Man, now I want some White Castle.
You all know what donks are, right? If you don't know, donks are custom cars—usually 80s and 90s full-sized cars like GM G-bodies or Ford Crown Vics—with huge wheels (upwards of 28 and 30 inches in some cases), low-profile tires, flashy paint jobs, and bumpin' stereo systems. You usually see them in big urban areas, but you can usually find one or two anywhere there's a car culture and an appreciation for excess. There's a sub-culture within donk culture where drivers paint their rides up in corporate logos or to look like candy wrappers and drink bottles. It's pretty wild (also an acquired taste) and a lot of the cars are extremely well done. So, why am I talking about donks on this here motorcycle website? Well, I finally found the motorcycle equivalent of one of those "branded donks", and it's the Crave Cruiser.
Meet Walter Buttkus. When he was just a wee lad of five, he ate his very first White Castle slider at the White Castle on Route 22 in Union, New Jersey. Ever since then he's been hooked on those tiny, greasy hamburgers and their accompanying crinkle-cut fries. He's not alone. In fact, there are so many White Castle superfans out there that the company founded the Cravers Hall of Fame back in 2001 to honor its most loyal fans. Buttkus, the owner of a financial services company in Yorba Linda, California, and a big-time motorcycle rider was inducted into the Cravers Hall of Fame this year. To celebrate, he commissioned a custom Indian tarted up like a White Castle Crave Case (which is a big box full of tiny hamburgers).
The bike, which was done up by Dallas, Texas-based customizer Rick Fairless in his Storkers custom shop. It's a 2017 Indian Scout painted in white with blue and yellow highlights and festooned with White Castle logos and tons of slider-related details. It even has replicas of White Castle's OG menu and advertising from the early 20s. The piece de resistance, though, are the wheels featuring yellow-painted spokes that look like crinkle-cut french fries.
“The bike came out great and we are very proud to have been chosen to bring Walter’s vision to life,” Fairless told the Orange County Register. “Walter allowed us to use our artistic interpretation along with his vision. It was a fun project and we are very proud of the finished product.”
The bike was unveiled at Strokers' Dallas HQ with a big party catered by, you guessed it, White Castle. Buttkus has big plans for the Crave Cruiser next year, too. Starting in April 2019, he and his son Austin will ride from Dallas to White Castle's global HQ in Columbus, Ohio. From there, they'll ride to Union, New Jersey, where Buttkus' obsession with White Castle started. Along the way, they'll hit as many White Castles as they can to show off the bike and enjoy some of that greasy, oniony goodness.
“I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing experience working with White Castle has been throughout the entire process of being inducted to the White Castle Hall of Fame, the amazing family members and employees throughout the country and wherever I travel, and most importantly how well the team at White Castle worked with me in helping me get all that I needed art-wise for this epic motorcycle,” Buttkus said.
We have a bunch of White Castles here in Detroit, along with some local, arguably better slider joints (shout out to Brayz), so I'll keep my eyes peeled for the Crave Cruiser here in the Motor City. If I see the Buttkus boys, I'll let you know.
Source: Orange County Register