There’s nothing better in the world of custom bike-making than coming up with your own frame. Sure, you could choose the easy way and start modifying existing motorcycles, but that doesn’t say that much about your skills as a custom builder.
We know of a huge number of shops in the U.S. making their own custom frames, that in turn end up becoming the base for incredible two-wheelers. But there are garages outside the States that do the same thing.
One of them – and a very lucrative one – is Germany-based Thunderbike. We talked about their work extensively over the past few months as part of our various special coverages, but given the large number of builds they make, there seems to be no end in sight.
Until recently, we covered at length Thunderbike’s skills when it comes to modified Harleys, but from this week on we decided to have a closer look at their custom frames, and we’ve already said a word or two about some other of their creations for this segment. And now it’s time for another.
In the gallery above sits a motorcycle the garage completed all the way back in 2007. It is called the Red Scorpion, and it is one of the finest examples of how you can pair your own custom frame with custom parts and available Harley-Davidson hardware.
The bike is part of the garage’s Freestyle collection of bikes, and it is built around one of the 15 or so frames available in its inventory.
Riding low thanks to the use of an air suspension, and with an appearance of having a broken back, the Red Scorpion is animated by a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 103ci engine. The powerplant draws its fuel through a Mikuni HSR 42 injection system, and is controlled through a Harley 5-speed transmission.
The motorcycle rides on equally-sized 18-inch wheels front and back, chromed of course, and offset by the red paint spread on the rest of the body by Thunderbike’s favorite partner in this area, Kruse Design.
We are not being told how much the bike cost to be put together, but to give you an idea, just the Thunderbike frames now available are somewhere in the 11,000 euros (around $12,500) ballpark.
Cole Rogers from Cycle Fabrications in Lebanon, Ohio
By Bandit and Michael Lichter with photos by Michael Lichter
This is a kick-off piece. For years I attended every show in the country and met all the old and new builders. As my travel budget decreased and my desire to work in the shop and go to Bonneville increased, I missed out on some of the shows and the chance to meet new builders.
With the help of Michael Lichter, we are going to introduce Bikernet Readers to new, young, less well-known builders. The first one is Cole Rogers, from Lebanon, Ohio, who is 46 and has been building bikes since he was 15, when his brother scored a 1972 BSA A-70L for $300, 750 Lightening. There were only 201 built.
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Progressive International Motorcycle show wrapped up its three-day run Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
The event showcased the latest in street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters and ATVs.
One of the most powerful doesn’t use gasoline, it uses electricity. The first electric Harley Davidson can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.
“You can charge it overnight using a 110 outlet or DC level fast charger,” Jocelyn with Harley Davidson said. “Zero to 80% charged in about 45 minutes.”
The motorcycle show is all about a smooth ride and speed.
“Drive the ride” was showing beginners how to ride.
It’s an electric-powered assisted bike ride that lets first-time riders get the feel for a motorcycle.
The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS) Crowns Jordan Dickinson the U.S. Champion of the 2019/2020 Tour J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show
The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS), an industry leader on connecting powersports brands with highly qualified enthusiasts and buyers, today announced the winners of the 2019/2020 J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show (UBCBS) Championship, with Jordan Dickinson of Union Speed and Style taking home the U.S. Champion title for his 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. Hundreds of custom builders competed across this year’s tour for the chance to compete in the championship round that took place at IMS Chicago on Sunday, February 9.
The winners across each category from all eight cities along the 2019/2020 tour — Long Beach, New York, Dallas, Washington D.C., Denver, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Chicago — were entered into the Championship round where winners were then selected by a panel of industry experts and awarded tens of thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise. Evan Favaro of Speakeasy Motors won the Custom Classic category, Chuck Conrick of DA Performance won best for Custom Street, and Jordan Dickinson won for Freestyle.
Celebrating its tenth consecutive year shining a spotlight on the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind custom motorcycles across the nation, UBCBS is the largest and one of the most sought-after touring custom bike competitions in the nation. The elite-level custom motorcycle builder competition features hundreds of intricately built custom motorcycles across the eight-city IMS tour. The UBCBS is sponsored by J&P Cycles, the world’s largest aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories store. The competition has supported IMS’ commitment to fostering garage builders while continuing to entertain, educate, and thrill all two-wheel enthusiasts since 2012.
“I am honored to be named the U.S. Champion by the builder community,” said Jordan Dickinson, U.S. Champion of the 2019/2020 UBCBS. “I hope to inspire others to get out there and start building themselves.”
Builders that competed in the 2019/2020 UBCBS came from diverse backgrounds and skill levels. Over the last nine years, the UBCBS has showcased over 3,000 custom builds from an array of up-and-coming and seasoned veteran builders. Builders have been a part of a team of friends, family, or have built custom bikes by themselves.
“The sheer talent displayed throughout the entire competition has been extremely impressive. From the creative and eye-catching builds to the most ingenious uses of unconventional parts, this year’s 2019/2020 competition builders should be proud of their work,” said Bob Kay, director of UBCBS. “I am proud to recognize Jordan Dickinson as this year’s U.S. Champion for his 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead that clearly demonstrates the combined technical and aesthetic craftsmanship of custom building that excited and inspired the judges.”
The winners of the championship round of the 2019/2020 UBCBS are as follows:
Winner: New York-based Evan Favaro of Speakeasy Motors with painter Taylored Auto Body won first place with a 1991 BMW R100RT. The cafe racer custom motorcycle features a stainless-steel exhaust through a handmade custom tail section, a stripped frame, CAN-BUS wiring, Bluetooth proximity key ignition, a seat by Fish Bros., and more.
Runner-up: Chicago-based Jake Shellito with painter Dan White was selected as runner-up with a 1974 Yamaha RD350. The motorcycle features a handmade oil tank and tail section, a Yamaha R5 fuel tank, handmade signals and brake lights, hand fabricated foot controls, a shaped and upholstered seat, the engine side covers were machined and powder coated, and more.
Winner: Chicago-based Chuck Conrick of DA Performance with painter NSD Paintwerks won first place with a 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide FLHXS. The custom motorcycle features a custom stainless-steel frame, aluminum swing arm, a 124-inch M8 engine generating 148 horsepower, Hyabusa front end, carbon fiber wheels, and Beringer radial brakes.
Runner-up: Denver-based Garett Wilson of DubStyle Designs with painter Dan White was selected as runner-up with a 2000 KTM Duke II. The motorcycle features a CB400 tank narrowed in the front with clearance underneath to make room for electronics, a Goon fiberglass flat track tail section shortened and cut for integrated LED tail signals, 19-inch Sun rims, Buchanan spokes, KTM hubs, and much more.
Winner: Selected as the U.S. Champion, Minneapolis-based Jordan Dickinson of Union Speed and Style with painter Relic Kustoms won first place with a 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. The custom motorcycle was handmade entirely from raw materials and featured a complete one-off frame, and the gas tank, fender, oil tank, and fender struts were hammered from sheet steel.
Runner-up: Denver-based Ryan Gore of Paper Street Customs with painter Scott Takes Underground Art Studios was selected as runner-up with a 1978 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead. The custom motorcycle features a one-off handmade tank, stainless sissy bar, stained glass battery box and intake, suede seat by Curt Green at Bare Bones Leather, a hardtail frame, a complete motor and transmission build, and more.
The UBCBS competition is open to all levels of builders and fabricators. Those interested in competing in next year’s 2020/2021 UBCBS competition can register online at motorcycleshows.com/ubcbs or on-site for one or all eight shows for the upcoming season.