Most custom builders and vendors you have known and appreciated during the last 30 years are entering or already belong to the baby-boomers segment of the population. A few of them have or will have a succession in place when they retire. Here in the US, the most well known example is the Ness family with 3 different generations (Arlen, Cory & Zach) already in action in the same business. In Europe, the future of builder Fred Kodlin is his son Len, already practicing since a few years near his dad the art of designing, fabricating and assembling custom motorcycles. There is always a certain bike making you go from the status of amateur to professional, and for Len Kodlin, it is the bike that I feature here, a very radiKal (with a K) ViKtory (with a K) Hammer
Extreme custom work on Victory models is still relatively rare beyond those commissioned by Polaris itself to a few of its “official” builders, like members of the Ness family. No independent builder or individual, as far as I can remember, has ever customize a Victory Hammer with such a hard-core execution. Len received this 2010 model from a client as a trade-in at the shop against a custom bagger commissioned to be built his father. Not the easiest bike to modify, especially for somebody having learned his trade on Harleys and built from the ground up customs.
Len Kodlin took the right approach, keeping it a Victory for the main components (engine/transmission/frame) and turn it into a full blown custom via extreme sheet metal fabrication and cosmetic enhancements, but without ever altering any integrity of the Hammer. Len’s taste pushed him along the high-tech street fighter /muscle bike route. Each body part has been fabricated from scratch or reshaped. Fender and tank were narrowed down for a more compact and aggressive look. Tail section is a complete one-off piece as isthe front spoiler molded to the frame down tubes with air flowing to engine and one-off exhaust via vents covered in mesh.
The factory 106 Cubic Inch “Freedom“ V-Twin was taken apart with no internals changed (to keep the bike serviceable at all Victory dealers), but with cylinders and heads machined such a way that every second fin was shaved. A very time consuming process producing a very pleasing high-tech final appearance. Before reassembly, engine was powder coated in black wrinkle for contrast with the neon green color bodywork. A lot of the stock hardware, both 18” wheels, brakes, calipers and drive pulley have also been retained, but all these parts had also to be disassembled and polished before getting either a black or same neon green powder coating treatment. Fred Kodlin Motorcycles Germany. (photography copyright Horst Roesler courtesy to Cyril Huze)