ESSEN, GERMANY, MAY 10-12—The 10th anniversary of the World Championship of Custom Bike Building was held for the first time ever in Europe, at the Big Bike Europe Expo in Essen, Germany, where motorcycles, scooters, trikes and sidecar outfits were showcased to the masses. Power units being employed by the 105 competitors included American V-twins, Italian singles and V-twins, Japanese multis and singles, a diesel powerplant, an engine from a Honda generator and even a 1920’s boat engine. In all there were entries from 23 different countries for a total of 122 machines in five classes.
Of the 66 bikes competing in the Freestyle class, Medaza Cycles’ “Rondine” took the 2013 World Championship title. Don Cronin and Michael O’Shea, the two Irishmen 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 aluminum bodywork and the heavily modified V-Rod swingarm, which is used as a girder-style front fork on the bike that previously took top honors at the 2013 Irish Motorcycle and Scooter show in Dublin.
Laurent Dutruel originally built “Tribute to Hagakure” to take to Bonneville and compete during Speed Week. Although there is no official record for a fully rigid bike, Laurent took his bicycle-inspired Buell-powered machine to 208 kph (129.25 mph) on the salt, and he has now followed that achievement with the motorcycle taking second place in the Freestyle class at this year’s World Championship.
Pete Pearson, of Rocket Bobs in the UK, describes his third-placed bike, “Gas’d Rat,” as: “A rocket bobber built and powered from a Shovel, fully redesigned, re-engineered and fabricated FXS.”
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.
Claiming the win for Italy in the Retro Modified class was Inglourious Basterds Cycles with “Bastarda Senza Gloria,” a ’48/’79 Pan/FX Shovel special fitted with the company’s own adjustable Springer front end.
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 U.S. in the summer so that he can ride from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats and, once there, attempt to set a record on the bike in the 1350 M-PBG class.
Completing the lineup of winners was Second City Customs from the UK, whose bike “The Naughty Gentleman” took S&S Cycle’s recognition award in the Production Manufacturer class.
Next year the 11th Annual AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building will again be staged the Big Bike Europe expo at Essen, Germany, four weeks earlier in the business cycle starting on April 11, 2014.
New for 2014 will be a cafe racer World Champion class.