RKB Kustom Speed 2013 Voted “Artistry In Iron” Champion At Las Vegas Bikefest

cyril-Huze-RKB3cyril-Huze-RKB1cyril-Huze-RKB2rickbray2During this weekend, 20 hot custom bikes were competing in the “Artistry In Iron” championship during Las Vegas Bikefest.

Yesterday Saturday October 5, 2013, at 6 pm at the Las Vegas Cashman Center, organizer Mindi Cherry announced the 2013 champion, unanimously voted the winner by his peers competing against him. Rick Bray from California based RKB Kustom Speed won the bragging rights and $10,000.

It’s a gorgeous Shovelhead that Rick bought 5 years ago from his brother when he ran out of money to finish it. Rick took all these years to finish it, hand making most of the parts in his garage and trading the others with friends.

He already won many awards in bike shows with this creation and declared that he will probably give it back to his brother…and start a new build. (photos @ Jack Mcintyre for Cyril Huze) 

27 Responses to “RKB Kustom Speed 2013 Voted “Artistry In Iron” Champion At Las Vegas Bikefest”

  1. 1 Zipper Oct 6th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I can remember when custom motorcycles were cool. Riders would chop a rear fender or put a set of ape hangers on their bike. White wall tires, cat’s head taillights, straight pipes, fox tails or whatever was the fad at the time. A lot of the customs originated in garages or under your mother’s back porch using pliers, hacksaws and your dad’s vise grip. In my case I never put anything on my bike that didn’t make it faster,but who cares. Today we have builders with extraordinary talent and deep pockets who build boring bikes that can’t be ridden out of the parking lot. I sincerely appreciate their skills , time and effort, but build something you can ride. ..Z

  2. 2 Randall Bray Oct 6th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Rick actually began building the bike to my liking in 2007 when I ran out of money to finish the build. Last year we were looking at the rolling chassis and decided it was time to finish it. I gladly gave him the roller to finish and couldn’t be any happier with the end results.

  3. 3 Randall Bray Oct 6th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    And in case anyone was wondering the bike runs and rides great. Completely functional and a blast to be on!

  4. 4 Seymour Oct 6th, 2013 at 4:34 pm


  5. 5 Terence Tory Oct 6th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    “Live to never ride”.Unlike Indian Larrys own bikes,this will never ridden in anger,anywhere.”Detail to death before dishonor”.Only bikes ridden to shows should be allowed in the door.

  6. 6 Dave Blevins Oct 6th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    A beautiful bike, I like everything about it, including the tiny gas tank and even tinier seat.
    Just straight up beautiful.

  7. 7 Eddie U Oct 6th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Nice bike! Kinda reminded me of Superco Customs Cold Blooded bike.

  8. 8 hk Oct 7th, 2013 at 2:30 am

    sick bike well deserved !

  9. 9 Jay Horton's Private Shop Oct 7th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    @ Rick Bray; GORGEOUS BIKE.

    @ the rest; short of getting your ass burned, it looks like a rider to me. Have you all forgotten what we used to ride when we were R.B.’s age? I have pictures and scars of/from mine so I know it was real not some fantasy…..

    Everyone dances differently so LAY OFF. Later Jay

  10. 10 SIGFREED Oct 7th, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Terence Tory,

    This build caught my eye from the first time it started appearing in (print) magazine (American Iron and so on) – it was evidently a show winner; by current standards…

    That said, it stands to reason a machine that qualifies as a motorcycle, must by definition have a certain service-life (ie able to be ridden, ridden hard, in anger, etc).

    I would suggest that it is time for the industry to start formalising itself – some suggestions,

    – A formal Custom Bike Building body – with membership, eg a Master Custom Motorcycle Builders Guild [MCMBG] or such.

    – Competitions have universal rules – eg MCMBG sanctioned competitions with classes that serve to same rules of judgement, scrutiny, etc. This way it (instantly) possible to know how (bona fide) good a custom build is (relative to any other judged under the same tules).

    – One (non-negotiable) rule must be build quality IN SERVICE – eg no build will be considered if the judges are not convinced that the bike has completed 3000 miles without any build failure. In Europe it is notably simpler as (eg) the TUV requirements takes care of such matters.

    – Another matter, perhaps a bit more controversial.., the motorcycle must pass at least some level of road legal scrutiny, or (at least) have a bonus point scoring for builds that are legal (to same arbitrary rules). It is easy to build very cool customs, but build cool customs that are street legal, that will highlight the true innovator/creator and will serve the entire industry well.

    There are many more – in short: it is time for customs to become relevant again.

    PS: 100% Indian Larry (now Paul Cox, Keino and the IL Legacy) have shown that the above is not impossible. It is also worth noting Exile Cycle – brutally tough bikes (albeit not always exceptionally legal) that you can ride ‘lika ape’ and not be presented with a contraption that automatically takes itself apart.

  11. 11 takehikes Oct 7th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    mad fab skills butttttt……not my cup of tea. Excellent fab skills but the design is a mash up.
    And as others have pointed out it’s just another trailer queen. Every single bike we built at AEE Choppers was ridden and quite often……

  12. 12 manup Oct 7th, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Jay knows what’s up. Its totally able to be ridden. Pipes had plenty of color in them and the rotor was all scuffed up. He just leaves his purse at home when he rides it

  13. 13 1951vbs Oct 7th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    It sure looks like it could be ridden at least compared to some of the stuff I’ve bombed around on. I would prefer a little more brake but hey I’m getting old. Congrats Rick & Randall!

  14. 14 Mark Oct 7th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Sigfreed – it already exists, it’s called the IMBBA, the International Master Bike Builder’s Association.

  15. 15 Gary Princeton Oct 7th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    IMBBA??? Forever the butt of jokes in the industry!

  16. 16 Dan Nagel Oct 7th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    This bike is beautiful. Amazing details all over. Chopper jewelry

  17. 17 Terence Tory Oct 7th, 2013 at 9:59 am


    “Invite only” shows are pure BS.Who are they hiding from?, competition?

    I want to see what monkeys with sawzalls can do,not “pro builders”.

    Cyril,you should go over to Japan and check out the built and rider scene over there.The guys build cool SR400’s and W650’s and actually ride them.Jap shops like Bratstyle,Flakes and Berry Bads put 90% of whiteman custom bikes in the shade.

    SIG,who would have thought the the TuV was good for something?

  18. 18 Chaos Cycle Oct 7th, 2013 at 10:43 am

    straight up gorgeous bike, attention to detail at its finest. Simply put, Real Builders BUILD, those who cant, Hate!

  19. 19 AFT Oct 7th, 2013 at 11:53 am

    The workmanship is excellent – Couldn’t meet a nicer guy too. Well done.

  20. 20 pokergolf420 Oct 7th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Of the 20 bikes there this is the one I pegged as the winner, but it was the best of a bad lot. In the past Artistry in Iron included bikes that would take my breath away, and I could never get enough pics or ask enough questions. This year there was nothing to stir my soul, and it was kind of disappointing.

  21. 21 MDSPHOTO Oct 7th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Zipper it’s called “Artistry” in iron, not ability to ride in iron. There is plenty of room for daily riders and show bikes to coexist without someone getting flipped off every time a radical design is posted by Cyril.

  22. 22 Zipper Oct 7th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    MDSPHOTO Artistry it is. A rider not. Some like to ride and some like to look. Wrought iron railings are artistry in iron too. Is this an art site or a motorcycle site? Like I said before I appreciate the craftsmanship of all the builders and never get flipped off. ( kick me, beat me, kill me. just don’t bore me.”) Clint Eastwood ..Z

  23. 23 Terence Tory Oct 8th, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Chaos Cycle,some guys build and then ride the bike.Some are destined to become dust detectors’n’collectors in Indian casinos.You choose.

  24. 24 Jay Horton's Private Shop Oct 8th, 2013 at 8:23 am

    “I would suggest that it is time for the industry to start formalising itself ” – Sigfreed, I respectfully disagree. What one could extrapolate from standardized practices is that within the show aspect of custom motorcycle building, the whole process could and eventually would become so homogenized that the entire enterprise would be for naught. In that aspect, creativity and self-expression pays a very heavy toll.
    Remember back a few years ago when every bike in a show was Softtail-based? Short of a Triumph, every other bike was pushed over into a corner?
    It’s all good to me but, I’d prefer to compete without knowing that every nut and bolt has to be TuV approved, or that all my brake fittings, front and rear, have to be from the same manufacturer, et al…. or that I will be bested by another that bought a package deal the same color zip ties…..
    Homogenization is the ruin of the world as we know it. Later Jay

  25. 25 Terence Tory Oct 8th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Jay Horton’s Private Shop,basically your suggestion is a reductio ad absurdum of SIG’s comments and a very weak and feeble line of logic.The current crop of “pro builder”show bikes are as homogenized as it gets,all:”mega-buck, unridden and unusable”.Indian Larry,Jesse Rooke and RSD actually build the bike,put a plate on it,and ride it.Fussy chi-chi chunks are merely ornaments,and barely even a motorcycle.

  26. 26 Randall Bray Oct 8th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    End of the day everyone is entitled to an opinion. We welcome the negative along with the positive. Lot of heart and soul goes into these bikes after long sleepless hours through the night. Though other bikes might not be something RKB would build stylistically, he knows full well and appreciates the amount of time, effort and passion it takes to build a bike that can meet all your personal expectations.

    I mean no disrespect, but people say things as if they watch on a day to day basis what goes on in the personal lives of some of these builders……..some dudes we’ve never met informed us via cyril huze that the bike is basically a useless pos lol. Broadening your horizons a bit can introduce you to some great people and create some cool friendships. I know it has for us. Thanks everyone for the input. If you are one that cannot appreciate the bike I don’t know what else to say other than come see us at the next show……..maybe we can change your mind. Everyone is as approachable as can be and welcomes your questions/concerns.

    Special thanks to the guys that understand and helped make it possible to walk home with the award. You guys all worked hard and brought your A game and it showed. It was a humbling experience.

  27. 27 chaoscycle Oct 8th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I never have a problem with a person who dislike the styling of a bike. Thatd what custom is all about custon built to fit what you think is ideal. But when people go out and make claims like its not ridable I got to call that out. This looks to be a very ridable motorcyle, yes a bagger it isn’t but looks like a lot of fun to hotrod around on. Looks like a very simple bike with well thought out and creative ways to connect the dots. Great bike and a well deserved win congrats RKB

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