Performance Touring is a major focus of Kraus Motor Company. We invented the concept of American Performance Touring, We coined the term. As of late, others have picked up on the concept and we are OK with that, after all Kraus is an innovation company, we expect to be followed when we share a good idea.
What is Performance Touring and why should you bother learning about it. Why is it a good idea?
Performance Touring came out of our Founder Satya Kraus’s head after spending some time on, what we refer to as a Bagger. Satya was none too impressed with the overall performance of the modern Harley-Davidson™ Touring platform. He rode the latest Road Glides and Street Glides and came away disappointed, meh.
While the Twin Cam drivetrain certainly has enough oomph for most riders and is a, huge improvement over previous configurations - it can still be beefed up substantially.There are a lot of companies that supply the bits, pieces and parts to transform your Twin Cam engine into a firebreather (by H-D standards). There are independent shops and Harley-Davidson™ dealerships that can take these parts and make these engine parts all work together, delivering a well built, super stout hi-po drivetrain system.
But the drivetrain, as important as it is, is but one part of the Performance equation. It has to be delivered, and that is the job of Suspension.
What earned our Founders attention was not the Twin Cam drivetrain, even out of the box, bone stock, it's acceptable, if not a bit tame. What rung his bell and got him thinking big time was the way the bike handled. Many riders will never push their machine to its limit, until things get sideways - and then it's mission critical that handling and performance are delivered in instantaneous abundance.
Sideways - it's what happens to a rider when the multi-tasking motorist in front of them drops their phone while drinking their latte, texting and driving and reaches for…... in the process weaving out of their lane, into our path. Sideways is what happens when the car in front of you slams on it's brakes unexpectedly. Sideways is what happens when road conditions all of a sudden turn to shit. Sideways happens when you push a Bagger into a corner and find it wiggling and bobbling, like a drunk leaving the bar at the end of a “good”night.
Sideways is a bummer and it's dangerous, and if you don't have precision riding skills and are on point at that exact and unforgiving moment, it can get ugly, real quick. No one wants to wad up a bike, thereby creating the mayhem and damage that although might make for a good story years in the future, is really unpleasant at that moment.
It only took one instance of getting good and sideways to get Satya’s attention. Admittedly it was due as much to exuberance as it was a heavy load, in both bags and tourpak (I am guilty as charged, are you). Whatever the mitigating circumstance, it got his attention, which in and of itself is no small feat. In his mind, the machines lack of handling manners was not an acceptable state of affairs; he got to work.
Out of that experience, was borne the idea of “Performance Touring”. Satya knew from his development experiences with the Dyna/ FXD platform that there was room for big time improvement in terms of braking and handling. So he got to work and began the process of cracking the “performance” code on the FL touring platform.
Satya had some requirements: whatever the solution, this Package had to be a truly a bolt-on affair, it had to have a dramatic effect on the riding experience, it had to be safe and overbuilt, look great and it had to deliver tons of road feel and control to the rider.
The Kraus R&D team made busy and designed, prototyped, tested and finally packaged - is offering for sale a series of Performance Packages that addressed Satya’s two biggest gripes: suspension and braking. We applied our knowledge of Harley-Davidson™ handling to successfully build a complete replacement front end package that is the best possible functional setup. The full Performance Packages look great too, slick and understated.
Driving a Bagger for many of us includes carrying a load, for long distances at speed. Performance Touring is what the new breed of Long Rider™ needs. Long Riders are the riders who load up their FLH/FLT based touring machines and hit it. Long Riders travel far, they travel heavy and they travel “at speed”.
Harley-Davidson™ TwinCam motor technology and 6 speed drivetrain packages changed the game for the better for Bagger rider (back then, called Dressers). Suspension, sadly did not keep pace with the demands of this improved drivetrain.
Long Riders are not wheelie kings, generally they are not hooligans, they are not trend chasers. You won't find any dumb shit like a big wheel on the front of a Long Riders Harley-Davidson™. The Long Rider values function, stability, strength and reliability. These very same qualities and characteristics are the hallmarks of Kraus Motor Company performance packages. As it so happens the Dyna/FXD community likes these same things too...
Yes, Kraus Motor Company shows a lot of imagery of extreme riders and riding because we love the excitement and abuse these riders bestow on our goods. We like their attitude and we connect with their “to the limit” style of riding. Riders like Unknown Industries push our performance packages to the absolute limit, and for that we love them.
But we also want to be clear, we are serving the Long Rider Bagger community too. There is less drama with the Long Rider community, but they value our Performance Packages as much as the wheelie kings do. It’s all good, we can share a good thing, can’t we?
Welcome to Kraus Motor Company.
Those amongst you that are Long Riders, we’ve been waiting for you.
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.