Looking at the machine presented here, you cannot help but be impressed, and feel more than a little excited.
The Blue Girl, a 1985 FXRT. is one striking machine.
The motorcycle fortuitously came to Nick Erickson proprietor of Pop's Garage & Fabrication in lovely Atlanta, via his friend Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios, in Novato CA - who as it turns out, also painted the bike.
Nick says about the Blue Girl:
“This project is all about performance. Taking a great factory design and placing it on a whole new level. With a beautiful S&S 117 Evo motor and an amazingly strong Baker 6 speed transmission”.
So, except for the OEM frame on this bike - every nut bolt and fastener (ARP), suspension (KRAUS), motor (S&S), hose (Spiegler Performance), Wheels (Kineo), Exhaust (Sawicki Speed), and on and on and on... are the very best made that Nick could find in the worldwide VTwin aftermarket. It's crazy, the machine is so detailed that you could easily lose yourself for an hour in the details - I know I did. It really is special, more than the sum of it's parts for sure - and the parts in and of themselves are pretty damn special.
All systems were carefully selected, massaged, threatened and cajoled into fitting. The story is long, the details many.
For the KRAUS team, working with Nick is akin to working with family. Pop’s Garage & Fabrication has installed more KRAUS Inverted Front Suspension Packages and rear braking kits than any other fabricator and has been very helpful in helping us suss out many of the small details that can make or break an installation.
Working with a talented designer like Nick has made us up our game, for which we can only be thankful. I think one of the reasons we all get along so well is that we share an aesthetic, an idea that there really is never a good enough, so we just keep trying to do better.
As it turns out, and I have to admit it was pretty cool I had an opportunity to ride the Blue Girl. it’s funny, with some machines, an invite to romp makes you pause and reflect…”is the machine solid and safe?” am I going to break it? with this Blue beastie, I didn't hesitate for a second, Nick handed me the keys and I started the 117” S&S….. and well, the sound of the Sawicki pipe combined with the overall visual effect, I tell ya, I started to swoon. No shit, swoon.
So Nick and I went for a ride together in the ATL, he on Brenna’s Dyna, me on the Blue Girl, and then we switched up. I will neither confirm nor deny if any speed limits were broken. I'm not saying anything about that, but I can say with all assuredness that this handmade bike is fast as hell and one smooth operator. The motor pulls through the gears like an animal, spools up super quick and power delivery is linear - no abruptness, no flat spot - just pull pull pull. Just for emphasis I’ll say it again - Pull.
I’d not had an opportunity to ride a bike kitted out with a complete KRAUS Performance Package in a form presented like this monster FXRT. Full Suspension combined with full engine and driveline enhancements make for a powerful, full performance machine, one that inspires confidence and stays stuck to the path you’ve set out. There is no tentativeness in this hi-performance bike, it stays stuck, no wiggliness, not a butt pucker the whole day, and we pushed it maybe once or twice.
The KRAUS suspension allows you to really take full advantage of the motor’s extreme powerband, and vice versa - the engine demands the suspension be up to snuff to be truly tractable. It is one of those instances where 1+1=3. The sum really kicks ass, more so than the exotic parts list. This bike kind of redefines VTwin Performance: looks killer, goes like stink and stays stable and stuck to the ground.
KRAUS Triple Trees keep inverted Ohlins fork legs in check, Beringer brakes front and back make things stop, BAKER makes things shift. It's not rocket science, but sometimes things that are well designed and engineered, play together nice and just go together right, like they were supposed to. This is one of those times.
Pop’s Garage & Fabrication has a lot in the works, and we are glad to be part of the plan.
You can read a wonderful, detail filled write up (that Nick wrote) that Hot Bike produced on this wonderful, well mannered machine here:
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.