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Munewari

The Warrior Paint As A Tribute To All Bikers

By Johnny Humble with photography by Don Rogers
6/10/2010 6:34:41 PM


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Editor’s note:This bike comes at an interesting time. We’re about to launch the Girls of Bikernet and brothers have been fighting over the Japanese influence in our lives. I ran across this bike sometime ago at an event and told the builder how knocked out I was about the paint, the white base and smooth look of the machine.

I had it shot by Don Rogers in Florida, because I knew Don would pick the right girl and do the classic Japanese warrior artwork justice. The paint is incredible, the girl beautiful and Don’s photography excellent. Watch for more shots of the girl on GirlsofBikernet.com in March. And regarding the Japanese art on an American Motorcycle, as far as I’m concerned all bikers are warriors. This art shows warriors a great deal of respect. The art on the girl was crafted by the same artist who masterfully adorned the bike.—Bandit

Imagine jumping on your bike with absolutely no destination in mind. Visualize riding for hours on end, only stopping for gas and the occasional burrito washed down with a coke. You enter a town after riding for several hours and just want to find a place to stay for the night. As you are checking into the town, you realize how small a place this really is. Two stop lights, a hotel, a gas station, and lots of God’s country. I’ll bet these people have never seen a bike like the custom painted Heritage you blasted into town on. As a matter of fact, I’ll bet these people still ride horses.

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There is absolutely nothing here….then you hear it. The unmistakable sound of a big twin resonates as familiar as the sound of your alarm clock. Instantly you find your senses peaked to just see the maker of this familiar sound. Cresting the ridge above you, with the horizon glazing his back, is a bike unlike any you have seen before. As it coasts past you, the image of fine china chased by thunder is all you can associate with the splendor of the beast.

You see her, the beast only known as Munewari.

Whatever has happened before doesn’t matter. You have to find out about that bike. Such is the case for everyone the first time they have laid eyes on her. Here is the story of Munewari, a Japanese word for split chest tattooing, or the name of a bike that makes the gods of Valhalla nod with approval.

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Matt Kraft started working with his hands as many have before him. He usually broke something and had to discover a way to fix it. He bought his first car when he was 14 years old and started on a journey that brought him to present day owner/ operator of Kraft Custom Cycles in Kamas, Utah.

Always one to start with a bang, Matt goes all out on everything he does.

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“I got my license on Wednesday, and crashed on Friday. You know the story of trying to impress your friends by showing them how fast your car is and how well you can drive,” he claimed. I could tell I was going to like this kid already. Honest and not scared to tell when he screwed up.

“I worked for several shops, but I was never truly happy with what I was doing. I decided to sell my house in California, and move to Kamas to start my own deal. This not only gives me the opportunity to build my bikes, but I get to spend the time with my family doing things we used to have to wait all year to do.”

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Well, so much for the theory that bike builders don’t live “the life”. I spend half my time trying to discover ways to escape my family and this guy sells everything he has to have more time with his family. Maybe there is something to the suspicion of half crazy guys running wild.

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Two years ago, Matt decided to leave California to pursue his dreams of being a bike builder. He seems to be among the new breed of bike builders. He doesn’t have the “biker look”. Like builders such as Jesse Rooke, Joe Martin, and Matt Hotch, Matt would look more at home playing X-box than designing custom motorcycles

Munewari’s concept actually originated with the owners father, Dennis McQuire Sr. He had the bike built and then gave it to his son to remind him of the legacy his family believes in. This bike represents all things honorable represented by the Bushido symbols that adorn the bike.

The symbols are actually versions and concepts of “the way of the warrior”. Each part of the bike has a different belief, such as honor, honesty, and bravery. Jonathan Pantaleon, award winning airbrush artist, used House of Kolor paints for the entire bike.

The paint job on the gas tank is done in the same style as it would be on a man’s chest.

That’s where the name, Munewari, came from. The bike was originally scheduled to be a more flesh tone color, but Matt decided against it, as he didn’t really want to build a bike that could be compared to a big tattooed dick. The owner was blown away when he saw the bike for the first time.

“If I would have known you were going with white, I would have talked him out of it. But once I saw the bike, I couldn’t imagine it being any other color,” stated the elder McQuire incredulously. The white appears with an immaculate glow that seems to illuminate the whole area around it. Dennis McQuire Jr. could not have received a better adaptation of the warrior’s way than a bike as kick ass as this one. The paint is laid down in a way that reminds me of the tattoos I used to see on my Dad’s Vietnam buddies.

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Seems all war veterans have tattoos representing where they have been, and Munewari looks to be at home on everything from a man, a bike, or even a woman. No doubt one of the classiest and cleanest paint schemes to come down the pike.

When I asked Matt how often the bike was ridden, he laughed and explained that the owner wanted a chalice. He didn’t spend 12 grand on a paintjob to be scratching it running around town. This bike is a leisure rider that was built for show. People can say what they want, but I wouldn’t mind something like that being parked in my living room as a centerpiece. The quality of the bike and paint are second to none, winning several awards along the way. She won “Best Street Custom” at the Easyriders show in San Diego, Ca. in 2004. Matt also entered her in The Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, Ca. in early 2005.

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“Growing up in San Diego, I always looked at this show as the biggest and best of them all. If you win here, you really did something because the competition is phenomenal,” Matt enthusiastically beams like a proud papa. “We walked out of there winning ‘Outstanding Motorcycle of the Show’ and ‘Best Paint’. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

For a shop that’s been open for only two years, Matt has began to rack up the trophies. He won numerous times with several bikes and looks to be gaining momentum. I look for Matt Kraft and Kraft Custom Cycles to be a major player in the years to come. Anyone who truly knows about bikes will be able to appreciate the no nonsense style and clean lines Matt’s bikes display. Don’t take my word for it, check out the pictures or go online to www.kraftcustomcycles.com.

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“I just wanted to give my thanks to Jonathan, as he was an immeasurable help with my project and I look forward to working with him for years to come,” insisted Matt. It sounds to me like Jonathan has made a partner worth having for the long haul.

Today’s bike industry has become so cluttered with bike builders copying one another and each claiming to do his own thing, making this encounter a refreshing one. It is cool to see a couple of guys collaborate ideas to build a slick and mean ass ride such as this beauty. It’s not every day you see a 600 lb. piece of china rolling down the tarmac being powered by a thunderous v-twin whose sound is so penetrating you have to look twice to be sure of what you just saw.

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Take a few minutes and admire the look of Munewari. It is unlikely you have ever seen anything quite like her, and seemingly impossible to expect to see another again. This bike is a true representation of what a custom should be. A bike with unique lines that represent the philosophy of the owner reminds people around him what he stands for. I don’t think Dennis Jr. will ever forget the power of his family beliefs, or be able to deny the strength and craftsmanship by which his ride was built.

The next time you see another carbon copy “custom” rolling down the strip, try to compare the bike to this beauty. Look at the lines and the style. The cleanliness of the bars down to the fat rear tire; this is why we started customizing bikes. The desire to make each bike unique and styled to our own personal tastes and beliefs drives each one of us to make our own look. Lucky for this kid, he will never have to change a thing on this beauty.

Man, talk about starting with a leg up.

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Keep your eye out for more from Matt Kraft and his custom bikes. If you’re ever in Florida, don’t be surprised if you see this monster fly past you on the freeway. Maybe you can catch the guy and get a closer look at the bike; this is one paintjob you will never forget.

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Munewari Spec Chart

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General

Owner - Dennis McQuire Jr.
Year/Make- ’04 Kraft Custom Cycles/ Munewari
Fabrication- Matt Kraft
Assembly- Matt Kraft
Build Time- 4 Months
Web Site- www.kraftcustomcycles.com

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Engine

Size/Type- 121” TP Engineering
Cases- TP
Flywheels- TP
Rods- TP
Pistons- TP

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Cylinders- TP
Heads- S&S
Cam- TP
Carburetor- Mikuni
Ignition- Crane Hi-4
Pipes- Martin Brothers

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Transmission

Year/Type- 2004 Baker RSD6
Case- Baker
Clutch- Barnett Scorpion
Primary
Drive- Billet 4 U

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Frame

Year/Type- 2004/Xtreme
Rake- 42 2004/Xtreme degrees
Stretch- 4 up and 3 out
Molding- Matt Kraft

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Suspension

Front
Builder- Perse
Triple Trees- Perse 6 degree

Rear
Type- Legend Air Ride

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Wheels, Tires, and Brakes

Front
Size/Type- 21” PM Wrath
Tire Make/
Size- Metzeler 80/90/21
Caliper- PM
Rotor- PM

rear wheel

Rear
Size/Type- 18x10 PM Wrath
Tire Make/ Size- Metzeler 280/35/18
Caliper- PM Drive Side
Rotor- PM

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Finish/Paint
Color- House of Kolor
Painter- Jonathan Pantaleon
Graphics- Jonathan Pantaleon
Chrome Plating/ Polishing- Orange County Plating

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Accessories
Front Fender-Fat Katz/Kraft Custom Cycles
Rear Fender- Xtreme/Kraft Custom Cycles
Gas Tank/ Caps- Independent/ Hotmatch
Handlebars- Kraft Custom Cycles
Hand Controls-PM

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Foot Controls- PM
Foot pegs- PM
Headlight- Headwinds
Tail light- Billet 4 U

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Seat- Bitchin Stitchin
Electrical- Kraft Custom Cycles
Coil- Nology
Starter- Spyke

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Reader Comments


This is The Tightest Concept Art ii have ever seen... .. .
You are doing what it is that ii can only see and where it starts for me! All ii think about, all that ii am, all it is all about for me is what you are Representing. ro

Mrs. McCammon
Westiminister, CO
Friday, January 27, 2012

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