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Japanese lead custom bike culture

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It seems the Japanese are leading the world in the custom bike culture after taking out the AMD World Champion of Custom Bike Building competition for the third successive year.

Japanese customiser Suicide Customs won the 12th AMD World Championship at the INTERMOT Customised show in Cologne with its 1000cc V-twin “Rumble Racer”.

They competed against 82 bikes from 67 competitors in 23 countries. Australia was not represented.

What is it about the Japanese custom builders that seems to capture the essence of worldwide custom trends while the Japanese manufacturers – Yamaha aside – seem to get it so horribly wrong.

An example of stuffing up a nice retro bike is Honda’s latest incarnation of the CB1100 which had an “unusual” mix of retro and modern and an awful fuel tank. They’ve modified it and made the tank even worse.

Custom winners

Winners of the AMD World Champion of Custom Bike Building competition are selected by the competitors themselves.

Second place and first reserve champion went to Michael Naumann of Germany for his Ironhead Sportster-engined “Simple Iron”.

2nd-freestyle-naumann-co-simple-iron Japanese lead custom bike culture
Simple Iron

Third place, and second reserve champion went to 2014 World Champion Fred “Krugger” Bertrand of Krugger Motorcycles in Belgium for his S&S Cycle 103” engined “LADD”.

3rd-freestyle-krugger-motorcycles-ladd Japanese lead custom bike culture

Altogether 42 bikes competed in the Freestyle class, with 14 different countries featuring in the Top 20. TEAM USA’s Larry Moore of Witchita, Kansas, took fourth overall for his “Kontrolled Kaos”, with North Coast Custom taking fifth for “Alcatraz 521”. 

The popular Modified Harley-Davidson World Championship was won by German-Motorcycle-Authority (Christoph Madaus) with his 1340cc (S&S heads) “Milwaukee Mile”. 

winner modified harley german motorcycle authority milwaukee mile
Milwaukee Mile

In an extremely high quality field, this year’s Retro Modified class was taken by PDF Motociclette of Italy with “Big Kahuna”, a 1000cc engined 1927 JD 8-valve.

winner retro modified pdf motociclette big kahuna
Big Kahuna

Flying the flag for Eastern Europe, the Cafe Racer class was won by Kharkov, Ukraine based Iron Custom Motorcycles (ICM) with “Beckman”, featuring a hand-made 56bhp, 555сс 3-cylinder 2-stroke engine. 

winner cafe racer iron custom motorcycles beckman

In another success for the small but fast-growing and innovative Irish custom scene, 2013 World Champions Mick O’Shea and Don Cronin (Medaza Cycles) took the demanding Street Performance class with “Road Fever”, a 1978 Ducati 750.

winner street performance medaza cycles Road Fever
Road Fever

Which is your favourite custom bike?