Long time I didn’t talk about a biker build-off, this one lasting 3 days, live front of the public and of course the cameras… The recent European Biker Build-Off was in its 4th edition and held during the 200+ bike show of Bad Salzuffen in Germany, also home of the Custombike Fair Trade & Exhibition. Two teams of 4 people, little room, all the tools, and of course some pre-fabricated or at least ready to be finished or painted parts..
In each competition a German custom builder challenges another builder from the rest of the world. On one side, German Bodo Hayen from Bike Smiede near Stuttgart, famous for its “Triangular” street legal creation. On the other side Cyprus born Mario Kyprianides from Chopper Kulture whose shop is located somewhere in the desert of Abu Dhabi and well known for his Daytona and Sturgis award winning creation called “Courtesan”. No rules, except a short deadline, the requirement to use only a V-Twin engine and merit being given to the bike with the most hand fabricated parts.
Mario Kyprianides (orange bike) used one of his small production frames and a fully restored 65 Harley Panhead engine for which he created unique beautiful “glass window“ rocker box covers. Quite spectacular. What looks like a custom made fuel tank is a combo oil/fuel tank, with the lower part acting as oil reservoir. The original location of the oil tank is now occupied by the battery box. The fork is a handcrafted one-off Springer with the springs arranged behind each other to achieve a slimmer, „streamlined“ and more elegant look. Hot Rod wheels come from the US. Handlebars, exhaust and forward controls (to be marketed later) are also all one-off. Gleaming orange classic Metal Flake effect by his US painter Robert Pradke.
Bodo Hayen (silver bike) used an extremely modified 1948 rigid frame in which he crated a new modified Knucklehead style S&S engine. Fork is a one-off hand made girder-type suspension equipped with a single shock. Wheels were made by German spoke wheel specialist TTS using square and twisted spokes. Part of the paint (artwork, gold leafing and pinstripes) was done live on stage by well known painter Bianca Henning.
Once the bikes were completed, they had to be fired for the 1st time front of the cheering audience (yes, they both did at 1st try) and during 2 hours the public voted to select a winner. And by a very narrow margin, Bodo Hayen from Bike Smiede got the trophy and the bragging rights…until the next edition of the European Biker Build-Off. (photography copyright Horst Rösler, Fred Sander, Hube)