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King of Builders and Class Champs Named at Chicago International Motorcycle Show

Motorcycle Missions Veterans team won the King of the Builders prize of the J&P builders competi

The impressive folks at Motorcycle Missions Veterans won the big prize in the 2018 IMS

The championship round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show took place in February at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois. The penultimate stop of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) awarded over $70,000 in cash and prizes to some of the most innovative custom bike builders in the world.

K&N is a major sponsor of several of the biggest classes in the world’s largest and most prestigious custom motorcycle competition at each stop of the IMS. All of the finalists in the national championship round participated and won 1st or 2nd place at a stop on the IMS tour including Long Beach, New York, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Dallas, and Chicago. The overall winners were judged on creativity, craftsmanship, and building ability by a panel of journalists and builders.

2018 has proven to be one of the most hotly-contested and exciting Ultimate Builder competitions in the show’s history. Each stop brought out more innovative custom builds. That fact was not lost on the event organizers, competitors, and spectators alike.

“The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is one of the most competitive events in the custom motorcycle building industry,” said Jeff Najar, manager of the J&P show. “Every year we are amazed at the craftsmanship, time and hard work that goes into the entries in each city.”

Harley-Davidson® 1974 Shovelhead won the J&P King of the Builders

This Harley-Davidson® 1974 Shovelhead won the J&P King of the Builders

King of the Builders Champion

It is a true pleasure to announce that the big prize in the the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show was awarded to an awesome bike with an equally awesome back story. The Motorcycle Missions Veterans build is truly a Harley with a purpose.

In short, Motorcycle Missions Veterans is a non-profit corporation helping veterans and first responders who deal with PTSD and those at risk for suicide. The organization, which was founded by a pediatric and surgical nurse named Krystal Hess, espouses the noble goal of offering hope and healing through motorcycles.

The custom is built around a Harley-Davidson® 1974 Shovelhead V-twin. The build features cool shortie down-turned exhaust pipes that exit just ahead of the pegs and foot controls (watch the rubber sole on your boots).

The frame and bodywork are board-track racing inspired. The bike was created by eight veterans of Motorcycle Missions who did a fantastic job of fabricating a frame that subtly cradles the big V-twin engine. From the girder forks to the under-the-backbone fuel tank to the hard-tail rear end, the bike is as retro-cool as can be.

1990 FXRS custom that won the overall Modified Harley Class

A 1990 FXRS custom won the Modified Harley Class championship

Modified Harley Champion

The K&N-sponsored Mod Harley Class has been a highlight of the J&P competition in all of the stops of the show. The overall victor in the highly-competitive class was won by a 1990 FXRS Harley-Davidson® named "Bad Mutha."

Jesse Srpan of Raw Iron Choppers was the creative force behind the build that features a unique long frame paired with a custom short swingarm section. The combination makes for a unique stance for Bad Mutha. The hand controls and wheels were built by Performance Machine.

While Mickey Mouse makes an appearance on the custom painted tank, the bike’s performance is anything but mousy. The performance-modified V-twin runs through a Baker transmission. The short, straight-pipe exhaust is certain to announce the bike's presence.

1965 Custom BSA won the big prize in the Mod Retro Class of the IMS

Darrel Johnson’s 1965 Custom BSA won the big prize in the Mod Retro Class

Modified Retro Champion

There has been an excited diversity in the bikes competing in the J&P show. The K&N-sponsored Mod Retro overall prize was claimed in Chicago by a very special BSA-powered custom bobber.

Darrel Johnson’s 1965 Custom BSA was built by Gasbox and features the classic British parallel twin power-plant beautifully. The 650cc engine is polished to perfection and breathes through dual carbs and rumbles through slash-cut dual exhausts.

The frame is a stretched custom hard-tail that gives the old country bobber a long, low stance. The bike is finished off with a perfectly applied two tone blue paint job. That coating is, at the same time, subtle and eye-catching.

There is still one stop left in the 2018 Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Washington D. C.

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