Going Mental with Metal at the 2012 AMD World Championship

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  • October 31, 2012 12:00 IST
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The 2012 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building winning entry from Thunderbike, Germany is probably the best we've seen in the 9 years that the competition has taken place. Presenting 'PainTTles' versus the rest!


AMD custom bike building world championship winner - PainTTless





Freestyle - 1st

PainTTless - Andreas Bergerforth, Thunderbike (www.thunderbike.de)



Pics: Dirk ‘Pixeleye’ Behlau


Summing this bike up in sheer lack of emotion as a 1984 1000cc Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster engine in a custom frame and bodywork would be cardinal sin because in concocting the perfect marriage between engineering, art and fiction, PainTTless is enough to make Edison, da Vinci and Asimov proud in one go. Truth of the matter is that you can’t really describe this bike in words. You could try, but then you’d notice another magnificent detail and all that talk will just float away. It took 8 months for Andreas Bergerforth and his team at Thunderbike to create this absolute rolling sculpture of speechlessness that is now called ‘PainTTless’ and in doing so, the men from Hamminkeln in Germany also created a big piece of custom bike building history. Not only have they added Germany to a list of winners that has builders from five other countries who’ve won the previous 8 Championships, but they are also the first authorised Harley-Davidson dealer to have taken top honours in the Freestyle class.




AMD custom bike building world championship winner - PainTTless




After spending hours staring at PainTTless and soaking in all the grand attention to detail it just reaffirms the thought that undoubtedly everyone including the judges and fellow competitors had – there could be no other creation that was worthy enough for the World Title this year. Beyond the 998cc Ironhead Sportster engine, the Amal Monoblock carb and the WLA 750 transmission lays a sculptor’s wet dream. Every single part of the motorcycle has been crafted to perfection so much so that even whatever piping and wiring is visible could make it to the hall of fame in an art museum. The weld seams are immaculate and of course the cherry on top of that magnificient meal of metal is what gives this bike its name. There is no paint – what you see is an immaculate gloss finish in polished nickel and it couldn’t get more apt than that because when you have such high detail all the way from the streamlined gas tank to the knurled gear knob and even the smallest springs, why hide it all with a coat of paint!


9th annual AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building : Class Winners!







Other freestyle – 600

Pics: Onno Wieringa and Frank Sander


From retro to modern, twos and threes

While there was no doubt that PainTTless was the hands down winner, there was some tough competition in the Freestyle class for the best of the rest. Eventually, American up-and-comer Jeremy Cupp beat everyone else to the runner’s up spot with ‘Old Black’ – a hill climber in green and black that sends you back to a time when living free actually felt the real deal. With sparse use of dark tan leather for the seat and a miniscule mud flap at the rear, Old Black also featured a chunky steel chain around its rear tyre for that extra grip going uphill through dirt. The bike is based on a 1976 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster engine mounted in a custom-made rigid frame. Following close on Old Black’s tyre treads was the retro board track racer from Abnormal Cycles christened ‘Speed Demon’. The bike uses a 1919 74 cubic-inch Harley JD engine nestled in a VL frame from 1930.The bare bones hard tail racer turned out in a spectacular dark brown runs on ribbed Firestone rubber and features absolutely minimal bodywork – just like a proper board track racer should be!








In stark contrast to those awesome tributes to motorcycling’s glorious past, fourth place winner in the Freestyle class was Kreater Custom Motorcycles’ ‘18’ – a bike that looks like it was left behind by extra terrestrials on one of their reconnaissance missions. Modern as can be, it uses a 96-inch Twin Cam engine in a hardtail custom frame that screams steam punk from every nut and bolt. Darth Vader would have been proud of this one! While fifth placed ‘Gryphon’, ‘Tantalizer’ in sixth and ‘Bad Influence’ in seventh were more or less straight from current-gen custom motorcycle building text books, it turned out to be quite the year for the trikes with ‘Vitalogy’ taking eighth and ‘RK Thing’ taking ninth.


Vitalogy is the creation of George Tchor who also took fourth place here with ‘18’ collaborating with Kreater Customs and is powered by a souped up 124 cubic-inch Harley-Davidson TCB engine courtesy Zipper’s Performance. This creation of metal and rivets managed to pip the second trike in the top ten – RK Thing. The most unique feature about this three-wheeled monster is probably the fact that it isn’t running a Harley-Davidson motor. In fact, for RK Thing, creator Rafik Kaissi chose to go the Italian way and plonked a 1000cc Aprilia engine in a very curvy trellis frame. While the eventual turn out of the bike makes it look more spider that sport-trike, the bike has some very intriguing details guaranteed to get show-goers hearts racing.








The top ten was rounded off by Jon Shipley’s ‘Whiskey Bent’ and if Jack Daniel’s is your poison then you’ve got to sample this one! With styling cues straight out of a Wild West tavern, this custom used the third Ironhead Sportster engine in the list – this time a 1977 model. A conventional saddle made way for the bar-stool seat while the oil tank can now age some whiskey too if the situation demands so.


A massive section rear tyre completed the look as Whiskey Bent must have given quite a few visitors at Sturgis this year faint day dreams about their own mobile mini-bar machine! All in all, the show this year most definitely gave some of the best designs we’ve seen yet. But with PainTTless raising the bar by a huge margin, participants in the 2013 and 10th AMD World Championship are going to have quite a tough time topping this year’s winners in terms of pure skill and vision.




9th annual AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building : Class Winners!


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