2014 AMD World Champion Of Bike Building. Krugger’s BMW K1600.

bmw1bmw2 BMW3This feature was written a couple of days ago. Without knowing for sure that yesterday Sunday October 5th in Cologne, Germany Fred Krugger would be voted the winner of the “Freestyle Class” of the AMD World Championship Of Bike Building.  It’s the second time that Krugger wins the championship, the first time in Sturgis in 2010. For one-off motorcycles, problem(s) solving is the name of the game. Some custom builders will not venture far from what they know by fear of failure, especially for a commissioned project by a retail client. Some will never touch any motorcycle from a brand that they don’t know very well. Some will not work for a manufacturer whose briefing include some constraints regarding motor, driveline, components or aesthetics.

Fred “Krugger” Bertrand will tell you that building a custom bike to only impress others is relatively easy . He belongs to a very small contingent of custom builders who challenge themselves into extremely complex tasks while still frightened by the tasks to accomplish. It’s not the first time that Krugger is called by a major motorcycle brand to create a concept motorcycle. And he works on each project as it is intended to go mass market, his absolute professional dream…

BMW4BMW5About 1 1/2 year ago I talked to Krugger. He was nervous but extremely excited at the idea of working for BMW Motorrad. Last  September 25th, BMW eventually unveiled the Krugger’s BMW K1600 project featured here, dubbed NURB in reference to the very famous Nurburgring Race Track located northwest of Frankfurt, Germany. The BMW K1600 is the brand’s ultimate touring machine with a legendary in-line compact 6-cylinder 1,649 cc, 160 hp engine and a maximum torque of 129 lb/ft. A transversely installed engine delivering dynamic performance as well as refined running smoothness. Over 70% of the maximum torque is available from just 1500 rpm. For eceptional touring, yes, but also for Sport riding if you are in the mood.

BMW5terThe factory K1600 bike is an extremely sophisticated machine, featuring several drive modes, a very complex electronic system and a wiring loom (with no less than 7 computer chips) and even an adaptive headlight for safety during night riding. No way, BMW would let Krugger touch this motor and these electronics, and I doubt very much he would have want to… For the rest, he got complete freedom of expression under reserve – of course – that the Krugger branded custom version work as good or better than the original machine…

BMW5bisbmw8bmw9Krugger belongs to this category of builders who doesn’t know how to sketch or draw, or even use a CAD program. He works from his imagination, getting from his brain a visual representation of the finished product, then of each task to accomplish and how to execute them. During the last 18 months, in his shop of Basse-Bodeux south of Liege, Belgium he led a solitary life, obsessing about each body line, about each custom part to be fabricated. All this without altering the factory K1600 vital components and electronics,  just making them being “disappear” under a slick one-off chassis.

bmw10bmw11bmw12bmw13At more than 700 lbs, the factory BMW K1600 deserves a lighter weight for improved performance and handling. Mission accomplished via a new one-off low and long frame and swingarm. From the original suspension, only the front shock was re-used. Like many European builders, Krugger loves and is largely inspired by the curves and details of the original art-deco style as it flourished from the 20’s to the 40’s. An inspiration translated in beautiful curves, surfaces, recesses, geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation, all made first from cardboard then formed on steel .

bmw14bmw15bmw16 bmw17Such machine could only roll on custom wheels (21” front & 20” rear) cut from blanks. The BMW NURB is slowed via heavily modified brake systems from Beringer, a six-piston caliper at the front, a four-piston at the back with fluid pushed from radial master cylinders. The new brake setup was hooked to the original standard BMW ABS, a very difficult job that required many trials and errors before becoming satisfactory. If BMW K1600 tourer guys don’t recognize their preferred machine, I guess they will not be offended. I am pretty sure they will all admire the NURB neo-retro racing version built by one of the best motorcycle designers and builders of this generation. Krugger Motorcycles (Photography copyright Thierry Dricot and Onno Wieringa for Cyril Huze)

37 Responses to “2014 AMD World Champion Of Bike Building. Krugger’s BMW K1600.”

  1. 1 Joe Mielke Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Congratulations Fred! You always do amazing work.

  2. 2 Jack deagazio Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:14 am

    After seeing all the entries in freestyle last week, there was no doubt that this bike would take the top honor. Congratulations Freddie

  3. 3 Reyn Mansson Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Certainly deserves the recognition. working with the BMW 1600/6 must have been a huge challenge. The art deco industrial look is perfectly executed. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  4. 4 will Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:16 am

    It’s not for me, but what an incredible and perfectly executed concept

  5. 5 gg "Chopper Para La Vida" France Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Bravo mon cher Fred … encore un bel exercice de style réussi haut la main

  6. 6 Jay Horton's Private Shop Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Very very kool! Later Jay

  7. 7 TJ Martin Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Stunning sums this bike up quite well

  8. 8 Seymour Oct 6th, 2014 at 8:46 am

    A Wow factory

  9. 9 Marc Mazerolle Oct 6th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Damn, c’est vraiment sweet ca!!

  10. 10 HD Rider Oct 6th, 2014 at 9:14 am

    It says the original K1600 weighs 700 pounds and it implies that this weighs less — what is the final wet weight?

  11. 11 Revolution Speed Oct 6th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    By far one of my favorite all time builders. When i hear he is building a new project i can’t wait to see the results. Im still in awe of what he does. Been to his shop and makes you owner how this stuff comes out of that little basement.

    Beau travail mon ami. J’ai hâte de voir ce que vous venez avec la prochaine!


  12. 12 Guy Oct 6th, 2014 at 10:14 am


  13. 13 Roger Goldammer Oct 6th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I have nothing but admiration and respect for Fred both as a person and as a bike builder…highly inspired, forward thinking and craftsmanship second to non….Wonderful work my friend ! CONGRATS !!!

  14. 14 nicker Oct 6th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Art Deco in a contemporary presentation… Very nice indeed.


  15. 15 Jim Watson Oct 6th, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Strong work — would love to hear it run!

  16. 16 JackS Oct 6th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Wow! Art form, function, power, and ridability — all rolled into one.

  17. 17 arkangel Oct 6th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    absolutely remarkable // love the inspiration and the art deco lines.

    fab u lous !!


  18. 18 LoneRider Oct 6th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    WOW! The attention to detail and design is just SPECTACULAR!! He just turns out spectacular work.

  19. 19 krugger Oct 6th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Hello everybody,

    thanks for your kind comments ! This is a great feature from Cyril !

    This bike has been a huge challenge, very exciting !!

    I’m so happy with the AMD result and the good feedback…. and very surprise because , until now , there are any haters on that post…. 🙂

    Cheers from Belgium and now, back at work , the new bike will be S&S motorised

  20. 20 James just another crazy Kiwi Oct 6th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    If that motorcycle was in a movie it would be the star !

  21. 21 patrick de gregoriis Oct 6th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    he is belgian, me too. very proud , i am…

  22. 22 Dave Oct 6th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Beautiful bike and I’m sure it rides just as well as it looks. I would love to take this on the Dragon, but as for their “exceptional touring” claim…..that’s very suspect. While the power plant is well designed for touring, the build is certainly not.

  23. 23 Ted Sands Oct 6th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I have been following Fred’s work for many years and he always amazes me with his creativity and craftsmanship. Yes he’s a champion and wold class builder and also a down to earth nice guy. I was at INTERMOT / AMD Championship and the minute I saw this bike I knew he would win and he had some tough competition. Way to go Fred

  24. 24 john reed Oct 6th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    This is pretty cool Fred

  25. 25 Doug Oct 6th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    “the new bike will be S&S motorised”…

    an X-Wedge in a cafe-sized bike, mounted sideways like a Guzzi?

    The K bike above is very cool. Congratulations.

  26. 26 morpion Oct 6th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    tres belle machine,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,from Belgique (belgium)

  27. 27 Dave Blevins Oct 6th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Just fantastic, I love it.

  28. 28 baddad Oct 7th, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Great! This is a completely new way of customisation (electronics etc). We can admire entire motorcycle history on this bike. Pure retrofuturism.

  29. 29 rebel Oct 7th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    has the qualities of an extreme production bike of the future, very nice.

  30. 30 BCinSoCal Oct 7th, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I can not come up with enough superlatives to describe this bike, after40 plus years building custom motor cycles, this is likely the finest and most imaginative piece I have ever seen. it gives new meaning to the phrase Master Builder, so often lavished upon “new guys” who after maybe five years on the scene and three nice bikes built are dubbed ” Master Builder.” Congratulations Fred on a fantastic piece! BC

  31. 31 martin twofeather Oct 7th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Damn I will bet that is fast…..Looks great as well……

  32. 32 badams Oct 7th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Brad Pitt will be calling with an offer soon for this bike.

  33. 33 alinat Oct 7th, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    I like the looks of the motor the most. I hope more production bikes show off the motor more – the Scout did a great job. Maybe BMW will take a queue from this bike and start showing off that fine motor in a production release.

  34. 34 alinat Oct 7th, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Oh and the exposed exhaust is awesome.

  35. 35 arlo gonser, kustom marketing Oct 8th, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Bravo Fred!

  36. 36 j Oct 9th, 2014 at 5:56 am

    So ugly, it’s cool- I dig it.

  37. 37 Cole Foster Oct 13th, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Fred good guy,great builder! Always next level. We’ll done my friend. Good design= simple solutions to complex problems.

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Cyril Huze