Sixty-five competitors representing eighteen countries showed up at Sturgis, South Dakota in early August to showcase their interpretations of the world's ultimate motorcycle. Each competitor participating in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building was allowed to enter as many as two bikes and in total, eighty bikes were judged in the competition.
Ken Tabata walked away the world champion during the recent AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
North American Bureau Chief for the World Championship North American Bureau, Jeffrey Najar said, "The World Championship of Custom Bike Building exists to showcase and promote custom motorcycle design and engineering quality, craftsmanship and innovation." Referring to the bikes that have been entered throughout previous years, including 2011, he continued, "They are unique. They do not follow the bobber, cruiser, chopper trends that we have experienced in the domestic marketplace. They are from builders that have originated from Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. The 2008 championship bike was taken to Bonneville Speedway Trials and the 2010 entry is looking to go into production." When asked if he has noticed a change of tends, Najar explained, "The trend is in engineering quality, craftsmanship and innovation. That has not changed. Trends come and go, but our desire to personalize our bike and create it in our own image is universal."
Custom builders recently had the opportunity to showcase their interpretation of the ultimate motorcycle during the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, held at Sturgis, South Dakota.
Although it's not uncommon for the custom builders to be internationally renowned in the business, one doesn't have to fit that mold to enter and even win the 2011 World Championship of Custom Bike Building. In fact, walking away with the title this year, Ken Tabata of Tavax Engineering, Tao City, Osaka, Japan, was a relatively unknown customizer prior to winning the title. That said, Tabata became a household name in the custom bike world immediately upon being declared the champion, as earning the title has been compared to winning the Indy 500. From here on out, the builder will always be known for his accomplishment.
Tabata's winning project was not devised and assembled overnight. It actually took 3 1/2 years to complete the build. Tabata describes his winning bike, TAVAX2011V, as being designed to look like a Cheetah about to pounce, all dynamic movement and power.
According to Najar, "TAVAX2011V effortlessly combines sculpted aluminum bodywork with one-off hand-made pieces that form the suspension and replace the stock engine and transmission covers. At the rear of the bike the swingarm pivots from behind the rear cylinder, arching over the transmission, and carrying a linkage system operated single shock, a design similar to that found in many modern sports bikes."
Larry Houghton, of Lamb Engineering, took second place with a bike he named "Son of a Gun." Based around a 1951 BSA single cylinder engine and Talon motocross wheels that he found on eBay, Houghton built the remainder of the custom bike predominantly from materials he found in scrap bins of friends working in the engineering industry. That said, his conviction to use recycled materials lent to a custom build costing less than nine thousand dollars.
Sticking to his motto, that a bike should have "everything it needs, and nothing it doesn't," Satya Cross built the third place bike. His custom cycle sported a "93ci S&S Shovelhead motor in a one-off frame carrying mono-shocked swingarm, telescopic forks and 17 inch Alpina spoked wheels shod with Metzeler sport bike tires."
Not only did Ken Tabata and the winners of each division earn instant notoriety, they also walked away with a K&N Intake System. Referring to K&N products, Najar said, "The very first performance upgrade on a motorcycle is a performance exhaust pipe and a high-flow K&N air filter. It provides the greatest bang for your buck. K&N's products not only look good, they are reusable; they perform."
"Without sponsors like K&N, we would not have an AMD World Championship," Najar continued. "K&N is integral to the health and well-being of the custom bike show." Referring to their sponsors, he explained, "Without the enthusiastic support, we would not have a championship. The closer we work together, the greater their investment will pay off."
In closing he said, "We would like to thank the participants for their hard work, interest and enthusiasm. Their work is truly outstanding, and we are blessed to be working with world-class engineers, artists and visionaries."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.