I love getting emails from people sending me their custom built/modified bikes. Especially when they are clearly so passionate about them. And even better when they are based on KTM’s! Anyway, Sven sent through a lot about the bike so I will shut up and hand it over to him:
The realization of “There’s got to be more to live than work, family duties and TV” is what sparked the Bob Racer…but more about this after we had a good look at the bike.
The first thing one notices about the Bob Racer are the dramatic proportions, defined by the huge 21″ wheel in the front.
The Bob Racer is low, closely hugging the ground. The top curve of the silhouette is reminiscent of a Bobcat ready to attack…and the spring cushioned single seat featuring a Vargas girl and WWII fighter plane ooze more attitude than James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”.
All this in “ready to ride” trim with blinkers, license plate and rear view mirrors.
The fusion of Bobber and Cafe Racer gave the Bob Racer it’s name. Here the Techno bike from the Austrian mountains finds Californian Style. It’s where European engineering prowess meets Surf City soul.
What started out as a 690 KTM Supermoto had it’s fat trimmed in a Garage in Huntington Beach, California resulting in a
light and nimble bike. Pair this with the high revving 690 single that was allowed to breathe freely through a K&N air filter and a Zard Exhaust and you have a powerful and agile combination…the technical essence of a cafe racer.
The Bobber part expresses itself in the low seat, the relaxed riding position and the wrapped exhaust.
The round headlamp and megaphone exhausts are a nod to the cafe racers of the 70’s whereas the four piston calipers up front and the upside down fork signal uncompromised contemporary performance. This is further emphasized by the Conti Race Attack semi-slick tires.
The simply monochromatic color scheme in different hues of Metals and black takes a new spin on chrome and distances itself from the bling factories of the custom cruiser scene . In a process developed with a local plater (South Bay Chrome in Santa Ana) just for this bike, all custom metal parts received a Frozen Chrome finish. The fuel tank and fender feature racing stripes and graphics in contrasting polished chrome.
The wheels follow the same color scheme with powder coated spokes and polished nipples. They were craft-fully built by the good guys at Wheel Works in Colorado and make use of an unusual cross-lace to clear the big front brake caliper.
Aside from the sheet metal work on the fuel tank and the wheels, this bike was truly a home project. It started when Sven decided that between taking his little daughter to bed and going to bed himself there had to be more to life than just TV. Combine this with a lifelong love for motorcycles and a career in engineering showcars and you have a bike that is as unusual as it is appealing…and a true labor of love.
Special thanks to:
Zach @ Wheel Works in Colorado for building the wheels
Andy Gaffoglio for shaping the fuel tank
Frank @ South Bay chrome in Santa Ana for his expert advice and his willingness to try something new