Motor Man: Master Engine Builder and Tuner Karl Krohn Honored in British Customs' Legends Series

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British Customs honors Karl Krohn by profiling him as part of their Legends Series documenting motorcycle greats.

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Krohn racing in a 70s hare scramble.

To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been.

The face of motorcycling is changing. The culture of motorcycling is shifting around a community that embraces a heritage of unknown origins. But these origins are only unknown because the archives where they exist have never been digitized.

Until now.

British Customs, a lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts, has been bridging the past with the present by seeking out the people who made motorcycling what it is, and sharing it with today’s riders. British Customs has been interviewing these figures, digitizing their archives, and reaching out to their networks to follow every possible in the tapestry of the history of motorcycling.

British Customs has been uploading these pieces to their blog where they are establishing an authoritative database documenting the development of motorcycling, covering the racers, races, machines, tuners, events, personalities, designers, and more that collectively created motorcycling as it is now known and loved.

British Customs is calling this the Legends Series.

To help riders get their own piece of history, British Customs has released multiple custom tribute motorcycles built in collaboration with some of these legends, as well as numerous other parts designed in conjunction with them. These include the Triumphant built with Eddie Mulder, The Sonny Nutter Tribute built with Sonny Nutter, the BC X Mule Motorcycles Tracker Classic built with Richard Pollock, the Spirit of Gyronaut built with the heirs of the original Gyronaut X-1 Team, Drag Pipes, Slash Cut TT Exhaust, the Pro Builder Series Mule Motorcycles parts, the Stainless Steel Collection, and more.

British Customs has continued to develop their growing archive by adding a highly researched and connected piece on a master engine builder who tuned the machines ridden by many of yesteryear’s greatest racers: Karl Krohn.

Karl Krohn got his start in the tuning scene building engines for the drag racing cars he competed in, but transitioned over to motorcycles after losing interest in cars. He was hired by legendary racer Bob Ewing in the early 60s, for whom Krohn built engines that helped Ewing win some of the most prestigious races of the time. Ewing then introduced Krohn to the Checkers Motorcycle Club, the alleged winningest dirt racing club of all time, where Krohn befriended and tuned engines for other motorcycle greats such as Eddie Mulder and Jack Hateley. Krohn continues to build and tune engines to this day, and is passing his craft down to his grandson so that this important part of motorcycle heritage is not lost.

The majority of motorcycles used by racers in the heyday of motorcycle racing were all common street motorcycles that had only been stripped down and modified for whatever purposes the rider wanted. In step with this, British Customs has published multiple style guides on how to customize any Triumph Modern Classic including the iconic Bonneville, Thruxton, and Scrambler in a number of retro styled motorcycles. These styles include trackers, cafe racers, scramblers, bobbers, desert sleds, resto-mods, and more.

Each week, British Customs will publish at least two more pieces on their blog to further add to their archives documenting the racers, events, machines, designers, personalities, and many others who created the heritage of motorcycling.

Anyone interested in using or viewing the archival images and documents British Customs is digitizing is encouraged to contact them.

About British Customs:
British Customs is a Southern California-based lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts. They are known for making the highest quality factory-spec bolt-on parts that only require common tools and minimal technical knowledge to install. With any of their parts upgrades, the average rider can completely customize his or her motorcycle in a weekend.

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David Bumpus
Triton Communications
+1 3104368012
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David Bumpus

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