Hand Krafted: Uwe Ehinger’s Immaculate Knucklehead

Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
Whether or not vintage Harley-Davidsons are your scene, it’s impossible to ignore the bikes that roll out of the Ehinger Kraftrad workshop. You don’t even need to know your Shovelheads from your Panheads to appreciate the level of kraft that’s poured into each bike.

This one’s a Knucklehead, and it’s been put together with the kind of taste and restraint we wish we saw more often.

Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Ehinger Kraftrad is run by Uwe Ehinger and Katrin Oeding. Every second year, they take a break from commissioned work to build a ‘portfolio’ bike. This is that bike—and, unsurprisingly, it’s already been sold.

Uwe explains the inspiration behind the project: “We wanted to build a bike with a two-inch-over VL fork, which is why we used a 1957 straight-leg Panhead frame and a 19-inch rear tire. This allowed us to scale the bike a bit to accommodate taller riders.”
Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
“In terms of design, we always aim to build bikes that are pure and simple. For us, less really is more. We try to reduce to the max.”

Remarkably, this bike started out as a 3D render (below) of the planned build. From there, Ehinger Kraftrad began piecing it together, bit-by-bit.
Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
Up front is a VL springer front end from W&W Cycles. New wheels have been laced up using Morad aluminum rims: 21 inches up front, and 19 inches at the rear. (They’re shod with Pirelli MT60 rubber, the same tires used by the Ducati Scrambler.) The drum brakes are original Harley-Davidson items.

The engine itself is a 1940 Knucklehead, wedged into the rigid Panhead frame. There’s extensive work under the hood, but a few highlights include a Dell’Orto carb (to replace the original Linkert M51), a Morris Magneto ignition, and an NHPower clutch with a 1-inch belt setup.
Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
Ehinger Kraftrad have also fabricated a smorgasbord of items in-house. The handlebars, tank, seat and rear fender are their handiwork, plus the delightfully simple stainless steel exhaust.

The final color scheme is minimalism at its best: a simple olive lifted from the RAL color chart and applied to the frame and bodywork. It’s offset by touches of black, raw metal and brass—a treatment that sounds garish on paper, but works beautifully in practice.
Custom Harley knucklehead by Hamburg-based master builder Ehinger Kraftrad.
As Ehinger Kraftrad move on to their next project (a Knucklehead chopper with a 12-inch-over springer fork), there’s only one thing left to do:

Grab a cold one, kick back and pore over all the lovely details we didn’t list.

Ehringer Kraftrad | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Frank Sander of Thunder Media Service