Show Me Your Office. Bert Baker.

It’s in 1999 that Bert & Lisa Baker officially appeared on the custom V-Twin motorcycle scene. Armed with the necessary theory, protocol, and experience that they both acquired during 14 years as engineers working on manual transmissions for General Motors, they immediately succeeded in imposing their new ideas. They revolutionized the way we gear up and down our bikes (remember the 1st 6-speed overdrive?) and the manner we install transmissions (remember the shift to the right side drive made necessary because of the fat tires?) Since then, always balancing innovation with heritage, the Bakers have brought to the market many new concepts, ideas and a complete line-up of products to fill the needs for driveline improvement of oem American V-Twin motorcycles and custom applications.

It’s in this office that new Baker Drivetrain products are dreamed of. Bert Baker is not afraid to admit that it’s also the place where he had quite a few shitty ideas that he keeps for himself. Of course only the best ones make it through the door for testing by his mechanical engineers. An office that one could almost qualify as a “man cave” as it is evident that it’s a male professional hang out devoid of any influence by wife Lisa. Probably the only place in their life (in their case separation between private and professional is at least very blurry) where she has no say about what gets “mounted on the walls”….

Bert having a pathological aversion to conformity, his office is the opposite of a corporate show-me place. It’s all about work, a retreat, a place to be alone, dreaming, rambling (in a colorful language he is an ardent and vocal defender of the “Made In America”), calculating (in metric and standard), working hypothesis, figuring out some new gear combinations (forward and in reverse) and imagining whatever products you still don’t know you need them on your custom bike. Of course it doesn’t exclude surrounding yourself with favorite objects. For example, Bert is an amateur guns collector because they represent for him a beautiful mechanical art form with a much longer American history than motorcycles. He even confided to me that if he wasn’t in the drivetrain business, he would probably be manufacturing firearms…

Bert Baker also collects human skulls, one of them checking you out when you talk to him across his desk. On the walls, a lot of pictures of late actor Dennis Hopper, a personality to who he must identify a lot, both with the man and some of his  movie characters. He missed his chance to meet him but now want to meet Jeff Bridges and Crispin Glover. In his office, no books to be seen because Bert’s mind wander too much to stay focused a long time on one story. But a lot of car and motorcycle transmission repair manuals that he reads with as much avidity as you would reading the crime novel “The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.”

For all memos, notes, technical references, data sheets belonging to his daily professional life, Bert doesn’t use much his computer for doc files and sound alert memos. He is a genius gearhead but not necessarily a PC tech whiz. He does it the old school way with push pins and a cork board. So, what’s next at Baker Drivetrain? If I would know, do you think I would tell you? Just be certain that with the new release will be included the integrity and creativity of traditional good ol’ American engineering.

18 Responses to “Show Me Your Office. Bert Baker.”

  1. 1 H. Davenport May 25th, 2012 at 8:06 am

    The man is wild.

  2. 2 Shifter May 25th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Would like to see Lisa Baker office. Must me very, very different in style.

  3. 3 Drake May 25th, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Organized mess.

  4. 4 chopmonster66 May 25th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    nice crowd control , looks like an SKS , 870 SHOTGUN…need a 44 mag in the drawer…

  5. 5 Patrick Shindler May 25th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Bert Baker. 100% Made in Michigan, USA.

  6. 6 Doc Robinson May 25th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Wow! Baker Guns – the mind boggles at the thought. Me, I’m glad he went for transmissions. The DD7 transformed the ride on my Street Glide.

  7. 7 burnout May 25th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Hopper, Bridges, and Glover………. my favorites also! peace

  8. 8 Ray May 25th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Don’t know Baker personally, but would have imagined his office more on the “high tech/scientist” side. I guess his office looks like the one of an engineer/biker.

  9. 9 golfish May 25th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    met the man in 07, seems like a very smart and talented man.. That 870 looks a little short 🙂 Click ! Click!

  10. 10 calif phil May 26th, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I wish everyone in the MC business had his Made in USA attitude. Keep up the good work Baker Drivetrain.

  11. 11 Iron Horse May 26th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Met Bert a couple of times at drive train seminars. Very low key and reserved guy…also a driveline genius. I personally have more than a few of his transmissions in different bikes and love them all.

    I’d love to see what he would do in the firearms industry, as that’s another passion of mine. I gotta ask though,,,Bert, what’s up with the SKS? I though you were a made in America kinda guy! Don’t get me wrong, MIkail Kalashnikov was a firearms genius, but really. I also don’t think that that’s an 870 next to it…the barrel attachment to the magazine tube is wrong.

    Keep up the good work Bert…America needs you!

  12. 12 Olive oil May 26th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I believe Dennis Hopper with the oxygen mask photo is from the movie “Blue Velvet” correct? One of my favorite movies.

  13. 13 Wiz May 27th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Bert, Yer office looks tight ‘an focused! Not like Woody’s with booze everywhere! Maybe see ya again at W&C’s. Wiz

  14. 14 Blackmax May 27th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Kind of what I expected, Sheer genius !!!!
    A little different, but genius, none the less !!!!

  15. 15 Otis May 28th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Bert and Lisa were some of the most humble, hospitable, helpful, and entertaining people I had the pleasure of meeting during my “Stripper Juice experience.” It is people like the Bakers that make the VTwin Industry different than anywhere else in the Powersports world. Thanks Bert and Lisa!

  16. 16 Jason May 28th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    As always, Cyril is able to summarize very well the true style and personality of his undustry friends.

  17. 17 Alan K May 28th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @Iron Horse. SKS was not designed by Kalashnikov, but by Simonov.

  18. 18 Sara Brown May 29th, 2012 at 6:59 am

    The guy’s got style, class, skill and HUMOR!!

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Cyril Huze