Good bye Sturgis. BIG BIKE EUROPE is the new, permanent host event for the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building. The organization states that about 200 custom shops and specialist businesses are registered to attend the 3-day Expo event hosting the AMD bike competition.
Many European builders used to do the summer trip to show their work in South Dakota in August. Now the question is, how many American builders will cross the Atlantic to show their custom bikes at the Messe Essen, Germany show on May 10 to 12. Is it possible to have a credible World Championship Of Bike Building if North America doesn’t have a quantitative and qualitative representation close to its influence on the worldwide custom motorcycle scene? As of today, among the 104 confirmed entries in the World Championship Bike Show Competition, there are only 2 American shops: Kansas Motorcycle Works and Hoosler Daddy Choppers.
The World Championship was launched in the United States in 2004 in Las Vegas as a trade-only spectacle. In 2006 the decision was taken to change the World Championship of Custom Bike Building from a trade/dealer only event into a showcase for custom design and engineering excellence that could be seen by the public. That resulted in taking the World Championship to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the biggest single annual gathering of riders any where in the world. The inaugural 2013 Big Bike Europe is being launched as the host event for the World Championship, also allowing riders and enthusiasts to see the work that the custom motorcycle industry can produce.
There will be four classes of competition, with the non-competitive Production Manufacturer Showcase display of EU compliant limited run production models being eligible for an engine sponsored by S&S Cycle. The classes will be: FreeStyle, Modified Harley-Davidson Street Performance, Retro Modified, Production Custom Showcase (non-competitive.) VIP attendance only on Friday May 10th, public attendance Saturday 11 & Sunday 12th. Bike registration Thursday May 9th; Judging Saturday May 11th; Awards 3:00pm Sunday May 12th. (pictures 2012 World Champion Thunderbike Germany, courtesy Onno Wieringa)