2018 J&P Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show Cleveland Winners
Courtesy Jeff Najar/Custom Bike Shows.com
The last few years Cleveland, Ohio has greeted the hardy motorcycle enthusiast with snow, slush and sub-zero weather. This year the weather gods provided a three-day reprieve and provided a balmy 50 degrees so motorcyclists attending the Progressive International Motorcycle Show stepped a little lighter and smiled a little brighter.
The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show produced a record number of custom sleds with 46 bikes and builders showcasing their creativity and innovation. Young guns were aligned and competed against the old guard and the young builders ran the table.
2018 Ultimate Builder FreeStyle Class
Jesse Srpan of Raw Iron Choppers was the big winner at the Cleveland edition of the 2018 Ultimate Builder with two big checks in Freestyle and MOD Harley plus stage appearances for Best Chopper and Tortilla Award for Paint.
“Trepidation” was built for Michael Lichter’s “Old Iron / Young Blood Show” at Sturgis last year. It pushes 180 hp to the rear wheel with a highly-modified 124” S&S mill coupled with a Baker tranny and scratch-built frame. Ron Harris of Chop Docs provided the riveting paint scheme. Mikey of Pinstriping by Mikey laid out the lines.
Winner: Jesse Srpan – Raw Iron Choppers, 2017 Chopper – “Trepidation”
Runner-up: Karlee Cobb – Klock Werks – 2016 Indian Scout Rigid
2018 Ultimate Builder Custom Street Class
The youngest builder in the entire series is Ady Andrella, a very serious 8-year-old. She won the Cycle Source Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award and will be featured in the magazine. She also awarded her father, Austin Andrella, top honors in the Custom Street Class for his cherry 1978 Yamaha XS650 in a class teeming with talent.
The bike features an Austin Martin Originals’ hardtail, handlebars, tail section and lobster exhaust. Barebones Leathers provided the leather seat and Atomic Bob the striping. Paint by Flamethrower Customs.
Winner: Austin Andrella – Austin Martin Originals, 1978 Yamaha XS650
Runner-up: PJ Grakauskas – 1975 Can-Am – “Can-Am”
2018 Ultimate Builder MOD Retro Class
The 1973 CB350G Café Racer from Andrew Frederick was super clean and took top awards in the Modified Retro class. A number of times people would walk by and then catch the bike in the corner of their eye and then stop and stand riveted, looking at the custom sled.
Winner: Andrew Frederick – 1973 CB350G Café Racer – “Princess”
Runner-up: Luke Atkinson with Double D – 1981 Harley FLH Shovelhead
2018 Ultimate Builder MOD Harley Class
Harley-Davidson and K&N Filters sponsors the class and the builders didn’t disappoint with Sportsters, FXRs, Baggers and Dynas competing for the big check and entry into the $70,000 National Championship.
When the dust settled Jesse Srpan from Raw Iron Choppers took the check for Bad Mutha, a 1990 FXR. The bike featured a custom tail section, beefed up motor and Baker tranny. Performance Machine provided the hand controls and wheels. The bike provides a counter point to the West Coast FXR builds and is very cool.
Winner: Alex Roy – Raw Iron Choppers , 1990 FXR – “Bad Mutha”
Runner-up: Sean Cortimilia – 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster – “The Bad Penny”
Jeff Holt flow out to Cleveland from Southern California to check out the latest Midwest builds and to present awards. Being from SOCAL, Jeff is big on tortillas. He fell in love with Raquelitas Mexican Food tortillas from in Denver, CO. At each show he provides 3 tortilla awards with each recipient receiving 3 packages of tortillas. What he doesn’t squirrel away and not awarded is then tossed to the crowd.
Tortilla Awards: Best Paint Practitioner: Jesse Srpan, Raw Iron Choppers – 2017 Chopper “Trepidation” – Paint by Ron Harris of Chop Docs Choppers
Tortilla Awards: Most Innovative Innovator: Karlee Cobb, Klock Werks – 2016 Indian Scout Rigid
Tortilla Awards: Best Crazy, Cracked, Kooky Design: Dave Nolan, Custom Chopper
HOT BIKE Editor’s Choice Award: Alex Roy, Raw Iron Choppers – 1990 FXR
Cycle Source Choice Award: Ady Andrella, Honda Minibike
SHO DOG: Kid Presto
K&N AWARD: Ace Vapor Blasting, Ed Vanaman
People’s Choice: Rich Dickson, Cynical Cycles – 2013 H-D Road King CVO
Best Chopper/Bobber: Jesse Srpan, Raw Iron Choppers – 2017 Chopper “Trepidation”
Best Bagger: James Messina, Iron Horse Cycles – 2017 H-D FLH
Best DYNA: Robbie Vestring, Dr. Chops Motorcycle Creations – 2006 DYNA FXD
After the show closed on Friday, Skidmark Garage hosted the “Meet the Builders” industry party at their facilities in downtown Cleveland. Over 100 builders came out and munched down on pizza and slurped up PBR.
Skidmark Garage is a community garage where bike builders and enthusiasts pay a monthly fee, like a health club, so members can use tools, lifts and learn to weld, metal work and repair motorcycles. A number of bikes were built at Skidmark and competed at the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show.