Wacky Custom Frame Rocks Mighty Harley-Davidson Engine, Becomes Derbe

Kodlin Derbe 5 photos
Photo: Kodlin
Kodlin DerbeKodlin DerbeKodlin DerbeKodlin Derbe
For connoisseurs of the custom motorcycle scene, the name Fred Kodlin needs little introduction. The German-born went into the customization business about four decades ago, and grew into such a pillar of the industry that in 2007 the became the first non-American to be inducted into the International Master Bike Builders Association (IMBBA) Hall of Fame.
Kodlin's fame and reach are backed by incredible custom projects that go from modified bikes based on existing platforms to full custom builds put together from scratch. The shop by the same name usually goes for Harley-Davidson bikes, but from time to time it does venture outside the comfort zone, as it most recently did with the Heavy Duty, a BMW R 18-based radical cruiser. And it also makes full customs.

It's a full custom that brings us here today, a bike the Germans put together all the way back in 2012. It's called Derbe, and should have been one of a limited series of 50 bikes made in the same manner for a select few.

It's not entirely clear whether Kodlin eventually managed to build all the 50 bikes - at one point he was talking about 30 completed builds. The Derbe is one of those made, and just a superficial look at it is enough to paint the picture of an exciting two-wheeler.

First and foremost, it's worth mentioning the bike was built around an in-house-made frame called Q-Modo. A Kodlin creation, the rigid frame comes with curved down tubes, allows a ride to move very close to the ground, while still offering enough ground clearance, and permits for the installation of pretty insane fuel tanks. Sure, it may not look and feel very comfortable, but it sure does look amazing.

One key aspect about the Q-Modo is that it can "support even the most powerful V-twin engines," meaning the 120ci+ behemoths made for use in extreme applications. And in the Derbe build, it's exactly such a powerplant that was used, more specifically one sourced from Harley-Davidson.

The frame and engine combination was placed on two custom wheels that are seemingly worlds apart, because of the distance between front and end. Their exact size is not known, except for the width of the rubber that wraps around the rear one: 240 mm.

The position of the rider on the Derbe looks rather complicated, with the seat sunk deep into the frame and the rider having to reach over the much higher fuel tank that sits on top of the frame. Their right foot has to be carefully placed so as to not hit the custom exhaust system.

It's not clear who the Derbe was made for, or how much the bike is worth in this configuration. We also don't know where it spins those wheels at the moment, but chances are if it does pass you by, you'll notice.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories