Results From 2011 World Championship of Custom Bike Building

Many internationally known custom builders headed to Sturgis to compete in the 2011 World Championship of Custom Bike Building but it was a relatively unknown customizer that took the top honors.

Freestyle top 3 in studio
Top 3 in the Freestyle class: Satya Kraus of Kraus Motor Co (left) (3rd place), newly-crowned World Champion Ken Tabata of Tavax Engineering (center) and Larry Houghton of Lamb Engineering (2nd place).

After working on his bike for 3-1/2 years Ken Tabata, of Tavax Engineering, Yao City, Osaka, Japan, appeared in Sturgis and now he is preparing to leave as the 2011 World Champion of Custom Bike Building. He describes his winning bike, TAVAX2011V, as being designed to look like a Cheetah about to pounce, all dynamic movement and power.

TAVAX2011V effortlessly combines sculpted aluminum bodywork with one-off hand-made pieces that form the suspension and replace the stock engine and transmission covers. At the rear of the bike the swingarm pivots from behind the rear cylinder, arcing over the transmission, and carrying a linkage system operated single shock, a design similar to that found on many modern sports bikes.

At the front of the machine the suspension begins at the axle as a leading link fork, which then changes via a pair of links to finish as a Springer fork.

To demonstrate the performance potential of his bike Ken has forgone tall and wide wheels, favoring instead a pair of Marchesini 17in sport bike rims carrying floating rotors and Lockheed brake calipers.

Taking a less complex styling route, Larry Houghton, of Lamb Engineering, secured second place with Son of a Gun. Based around and eBay find 1951 BSA single cylinder engine and Talon motocross wheels, Larry built the rest of the bike himself often collecting material from the scrap bins of friends in the engineering trade. His careful recycling of material meant that he was able to build a World Class custom motorcycle for less than $9,000, including the gold candy of silver metalflake paint.

When it comes to building bikes Satya Kraus’ motto is always for the bike to have everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. It’s an ideal he has ably demonstrated on Bolide, the bike with which he placed third in the World Championship of Custom Bike Building.

He achieved his aim by putting a 93ci S&S Shovelhead motor in a one-off frame carrying a mono-shocked swingarm, telescopic forks and 17in Alpina spoked wheels shod with Metzeler sport bike tires.

Sport bike influences are also readily evident in the styling of the winning bike in the Performance Custom class. Jim Giuffra and the girls of AFT Customs rebuilt a 1970 Honda CB750 as café racer inspired custom complete with RaceTech suspension, Beringer brakes and numerous one-off pieces. The influence that café racers are having on the current custom scene can also be seen in the design of the top placed Production Manufacturer class bike. Best known for its line of Chops and Bobbers, Darwin Motorcycles has built what it describes as an American muscle bike. Powered by a 132ci S&S X-Wedge V-twin, the RLX carries a full range of top spec components including Öhlins suspension, Beringer brakes and BST carbon fiber wheels.

A first in 2011 for the World Championship was the entry of a sidecar outfit and it was this outfit, Abnormal Cycles’ Union, that took the honors in the Modified Harley class. The Model ‘U’ powered outfit features a stock frame fitted with a custom sidecar body and a leaf spring Indian style front end, which includes a pair of handlebars created to also look like a leaf spring.


Click here to view the full results of the 2011 World Championship.

Click here to download high resolution versions of the images accompanying this press release [127MB]

Photography credit: Studio bike shots by Onno Wieringa and Frank Sander; Stage photography by Onno Wieringa.

Freestyle 1st place, World Champion, Tavax Engineering (Japan)

Freestyle 2nd place, Lamb Engineering (UK)

Freestyle 3rd place, Kraus Motor Co (USA)

Freestyle 4th place, V-Twin Mechanic (France)

Freestyle 5th place, RK Concepts (USA)

Freestyle 6th place, Garage65 (Italy)

Freestyle 7th place, SE Service (Sweden)

Freestyle 8th place, Moscow Harley-Davidson / Fitil Metal Works (Russia)

Freestyle 9th place, John Reed (USA)

Freestyle 10th place, Roquechop Design (Canada)

Modified Harley-Davidson 1st place, AbnormalCycles (Italy)

Modified Harley-Davidson 2nd place, Iacona Custom Cycles (USA)

Modified Harley-Davidson 3rd place, Shaw Harley-Davidson (UK)

Production Manufacturer 1st place, Darwin Motorcycles (USA)

Production Manufacturer 2nd place, Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Co (USA)

Production Manufacturer 3rd place, Zero Engineering (USA)

Performance Custom 1st place, AFT Customs (USA)

Performance Custom 2nd place, Fuller Hot Rods (USA)

Performance Custom 3rd place, RK Concepts (USA)

World Championship Freestyle Class Results
Business Name Bike Name City Country Builder Name
1st Tavax Engineering Tavax 2011V Yao City, Osaka Japan Ken Tabata
2nd Lamb Engineering Son of a Gun Salisbury, Wiltshire United Kingdom Larry Houghton
3rd Kraus Motor Co Bolide Cazadero, CA USA Satya Kraus
4th V-Twin Mechanic SpaceSter La Fontaine, Pavie France Bernard “Buck” Massart
5th RK Concepts RK S Round Rock, TX USA Rafik Kaissi
6th Garage65 Stargate Viareggio Italy Marco Cinquini
7th SE Service Slugger Skogas Sweden Stellan Egeland
8th Fitil Metal Works / Moscow H-D Skywalker’s Caddy Moscow Russian Federation Alexander Fetisov
9th John Reed Gold Yamaha Morgan Hill, CA USA John Reed
10th Roquechop Design Minautore Brownsburg-Chatham, Quebec Canada Philip Roquebrune


Modified Harley-Davidson Championship sponsored by Harley-Davidson – Results
Business Name Bike Name City Country Builder Name
1st AbnormalCycles Union Bernareggio Italy Samuele Reali
2nd Iacona Custom Cycles Challenger Brooklyn, NY USA Steven Iacona
3rd Shaw Harley-Davidson Nascafe Racer Holmes Hill nr Lewes, East Sussex United Kingdom Shaw Speed & Custom


Production Manufacturer Championship Results
Business Name Bike Name City Country Builder Name
1st Darwin Motorcycles RLX Oklahoma City, OK USA Dar, Tim, Bryan, Justin
2nd Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Co Kiwi Chieftain 1950’s Riverside, CA USA Mike Kiwi Tomas
3rd Zero Engineering Type 6 Las Vegas, NV USA Zero Engineering


Performance Custom Championship Results
Business Name Bike Name City Country Builder Name
1st AFT Customs Sentoh Jackson, CA USA Jim Giuffra / AFT Customs Girls
2nd Fuller Hot Rods Rodan Atlanta, GA USA Bryan Fuller and crew
3rd RK Concepts RK Spring Frame Round Rock, TX USA Rafik Kaissi

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