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River Run Custom Show Winners

Sunday, April 27, 2008
Michael Owens stands with the Best of Show in hand and  2500 in his pocket after winning the Laughlin River Run Custom Show.
Michael Owens stands with the Best of Show in hand and $2500 in his pocket after winning the 2008 Laughlin River Run Custom Show.
Vinnie DiMarinto of V-Force Customs and Cody Connelly stood center stage at the Colorado Belle's Riverwalk. This time, though, the enterprising duo, formerly of Orange County Chopper fame, weren't stepping up to accept an award. They were trying to quiet the crowd to announce the winners of the Laughlin River Run's Custom Bike Show. The two were the celebrity judges for this year's event.

Picking a winner would not be an easy task. With $5000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, competitors came from far and wide to stake their claim for the coveted Best in Show.

But Vinnie and Cody are two guys who might just know a thing or two about building custom bikes. After severing ties with the OCC guys, the pair has ventured out on their own to open up V-Force Customs, so this wasn't their first rodeo.

Riding back home all the way to Granbury, Texas with the top prize is Michael Owens for his ground-skirting, raked out chopper. The bike was built for Owens by Joe Martin of Martin Bro's out of Duncanville, Texas. The rigid, chain-driven motorcycle features a 110 cubic inch S&S engine and Velocity stacks to go along with trick pipes by MLB Pipes out of Canada. Powder blue paint provides the base coat while tribal flames streak down the tank, swingarm and rear fender. Shark Performance Art out of Texas provided the custom paint.

"I'm feelin' good. The money will pay for about half the fuel it took to get here," Owens joked.

A 110 cubic inch S S engine and sweet-looking MLB pipes were a winning combination for Michael Owens.
A 110 cubic inch S&S engine and sweet-looking MLB pipes were a winning combination for Michael Owens.
The $1000 second place prize went to Kevin Overturt out of Santa Clarita, California. His bike was a clean Pro Street Arlen Ness model with a slick paint job featuring a scene straight of Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean. Overturt was so excited he couldn't remember what he had won but was already on the phone with his buddies planning a big party for that night.

Third place and $750 was awarded to Mike Toupin out of La Habra, California. His purple chopper was built by Chopper Design Group. And while most customs owners wouldn't think of drag racing their bike, Toupin claimed to have taken down a V-Rod the day before in an impromptu match.

"It just hooked up and shot off the line. He started to catch me near the end but I nipped him at the line," Toupin grinned.
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