The New Crocker Motorcycle Company

Reviving an Icon


| November/December 2007



crocker motorcycle 3

Markus Karalash (left) and Michael Schacht with Al Crocker Jr., the son of original founder Al Crocker.

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.)
Price: $53,000

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.

Stepping out
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.

CrockerMarkus
11/16/2013 10:13:34 PM

Are you kidding me? This story is actually quite accurate. I'd love to discuss any "inaccuracies" with those willing to talk to me and, yes, I have proof of what I accomplished before schact came on the scene AND during his time there. Also what he accomplished; He caused several threatened lawsuits,a penchant for spending money that wasn't there,and he had a general lack of knowledge about producing a motorcycle. So, when he saw the writing on the wall (actually, he read my personal emails) he came to the shop in the dead of night with a friend and a truck and hid everything away, stealing all of my work and investment. Markus "Not My Real Name" Karalash


Richard Backus
10/17/2011 9:08:29 AM

The information in this article was current and deemed accurate when originally published in the November/December 2007 issue of Motorcycle Classics. The information was provided from interviews with the then principals of the Crocker Motorcycle Company. This article is from our archives and dates from 2007. It is not presented as current nor intended to reflect the current state of affairs at Crocker. We welcome further input from Crocker Motorcycle Company to bring us and our readers up to speed on the status of the company today. Richard Backus/Motorcycle Classics


Mike_3
8/20/2008 10:36:33 PM

Not an accurate article. Although Markus Karalash did contribute to the Crocker project by borrowing the two original Crocker's from collector Harry Buck, he did so by promising Harry a free restoration. That was back in 1998. Harry's bikes have not been restored to date. So goes the rest of the Crocker story in regards to Mark. Mark (his real name) has taken credit for the work of many people like Ole Kiprianoff and Brian McCabe, the two pattern makers who were responsible for all the Crocker patterns. The "triple tree" improvement Mark Karalash took credit for in the article was really a request by Michael Schacht to Ole Kiprianoff to create the casting as one piece unlike the original that had the lower boss attached by a sloppy weld. Being the excellent pattern maker Ole is, he did exactly that. Although Ole is now retired after 40 years of pattern making, he would be more then happy to talk about his time with Crocker and back up all these facts. Karalash's "world wide sales" was 20 unmachined tail light castings sold to a builder in Japan and Schacht was already part of Crocker at that time. It was Michael Schacht who worked with the foundries, pattern makers, engineers, metal spinners, fastener people, ect. All facts can easily be proven. Mark Karalash is in no way an engineer. All engineering was done by and Marko Goffman, the in house engineer at Crocker and Maziro Inc, a prototype engineering company in Toronto Canada who specializes in automotive . They are the same people who rented Crocker factory space due to Michael's friendship with the president of Maziro, Zenovi Mallots. Mark Karalash is no longer with Crocker Motorcycle. The company was bought out of bankruptsy by Michael Schacht after Karalash failed to invest his share of money based on his and Schachts shareholders agreement. Schacht is now in the process of moving Crocker back to it's original city, Los Angeles.






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