Kraus Motor Company: Snatch

Snatch:I appreciate many kinds of motorcycles but especially vintage bikes. Maybe it’s the smell, the simplicity or the dedication to function.  A motorcycle that’s lean, light, and handles the road surface through tuned suspension. It’s something about the raw desire to go faster but still look great doing it. The point is “Snatch” makes me feel like riding it. We built it with custom performance in mind. With functionality in mind we went to work designing and building a rear suspension system that would give 3 inches of travel and retain the nice lines of a rigid.  After machining and fabricating the rear end we started bending tubing for the frame and mounted up some super light highly tunable air shocks.  A skid plate under the motor and raised trans makes for an aggressive look.  The rake is 28˚, which lends itself to agile handling.

The front end is our take on a Springer.  Traditionally Springers are somewhat clunky and non-performing.  It’s no fun to be screaming down the road and have your front wheel hopping a foot in the air.  As well, there can be great aspects of a springer, good axle path, little brake dive, and low un-sprung weight.  We designed and built our own Springer and left out the unwanted aspects.  We started by milling some flats in tubing, then adding a slight taper, and finished them off with nice bends to bring the tops in tight to the neck.  Simple.

The top triple clamp has a hidden clamp and serves as the mount for the air shock.  We offset the rocker mounts off the rear of the legs to supply perfect trail.  The handlebars are motocross style and look super clean with our Kraus Twist Controls. The 91” motor has an Evo bottom end and a Shovel top end, and we did quite a bit of reshaping to the barrels, heads, and rocker boxes, to get the lump to look good.  The bullet proof transmission is a BAKER Powerbox. It has a great Function Formed look that compliments our style.

The trans helped set the vibe of the bike.  The wheels are Italian made Alpina tubeless spoke. The Brakes are Brembo 4 piston front and rear.  We bent up some stainless tubing to frame in the aluminum teardrop seat pan. Beaver Leather Craft provided us with an exemplary saddle of Buffalo hide.  We banged out a mudguard and built an aluminum gas tank that resembles an old 70’s Honda Elsinore tank to finish it off.

We coated the frame with brass/bronze using a metal spray and patinas then a light sand to bring the color out.  The motor stripped and polished and reassembled.  All the little bits and pieces of aluminum and stainless polished and the gas tank and mudguard brushed. In the end we didn’t use one drop of paint on this machine; it just didn’t need it. It was a lot of work but for some reason it all feels worth it when your riding Snatch. Satya Kraus

images: steveb/