The AMD’s World Championship Of Custom Bike Building is an established and respected showcase of innovative motorcycle design and engineering. The 9th edition held last week in Sturgis may have had less participants than last year but all machines, without exception, featured an incredible level of creativity. And to prevent negative critics, let me first mention that at show registration all bikes are checked for running properly even if the main objective of the organizers is not to reward those bikes on the criteria of being daily riders. The show is about hand-crafted one-of-a-kind custom motorcycles able to inspire other builders and the industry as a whole. Again, the competition is about stunning designs, flawless fabrication and mechanical prowess…
At my first visit – I did quite a few – to the Sturgis AMD huge white tent on Lazelle Street where all competitors were setting up their machines, there was no doubt for me and for most other competitors that the machine presented by Thunderbike Germany was the favorite to claim the title of world Champion Of Custom Bike Building. Inspired by ice lake racers of the 1930′s PainTTless is a long and very slim bike with superb flowing lines, gorgeous one-off parts, a high gloss finish in polished nickel… and no paint. A fabrication and engineering tour-de-force accomplished in only 8 months by Andreas Bergerforth & crew and that nobody is expecting coming from an official Harley-Davidson dealership.
PainTTless is based on a highly modified 1984 Sportster Ironhead engine with Amal carburetor and Harley WLA tranny cradled in a one-off Thunderbike built frame and swingarm. A close look at the numerous steel body fabricated parts and you really wonder how it is possible to make all welds invisible. Spending time reviewing every inch of the bike I was unable to find any defect. A fabrication masterpiece from front to rear, from right to left, from top of the gas tank to the under-frame. Wiring and plumbing of the bike is either invisible or is conceived such a way to not distract but to add beauty. A custom machine that should be preserved for future generations to admire as a top example of design and fabrication excellence.
It was the third participation of Thunderbike Germany to the AMD World Championship (best rank was 2nd place in 2006 in Freestyle Class) Now I wonder what Andreas Bergerforth has in mind for 2013 to top his PainTTless vintage racer. He would not tell me but he knows… A full tech sheet at the end of this article. Thunderbike Germany (photography copyright and courtesy Thunderbike/Dirk “Pixeleye” Behlau for Cyril Huze)