Murder One

If you attentively follow the custom scene, here in the US and abroad, you know that each year the most admired bikes are those looking the most simple to build. As a matter of fact they are the most difficult to conceive, require  handcrafting to perfection and always feature at least a couple of little known mechanical tricks. Have nothing on your bike that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. It’s what most builders aim for when starting a project. “Murder One” is one of these super clean bikes largely responsible for making Martin Becker of a custom builder household name in Europe.

Unusually for a custom of this level of handcrafting, “Murder One” was completed during a CUSTOMBIKE SHOW build-off competition where it was assembled on stage in 2 days. Of course all parts were already fabricated and prepped in advance at the shop, but all assembly had to be performed and all electricals had to be made front of spectators. In addition to winning this build-off, “Murder One” is since then an easy gold winner in all shows where it is displayed, even convincing Custom Chrome to commission MB Cycles for a 2018 “Bolt On and Ride” promo bike…

Some will react to this feature wondering how such a bike can be homologated and ridden in over-regulated Europe, especially in Germany where all European Union restrictions and laws are typically precisely followed.  As a matter of fact, Martin Becker realized that to get any chance to promote his shop in winning big bike shows he had to build without constraints, forgetting all laws, thinking of homologation for later after 1 year of show tour, accepting then to perform the legal modifications and adaptations required. “Murder One” is one of the few Twin Cam 96″ using an Evolution-era 5-speed transmission and a Shovelhead chain drive installed in a one-off long and rigid lowrider frame, 60’s drag bike style. The Twin Cam engine originates from a Harley touring model, was taken apart to the last nut and bolt for a full rebuilt and balancing. Personalization was done with a series of covers from French company EMD. These covers also inspired the ribbed rear cylinder pipe heat shield and the air cleaner.

The unique frame was bent by Dutch , a long-time expert at building replica, custom and one-off frames that qualify for TUV European homologation. A few inches of stretch in the tailend section offer that drag style look, emphasized by the absence of any accessory or part above and behind the gearbox. That huge empty space alone is an outstanding achievement, made possible by the conversion of the fuel-injected Twin Cam to a carburated S&S Super G setup, helping in the subsequent minimisation of the electric system. Reminding you that all electrical wiring was conceived on stage during 2days, it is remarkable that in  such a short time all cables and connectors were routed and hidden inside the frame, the handlebars, forks and body parts, almost completely out of sight. Even the brake lines are mostly hidden with the front brake cylinder hidden under the flat bottom tank.

Oil tank was custom fabricated and positioned under the rigid frame and extended to the down tube featuring a right side window to check the oil level! The Twin Cam motor case was modified with a custom-made backplate where usually the Twin Cam gearbox is attached to the motor. Driveline is via a MB Cycles modified 1 3/4″ Primo belt drive. Final chain drive features a frame-mounted chain-tensioning sprocket. Serious modifications were performed on the Springer-style front end supporting a hand-hammered headlight. And to cut down the budget, MB Cycles opted for a set of stock Harley “Breakout” wheels (21 x 3.5”front, 18 x 8″ rear) looking like they were designed and cut just for this project. Minimalistic body work includes a one-off massaged steel tailend and gas tank. Exhaust is from Jekill & Hyde. (photography at H. Roesler for Patumwan)

22 Responses to “Murder One”

  1. 1 Seymour Jan 8th, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Pretty sharp

  2. 2 SIGFREED Jan 8th, 2018 at 9:11 am

    It looks bad – as in BAD-ASS! Well done.

    PS – Are Twin Cams now the becoming the go-to custom motor of choice – as they have been relegated from the MoCo’s production line and probably available for a dime a dozen?

  3. 3 Horst Rösler/Motographer Jan 8th, 2018 at 9:18 am

    …and “Best Radical” at the 2017 Bike and Music Weekend Bikeshow ( in Geiselwind near Wuerzburg, where the photoshoot was performed! Former GI’s know the area! Würzburg – Bamberg – Giebelstadt – Kitzingen – Ansbach… They have “planted” the seeds of Harley Customizing for many German builders working there now! Thanks for that! MB is at home in… Heidelberg!

  4. 4 Chief Waldo Jan 8th, 2018 at 10:26 am

    It looks pretty cool, but that stretched, open frame design has got to flex.

  5. 5 boston jim Jan 8th, 2018 at 10:36 am

    It’s a Junkyard Dog, a Mutt ! A Twin Evo Shovel, I Love It ! It’s a little of everything H-D, 3 Generations of motors, & it’s Black !

    A very nice job, done very well ! CONGRATS, MB !

  6. 6 J. Miller Jan 8th, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Great bike.

  7. 7 P. Hamilton Jan 8th, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Riding position probably difficult for more than 1 hour of riding, but overall superb creation.

  8. 8 Greeko Jan 8th, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Score: +++++

  9. 9 hacksaw Jan 8th, 2018 at 11:38 am

    too much black. too much rear tyre. and i never did like borgeut(sp) type drop seat frames.

  10. 10 Xenu Jan 8th, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    So this is illegal for the German road until it’s changed to pass TUV regs.
    I wonder what it’ll look like then.

  11. 11 Dave Blevins Jan 8th, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I love it.
    I love a lot.

  12. 12 burnout Jan 8th, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Cool bike! peace

  13. 13 Al Gajda Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Awesome bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. 14 Hdrider Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:06 am

    So– are you supposed to strap the rear stand to your back while your riding it or just lay it over on it’s side when you stop? Not exactly a build and ride.

  15. 15 Marv Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:11 am

    It´s a great bike and live even more impressive. But its funny that you choose not Martin Becker for the last picture. Instead you are picturing Benni Adler who helped to build this bike, though

  16. 16 Tom Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Kool bike

  17. 17 takehikes Jan 9th, 2018 at 10:13 am

    He murdered it all right. Another bad build in my opinion.

  18. 18 BOSS HAWG Jan 9th, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Nice, very nice indeed!

    Lots and lots of thinking and thoughts….Agree with “Boston Jim” and love it being Black..

    Boss Hawg

  19. 19 Martin Twofeather Jan 9th, 2018 at 1:07 pm


  20. 20 EASYGEAR Jan 9th, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Chief Waldo and P.Hamillton you`re certainly right about flex in the frame and it`s not good for touring.
    But it looks like solid handycraft and shines on it`s purpose – beeing a custombike that someone envisioned.
    Xenu – after completing to meet the regulations the difference should be smaller than you might think.
    Be assured it is about headlight, signals, exhaust etc., but i guess not something major, as those drag style frames are street-legal for a long while over here.

  21. 21 Sheridan Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Great job hiding the oil tank

  22. 22 Brett Reuter Jan 12th, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    No, this is not Lemmy’s amp…don’t steal names

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