The AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building has been running since 2004 and brings together the very best custom bikes on the planet to crown one ultimate winner.
And don’t think this is a competition all about Harleys, the AMD has five classes – freestyle, modified Harley, retro modified with a pre-1983 engine, café racer and street performance with the freestyle class the most hotly contested category.
The rules are simple, bikes must be able to be ridden (video evidence of this needs to be submitted) and you can only enter a bike into the competition once - other than that, anything goes.
“The AMD is an engineering competition more than a bike show, hence the reason the bikes must actually be able to be ridden. If they can’t be ridden they are just works of art and not motorcycles,” explains Neil Blaber, the AMD’s championship director.
“And all bikes are judged by the other entrants as well as some select experts from the industry who have built bikes. So everyone judging the bikes are engineers with a real understanding of what is involved in building such a machine.”
With 85 stunning bikes on display at this year’s event to choose from, Neil Blaber showed MCN around some of the more standout entries to this year’s championship.
Bike: Sansen & Gangi Jewelers
Builder: Krugger Motorcycles
Engine: S&S 103
Why it is standout: “Krugger is a two-times AMD champion and this bike is typical of his style. He is very distinct when he builds bikes and epitomizes the fusion between an old-school race style bike and modern technology.
“This is a very popular look in the Freestyle Class and Krugger is one of the best builders in the world and reining world champion. When Krugger won with his BMW Nurb’s bike it really catapulted BMW onto the custom scene.”
Builder: Lamb Engineering
Engine: 140cc Lifan motor with a turbo and nitrous
Why it is standout: “British builder Larry Houghton is one of the top guys in the world and Roadrunner is fantastic. Larry has done it as a little runaround and it is pretty much all hand built.
“It appeals as it is such a laugh, has a turbo and nitrous, and the graphics are brilliant. The whole concept is fantastic and totally out there.”
Bike: El Lunes
Builder: Racz Arpad Dorin
Engine: Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster
Why it is standout: “This is the first guy from Romania who has ever entered and to be honest I didn’t know there was much of a custom scene out there. It’s a super little bike but not like any Sportster I’ve ever seen.
“It has been done very nicely and is another super fusion bike. The builder is a young guy with loads of potential and hopefully the AMD will launch his career.”
Builder: Mikhail Antonov
Engine: 1955 M-72 Flathead
Why it is standout: “This bike shows that the entrants aren’t just eye candy, as it has actually run at Bonneville and his run test video was him on the salt flats! Although we needed him to show the bike could turn, which was tricky for him.
“Mikhail is the only licenced manufacturer in Russia and is another quality entrant who is often in the top ten. This is a great looking bike that is also very fast.”
Builder: Noel Connolly
Engine: Alltrax Controller direct drive
Why it is standout: “This the first ever custom electric bike, which is a big moment. The styling is very cool and not what you would expect from an electric bike, especially considering the styling constraints you get with a battery.
“Going electric was a very brave move and it is ground breaking as well as fantastic looking with a bit of a board racer style.”
Bike: Black Pearl
Builder: Rene van Tuil
Engine: 98cc Honda
Why it is standout: “What can I say? This genuinely runs on compressed air, although it has a small 50cc petrol motor as well. It is never going to break a speed record but it looks awesome and the builder Rene is totally mad. And Dutch, naturally, which may have had an influence on his design!
“The whole bike is crazy and the Steam Punk style is like nothing else in the show. It even has a little Thomas the Tank Engine whistle that he toots. This will always win the public’s choice, it’s great.”
Bike: KuBig Custom Flathead
Builder: Jakub Kaderabek
Engine: 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA 750
Why it is standout: “In terms of aesthetics, Jakub has knocked it out of the park. I had never heard of him before but builders from the Czech Republic are always coming out with impressive stuff. It is a lovely, lovely, bike with old-school styling and intricate details, especially around the swingarm area. This is certainly a contender for the overall winner.”
Bike: Hester Aer 1000
Builder: Michael Stockhausen & Team Hester
Engine: Yamaha YZF-R1
Why it is standout: “This is the fastest scooter in the world and did 156mph, which is bloody fast! The run test outside was a bit noisy!
“It is in the Street Performance class and I love it because it is so bonkers. If you are going to enter a scooter into a World Championship it needs to be outstanding, and this one certainly is!”
Builder: Tomas Pitlik
Engine: 1947 125cc CZ-Indian
Why it is standout: “This looks like a farm implement on an LSD trip and is rear wheel steering with the rider sitting on the back. It is totally mad and the frame is a load of industrial chain welded together.
“It is mental and so off the wall it is brilliant. It will either do well or people will hate it. The run test video is absolutely hysterical.”
Builder: Vincenzo Ciancio
Why it is standout: “I think Vincenzo finished this the night before the show but it is still incredibly high quality. I like this because of the quality of the metal work is incredible. Real fabrication skills.
“But if you look at the engine it is a combination of Ural and Harley, so it is not just very pretty, the skill involved in the engine work is equally impressive. I reckon this is another contender, it wouldn’t be the first time a three wheeler has won.”
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