Displayed in Trike Magazine 
in the United Kingdom

Summer 2015 Issue 34

www.trikemagazine.com

There's more than a spot of Viking wild blood in this low-slung, stripped-down, race-look trike. Its creator, Frank Pedersen, is the boss of Kansas-based Frankenstein Trikes- and he's Norwegian by birth, so he has genuine Viking blood.

Why the name Frankenstein? Simple when you know the names of the two people behind the company: Frank Pedersen and Steinar Bergy, or "Frank and Stein" - geddit?

Based in Kansas, Frank Pedersen originally set up Motorcycle Works (or MCWorx) in Olathe, Kansas in 1995, specialising in hand-crafting chopper, streetfighter and trike frames. He became famous for blending European and American influences, and for his exacting attention to detail.

It was in 2005 that Frank and Steinar made the momentous decision to design what they called the "revolutionary Frankenstein Trikes Hot Rod Trike rear end."

This was orginally conceived to provide a custom trike rear end that was lighter, stronger, narrower, more reliable and better looking than other conversions.

Measuring a mere 30 inches across, the Hot Rod Trike rear end was an instant hit with bikers who wanted to convert their bikes into trikes. That led Frankenstein to make wider rear ends, better suited for stock bike conversions. Eventually this moved on to designing swing arms, fenders and sourcing suitable wheels and tires. Within two years, kits were available for most Harley-Davidson models.



Today, Frankenstein offers complete bolt-on kits that can be installed in just one day, so it's claimed. These use high-end parts like Dana differentials, 9 in Ford street/strip axles, billet four-piston calipers, stainless steel brake discs, Grade 8 or better hardware and 6061 T6 billet aluminium. Frank stays in close touch with his customers, to the extent that he yearly hosts a weekend party for them with bands, food and drink on his property in Kansas.

So what do we have here? The Frankenstein Trike was built as far back as 2006 to test the then-new Frankenstein Trike rear end, based on a custom frame built by MCWorx and Viking Unlimited. The trike turned into a promotional tool, at that time finished in black and fitted with a 127cu in Ultima engine. In its second iteration, it was painted orange and had a 93-cubic inch Shovelhead engine installed, complete with a Magna Charger supercharger. It also received wheels and tires suitable for the Bonneville salt flats, where it was hoped it would do a speed run. For various reasona, it never actually rode at Bonneville, though, and instead was displayed at photographer Michael Lichter's exhibition in Sturgis.

Frank Pederson commets: "The fact was that in this configuration, it was not very easy to ride on the streets, which inspired us to evolve it again into its current configuration. The development process is the same with all of our builds. It's a 24/7 process. Sometimes I go to sleep thinking about the trike and come up with the new ideas by the morning."

"We have a small, but great, crew of welders, fabricators and mechanics at Motorcycle Works and everybody had their hand in it. The frame was built in our shop by Mike Jensen, fabrication and assembly was done by Mike Jensen, Gary Shields, Daniel Valdez, Pekka Holmberg, and myself. The machining for the prototype trike rear axle was done by Harrison Machine.


\

In its current form, it's fitted with a 1999 S & S Evo 114 cu in engine with Jack Larson heads, a Mikuni carb and a custom-made exhaust. The frame is built for a solid-mounted Dyna-style drivetrain, six-speed foot shift and Ultima foot controls.

The steeply raked front end uses an MCWorx Wide Glide triple tree, Dyna 49mm fork tubes and a 21in Akront wheel. The MCWorx drag-style bars feature JayBrake hand controls.

The look is ultra-stripped, featuring an MCWorx fuel tank, Mitch Bass seat and no mudguards at all. It's certainly striking in its current livery.

Bill Brown did the paintwork in PPG orange with black striping, while Scott Thomas and Pancho did the tongue-in-cheek race-inspired freehand artwork.

What's it like to ride, Frank? "Like a three-wheel dragster with the vibrations of a jackhammer, due to the 5in stroke of the 114 cu in Evo Engine!" Sounds amusing.....

If you want a similar Frankenstein rear end, a 30 in Hot Rod Standard conversions will cost you $3500. That's using a 9in Ford street/ strip axle, sealed bearings, 6061 T6 billet aluminum, four-piston calipers and stainless steel disc brakes. An upgrade to outboard brakes costs an extra $450.

This trike's life is quite gentle at the moment, as it's currently on display together with many of Frank's other custom bikes and choppers in a friend's motorcycle museum in the small town of Pleasanton, Kansas.

 
 
 

Click here to return to Hot Rod Trike feature gallery