KNOCK ON WOOD. Kromwork’s ‘The 29’ S&S Boardtracker
Written by Martin Hodgson
In the past year custom bikes from Indonesia have exploded onto the global scene and it seems the love of two wheels goes all the way to the top. President Jokowi himself owns a Royal Enfield powered bobber and a number of his ministers ride tricked out builds from Indonesia‘s Cleveland CycleWerks. 12 months ago CCW commissioned Kromworks to build them a board tracker powered by one of their single cylinder engines, now they’re doing it again with a thumping twin. With Andika Pratama on the tools the result couldn’t have been anything but spectacular and the finished product is this incredible Kromworks S&S powered cafe racer called ‘THE 29’.
But it turns out that it’s not only the head of the country who has a thing for motorcycles but also the head of Andi’s family, “My father was a Custom Bike Builder (Dodi Chrome Cycle). I started to be interested in customised bikes since I used to always see two customised bikes with various designs in my garage. Through long process of learning and design revolution, I have set my own design characteristic and put it in every customised bike I have made, including ‘THE 29’,” he explains.
Dony Gouw the CEO of Cleveland CycleWerks Indonesia provided the S&S drivetrain and communicated his desire for a cafe racer theme build and the rest was over to Andi to bring to life back at Kromworks. “I am always addicted to creating a bike that is different and unique. This bike is not a common cafe racer bike with wide tyre and aftermarket parts. I wished to change this view by doing what I could. Thus, I designed all parts of this bike and produced handmade parts.”
It all starts with the frame that is relatively conventional when it comes to a Kromworks build, which is saying something; being a single down tube design that cradles the engine. Using his favourite material, stainless steel, the welds are back purged with an inert shielding gas to ensure the integrity of the frame which will be subject to high vibrations and reduce oxidisation. Every piece of pipe is meticulously bent to shape with every section sporting flowing lines to add to the sporty feel.
Up front the headstock was designed to work with the large wheel diameter to come and the suspension setup Andi had in mind. What was swirling through his brain was the stunning stainless girder forks that now sit before you. Meticulously hand crafted the lower ends of the legs appear to melt together like the body of Terminator 2’s T-1000 liquid metal android. While rigorous testing was undertaken to ensure the shock was perfect to control the 21 inch black powder coated rim wrapped up in a Shinko e270 tyre; that is replicated at the rear.
The back end is no less a work of art, based on that of a HD Softail, but inverted so as to run inside the frame rather than beneath it. The swingarm to suit uses frame matching flowing lines with extra bracing for the points where the shock system pivots. But it was here that Andi explains he met his toughest challenge, “the motion system of this suspension is tricky, and if the support not properly attached, the suspension would not work. The weight differences from stainless steel and other metal materials might also affect the shock. Thus, I had to always re-measure the spring pressure of the shock, and this process was time consuming.”
More than happy with the rolling chassis, work commenced on the bodywork and it is just as impressive. The long and slender fuel tank starts with rounded lines at the front before trailing back seamlessly into perfect knee dents. The tail section meets it where the centre post joins the backbone and flows beautifully into a futuristic cafe styled rear hump. The stainless wraps around to the removable undertray that perfectly hides the oil tank nestled within. While a neat headlight cowl dissolves into the girder forks with an offset LED giving a wink like effect.
Powering the party is the 96 cubic inch S&S Evo style V-Twin engine that CCW purchased in 2015 and punches out bulk torque with nearly 10:1 compression. The closed primary cover to the gearbox is more of a conservative approach than previous builds but all polished up matches perfectly with the bodywork. The engine might be American but the pipes are all Andi, wrapping their way around cam cover and spitting fire. While the Super E carb sports a bronze air cleaner to match the bike’s grips and pegs that shift the box and control the rear brakes through hand fab’d linkages.
Those brakes front and rear are yet another party trick, perhaps only recognisable to those familiar with Honda’s CBX550F. Inboard ventilated disc brakes with drum style covers give an old school appearance, with the hubs modified to accept spokes and the front converted to a single disc setup. Breaking up all the metal is a minimalist leather seat giving the rider a surprisingly comfortable place to sit and another masterpiece was finished. So what does the name ‘THE 29’ stand for? That’s Andi’s age, it’s remarkable to see someone so young already at the top of the game. For the rest of us, it means that there is a there is a very bright future for Kromworks for all of us to witness and enjoy. Let’s enjoy the ride.