S&S Cycles presents Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders

By Gary Pinchin -

Parts & accessories

 01 October 2009 17:29

S&S Cycles is one of the world’s leading aftermarket v-twin engine suppliers to the custom bike market and they came up with a brilliant and unique concept to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in June 2008.

They invited 50 of the world’s top custom bike builders all to build bikes using engines from the S&S range and then ran a competition to pick the best.

The trick was to host the judging at one of the best custom biking celebrity parties you can imagine at the home of S&S Cycles in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Then S&S came up with an equally brilliant concept for a perpetual reminder of that great celebration.

They collated the most stunningly detailed studio images of all those bikes and assembled them into the custom bike coffee-table book of all custom bike coffee-table books. It really is that good!

Now available in the UK, S&S Cycles presents Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders features 224 pages crammed with the most impressive array of custom motorcycles you’ll ever likely see in one collection – and, like the S&S Cycles competition itself – it’s divided up into six different sections determined by engine type.

The really cool thing that this book shows about custom building is the incredible range of styles and interpretations.

Okay, not all of them might be to individual taste, but the engineering work, not to mention ingenuity that’s gone into creating such masterpieces is just mind-boggling.

The S&S 50th competition attracted builders from all over the world including two top Brit-based legends: Nick Gale, who built the café-racer styled ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ for Ace Café owner Mark Wilsmore, and Paul Beamish of Krazy Horse Customs, who turns out some awesome choppers, but also tipped a nod to the old British café style to build Krazey Racer for the S&S 50th.

All the images in the book are the work of one man: Michael Lichter. If you know your custom bikes, and you know your custom bike literature, then you’ll know Lichter is the photographer.

No one does custom bike studio art like he does. Crisp, clean, incredibly-detailed images of the bikes, and beautifully composed portraits of the gnarly dudes who created them.

And to pen the bike notes, S&S got one of top custom bike writers in the business, Howard Kelly.

Not only has Kelly worked on some of the top chopper magazines in the States, he was formerly communication manager for S&S Cycles so he really has an inside line on the custom business.

Put simply, the quality of pictures, words and production of this book befits the subject matter in every way.  Pure class.

S&S Cycles presents Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders is written by Howard Kelly with photography by Michael Lichter.

Published by Motorbooks, it is available in the UK direct from the UK distributor Grantham Book Services on 01476-541080, priced £24.00 plus P&P. ISBN: 978-0-7603-3603-8