “Sometimes People meet each other on the Autobahn to race. It’s some kind of hobby, some people are collecting stamps, and other people go to the Autobahn to ride fast. Sundays morning is perhaps the best time to do it, because there is very low traffic at that time. Also the premium car manufacturers are testing their cars on the Autobahn. So you always have to be careful when you think that you are fast at 180 MPH because there are still some AMGs or Porsches that can kick your ass at 200 MPH, and they are driving legal just like you!” www.dr-mechanik.com/