Fred Kodlin is probably one of the motorcycle industries best kept secrets. Born, raised and still residing in Germany he’s been playing with motorcycles since the ripe old age of 13 when he was given his first bike, a 50-cc Zundapp moped. Fred has built an endless amount of motorcycles over the years, each one more radical than the last, and each one pushing the limits way past the previous. In 2005, Fred was elected bike builder of the year and had his name added to the great walls of Walhalla that is Germany’s Temple of Fame. In a world where halls of fame are commonly associated with sports or rock ‘n roll, the idea of the Walhalla was to have a Teutonic Hall of Fame to honour German-speaking artists, writers, philosophers, scientists and other historic figures. That may seem a bit odd, yet that was exactly what King Ludwig I of Bavaria had in mind when he commissioned the Walhalla in Donaustauf bei Regensburg.
In 1985, the chamber of crafts in Germany required that a master craftsman held a diploma in order to run a business like Fred’s. Fred passed all the tests needed, including master forger and master vehicle builder, which allowed him to continue building his one-of-a-kind works of art. When the motorcycle industry became fascinated with touring bikes, some hated the new trend while others embraced it. Fred as you can see embraced it and created one of the coolest Hot Rod Baggers I have ever seen. Fred has been building and customizing baggers for a long while now, and he has created some of the nicest that the industry has even seen. He has also put in a lot of effort in the design of a line of bagger products that one can use to customize their very own personal touring model.
Outtalimit took Fred eight months to build and boy was it worth every minute! When presented at the Casino Velden in Austria it received an incredible reception as everyone gathered around it to see this magnificent piece of art. Starting with a custom frame and swing arm, Fred designed and built it so that this bagger could lay it on down… no kickstand required. This build started out as a 2013 factory touring model. Then it was totally disassembled and reassembled to look nothing like what the factory ever expected. The attention to detail is spectacular. The bike has that perfect stance: the motorcycle looks like it’s doing 100 mph even when standing still. The signature series Fred Kodlin 30-inch front wheel adds to the radical look of this crazy machine, and the performance machine brake calipers and 13-inch rotors ensure that it stops on a dime. The sheet metalwork is something to be admired as it shows off Fred’s Masters Certificate as a blacksmith. The sheet metalwork is flawless with every seam matched to perfection. The work took days to perfect and involved building a custom gas tank. The radius that flows from the bottom of the gas tank all the way to the rear of the transmission is perfect. The truly unique aspect of this build is the crash bars that were built as part of the frame for a clean graceful look. So from the custom Kodlin LED headlight to the cool Kodlin mid controls this motorcycle is something that needs to be admired and respected.
To sum it all up Fred Kodlin is one of the most talented builders that I have ever had the honour to meet. His knowledge of motorcycles and the talents required to build his one-of-a-kind motorcycles are some of the things that many bike builders can only strive to achieve. It takes a lot more than bolting on a chrome air filter to be considered a master bike builder, and Fred Kodlin has proved that to us time and time again.