Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show Sturgis Results 2016
A South Dakota storm provided a free bike wash at the Sturgis Rat’s Hole Show as it swept over the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads. That didn’t prevent about 80 motorcycles from weathering the storm for a shot at “Best of Show” honors, the prestigious Rat’s Hole holding its 28th annual Sturgis contest. It was a brawl in the bagger class between big wheels, big paint, and turbocharged engines. The troupe of trikes in the show were a diverse bunch, from the six-cylinder beast with drag wheels and hot rod bodywork to the immaculate Indian trike with the powerful Native American images dressing up its tank, fenders and fairing.
Diversity seemed to be the theme of the 2016 Sturgis Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show as it attracted the exotic and unusual. You had an International Harvester high-necked chopper with disc wheels dressed in the company’s signature red and white not far from Stan Luebbers’ ratted out Harley Power Glide with the “Ugly is in!” sticker on its tank and a giant rat trap on its seat for a security system. The sight of a motorcycle with hubless wheels was like honey to a bear as a steady stream strolled over for a closer look, intrigue in their eyes. It was impossible to miss the orange Harley with the tall apehangers and the king-sized, 300mm wide wheels front and back.
Another extreme custom that received its fair share of attention was Russ Dueker’s industrial strength design pieced together from about 140 pieces of 3/8” steel. Dueker cut them out on a CNC plasma table he designed and built.
“Rear assembly, that’s where I started. It’s got the rear bearings out of a Peterbilt, 4” bore, 60,000 PSI load handling. In all there’s about 140 red parts, 400 chrome parts with all the spacers and bolts.”
One of its most intriguing aspects is its dually rear, a chain final drive squeezed between identical Metzeler Marathons.
“I experimented with the tilt a little bit and the Softail a little bit but it was just getting too complicated to make it work right. So it’s all rigid back there. It got the wheels as close as possible because that’s how you make a dual rear handle,” said Dueker.
Its fuel resides in a tank at the bottom of the downtube, the fuel cell encased in extra steel plates for protection. Since it sits so low, a gravity feed is out of the question, so Dueker equipped it with a fuel pump to get up to the carb. Dueker earned 2nd Place in the Over 1000cc Radical Class, edged out by the “Best of Show” winner.
“I learned a lifetime of machining making this thing,” said Dueker.
The Harley Street 750 of Yoshikazu Ueda and Yuichi Yoshizawa of Custom Works Zon entered in the Sturgis Rat’s Hole is one of the best interpretations of the model we’ve encountered yet. The guys modified the stock 750 frame, chopping off the back end drag-style and tossing on some Hoosier rubber. The tank is thin and digger-like and its foot controls are rear-set, further evidence of its drag bike inspiration. The seat cowl has a hidden tank built in and its exhaust tip is incorporated cleanly into the rear panel. Little details like engraving on the frame support and derby cover by 4 Dimension Studio take the bike from good to great. Motor Works Zon built the bike for Harley-Davidson of Japan’s “Street Build Off” competition.
California’s Norman Lovelace took a haul away from the show, winning both the Three-Wheeler and Extreme Full Dresser classes along with taking top honors in the Black Hills Bagger Showdown.
But it was Ned Amin who was the biggest winner of them all, Amin’s hubless custom with the supercharged V-Twin judged “Best in Show.” With a big Magna Charger force feeding it from the right side and its fishtail tipped pipes bent forward, Amin’s “Tough Luck” custom tread the fine line between out-of-the-ordinary and extraordinary. Its hub-center steering on the front and hubless rear driven by twin chain pulleys is something you don’t see every day on a slammed, stretched custom. It’s smooth, flowing bodywork is exemplary, as is its striping, paint, and inlay. Add up the sum of its parts and you’ve got the Rat’s Hole Sturgis “Best of Show” winner, Amin celebrating afterward with a burnout on another of the radical customs in his bevy of bikes.
With the show winding up and the sun coming out, big baggers joined in the post-show celebration with an impromptu flame-throwing competition, a fitting send-off for one of the longest-standing custom bikes show at the Sturgis Rally.
The Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show 2016 – 28th Annual Sturgis Rally Winners
Three-Wheeler – Norman Lovelace, Doyle, CA
251 to 1000cc – Custom Works Zon, Shiga, Japan
Sportster – Roy Richardson, St. Louis, MO
Full Dresser & Touring – Matt Findley, Canal Winchester, OH
Extreme Full Dresser – Norman Lovelace, Doyle, CA
Rat Bike – Stan Luebbers, Erie, CO
1967-1989 Antique – Mark Schmidt, Hanahan, SC
Bobber – Josh Fischer, Alberdeen, SD
Over 1000cc Stock – Mary Anrnaud, France
Over 1000cc Radical – Ned Amin, Kuwait
Black Hills Bagger Showdown – Norman Lovelace, Doyle, CA
Rat’s Hole Best of Show – Ned Amin, Kuwait