Rick Krost's Custom Motorcycle Frames

Going retro with U.S. Choppers

board tracker frame

Californian Rick Krost focuses on crafting custom motorcycle frames inspired by the board tracker motorcycles of yore.

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With the exception of the well-publicized antics of certain custom motorcycle cycle builders on the Discovery Channel, most custom builders operate in relative obscurity, quietly churning out individual interpretations of “the ultimate bike.”

Californian Rick Krost fits into the latter category, but instead of focusing on parts-built custom Harleys, he's turned his attention to crafting custom motorcycle frames inspired by the board tracker motorcycles of yore.

Board tracking, in case you're unfamiliar with the sport, was all the rage in the 1910s and 20s, a public exhibition of young guns on a hopped-up Indian, Harley-Davidson Excelsior running for the purse on banked tracks constructed of wood. The racing was fast and dangerous (hence its popularity), claiming the lives of some of the greats in early American motorcycle racing.

Krost, proprietor of U.S. Choppers in Santa Ana, Calif., says inspiration for the project came from the Christian sign of the fish. “It has great flowing lines, and I imagined a wheel strapped on each end. I started sketching this out on paper until it resembled a cycle and absolutely loved the result. I have been doing restorations and bobbers since the early 90s — no bikes later than 1965 — so it was only natural to give it that old-school art deco flavor. This is my comfort zone and what really appeals to me versus the modern billet bombshells.”

The chassis kit is not limited to a board-track racer design.  “I designed the chassis kit to be what I coined 'a universal platform.'  The engine and transmission are center-lined versus having an offset so that we can balance the bike properly. The chassis kit will accept stock tires as well as narrow tires without alterations. Like a racer, the owner can have two sets of rear wheels and switch easily from one setup to the next without any alterations: A 16in wheel with a 140 tire to a 21in wheel with a 99/90 tire in minutes, radically altering the looks of the bike.”

Krost ships each custom motorcycle chassis pre-assembled to ensure accurate alignment of all components. MC

Contact Rick Krost by e-mail; U.S. Choppers, 2039 S. Lyon St. Santa Ana, CA 92705