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 CARL CRANKE PASSES
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Larry Perkins
Advanced Member

USA
2672 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2020 :  2:44:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sad to report, for those that do not know that Carl Cranke died yesterday from Brain cancer. He was my first off-road motorcycle hero. He was a very nice personable guy and will be missed.

Larry P

Don Roth
Advanced Member

USA
199 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2020 :  4:31:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Larry,
Know it ain’t easy passing bad news, thank you, Godspeed....
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Mike Rosso
Advanced Member

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2020 :  4:54:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sad, so very, very sad. Carl was a good friend and my hero too. Godspeed Carl. Will always remember the good times. Love you Carl. All the prayers, condolences and best wishes to Carl's family.

Mike Rosso

Edited by - Mike Rosso on 11/14/2020 5:05:57 PM
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Kip Kern
Advanced Member

USA
2761 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2020 :  7:02:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very sad to hear, amazing rider, mechanic and mentor. RIP friend
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Doug Knight
Senior Member

USA
46 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2020 :  11:48:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my youth Carl ran a shop called "Cycle Speed" which was partly owned by Cycle Gear. At that time he was Brad Lackey's tuner. Was a busy place at that time. They did a new piston on my CZ 360 at their shop.

A year earlier Dick Mann showed up on an off weekend from his Grand National schedule on a 500 Gold Star an a local MX track. Carl was there on a Husky 360. To us all there was no racing going on except for Carl and Dick. Don't remember who won the motos as seeing racing at this level would never again be matched in my lifetime. During the second moto, Dick drop his chain and a master link fell into his hand from a spectator. Carl sensing trouble to the rear somehow he stopped too, checked his bike and restarted when Dick was a corner away. The race was on again. That day for 80 minutes both Carl and Dick Mann were giving the crowd a show to remember.

Fast forward to March '73, my Gold tank Harescrabler had a steering head break twice. I learned my high school racing buddy was working at Penton West. He said bring it by and out pops Carl and he warrantied the frame on the spot. That day I was given a tour of some of the current R&D projects.

Carl when you ride a single track up to the lake, throw a stick for my favorite Lab, he loved to swim. Keep some beer on ice too.
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Daniel P. McEntee
Advanced Member

605 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2020 :  10:20:07 PM  Show Profile  Send Daniel P. McEntee a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I also idolized Carl as I was learning to ride my first Pentons back in the day. I loved hearing him tell stories at the ISDT Reunion Ride banquets and wish they were at least put down on paper, I would buy the book! I consider myself lucky to have attended these rides and meet Carl and a lot of my other heroes from those early days. They are starting to get one heck of an enduro team together upstairs!
God Speed carl Cranke,
Dan McEntee
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Bob Gilman
Advanced Member

127 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2020 :  09:54:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember being in the Airport with the team heading for the Six Day in Italy in 1974,Most people had a carry on bag,Carl came in with his toolbox for his carry on.Great mechanic.........
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3055 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2020 :  8:19:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Found this nice photo of Carl in the POG photo library.

https://www.pentonusa.org/GalleryServerPro/default.aspx?moid=5854&hr=1

Today, November 16, 2020 is nine years since the passing of Dane Leimbach.

Dane and Carl both had an uncanny ability to evaluate anything mechanical and either repair it or improve on its original design. They were both equally at home in the shop or on the trail and they had few if any rivals in either arena, the combination of their mechanical and riding abilities put them head and shoulders over most all others. PLUS, they were both fine gentlemen who are deeply missed.


Paul
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

237 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2020 :  8:33:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At the 1972 or 73 Wilseyville Hare Scrambles Carl & Dick Mann lapped me going so much faster than I was That I thought what am I doing out here? They were side by side . They were out in the rough I was in tH.he center of the track. Carl always whiseleatwhen he was passing you. How He could whistle that loud over the roar of the motors I still cant understand. I heard him loud & clear! I got a riding lesson that day I never forgot! A World Class Rider & just as good a Mechanic. So sorry to hear of his passing. R.I. P. Carl
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

237 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2020 :  8:44:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
R.I.P. Carl
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skiracer
Advanced Member

USA
1323 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2020 :  10:50:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice write up and video in this weeks Cycle News on Carl. It is worth checking out....

1976 250 MC5 Original Owner
1976 Penton 175 XC
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Steve Minor
Advanced Member

USA
1292 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2020 :  05:35:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiZKxEUsXVo&ab_channel=PipelineDigitalMedia

Steve Minor
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Richard Colahan
Advanced Member

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2020 :  10:41:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wonderful tribute....!!!
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Minor

Found this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiZKxEUsXVo&ab_channel=PipelineDigitalMedia

Steve Minor




Richard Colahan
1969 V1225
Upper Black Eddy PA
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paul a. busick
Advanced Member

USA
261 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2020 :  2:27:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I didn't start my second stint of motorcycling until 1995-so there were a lot of riders and history that I didn't know about. How ever I did have a lot of contact with Carl through the POG, Penton family and the 6 Day Reunion events that AHRMA put on. Carl was a gent and always full of good stories about his roll in motorcycling. I and all who knew him will miss him. My condolence to his family. May I see him down the dusty trail. Amherst Paul
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ALB
Advanced Member

USA
451 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2020 :  10:06:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit ALB's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am grateful for the many opportunities that I have had over these past 20+ years to have met with Carl Cranke and to be one of his many friends.
When I started the parts business I received phone calls from all over the country. Most of the Penton owners would ask about John Penton. For some strange reason, during many conversations with West Coast Penton owners the name Carl Cranke would be the first name asked about. During some of the early POG meetings I had heard stories about Carl and what a talented rider he was, but I never expected him to have the following that he had. I met Carl for the first time in April 2000 at the AMA Vintage Days event at Sears Point, CA where “Penton” was the feature marque and Carl took some time off, away from his family to join the POG at the event.
The second time that I met Carl was the AMA Vintage Days event at Mid-Ohio in July where “Penton” was the feature marque. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that it was at this event that Carl brought along his two young sons. They had no idea how famous their father was or that he rode motorcycles.
After the Mid-Ohio event I got in contact with Carl to write a story about him for the Fall issue no. 8 POG newsletter. During the several phone conversations that I had with him I got to know more about him. When Carl settled down and started a family, he left his motorcycling background behind him. Carl purposely kept his motorcycling background a secret from his sons. His “boys” meant the world to him. He was actively involved with them, supporting them in all the many types of sports that they wanted to try out. He did not want them involved with motorcycles at a young age and run the risk of any injuries that would affect them later in life.
Carl's motorcycling background was captured in the article that was written and a couple of his stories were mentioned. The article from that newsletter will be reprinted in the next POG newsletter for our many members who were not POG members at that time so that they will have the opportunity to know a little bit of who he was.
I am saddened at the loss of Carl and at the same time happy that his suffering is over. I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to be involved with the POG and have met Carl and all the other people in this wonderful world of motorcycling, especially our POG members.

Alan Buehner
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Cal Alexander
Advanced Member

USA
226 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2020 :  11:52:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great comments Al,
Your absolutely right about Carl and his following in the Western US. The west coast Penton riders followed Carl's every move, he was a hero to many and was someone we all wanted to be.
I had the opportunity to speak with Carl at the 50th Anniversary celebration. He was very kind, funny with his quick wit, and generous with his time.
While talking with Carl and sharing some Penton war stories I pointed out the original FMF Hiro that Dale Fisher was restoring. We walked over to the bike and Carl told me the story of the Hiro motor development and his work with Dave Miller to set up the bike. Carl still remembered the cylinder, piston and head setups and talked about the different motor combinations that he and Dave had tried to make the Hiro fly. I felt so fortunate that Carl had taken the time to share this piece of Penton history.
Now just over two years later Carl and Dave both icons of this great period of offload motorcycle history have passed.
Rest in Peace Carl, for we westerners your still the man!
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