Whether or not vintage Harley-Davidsons are your scene, it’s impossible to ignore the bikes that roll out of the Ehinger Kraftrad workshop. You don’t even need to know your Shovelheads from your Panheads to appreciate the level of kraft that’s poured into each bike.
This one’s a Knucklehead, and it’s been put together with the kind of taste and restraint we wish we saw more often.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Ehringer Kraftrad is run by Uwe Ehinger and Katrin Oeding. Every second year, they take a break from commissioned work to build a ‘portfolio’ bike. This is that bike—and, unsurprisingly, it’s already been sold.
Uwe explains the inspiration behind the project: “We wanted to build a bike with a two-inch-over VL fork, which is why we used a 1957 straight-leg Panhead frame and a 19-inch rear tire. This allowed us to scale the bike a bit to accommodate taller riders.”
“In terms of design, we always aim to build bikes that are pure and simple. For us, less really is more. We try to reduce to the max.”
Remarkably, this bike started out as a 3D render (below) of the planned build. From there, Ehringer Kraftrad began piecing it together, bit-by-bit.
Up front is a VL springer front end from W&W Cycles. New wheels have been laced up using Morad aluminum rims: 21 inches up front, and 18 inches at the rear. The drum brakes are original Harley-Davidson items.
The engine itself is a 1940 Knucklehead, wedged into the rigid Panhead frame. There’s extensive work under the hood, but a few highlights include a Dell’Orto carb (to replace the original Linkert M51), a Morris Magneto ignition, and an NHPower clutch with a 1-inch belt setup.
Ehringer Kraftrad have also fabricated a smorgasbord of items in-house. The handlebars, tank, seat and rear fender are their handiwork, plus the delightfully simple stainless steel exhaust.
The final color scheme is minimalism at its best: a simple olive lifted from the RAL color chart and applied to the frame and bodywork. It’s offset by touches of black, raw metal and copper—a treatment that sounds garish on paper, but works beautifully in practice.
As Ehinger move on to their next project (a Knucklehead chopper with a 12-inch-over springer fork), there’s only one thing left to do:
Grab a cold one, kick back and pore over all the lovely details we didn’t list.