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Back in ’95, Bert Effin Baker’s 1994 FLSTN bike was stolen in Daytona by some no-good, thieving little crapstain. Even though Bert loved that bike, the theft was the best thing to ever happen. Why? Bert, under the wise guidance of his better half Lisa, took the insurance money and built a new custom bike from the ground up. In building that bike, he was nagged by substandard transmission engineering decisions that traded less vibration for worse performance. Never one to compromise, Bert was motivated to design an elegant 6-speed transmission on his own, and he knew right away he had created something special. A simple idea turned into an American business success when Bert partnered with his wife to launch BAKER Drivetrain.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of BAKER, subscribing the help of company friends, the crew decided to build a new bike as a replacement for that bike stolen all those years ago. In this edition of From the Vault, we walk down memory lane to see how the BAKER Jive Train came to be.
In our most recent From the Vault feature, we got a sneak peek at Bert Effin’ Baker’s plans to build a ¼ mile speed demon from scratch with his brain trust of component experts. The Organ Donor is custom designed down to the last details to be a blood-pumping, adrenaline-coursing, thrill-inducing pure drag race motorcycle that delivers the goods.
In today’s edition, Bert and his wonder team get to work on the engine and drivetrain for the Organ Donor murdersickle. If 139” Kendall Johnson engines and S&S 675 camshafts don’t get your motor running, hand in your motorcycle endorsement and get a bus pass. Let’s get cracking:
In this latest edition of From the Vault, Bert Effin’ Baker decides it’s time to get back to his roots and build a powerful, giggawumping bike that’s whole lotta fun, even if ain’t too pretty. This balls-to-the-wall, street legal ¼ mile machine is all about speed, power, and primal thrills. Here is the part one of the Organ Donor story.
The only reason you’re not reading this article in German is because of old-school hardasses like Bert Effin Baker’s Uncle Bud. They just don’t make em like they used to – not people, and certainly not machines. Just as there is beauty in the character of these all-American warriors, there is mechanical beauty in the war machines heroes like Uncle Bud used to fulfill noble missions.
In the newest edition of our From the Vault feature, we dip back a few years to check out Bert’s article about the mechanical beauty of single-purpose machines with no compromises and minimal comforts. If a scratch-built 139-inch rigid with a TorqueBox tranny, KK clutch, and FFP primary doesn’t get your motor running…
You drive an American motorcycle. You’ve got it equipped with American-made aftermarket parts. After all, they’re named after lakes in California and deserts in Arizona, so they’ve got to be from this great country of ours, right? You can’t always be so sure.
In this edition of From the Vault, we zoom back to 2009. In this article, Bert Baker is inspired by a latrine-mouthed trucker and launches a new concept called Born-to-Fuck truth in marketing. Call it like you see it, call it what it is, and call em out if they’re trying to co-opt American identity to make a quick yuan.
We’re going to blow your mind: At Baker Drivetrain, we’re not a fan of knockoff transmissions. It’s not just because they’re an affront to quality, dependability, and everything American manufacturing stands for. It’s not even because offshore drivetrain products are so disposable they might as well have Huggies on the label. It’s deeper than that. Knockoff transmissions are a slap in the face of an American art form: The culture of American V-Twin motorcycling.
In the latest edition of our From the Vault feature, we zip back to 2006 to see Bert tell it like it is about imposters and how speaking with your wallet can help preserve the spirit of American motorcycle culture. Let’s dive in:
At Baker Drivetrain, we are gearheads who live and breathe making innovative drivetrain products each and every day. All-in, all-out. In this industry, you see a lot of people who dip their toes in, around the block once on their uncle’s Harley and are ready to change to the world. Hell, you see a lot of companies spring up, especially overseas, that see nothing but dollar signs and the bottom line but have zero commitment to the culture. They crash what once a pure and fun party with garbage products and non-existent support.
Here’s the BAKER difference: We don’t just show up to the party when we hear it’s a rager. We run the party. We’ve been doing it every day and we have no plans to stop – ever.
In our latest From the Vault feature, we flash back to 2008, where Bert draws a connection between pubescent morning wood and the state of the American motorcycle scene. You have got to read this one, so let’s dive in:
A Classic Case Of All-In To Go All-Out...and he's cashing in on all he can. Gerry wrote us a blurb about his experience so far in this endeavor that he committed to and we thought we'd share with you.
At Baker Drivetrain we don’t just do what we do to make a living. We live and breathe every part of it. All-in, all-out. Commitment is core to who we are. Compromises are for imported knockoff supporters doing things half-ass and putting quality second.
So to help share our world with you we've got a fair share of wild stories, insider advice and tune-up tips waiting up our sleeves. Even if anything else we do doesn’t obey to any rules or back down from the nay-sayers, it feels just right to properly introduce ourselves before we let you in on our dark side. In this inaugural edition From The Vault, here we zip back to 2007 with this article from Bert that rants about what separates Baker Drivetrain from the chumpetition.
More transmissions than you might believe get returned to BAKER Drivetrain for repair because the end user forgot to put oil in the unit. The complaint is usually excessive noise and difficulty shifting gears. Upon disassembly, we find gear teeth with beautiful hues of blue, gold, and purple. When we notify the customer of our findings, quite often they will swear up and down that they put oil in the transmission. But there are only two ways that gear teeth turn blue, gold, and purple. The first way is to closely examine the gear teeth in bright sunlight about two hours after dropping three hits of acid. The second way is for gears to run without oil. Gear teeth turning blue, gold, and purple bathed in oil is as likely as President Obama having one of those special cone shaped white hoods in his closet...