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CUSTOMBIKE-SHOW 2018 – The new champions are from England and Japan

05 Dec 2018
Craziest Bike: Graham Leek (GB)

CUSTOMBIKE-SHOW 2018 – The new champions are from England and Japan

On the first weekend of December, more than 33000 enthusiasts of individual motorcycles came to Bad Salzuflen for the CUSTOMBIKE- SHOW. With its four exhibition halls, 28000 square meters of show room, 300 exhibitors and roundabout 1000 radically converted machines from all around the world, the event remains the biggest global specialized fair for motorcycle customizing. As such, it is the authority for contemporary modification trends.

One of the event‘s main attractions is the European Biker Build-Off, where two custombikes are being assembled on a huge stage in front of the audience. This year, the Dutch team from South-East Motorcycles and England‘s Rocket Bobs Cycle Works had a fierce duel during the three days of exhibition. While the Dutchmen screwed together an elegant Cruiser on the basis of a brand new Harley-David- son Fat Boy with Milwaukee-Eight-V2, the Britsh decided on a truly blatant hooligan-monster: a selfmade frame in Softail-style with a heavily tuned 2-Liter-TP-V2. The radical approach impressed the audience, which voted for the British with a distinct majority. The Ro- cket Bobs Cycle Works crew, although exhasted, embraced each other jubilantly at the announcement of the winner on the main stage.

No less exciting was the final of the International Custombike Championship Germany (ICCG), where a professional jury chose the best bikes in 17 categories and the so called “Best of Show“, the ultimate top-bike, from the hundreds of converted motorcycles on display. That was no easy job, since there were a lot of beautiful motorbikes to discuss for each category. In the case of the overall winner, however, an agreement was soon found: Japanese Koh Sakaguchi‘s spartan-chaste rigid frame bike could not be overlooked. The fully chromed self-construction is equipped with a V2-Engine on Harley-Sportster basis and self-developed cylinder heads. The new champi- on was celebrated by the crowd with boisterous applause, while his wife had tears of joy leaking down her cheeks.

Winner in 2018:
Craziest Bike: Graham Leek (GB)/completely self-built
Rookie of the Year: Philip Huscher (D)/Harley-Davidson Shovelhead
Best Paint Job: German Kunkel (D)/Harley-Davidson Road King
Best Engineering: Michael Fuchs (D)/completely self-built with diagonally installed Suzuki-SV-650-V2 and BMW-Kardan Best Sportsbike: Helmut Hafenscher (AT)/completely self-built with Suzuki-GSX-1400-Engine
Best Cafe Racer: Matthias Granacher, Black Ace Customs (D)/Harley-Davidson V-Rod with self-built frame
Best Power-Cruiser: Matthias Lotter, X-Trem Bikes (D)/Harley-Davidson V-Rod
Best Chopper: Kamil Bartoš, K&K Motorcycles (CZ)/Harley-Davidson Ironhead with Paughco rigid frame
Best Bobber: Helmut Hafenscher (AT)/Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide Panhead with Wishbone-frame
Best Old School: Rüdiger Koch, Custom Garage Hamburg (D)/Harley-Davidson Evo-Softail with Twin-Cam-V2 in Panheadstyle Best Roadster: Darius Krasauskas, Vilnius Moto House (LTU)/BMW K 100 in Bratstyle
Best Radical: Pete Pearson, Rocket Bobs (GB)/completely self-built with 124er TP-V2
Best Fighter: Andreas Wenhold, Rocket Sprocket Customs (CH)/Honda CBR 900 Fireblade with rough-frame
Editors Choice »DREAM-MACHINES«: Raffaele Gallo, Officine Uragani (I)/1200er Tubeframe-Buell with selfmade bodywork Editors Choice »BIKERS NEWS«: Towje Gastinger (D)/Harley-Davidson Duo Glide Panhead
Editors Choice »CUSTOMBIKE«: Yuri Shif, Shif Custom (BLR)/ completely self-built with 750er Moto-Guzzi-V2
Editors Choice »ROADSTER«: Frank Weber (D)/Honda CB 900 F Bol d’Or with Ducati single side swing arm
Best of Show: Koh Sakaguchi, Suicide Customs (JPN)/selfmade rigid frame with V2 on Sportster basis

Alongside the competitions, a tightly loaded program with different shows made it impossible to be bored. New models by Kawasa- ki and Triumph had their Germany premiere, as well as BWM‘s Custom-Boxer and Walzwerk‘s Indian-Bobber. The world premiere of Metzeler‘s new Cruisetec tyre was only the tip of the iceberg of three days worth of action.
A crowd favorite are the daredevil rides in the steep face by Henny Kroeze and his daughter, which delighted the audience, like every year. Delighted is also how the first prize winners of the visitors‘ contest must have felt, because they can start the new season with a brand new Kawasaki Z 900 RS and a Harley-Davidson Sportster respectively.

The exclusively arranged special exhibition, “Hall of Fame“, had its own exhibition hall and was the octane-soaked cherry on top of this year‘s exposition. 24 unique machines that have been awarded prizes in different categories in the past 14 years of CUSTOMBIKE-SHOW presented the whole spectrum of motorcycle customizing on the highest level. With the dry BMW-Behördenkrad, which has been made into a wiry Cafe Racer, minimalistic Choppers and charged Streetfighters up to the spectacular Monster-Cruiser with a nine cylinder airplane‘s radial engine, every style imaginable was represented. Bright eyed fathers could be seen, explaining the exposed technology of he machines to their children and some visitors could hardly drag themselves away from the exhibits they seemed to have taken to their hearts.

One may already look forward to next year‘s CUSTOMBIKE-SHOW, when it‘s the 15-year anniversary. It‘s best to save the date already: December 6-8 2019, Messezentrum Bad Salzuflen.

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