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    Default The Crazy-Insane world of the Crocker.

    Okay, I ran into a guy, goes by "Glen" Told me some crazy stories but had pictures, and ahem,,, there is a video that, well its NSFW lets just say. Im just reposting because he wants the record of what went on out there. I make no claims to its authenticity, accuracy or veracity. **But it seems to me when suspect people are chasing after million dollar + or- vehicles and collectables, anything can and will happen!
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    The Crazy World of the Crocker

    America’s motorcycle culture is well known for its eccentric and bizarre characters, whether stunt men, actors, gangs, or just iconoclasts in general… and then there are the Crocker folks. Among the rarest and most valuable motorcycle marques in the world, the Crocker always invokes drama, skullduggery, and intrigue.

    The ‘new Crocker’ effort began about 1998, kicked off by Pete Banfield who owned the Crocker trade name at that time. But Pete’s idea to promote a new production replica ran into trouble when Michael Schacht and his erstwhile partner Karalash claimed to own the trademark instead, insisting that Pete had no right to it. To this day Pete says he still owns the Crocker Motorcycle Co trademark – but only insomuch as he can legally defend it.

    Once Pete was forced out, the new Crocker partnership consisted of Schacht, Karalash, and a technical advisor named ‘Rotten Rich’. Now depending upon who or whom one asks or chooses to believe, Schacht is said to have run off with the group’s castings and parts to appropriate the ‘new’ Crocker operation for himself, an allegation which Schacht firmly denies. A legal battle for assets ensued with Karalash plaintiff and Schacht as defendant –- inexplicably filed in Ontario, Canada! -- but the case was eventually dropped due to inactivity, so Schacht prevailed by default.

    [Note: We refer here to the owner of two exceedingly rare and valuable Crocker basket case motorcycles only as 'Bill Jones' to protect the name of the perhaps innocent!]

    About the time Schacht assumed full control of the Crocker name, Bill Jones provided two very valuable Crocker motorcycles for restoration to a dealer in Ventura known as The Shop, owned and operated by Dave Hansen. The basket cases needed parts, the logical assumption being that Schacht’s new Crocker replica shop would provide them. According to Jones, he fronted The Shop a large amount from his own personal savings toward their restoration and to Schacht. Hansen had other bikes from Jones too, including an Indian Four and a 1917 Excelsior V-twin kept in Hansen’s showroom window for many years.

    Years later, when Hansen hadn't done anything with the Crocker basket cases -- at least according to Jones -- Jones made the Big Trip to retrieve the bikes and got all four back. Bill did complain that the Indian Four had been stripped of its magneto, oil pump and a number of other key and valuable parts, and that the only 'refund' ever received from The Shop amounted to a small check which Bill says he did not cash. That’s what Bill says… but Mr Hansen may have yet another point of view? And perhaps a valid one. Who knows.

    Along with the Hansen arrangement, Jones says he commissioned Michael Schacht to produce two gearboxes for the Crocker’s, paying Schacht a handsome sum in advance. Schacht is well known in the Crocker world, re his attempt to revive the Crocker name in a now twenty-year effort somewhat reminiscent of Sun Yat Sen’s promise to return to the mainland. That’s because Schacht has evidently done little with new Crocker builds by 2020. No bikes to see beyond a single older example (the ownership of which one former partner disputes) or any information about reproduction bikes or parts being produced since 2012. Oh… unless the buyer is an esteemed and ‘personal friend’ of course!

    Back to the Jones bikes. Once Jones retrieved the two Crocker basket cases from Hansen, he took them to Patrick James to restore. The deal was one-for-one. That is, when James completed restoration of the Jones Crocker #62, then James got to keep the other, Crocker #5, as payment. From here the story just gets weirder.

    The Back Story on the “New Crocker Motorcycle” Some are Too Afraid to Tell..!

    (Part 2)
    Since Jones threatened to visit Schacht personally -- to either serve a warrant or to retrieve his undelivered gearboxes -- Schacht offered to supply the gearboxes to Jones as originally agreed, so long as the particular restorer was not associated in any way with Patrick James or "Rotten Rich”. My unassailable source here will be known only as Bob.

    Bob was restoring British bikes -- not Crocker -- so Bill cooked up a scheme to pretend to ship the Crocker boxes to Bob using Bob’s Brit bike shop as an intermediary, since Bob had no relationship to anyone in the wondrous and crazy world of Crocker. That scheme would supposedly convince Schacht to provide the delinquent parts owed to Jones, to Bob. Well, Schacht had never heard of Bob in the very high-end and exclusive world of Crocker. Schacht smelled a rat, and refused to ship the boxes. So, Bob called Schacht to discuss the matter.

    Schacht said the only way to do this deal is for Bob to convince Jones to send the Crockers down to his own shop. "Tell (Bill) you love him like a brother man, and you know the only way those bikes will ever get restored properly is by Michael Schacht! Just give me the word and I’ll have an army of guys go up there and get those bikes!" Imagine Bob’s surprise that this guy would attempt to pull such a stunt. Bob transcribed the entire call and documented it in writing, in the event a legal battle should ever ensue.

    About this time Schacht hooked up with Homma Kohei and Yoshi at a dealership called the Garage Co in LA. The prices for Crocker parts were high -- $5k for a clutch basket? But what the heck, the last Crocker went for $704K at auction! My research with Yoshi concerns a conversation I won't detail. Suffice to say that no clutch basket was available, and that a genuinely honorable guy was apparently aware that something was not quite right in Denmark.

    This author’s search for Crocker parts then led to a mysterious Mr Chilli in Australia. “Mr Chili” claims to have the largest and best Crocker motorcycle collection in the world. The website still exists as ‘1346Venice’ but the contact email is long defunct. The website is untended and may have been compromised by malicious code. The phone works, but a voice message in heavy Oz says, "Text me instead because if you leave a message I won't listen to it". Great stuff.

    The explanation about ‘Mr Chili’ or Chilli - whether speculation or conjecture or the truth or all three - is that he's being pursued by a partner (ex-wife?) so feels obliged to hide his motorcycles and go to ground... and only replies to texts? As it turns out, ‘Mr Chilli’ is not Mr Chilli at all -- but one Brandon Chiles! Such is the crazy world of Crocker.

    There are other strange things about the Crocker world of yore too. One involves a prosthetic penis implant; another a Neo-Nazi and a shockingly anti-Semitic T-shirt designed to offend a certain party; then we have the sado-masochist youtube video about being tortured by a dominatrix. Such is the crazy world...

    Today, Bill’s Crocker hides in an undisclosed location as secret as Cheney's bunker, where prying eyes and trembling fingers are not allowed to see it or even know that it exists. Who knows if it is ever ridden or run? Reportedly Bill’s Crocker is mounted on a flatbed in its secret location, where the bike can quickly emerge at first appearance of a forest fire or larcenous meth freak.

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    (Continued)

    Part 3: The Amazing Tale Crocker Insiders are Too Afraid to Tell!

    The stolen Crocker-Bigsby front-ends, appropriated from a garage in California by ne’er-do-well and whacked-out meth freak Ricky Turner makes for interesting reading, too. The forks are heavy to haul by hand – and what’s a whacked-out druggy to do? Turner had the brilliant idea to stash the forks in a nearby junked car. Turner must have forgotten about the parts, or perhaps not cared. When the car was towed for scrap later on, the tow driver had sense enough to rescue the forks and took them to a swap meet to sell. The tow driver parted with the single-spring front end for the princely sum of $500
    when its true value must have been well north of $20K.

    Buyer Dan Statnekov then sold the part to Mike Madden for an unknown consideration. A reasonable value for a genuine single spring fork would have been perhaps $20- $30K in 2004. Today that figure would be far higher. And note that in this game of finders/keepers, neither party could have known the forks were stolen.

    Subsequent to Turner’s arrest however, the rightful owner was able to put the sequence of events together with the help of a third party, who (by fluke) had intimate knowledge of the fork and its whereabouts with Mike Madden. When the rightful owner approached Madden about its return, Madden’s words were to the effect that yeah, it probably is your part but you can’t prove it, so pound sand. Whether Madden’s gloating related to knowledge that the tow driver who sold the parts had since died, is unknown.

    As for Patrick James' Crocker #5? The original small-tank hemi-head Crocker whose weight in pounds would likely equate to the same number in ounces of gold? I have no idea what happened to it. But I did hear three years or so ago that James was happily touring the world on a luxury trip with his family. Bravo... at least something went well in the Crocker world. The ultimate kicker? - arch-nemesis and notorious “Rotten Rich” was deeply involved in the restoration of Crocker #62!

    The irony regarding this well-heeled Crocker crew relates to the counter-culture generation of the 1960‘s and 70’s from whence most of these folks originate. The hippies rejected capitalism, materialism, and possessive acquisition. But their subsequent diligent obsessive pursuit of same proves the hypocrisy residing at the core of the movement. At some point, the counter-culture
    that lived for the moment lost that moment to material ideals that they previously scorned. Instead of lofty ideals, hippies eventually fell headlong into various forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and acquisitive mania where relic symbols of their generally misspent, errant past have become legend. The Haggerty ‘Captain America’ stunt bike from “Easy Rider” serves as the prime malign example of that particular malaise.

    And let’s ponder for example how Al Crocker might view this irksome Crocker malady were he alive today. Mr Crocker might be thrilled to learn that the latest Big Tank restoration sold for $704K at auction. But I’ll wager that if Al ever learned that any motorcycle sold for such a sum, he’d be disgusted. He’d be disgusted not just about how the US dollar has been obscenely debased but obscenely misplaced, too. When a motorcycle -- no matter how rare it is -- sells for twice the cost of a decent property the valuation of things is devilishly askew, somewhere.

    Part 4: The Crazy World of the Crocker

    In essence, Crocker fixation reflects upon the curious American trait to pursue that which only the tiniest few may attain while hoping to deny others the ability to attain it. In the event the holiest of motorcycle grail may be possessed, the result must go into hiding because someone somewhere will steal it. Or sell it for parts. …or mock it... question its authenticity -- or simply vandalize the dream. That’s far different than the way things were in Al’s time -- and why no Al Crocker equivalent exists today.

    Crocker fixation highlights the futile “pursuit of things” when the thing created as a motorcycle cannot be practically used for that purpose, or experienced as the creator of the bike originally intended. The transformation from motorcycle to iconic object is characterized by cultish illusion and material dollar opportunism, where the Crocker entrepreneurial legacy is not only lost but shamelessly obliterated. Put simply, even an obscene amount of (what we call) money cannot purchase someone else’s dream, or a lost era, or evade the Keynesian truth that, "In the long run we are all dead".

    Finally, this writing has no intent to allege that any identifiable character above has done anything wrong, illegal, or even improper. The intent here is to highlight how Crocker fixation captures the essence of a broken world where all participants have devolved to a circumspect reality where none can trust the other. Such is the crazy world not just of the Crocker but for us all. --montoya1972

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    no mention of engine stamps …. oh well

    the same thing applies to Crocker as to HD and Indian , there are more motors than there are frames = this is a fact.
    Note : everyone should wake up to that.

    NOS blank cases or repop cases + genuine factory stamps = new "genuine" motor / "complete" bike

    thanks for sharing

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    The guy who wrote it was extremely cagey. I wont be surprised if this gets taken down. But another friend said I have a knack for meeting or a magnet for weird people. Go figure.... But that was such an interesting story, too good not to share. Who knows? It might even be true!

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    I've got two of those things in my shed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougtheinternetannoyance123 View Post
    The guy who wrote it was extremely cagey. I wont be surprised if this gets taken down. But another friend said I have a knack for meeting or a magnet for weird people. Go figure.... But that was such an interesting story, too good not to share. Who knows? It might even be true!
    Man , this is believable for me as in the UK , I met more weirdos around rare old bikes than at the local munch. The Brough crowd are odd.

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    All I know is I recently purchased a new Crocker tail light from the new Crocker . Something I have been wanting for quite a few years . While a beautiful piece, what is disappointing is that on neither the housing or the glass there is an identifying part number or company name to distinguish it from a copy.

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    ^^^
    congrats, you actually received the item.

    new company owns the name only

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