It was still early. The show had only just started, but I had seen what I had needed to see. As I nosed my way out out of the car park, dodging BMW touring bikes and Goldwings, something caught my eye. Low slung and packing a V-twin, there was nothing on the bike which jumped out at me, but it still held my gaze. I knew the bike from somewhere, but couldn’t pick it. Pulling up slowly, I saw the half round emblem on the tank and had trouble believing my eyes. Roughly 200 in the world, asking prices up to the $300k mark, I had come face to face with my first Crocker motorcycle.
Way back in the day, Albert Crocker was an motorcycle engineer, racer and dealership owner. After dabbling with an Indian powered bike of his own frame design, his inner engineer screamed that he could build a better power plant. In 1936 Albert Crocker released a machine of his own design. Although Harley and Indian parts were utilised in the build, the engineering was all Crocker, and Albert was a man who stuck by his product.
So sure of his design, Albert Crocker made the guarantee that if a Crocker motorcycle owner should be beaten by an Indian or Harley motorcycle, then the owner could hand his Crocker bike back for a full refund. Not one Crocker motorcycle was ever refunded on those terms. And it’s easy to understand why. Overengineered, the Crocker 61 cubic inch could be blown out to 100 cubic inches. Even in stock form, the V twin put out 55-60 horsepower, twice what it’s competitors were offering at the time.
And there, on a Sunday morning, on the opposite side of the world to where it was made sat this Crocker motorcycle. I spoke to the rider, it wasn’t his. His Dad brought it into the country from the States in 1989, and the rider wasn’t entering it in the show. He was more interested in the other bikes there.
Each to their own I guess.