The New Crocker Motorcycle Company
Reviving an Icon
The prototype "new" Crocker motorcycle made its public debut at the 2006 Legend of the Motorcycle show at Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Photo by Gary Phelps
New Crocker Motorcycle
Years produced: 2007-present
Claimed power: 60hp @ 6.500rpm (est.)
Top speed: 110mph (est.)
Engine type: 1,000cc (61ci) overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, air-cooled 45-degree V-twin
Weight (dry): 222kg (490lb) (approx.)
Interest in Crocker motorcycles surpassed availability some time ago. With fewer than perhaps 100 made, prices for good — and bad — examples continue to skyrocket. Enter two Canadian entrepreneurs who started the New Crocker Motorcycle Company and plan to build Crocker replicas at a quarter of the current price for an original.
As the classic bike scene lit up in the late Eighties, certain bikes acquired an almost mythical status. Justified or not, a few classic marques excite interest and emotion head and shoulders above the norm. One of these is Crocker.
Along with fabled marques like Vincent and Brough Superior, prices of original Crocker motorcycles have skyrocketed. In 1996, Crockers tended to trade hands for less than $50,000. In 2006, the ex-Steve McQueen 1937 hemi-head Crocker (one of five built) fetched $276,500.
In the late 1990s, Markus Karalash of Toronto, Canada, was busy restoring Indians. “A friend asked me to cast some footboards for Crockers, so I built a foundry, and cast and machined them. He started showing the footboards to friends, and that started my [Crocker parts] business.” It wasn’t long before Markus was selling Crocker parts across North America and to Japan, with no advertising other than word of mouth. “In Japan, especially, people are building custom bikes. A customer would tell us they had a taillight, for example, and wanted the rest of the bike.”
Although he enjoyed restoring Indians, Markus wasn’t satisfied. What he wanted to do was build something really special. “Crockers struck a chord, with the history, desirability and rarity. They were not something every guy was going to have,” Markus says. The idea of building a Crocker replica moved forward when Markus restored an Indian for Michael Schacht.
“Michael suggested he would finance the [Crocker] project,” Markus continues. In 2002, Michael became Markus’ business partner. “We moved into a machine shop and [the Crocker parts] business has been booming ever since.” The company now has three employees.
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