Best Paint Job: German Kunkel (D)/Harley-Davidson Road King Photo: Carsten Heil

CUSTOMBIKE SHOW 2018 – The new champions come from England and Japan

On the first weekend in December, more than 33,000 friends of individual motorcycles to the CUSTOMBIKE SHOW in Bad Salzuflen. With four exhibition halls, 28,000 square meters of exhibition space, 300 exhibitors and a good 1,000 radically converted machines from all over the world, the event remains the world's largest trade fair for motorcycle customizing and pulse monitors for conversion trends.

custombike show 2019

One of the main attractions of the event is the European Biker Build-Off, where two custom bikes are built on a large show stage in front of the audience: this year the teams from South-East Motorcycles from the Netherlands and Rocket Bobs Cycle Works competed England an exciting screwdriver duel during the three days of the trade fair.

While the Dutch put together an elegant cruiser based on a brand new Harley-Davidson Fat Boy with a Milwaukee Eight V2, the British decided on a truly blatant hooligan monster: a self-built frame in Softail style with a heavily tuned 2- Liter TP-V2.

The radical approach stood out because the audience decided by a clear majority in favor of the British power mallet, whose builder was exhausted but overjoyed in his arms when the audience vote was announced on the main stage.

The finale of the International Custombike Championship Germany (ICCG) was no less exciting, where an expert jury selected the best in 17 categories from the hundreds of motorcycle conversions on display, as well as the absolute top bike with the “Best of Show”. Not an easy task, because with the large number of beautiful motorcycles there was heated debate about which motorcycle was the best in its class.

In the case of the overall winner, however, everyone quickly agreed: there was no way around the spartan, simple rigid frame bike from Koh Sakaguchi from Japan. The fully chrome-plated home-made vehicle is equipped with a V2 engine based on a Harley Sportster and self-developed cylinder heads. While tears of joy streamed down his wife's face, the new champion was duly celebrated with frenetic applause from the audience.

1 Custom Bike Show 2018 4752101

Craziest Bike: Graham Leek (GB)/Completely self-built with transversely mounted V2 Photo: Carsten Heil

The winners 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 transversely installed Suzuki SV-650-V2 and BMW cardan

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-made frame

2 Custombike Show 2018 4753703

Best Paint Job: German Kunkel (D)/Harley-Davidson Road King Photo: Carsten Heil Best Power Cruiser: Matthias Lotter, X-Trem Bikes (D)
Harley-Davidson V-Rod

Best Chopper: Kamil Bartoš, K&K Motorcycles (CZ)
Harley-Davidson Ironhead in the Paughco rigid frame

Best Bobber: Helmut Hafenscher (AT)
Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide Panhead in a wishbone frame

Best Old School: Rüdiger Koch, Custom Garage Hamburg (D)
Harley-Davidson Evo Softail with Twin Cam V2 in Panhead style

Best Roadster: Darius Krasauskas, Vilnius Moto House (LTU)
BMW K 100 in Bratstyle

Best Radical: Pete Pearson, Rocket Bobs (GB)
Completely self-built with 124 TP-V2

Best Fighter: Andreas Wenhold, Rocket Sprocket Customs (CH)
Honda CBR 900 Fireblade in a rough frame

Editors Choice »DREAM MACHINES«: Raffaele Gallo, Officine Uragani (I)
1200 tubular frame Buell with self-made 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 750 Moto Guzzi V2

Editors Choice »ROADSTER«: Frank Weber (D)
Honda CB 900 F Bol d'Or with Ducati single-sided swingarm

Best of Show: Koh Sakaguchi, Suicide Customs (JPN)
self-built rigid frame with V2 based on Sportster

In addition to the competitions, a packed show and action program ensured that the time flew by. The German premiere of new models from Kawasaki and Triumph, BWM's Custom Boxer, Walzwerk's Indian Bobber and the world premiere of Metzeler's new Cruisetec tires were just the tip of the iceberg. The daring devil rides on the steep face, with which Henny Kroeze and his daughter thrilled the audience again this year, are always outstanding. The main winners of the visitor competition were certainly also thrilled, as they can start the new season with a Kawasaki Z 900 RS or a Harley-Davidson Sportster - both brand new, of course.

The exclusively arranged “Hall of Fame” special exhibition in its own exhibition hall was ultimately the octane-filled icing on the cake of this year’s trade fair. 24 unique machines, which have been awarded in various categories at the CUSTOMBIKE SHOW over the past 14 years, demonstrated the entire range of motorcycle customizing at the highest level. From the boring BMW official bike that was redesigned into a sinewy cafe racer, to minimalist choppers and supercharged street fighters, to the spectacular monster cruiser with a nine-cylinder radial aircraft engine, practically every style imaginable was represented with exclusive, unique pieces. Here you could see fathers explaining the machines' revealed technology to their sons with shining eyes, and many a visitor who found it difficult to tear himself away from an exhibit that seemed to hit him right in the heart.

So you can already look forward to next year, when the CUSTOMBIKE SHOW celebrates its 15th anniversary. It's best to block the date in your calendar: December 6th to 8th, 2019, Bad Salzuflen Exhibition Center.

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