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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Michael Naumann's 'Stick 52'

The World Championship of Custom Bike Building is an open event, and while the majority of the bikes entered are from custom shops, there are entries form privateer builders too. The 2013 Championship had its share of privateer entrants, including Michael Naumann, who had two bikes entered, with one of them, Stick 52, finishing top ten

MICHAEL Naumann not only is a privateer builder, but he is also a very prolific builder as he had two bikes entered in the 2013 World Championship of Custom Bike Building. Among his two entries was Stick 52, which placed tenth in the Freestyle class. 

The most striking thing about Stick 52 is Michael’s use of large diameter wheels. However, given that his day job is building bikes at German custom specialist Thunderbike, which has done a lot to promote larger diameter wheels, it should come as no surprise that he has taken the idea to its natural conclusion and used a pair of 26in rims for this build.
The 3.5 x 26in wheels Michael has used on Stick 52 where sourced from fellow German wheel specialist Rick’s Motorcycles, and are in fact a pair of front wheels, due to nobody having used such a large wheel at the rear before, none were in production, and so a front was modified for use at the rear. Because of the constraints of using a front wheel at the back of the bike, a sprotor arrangement has been fitted to allow braking and drive to all be dealt with on one side of the hub. The front wheel was also modified to allow a Beringer ‘inboard’ brake rotor to be mounted. This is, of course, matched to a Beringer caliper, while at the rear a Kustom Tech caliper does the stopping. Michael completed the wheel package with a pair of Vee Rubber 120-50-26 tires.

Given the extreme nature of the wheel set being used on Stick 52, the only frame option available to Michael was to go full custom, and that is exactly what he has done. Built around a 38-degree head tube the frame features a drilled I-beam downtube reminiscent of the front axles used on period Hot Rods, while the rest of the tubes used in the frame’s construction have been sleeved at various places to make it look as though the frame was built with traditional style lugs.
The front wheel is held in place by a pair of Springer forks from W&W Cycles, and they are topped off with a set of custom ‘bars fabricated by Michael, and fitted with Kustom Tech controls. A headlamp from CCE is the only other adornment to the front of the bike.
With the bike being a roller, Michael turned his attention to the drivetrain, which is made up of an S&S Knucklehead style motor driving a Rev Tech six-speed transmission via a BDL 2in open belt drive. The 94ci motor wears an S&S Super G carb and one-off 2-into-2 exhausts by Michael. 

Michael was also responsible for the fabrication of the gas tank, oil tank and rear fender and modified the Kustom Tech foo pegs too. Once he had completed the bodywork the whole package was handed over to Ingo Kruse, who was responsible for both the design and application of the bike’s paint.
While large wheel use continues to divide opinion, especially when the front wheels on Baggers are continuing to increase in diameter, there was a uniform respect for the use by Michael of 26in rims on Stick 52, as his fellow builders at the World Championship voted the bike into tenth place in the Freestyle class.

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