Last weekend, May 10-12th, for its 10th anniversary, the World Championship of Custom Bike Building was held for the first time in Europe, at the Big Bike Europe Expo in Essen, Germany. 105 competitors from 23 countries presented a total of 122 machines ranging from American V-twins, to Italian singles and V-twins, to Japanese multis and singles, a diesel, an engine from a Honda generator and even a 1920’s boat engine!
Trophies were decided in 5 categories. 1- Freestyle (One-off, ground-up built custom bikes, on all or any chassis platforms or drivetrains). 2- Modified Harley-Davidson (Any Harley-Davidson model where the stock frame/Harley platform geometry is maintained. Frames and cases can be from two different Harley-Davidsons) 3- Production Manufacturer (Stock or specialised versions of EU homologated / street legal low volume-produced models) 4- Retro/Modified (Any modified bike, with any drive train on any chassis configuration manufactured prior to 1984. Use of some contemporary parts/design elements is permitted) 5- Street Performance (A class designed to showcase customs where the primary intention of the customizer is to improve the street-use performance of a motorcycle)
And the 2013 winners are (photography courtesy AMD Frank sander & Onno Wieringa)
2013 World Champion Of Custom Bike Building. Medaza Cycles wild custom called “Rondine” Don Cronin and Michael O’Shea, the two Irish men responsible for the build created a one-off frame to carry the single-cylinder, 1971 Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone 500 engine. They were also responsible for hand-forming the aluminium bodywork and the heavily modified V-Rod swingarm, which is used as a girder style front fork, on a bike which previously took top honors at the 2013 Irish Motorcycle and Scooter show in Dublin
Freestyle Class. 2nd Place. French Laurent Dutruel originally built his tribute bike Hagakure to race in Bonneville. It’s a fully rigid bike.
Freestyle Class. 3rd Place. Pete Pearson, of Rocket Bobs in the UK, describes his custom “Gas’d Rat” as: “A rocket bobber built from a Shovel powered, fully redesigned, re-engineered and fabricated FXS.”
Modified Harley-Davidson Class. 1st Place. In a first for the Championship, a Taiwanese builder took a class win when Winston Yeh, of Rough Crafts, lifted the trophy in the Modified Harley class for his all black, Sportster-based “Stealth Bullet”, which featured a carbon gas tank and an oil-in-frame conversion.
Retro Modified Class. 1st Place. Italian builder Inglourious Basterds Cycles won this category with “Bastarda Senza Gloria” a ‘48/’79 Pan/FX Shovel special fitted with the company’s own adjustable Springer front end.
Street Performance Class. 1st Place. Laurent Dutruel was called to the stage a second time when his turbo charged XR1200 was named the winner of the Street Performance class. Laurent now plans to ship the bike to the US in the summer so that he can ride from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats and once again attempts to set a record on the bike in the 1350 M-PBG class.