‘The Nitemare’ rolled into the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show in Sturgis to take ‘Best of Show’ honors.
Bob Beck and Scott’s Insane Choppers out of Lake Havusu, Arizona, won ‘Best of Show’ honors in the 2011 Rat’s Hole Bike Show in Sturgis.
Two legends combined forces Thursday as Ted Smith and the gang of Daytona Beach’s Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show took its show on the road to hold a competition at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis. Smith’s tenured crew of traveling judges spent the afternoon analyzing and judging the work of approximately 75 contestants, including several competitors from the previous day’s AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
The work ran the gamut, like an Ironhead-powered, Jack Daniels-themed motorcycle complete with a wooden cask and seat, a copper oil tank fed by coiled copper tubing similar to a still, and a jockey shifter handle topped by a shot glass. It also had its rear brake incorporated into the pedal of its right floorboard. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Spacester built by France’s Bernard ‘Buck’ Massart of V-Twin Mechanic, a bike he calls a “New Vision” for the Sportster. Massart started by stripping down a 1987 Sportster XL1200 to its engine and tranny before fobbing up a welded aluminum frame. The futuristic looking build includes Art Deco bodywork with the space between the cylinders and oil coolers filled in by congruent fins. He sourced a front end from a Yamaha R1 and fashioned up some homemade perimeter brakes to complete his sleek, minimalistic Spacester.
Phat Choppers Shaun Ruddy was a big winner on the day, taking top honors in both the “251-1000cc” and “Full Dresser” classes. His 2011 Jawa Toecutter is a speedway tribute bike with a four-stroke, single-cylinder Jawa Model 884 engine which runs on methanol, has a single gear, weighs a claimed 166 pounds and runs on a single gear but can still reach speeds around 140 mph. His full dresser looks like a Victory Vision but is actually a Vegas with one-off bags and side panels created by Ruddy. What looks like the fuel tank are panels while he relocated the fuel in faux exhaust tubes. While the engine is a stock Freedom 100, hidden beneath the front bodywork is an ethanol-burning turbo charger on a bagger that also runs nitrous.
But the big winner of the day was Ben Beck out of Lake Havusa, Arizona, who won “Best of Show” honors for his stretched-out super radical called “The Nitemare” built by Scott’s Insane Choppers (SIC). We first noticed ‘The Nitemare’ at the Laughlin River Run’s bike show where we learned that among its unique features is an air intake shaft that arcs above the bike’s
handlebars and tunnels through the tank to funnel air to the carb. Its exhaust system is equally as trick as spent fumes exit from a vent integrated into the back fender which Scott chambered, formulating a heat barrier to keep the heat off the back of the bike. Mounted into the stretched-out frame is a Yamaha Road Star 1600 engine with copper plating on its covers. The plating also covers the exhaust cover, wheels and headlight. “The Nitemare” hugs the ground courtesy of full air ride suspension, American on the front and Legends on the rear. SIC sourced Sprotor brakes on the monster 26-inch front hoop and the ulta-wide 330mm rear. In our previous conversation, Scott jokingly called its headlight an “alien tentacle,” a small, round HID lamp sitting at the end of a long copper tube which follows the arc of the intake and complements the flow of the front end. He also shared a funny side note about the motorcycle’s name. You’d think it was related to its pitch black paint splashed on the bodywork but Scott said it got its name because every little task that should have taken one hour took three, making it a “nightmare” of a build.
The day before the show, Big Daddy Rat had a friendly competition against the GEICO Lizard as they raced above the Chip on the venue’s new ziplines. Ted Smith said they got off to a great start and Big Daddy Rat was winning at first until his giant ears acted as parachutes and slowed him down near the end.
“His ears aren’t too aerodynamic,” Smith said jokingly.
Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show Sturgis Winners:
The guys from Italy’s Abnormal Cycles know how to celebrate a win. This is the first time I’ve seen anyone lift Big Daddy Rat in the air.
Best of Show – Ben Beck & Scott’s Insane Choppers
Three-Wheeler – Abnormal Cycles
251 – 1000cc – Shaun Ruddy
Sportster Stock – Jeff Hobbs
Most Unusual – Kelly Modlin
Full Dresser – Shaun Ruddy
Rat Class – Dave Gross
Two-Wheel Auto Engine – Alan Smith
Antique Classic Unrestored – Bill Miller
Bobber Class – Mario Kypranides
Extreme Bobber – John Shipley
Sportbike – Jamie Luczak
Over 1000cc Stock – Frank Fedler
Over 1000cc Custom – Cory Edwards
Radical Class – Ben Beck & Scott’s Insane Choppers
Super Radical – Golgotha Cycles
* Congratulations also go out to Brian Jenkins, who won his class but we didn’t quite catch the category.