After a whirlwind tour across the United States, the J&P Cycles
Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows wrapped up its 13-round series this past weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. While over 30 custom motorcycles competed for the top prizes, it was Ian Armstrong and the crew from AR Baggers that won the lion’s share of awards, capturing both the coveted Freestyle class and its $2500 cash prize
AR Baggers bagged the big check for 'Best of Show' in the Freestyle class at the Charlotte Ultimate Builder round. AR Baggers claimed both the Freestyle and Modified Harley titles for Harley-based baggers with plenty of hand-formed bodywork like the Freestyle winner below.
and the Modified Harley class which was good for a cool $1500 more in earnings. Overall, the Ultimate Builder series awarded over $100,000 in cash and prizes during this year’s competitions.
AR Baggers ruled the Freestyle class in Charlotte thanks to a bold bagger with great bodywork done in-house. The winning motorcycle started as a 2006 Harley Ultra Classic before being transformed into a Road Glide. The bagger’s frame has been raked and stretched, going 9” out on the neck with a 4” stretch to go along with 9” HHI trees. A monster 26-inch front hoop leads the way while an 18-inch rear anchors the backside. Suspension all-the-way-around is provided by an AR Baggers’ air ride system. Its defining trait is an aggressively shaped front fairing paired to 636 high-density lights. In fact, AR Baggers is responsible for all of the bike’s great bodywork, hand-making the body panels front-to-back including the one piece bags and side panel. A 1600-watt stereo system with a 7-inch LCD display and nav round out the award-winning package.
1. Ian Armstrong, AR Baggers – Little Fella, ’06 H-D Ultra Classic
2. Tim Dixon, Gas Axe Chop Shop – Suga Daddy, ’12 Custom Choppa
3. Toby Peltier, Steve Carr – Oro Dundido, ’01 Buell Choppa
AR Baggers rode out of Charlotte as the Modified Harley winner, too, capturing the $1500 first prize for its 2002 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Once again, AR Baggers demonstrated its fantastic fab work with one-piece side panels and bags and a one-piece fairing with a 7-inch LCD display. AR upped performance with the addition of a 103 kit, a forward-facing performance intake and heavy-duty Sinister Industries ‘Up Yours’ chrome exhaust. The Freestyle winner features full air ride suspension and custom Performance Machine wheels. Besides its touch-screen LCD, the custom Road Glide pumps up the volume with a 2400-watt stereo system that powers four 6.5-inch speakers, two 5.25-inchers and two 6-inch sub woofers.
1. Ian Armstrong, AR Baggers – 2002 H-D Road Glide
2. Keith Ruegsegger – Eagle One, ’04 Harley-Davidson Trike
One of the motorcycles creating a big buzz at the show was the 1967 BSA a65 Thunderbolt by LC Fabrications
. The Charlotte Retro Modified winner was built by Jeremy Cupp, who won the FreeStyle Class at the 2012 US Ultimate Builder finals. Cupp’s latest build, called the ‘Birmingham Bee-Liner,’ features a hardtail ’72 Triumph frame that’s been
Jeremy Cupp's latest creation, a 1967 BSA a65 Thunderbolt, combines a frame off a '72 Triumph with a 650cc engine from a BSA. The industrial strength girder he built for the front helps distinguish the motorcycle from its competitors.
stretched and mated to a 650cc BSA engine. Cupp used oversized tubing for the backbone which now serves as the fuel tank while a vacuum-operated fuel pump feeds the Mikuni carb. He also made an industrial strength girder front end from tubular steel, the design compact and functional. Boardtracker bars and dirt bike wheels combine for another spectacular bike by the talented builder out of rural Virginia.
1. Jeremy Cupp, LC Fabrication - Birmingham Bee-Liner, ’67 BSA
2. Eric Stein, Crafters Metal Fab – Sling Shot, ’74 H-D FX
3. Chris Wade – Harley-Davidson Panhead
Garwood Customs had several outstanding sportbikes at the show, from a 2010 Kawasaki ZX14-R to several stunning Suzuki GSX-R1000s. But ‘Old Skool,’ a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 outfitted with a 60 hp nitrous system and a Power Commander V to keep it running prime, attracted the most attention. The custom Gixxer is slammed thanks to an Air FX Air Ride System teamed with a C&S Custom 300 Single Sided wide tire kit. Other bits like a see-thru clutch cover, a beautiful stitched leather seat, and custom paint with ‘Old Skool Tattoo’ themes earned Garwood Custom Cycles and its owner Alex Q. top honors in Charlotte’s Performance Custom class.
1. Garwood Customs - Old Skool, ‘06 Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2. Eric “EDub” Winston – Samurai, ’95 Kantana
3. Mike Davis, Speedworx – Red Pearl, 2009 Honda CBR
Patrick McLafferty of Wide Open Motorsports Custom won the Modified Street class with ‘Redemption.’ McLafferty’s 2009 Yamaha R6 sports custom-made suspension linkage in the rear and an internally modified fork on the front. A single-sided swingarm, custom wheels, and projector headlights with ‘Angel Eyes’ converted a stock R6 into the Charlotte Modified Street class winner.
Partick McLafferty’s 2009 Yamaha R6 sports custom-made suspension linkage in the rear and an internally modified fork on the front, features which helped it earn the Modified Street title in Charlotte.
Ever seen a Buell chopper before? Now you have. Meet 'Oro Dundido,' a 2001 Buell Choppa by Toby Peltier and Steve Carr which one thrid place in Charlotte's Freestyle class.
Since the last show of the series is in NASCAR country, it wasn’t a surprise to see Gary Nelson, former crew chief and NASCAR’s "Car of Tomorrow" project manager at the show. Nixon did surprise those in attendance with his sano 1976 Honda CB750 with its oil tank cleverly hidden under the gas tank, the battery neatly concealed under the seat, a mono shock and custom built swingarm all topped off with a Honda Elsinore-styled paint scheme that earned Nixon second place in the Modified Steet class.
1. Patrick McLafferty, Wide Open Motosports – Redemption, ’09 R6
2. Gary Nelson – Nelsonore – ’76 Honda CB750
3. Brewdude, Brew Bkes – 9605, ’73 Honda CB350
The Charlotte Ultimate Builder Show also saw Marilyn Stemp of IronWorks Magazine present the “Editor’s Choice Award” to Armstrong of AR Baggers for his 2002 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. McLafferty of Wide Open Motorsports Customs won the "Show Dog Award" sponsored by Rocking K Custom Leather for his promotional efforts at the show and Mike Davis of Speedworx won the "People’s Choice Award" with Rings, a stretched 2009 Honda CBR named Red Pearl. HelmetLok sponsored the top three bikes in each class and provided a HelmetLok and cable for each.
The Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows are produced by www.bikerpros.com
The big money winners during the 2012-13 Ultimate Builder season are:
1. Kyle Shorey – $12,500
2. GIO – $8500
3. Ian Armstrong – $6000
4. Bruce Bolden – $3000