For the second year in a row, the best bikes at the Custom Bike Building World Championship migrated away from traditional chopper styles and toward unconventional designs splitting the difference between high-tech wonderbikes and sophisticated retro throwbacks. Freestyle-category overall winner Freddie Krugger represented the former with a shape-shifting V-Rod that morphs from cruiser to sportbike at the push of a button. The two other examples highlighted here-Yuri Shif's twin-engined BMW and Chris Flechtner's BSA-powered Beezerker-deftly blended cutting-edge custom techniques with unmistakable vintage style.
Krugger Speedshop/Veon Motorcycles
Perennial front-runner Freddie Krugger, who placed third in '04, '05 and '09, finally earned the overall victory with this radical Harley-Davidson V-Rod designed by Peer Tofner of Veon Motorcycles. This innovative machine features an electronically manipulated chassis that transforms from a low-slung, raked-out cruiser to a sport-oriented streetfighter at the flick of a switch. Dual foot controls (mid-mounts and forward) facilitate both types of riding.
Yuri Shif Customs
Hailing from Belarus, custom bike-builder Yuri Shif looked back to the mighty German-made Auto Union racecars of the '30s as inspiration for his titanic, twin-engined dragster. Two vintage BMW Boxer-twins were joined at the crank, with the rear cylinder heads reversed so a single supercharger could force-feed all four cylinders. Shif's steampunk streamliner was a double winner at this year's event, placing first in the metric division and third in the freestyle category.
Speed Shop Designs
Chris Fletcher's Beezerker is impossible to pigeonhole, merging iconic art deco and classic café styling cues with custom chopper-building techniques to create an utterly original custom. The powerplant is a '65 BSA 650 parallel-twin mounted in a custom hardtail frame and covered with hand-formed, unpainted aluminum bodywork. The closer you look, the more intriguing the Beezerker becomes, with effortless details such as its TT-style exhaust pipes that merge into the frame downtubes and a stationary head-lamp housed within the handmade girder fork.