Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inspiration: Joakim Krantz's Satan's Dream

The devil is certainly in the details. Joakim Krantz's Satan's Dream. Found these photos years ago among the interwebs. I decided to group all the photos I could find of this bike and post them up. This bike is at the top of my list. Lots of little tricks, the lines flow nice and just enough chrome. The bike looks like it came out of one of the early Roth/Mann posters. The frame was narrowed in the rear including the oil tank. Rumor has it even the clutch and primary cover was narrowed as well.

Anyone can make one off custom parts. I'm not knocking the aftermarket stuff entirely or the craftsmanship of others. The scene wouldn't be what it is today with out it. However, to me the true ingenuity comes from working with what you have. Working with the stock stuff. Manipulating what is already there.

Krantz could have made his own custom narrow frame but to me that's not nearly as intriguing. The fact he took a stock harley frame and narrowed it makes you look twice at it. Just like a piece of art it hooks the viewer. It makes you walk around it. It gets you down on your knees, or even on your side for that matter, trying to find the places where he made the cuts. Trying to figure out what he did. If it was an aftermarket frame, you can guess just like anyone else a few measurements were made, parts were laid in a jig and it was welded together. Not as mysterious now is it?

Here is a great shot revealing the oil tank and the frame. I just love the fact he left the original forging in the frame.

Look how the lines flow for just a minute. We all do this but may not always be aware of it. Watch yourself looking at the flow of a bike next time. What disrupts the flow? What isn't spaced correctly? On this bike NOTHING. The handle bars flow right down to the front width of the gastank and then comes to a point in the center of the frame. It then flows back out following the seat. Everything on this bike has similar flows and curves and extreme points.

The width of the front tire mimicks the width of the seat going up the sissybar.

Dual carbs, glass velocity stacks, and spoon pegs are a thing of beauty. Between the smaller oil tank, spoon pegs, even the kicker pedal has shrunk, makes the engine look larger than it is. Its all about the little tricks and visual details. The paint is even subtle, not distracting or disrupting at looking at what really matters.

But sometimes breaking the flow is good, IF done correctly. I like the fact the pipes don't follow the angle of the frame like so many others do. It brakes the evenness of the rest of the bike. Its almost on the same angle as the forks but not quite. It gives a laid back falling action from the forks, to the pipes, to the frame. This bike looks like the quintessential chopper, but taking that second look as mentioned earlier, its far from the typical.

Some of the hard asses get upset about choppers as art. Well, deal with it, its mere aesthetics of what looks right.
Ok thats enough of me nerding out on a bike today....

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