Ehinger Kraftrad is a small German workshop based in Hamburg that builds intriguing vintage Harley-Davidsons. Run by Uwe Ehinger and Katrin Oeding, it’s called ‘Kraftrad’ rather than the usual ‘Motorrad’—because Motorrad generally means mass-produced goods. Whereas Ehinger Kraftrad specializes in very limited scale, high quality production.
Uwe Ehinger’s background is in racing, and this classy ‘Snow Racer’ is inspired by 1930s race bikes. The heart of the Snow Racer is a story in itself: it’s a 1946 U model engine fitted with 1936 VLH cylinders, giving a capacity of 80ci. The bottom end has been completely overhauled, with new bearings and refined balancing. The heads are from a 1948 ULH, reworked to improve performance and provide better cooling.
Further mods include tweaked camshafts, a Dell’Orto carburetor, and an unrestricted 30s-style exhaust system. (“It serves more as a directional guide for exhaust fumes than a means for reducing noise,” Ehinger notes wryly.)
A modified Baker 6-speed transmission was placed in the rigid frame. And then Ehinger developed a custom coupling for the primary drive, with a matching clutch basket. The brakes are also custom: the specialist manufacturer Behringer created one-off hubs for the Snow Racer’s 21” and 19” wheels, and inboard brakes were installed. Then Ehinger fitted a Harley VL fork—equipped with a custom triple tree—and in a moment of inspiration, a modified Yamaha TY80 gas tank.
The Snow Racer is a runner, and not a show bike. Ehinger Kraftrad’s other builds are just as unusual, but like this one, they’re eminently rideable too. Head over to the company’s very stylish website to discover more.
With thanks to Brian Awitan of Imogene + Willie.