2012 Sturgis AMD World Championship Of Bike Building. The Top 3 Winners.

All photography copyright and courtesy Onno “Berserk”  Wieringa for Cyril Huze

2012 World Champion: 

Shop: Thunderbike in Hammiken, Germany.
Name Of The Bike: PainTTless
Builder: Andreas Bergerforth & Crew
Engine: 1984 Sportster Iron
Transmission: HD WLA 750


2nd Place:

Shop:  LC Fabrications in Crawford, Virginia USA
Name Of The Bike: Old Black
Builder: Jeremy Cupp
Engine: 1976 Ironhead 900

3rd Place:

Shop:  Abnormal Cycles, Milan, Italy
Name Of The Bike: Speed Demon
Builder: Samuele Reali
Engine: 74″ Harley JD


39 Responses to “2012 Sturgis AMD World Championship Of Bike Building. The Top 3 Winners.”

  1. 1 Mike Aug 8th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Congratz Thunderbike!

  2. 2 Friedl Aug 8th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Congratulations to Thunderbike for winning!!

  3. 3 CafeSportyTC Aug 8th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I like the Speed demon… awesome to see an old F-Head. love it loveit love it

  4. 4 Yuri Shif Aug 8th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Congratulating(Gratulieren )Thunderbike Team!

  5. 5 Rodent Aug 8th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Nice exercise in the art of creativity.

  6. 6 jack deagazio Aug 8th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Congratulations to all the winners. Nice job Jeremy.

  7. 7 Dinky Dot Aug 8th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Wow tire chains…really?!? All i see these days is yard art and not motorcycles anymore

  8. 8 Highrider Aug 8th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    UGLY All of them.

  9. 9 Fredp Aug 8th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Love the imagination, BUT give me a bike i can ride! Not pose with!

  10. 10 Woody Aug 8th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Each to their own. If I want to ride, I got stock bikes. If I want to drool, admire, examine, dream, envy and be impressed at some mad skills-these bikes will do just fine. Thanks for sharing , Cyril. Very nice!

  11. 11 Debbie Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    The Performance Class had a strange 3 way tie for first place. What are the odds?

    It is even more strange that AFT won that class considering the performance bikes it was up against.

  12. 12 krugger Aug 9th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Congratulation Andreas and the crew!! You deserve this prize since a long time !!! Now, it’s done !!!

  13. 13 Rico (boss-performance-motorcycles" Aug 9th, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Congratulation to Andreas and all the Thunderbike crew herzlich glückwunsch

    Augurissimi ad Abnormal Cycles

  14. 14 RogerG Aug 9th, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Great work guys! congratulaions, wish I could have been there ! Cheers

  15. 15 Laurent Aug 9th, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Nice objects ! Not sure I would give the first and second ones the name of “bike” thought…

    Maybe adding some rules like “to be eligible, the bike must be able to ride thru a small gymkana”, or/and “to be eligible, the bike must be able to make a U-turn in a certain space”, or/and “to be eligible, the bike must be able to ride at least a certain distance” would be a good thing…

    Laurent 😉

  16. 16 Zipper Aug 9th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Top two have Sportster motors. Lots of talent involved in these builds. I’m surprised they won after all the discussions about Sportsters being Girly Bikes. ..Z

  17. 17 BobS Aug 9th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    All skinny tires and exposed parts. The look seems to have replaced the big wheel bagger which replaced the fat tire choppers. So what will replace these???

  18. 18 Neil Aug 9th, 2012 at 7:59 am


    All bikes entered had to complete a run test to be eligible for a prize. They had to start, pull away under their own power, be ridden for no less than 100 yards with both rider’s feet clearly off the floor, corner, and stop. We have video of all the run tests. Of course it would be nice to make them all run 20 miles but it’s not practical in the parking lot behind the tent in Sturgis and my entire show crew this year consisted of myself, two photographers and two other guys so we were all pretty busy on registration day.


  19. 19 Ricky Aug 9th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Was there. Great show. Amazing bikes.

  20. 20 GuitarSlinger Aug 9th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Probably the most derivative , sad and pastiche winners of the contest in years : with nary an original design in the lot ;

    1st place – A Shinya Kimura Xerox if there ever was one

    2nd place – Round three hundred and ten of the pretentious Hillclimber custom pastiche . Been there … done that … lets move on !

    3rd place – Cole Foster /Hank Young revisited ( except Hank and Cole do it so much better )

    Does this spell the creative end of the custom M/C ? Is this a result of our current ” Everybody deserves a Gold Metal ” mentality ?

    Or have we simply reached a temporary lull in custom bike building …. waiting for that hidden genius to emerge ?

    Lets hope for the later 😉

  21. 21 Kyle Aug 9th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    What about the Performancen Class results? Was there an transparent re-count?

  22. 22 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian MC Co Aug 9th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    All of us competitors vote which is the fairest form of judging. The winner is clearly the winner. Neil and AMD run an extremely clean and honest show with NO favoritism shown to anyone. The winners are clearly the winners. We are all proud no matter where we place in this event. After all it is THE World Championship of bike building.

  23. 23 Kyle Aug 9th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “After all it is THE World Championship of bike building.”

    Which means there should be no problem with transparency

  24. 24 Kyle Aug 9th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    btw…I am not a competitor. I am interested in knowing how bikes are evaluated in a “Performance Class”.

    The winner’s motor was much smaller than at least 4 other bikes. The AFT bike’s chassis certainly isn’t a performance chassis since it is too long to be any type of cafe bike.

    So, if the motor isn’t the winning factor in the “Performance” class AND the chassis isn’t the winning factor in the “Performance” class, what exactly is deciding the winner in the “PERFORMANCE” class?

  25. 25 Vintage Twin Aug 9th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    How ’bout the Italian job? 🙂 The center stand about matches the height of the bike upright.

    The teeter-totter is eliminated by a custom wedge of rubber, the rider keeps in his pocket to lock it down. slick.

    The machine needs a tiny silver-line, cloisonne’, black enameled bat (flying type) installed somewhere.

    Liking the smash-bra too.

  26. 26 live2rideaglide Aug 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Every year I get more confused. From the results of this year and last one would assume that only
    ultra-skinny unpainted, drilled cafe racer/ boardtrackers have a chance. I,m gonna mail my entry in next year in a manila envelope all I have to do is retrofit that r/c aiplane motor and find the right size rubber bands to mount on my pinwheels.

  27. 27 MADRider Aug 9th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    They are nice, but not really useable, just more show peices. I guess having a usable ridable (more than say 100 miles) real bikes are not allowed in this competition. I prefer my vehicles to be used not just looked at, I can have a 5thousand dollar paintjob and still ride it everyday. No reason to have or build a museum trophy unless your being payed to do so, then I guess you would have a crappy soap opera tv show and familly fights.

  28. 28 Jason Hallman (Steelchoppin) Aug 9th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    It is funny…the common denominator after all these years is that the show bikes just aren’t “go” bikes. It wasn’t that long ago that the Choppers were “too long” or the tires were “too wide”. This show is clearly (and by all rights should remain) an art show.

  29. 29 john reed Aug 10th, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I know that you are an honorable man and the bikes you pick at this show are the ones you feel
    should win, and I am assured that every other competitor does the same.
    I feel guilty because I must be the odd one out.
    If I had spent all of my money effort and time building a show bike when I was young very competitive and I entered it in a show where I had to judge my competitors bikes
    I would check every one as best as I could , but if there was one that I thought was very close to mine, I wouldnt put it as my winner on my judging sheet I would give put it about 3rd place
    and my winner at the top of my list would be one that I knew I could beat.

  30. 30 RogerG Aug 10th, 2012 at 3:22 am

    John, I admire your honesty -hello by the way !….that is a very valid point, and it has to effect results to some extent, but I believe that most builders are still true enthusiests and cant help but vote for the machines that truely stand out. I rembember back in ’07 voting for Stellan and Chicara 1st and 2nd….
    I also remember placing one builder well even though he had wronged me in a business deal, a little moral dilemma for sure but at the end of the day the best bike in the class wins. Having said that, as we all know, the results could be quite different, at a different show with a different format…So I think the best thing to do is push yourself and do the best you can, but dont take it too seriously !
    Cheers r

  31. 31 TPJ Customs Aug 10th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Once again roger is correct. Push yourself to build what you like to the best of your ability and don’t be influenced by others. Where would this world be if people didn’t brake the envelope open on something new everyday.

    So a bunch of judges don’t like your bike boohoo go out and enjoy the hell out of it and enjoy your work.

    Congrats to all the winners. Great craftsmanship

  32. 32 Alan K Aug 10th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Congratulations to the winners, I had the chance to bomb Spearfish Canyon at night, late with no traffic, no baggers, accompanied by AFT,s winning entry driven by Jim carrying a beautiful passenger, and definitely can attest that AFT ‘s bike is a performance machine and then some. We’ll see how it does at Bonneville. To those that need to compare what they drive to the bikes in a builders competition, let me tell you that a credit card can buy you a Lear jet if you are so inclined, or anything in between, but then try making one yourself.

  33. 33 a 1 cycles Aug 10th, 2012 at 11:29 am


  34. 34 Doug Aug 10th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    No one said anything about one costing more or less than the other or whether it had a beautiful passenger on it or not.

  35. 35 barney Aug 11th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    All three of the bikes are very rideable. As usual no shortage of sour grapes from the less talented. Congrats to the winners. Very nice bikes, all three.

  36. 36 Jeff Aug 13th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Instead of bitchin’ and whining about how one style resembles another or how tired you are of seeing the same thing, then go right ahead and design, build and fabricate, by hand, that totally unique, one of a kind, awe-inspiring work of pure art that you so desperately feel the industry, as well as yourself deserve. What did you bring to the table this year? What the fck did you contribute? The show was not judged on the basis of trending styles or “the next big thing”, nor does the custom industry need a “creative genius” to set forth a direction. This show is about the art of the design & build. You either get it or you don’t, but don’t complain and whine about it.

  37. 37 a 1 cycles Aug 16th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    jeff your comment was the best one ive read in a while..well said

  38. 38 R Gilliland Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Every Builder Has His or Her own style of building, and the design they see in ther eyes while building there dream bike, However if you plan on going to an event with with the full intent of winning the show out of the gate, You are Doing this for the wrong reason to start with.

    Being a Custom builder for more than 20 years myself, Won championships, and many shows over the Years, I did not Win shows out of the Gate.

    What I Did gain out of these events, Was great relationships with builders across the country and the world over with great stories to tell, See there ideas, and listen to ther problems along the way, as we all have.

    This is what these shows are all about, The Joy of the RIDE. AND IF YOU DO WIN, Great, Thats What this industry is really about.

    I was very proud to be a guest judge this year, To Neil and there Staff, Great Job.
    Sincerely, Robert Gilliland.

  39. 39 Dave Simpson Aug 26th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I was a participant at this event. I made new friends, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot. It was my first build, and it took a lot longer than I expected. But after spending a few a days with fellow competitors , I learned that even seasoned builders face the same sort of setbacks as I did. I met some great people , and really enjoyed the experience. Thanks Congratulations to everyone!!!!

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Cyril Huze