At Kraus we use the words performance and fun quite a bit in our communications and language. We say our roots are in performance and Harley-Davidson™, but let's be real for a moment, what has Harley-Davidson™ really ever had to do with performance?
Besides going modestly fast and torquey in a straight line, Harley-Davidson™ doesn't have a great rep in “modern times” regarding performance, especially at the competitive street bike level. Harley-Davidson™ isn't really all that frighteningly fast or hi-po when compared to its metric two-wheeled brethren.
It's the seat-of-your-pants torque that sets Harley-Davidson™ above and apart, it's the sound, it's the brand… it's the excitement and style. It’s the mechanical mayhem the brand represents.
Loving Harley-Davidson™ for its raw performance just isn't rational, loving the brand is purely emotional. We know it well. We are cool with that. We can change that.
Why does Kraus Motor Company focus on improving and working with the Harley-Davidson™ platform and it’s brand? Why does Kraus bother with improving something that isn't the fastest, most technologically, most new and groovy wangdangler right out of the box? It’s not like the Cruiser market doesn't offer choices these days, so why H-D; we are talking performance right?
Well, frankly it’s because Harley’s are cool. They are a little rough and dirty, they smell like work and to us, their engines sound like music. We are emotionally connected to Harley-Davidson™. We love our country, we are proud Americans and we are students of history. So in support of all that is important to our heads and hearts, we focus our attention on improving an iconic American brand, one we grew up with, that made our little kid hearts flutter when a machine rolled by with an unrepentant freedom seeker aboard. If that's not exciting there is a problem.
Who wouldn't want a part of that? What American, doesn't get a rise out of the sound of a Harley-Davidson™? None, thats who. And if perchance they don’t, I’d suggest checking their pulse.
But why does Kraus Motor Company, a new forward thinking company that is focused on Performance work within the constraints of the Harley-Davidson™ platform?
Well besides just loving H-D for its visceral DNA, as designers we get a charge out of making something work better, look better, perform better. For us, there is a thrill of taking something great and making it greater. Our R&D work makes a Harley-Davidson™ more Harley like; more fun, delivering sharper handling and quicker stopping. Kraus brand performance packages don't change a Harley-Davidson™ into a “Kraus”, rather our systems and packages are an enhancement to a Harley-Davidson™.
Specifically Kraus focuses its attention on the two segments of the Harley-Davidson™ product line that are most relevant and popular to our core constituency - the Dyna and the FLH & FLT platforms. Someday we might get into the Quad Cam scene, but for now, we focus our energies and attention on Harley-Davidson™ Baggers and Dyna’s. We can’t spread ourselves too thin, we are a small company and are at our best when we focus.
Fun is a big part of what drives us forward, because it sure as hell isn't the money. Let's be real here , no one is involved in the Harley-Davidson™ scene because of the big bucks. We are in it because we love it, it's our passion, because it is fun, it is exciting, it is cool, it is in our DNA. We kinda have no choice, it's our calling. We are destined to be sluggers in a market that is filled with “pretty-uppers”, carpetbaggers and fakers, but we are in it to win it. We are not going away.
And to be honest every single time we hear a Harley-Davidson™, we turn and look and….. are just for a moment brought back to those little kid days when we pined for the chance to get on one of the fire breathing, earth shaking beasts and terrorize the four wheeled prisoners in cages.
Fucking A. Let's ride!
We truly want to know what you think of what we are saying and doing, so please leave a comment below and the Kraus team will respond promptly.
I was lucky enough to get an invite to go on a ride with a small group of hardcore bikers from Kraus. Sadly, I am between bikes at the moment, so I declined. “Ride one of ours,” was the response.