One of the first custom, touring motorcycles ever built was fabricated in Mitchell, SD in 2003 by the Klock Krew. The Benchmark is so aptly named within the scope of Klock Werks 20 year history in that it was, literally, the benchmark for many parts still offered today.
Brian Klock, Dan Cheeseman, Chris Weber, Tim Wagner, and James Mayer had an idea for their next custom build, to go pro-street style with a touring bike! They agreed to take the experience of customizing pro-street bikes like Softails, FXRs, and Sportsters, and implement those ideas into a full-sized bagger. Not much later, Greg Wick, integral to the final design of the Benchmark Bagger, came to the krew with the same vision – a fully custom touring bike.
The build was extensive. Basically everything on the Benchmark Bagger was built or modified by the krew.
“Back then, you couldn’t just go online and order all of these parts. We had to fabricate everything,” Dan Cheeseman said.
The krew put in long days to build the front fender, rear fender, saddlebags, filler panels, gas tank, full exhaust system, and dash. In addition, the frame was smoothed and modified.
“We had to play around with it when assembling,” Cheeseman said. “It was flat black for a while. We had to ride it around quite a bit in the various stages of assembly because it was the first time we had ever done that much sheet metal for a bike.”
James Mayer finished the built with paint, and it wasn’t long after that the calls started rolling in – calls for parts orders.
“Before we invested in stamping tooling for our fenders and other sheet metal parts, we had to make them by hand to ship out,” Cheeseman said. “That’s what we used to do all day – sit, shape, weld and smooth.”
Today, some of the most popular metal Klock Werks sells (Benchmark Front Fenders, Upper Fillers, Lower Fillers, Bag Extensions, and more) was made to resemble the parts from the Benchmark Bagger, which continues to be a timeless trend all these years later. Because passion for the ride was foremost, the krew always strived for a stylish build that had function built in. It’s because of this form and function, and a commitment to quality, that Klock Werks’ fenders are still painter favorites!