Though it's sponsored by American Motorcycle Dealer magazine and the finals are held in Sturgis, South Dakota, the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building is legitimately a global contest. Past winners came from Canada, Japan and Sweden. Last year 83 custom bike builders entered, and after all had cast their ballots (the contest is peer-judged), for the first time ever an American builder was crowned world champion.
1st: Cook Customs
Dave Cook might hail from Milwaukee, but there's not a single Motor Company component on his Rambler. The motor is a mid-'70s Honda CB550 inline-four mounted crossways in a hand-built, rigid frame. The transmission is from a BMW R25, mated to the shaft-drive assembly from a Yamaha Virago. Virtually everything else has been fabricated by Cook, including the hubs and perimeter brake rotors, and the bike is finished with plenty of nickel and brass plating and even laminated hardwood on the controls.
2nd: Kris Krome Customs
The Re-Flex-Tion, created by Kris Krome of Freeland, Michigan, looks as much like a bicycle as a motorcycle. The minimalist, thin-gauge tubular frame and narrow, 23-inch wheels scream pushbike-not to mention the bicycle saddle-but there's no mistaking the air-cooled Triumph T120 twin held within. And yes, Re-Flex-Tion really does turn. Pivots where the downtube meets the engine cradle and at the base of the seat post allow the top half of the frame to arc from side to side over the top of the motor.
3rd: Krugger Speedshop
Belgium's Freddie Krugger was the only European builder to break into the top three this year-and ironically, his was the only prize winner to use American power! Called Overmile, Krugger's oversized homage to American flat-track racing uses a 103-cubic-inch S&S V-twin. Spoked wheels (21-inch front, 20-inch rear) lend old-school dirt-track appeal, and Krugger gets bonus points for fitting those trick Beringer inboard supermoto brakes.