Perry Kramer

In 1978, SE produced its first bike, the JU-6. Two years later, Perry "PK" Kramer made modifications to the frame, and the bike became Perry’s signature bike, the legendary “PK Ripper". We're stoked to say that Perry is still a part of SE today! Photos by @bigbikefamily.

Questions & Answers

Which decades did you compete in?
I competed in the '70s and '80s. I started racing January 1974 and retired in early 1984.

Which BMX era was the best for you?
I had my best results in the mid-to-late '70s. I won some races in the early '80s but I’d say the '70s is when I did my best. I loved that era because BMX was such a brand-new sport, and we were racing for the love of the sport as opposed to making it our living like we did in the '80s. The late '70s did have the starting of the big paydays, and I won some of those.

Can you quickly rattle off the national and world titles that you’ve won? Or do you have to Google yourself?
I can answer most. 1979 Pro World Champion, 1980 International BMX Federation – Tokyo, Japan Champion, 1980 AVRO Dutch Champion, 1975 Arizona State Champion, 1976 NBA National #2, NBA 1979 #4 Pro, NBL 1980 #6 Pro, 1976 Western States Champion, 1976 NBA Regional #3. I have other National and Pro wins, but those would be my official titles.

Are there some people that remember more about your BMX past than you do?
There may be some that remember more about what parts I had on my bike or how it was set up, but I believe I remember most about my racing career.

What was more important to you, a big payday or scoring the cover of a magazine?
A lot of my wins came before we had actual big paydays, but I would say a big win would be more important to me than a magazine cover. Although when you won, you got good magazine coverage.

What does it mean to you to have a signature bike with SE 40 years after you were first sponsored by SE Racing?
I get asked this all the time, as my initials have been on the PK Ripper since early 1979. It is and has always been a huge honor to have my initials on the bike, as it has been a BMX favorite for so many people. I hear from old-time BMXers that they always wanted a PK Ripper, and I don’t ever take that for granted. It is especially cool now that the old school BMX scene is so strong and so many riders ride either a 26” PK Ripper or a 29” Big Ripper. I am truly grateful to have my initials on the PK Ripper, and always will be.

Are big wheels the fountain of youth for an old school BMXer like yourself?
I believe the big wheel bikes have been the fountain of youth since Scot Breithaupt and the other old-school BMX pioneers started racing cruisers back in 1979. I used to see 26” wheel cruiser classes for riders up to 50+. I thought those guys were so cool back then for wanting to get on a bike and race with their kids. Then the class got really competitive and I raced Pro Cruiser back in the early '80s. Now there are a lot of old school BMXers like me wanting to get back on a BMX bike and just ride. Without the big-wheeled bikes, we would not have the street ride scene that we have and enjoy now. I was lucky enough to be around at the beginning of BMX, and again now at the forefront of the old-school BMX street scene. I love the rides with the crew and hope to do them for many more years to come. The big-wheel BMX bikes have made that possible for me and so many other riders.