Dr Mechanik V-Rod Cafe Racer
By Ross Sharp - 24 Feb 14
Max, AKA Dr Mechanik, was never going to be a normal kid satisfied with kicking a ball around. He was fortunate enough to grow up in a Croatian town that had its own street race circuit, which infected him with that well-known virus - a need for speed. By 14 Max was building his own small capacity bikes and scooters, challenging his mechanical knowledge, and the patience of the local Policija. Two years later he was earning a living from wielding spanners on other people’s bikes but wanted to develop his skills further so he packed himself off to Germany to work on classic Jaguar and Maserati sports cars. Fast forward to 2004 and Max started building custom bikes full-time, following his desire to buck the trend and leave mainstream builders in his wake. The fire-breathing beast you see here has risen from the dead, after its owner was punted off by the omnipresent, optically-challenged car driver. Only the engine remained intact as the frame, wheels and custom parts were all destroyed. Luckily the owner and actor, Georg Friedrich, was able to ride again and wanted to incorporate his love of British 60’s bikes with the heart from his beloved V-Rod. As if 76 cubic inches of Milwaukee muscle wasn’t enough poke for a cafe racer, Max ripped a donor V-Rod frame to pieces and managed to remove a staggering 12kgs from this alone. Aluminium replaced steel wherever possible on the chassis, even employing a spindly Ducati side-stand to prop up the svelte new figure. Anyone who’s ridden a V-Rod knows that filling the plastic, under-seat fuel tank makes you feel like a scooterist, and not very cool. Not to worry, out came the English Wheel and some more thin gauge aluminium, Max used his classic car panel beating know-how to knock-up a new tank, mounted in the correct place this time. Very impressive that he has managed to maintain the standard 18 litre capacity, despite the ‘Rod’s huge airbox taking up valuable petrol real estate. Crowning his efforts is a cap robbed from a crash-damaged V12 Jaguar and a paint job from American artist buddy Anthony Martin. Some say the water cooled, Porsche designed V-twin is a bit soft and not true to the Harley Davidson stable, Max doesn’t agree. And to remind Georg of this he has removed all rubber mounts and bolted the motor directly to the frame, using machined from billet aluminium braketry of course. Stainless and titanium exhausts help the motor breath and let bystanders know that there is nothing soft going on here. In case the aforementioned idiot motorist should cross the V-rods path unannounced, a Buell rim-mounted front brake and Dr Mechainik’s own custom designed rear disc setup should scrub speed off very quickly. The rubber is Avon, with a chunky 250 section rear giving plenty of opportunity for 2nd gear slides off roundabouts. The Harley V-Rod isn’t renowned for creature comforts or superfluous parts, even a pillion seat pad is an optional extra, yet Max has put this bike on a diet Victoria’s Secrets models would queue up for and shed 60kgs! Cafes of Vienna beware, Georg is heading your way, and he thinks it’s 1964. ...and how often do you see a V-Rod with both wheels off the ground? See more from Max D. Krpanic at the Dr Mechanik Website. Photos by Andy Schwarzkopf. Video by Kevin Kaltenhofer.