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Custom bike-builders honoured

2011-08-16 12:15

JD van ZYL

Internationally acclaimed as the ultimate competition in custom bike-building, the annual AMD World championship spans 32 events and draws a huge one million motorcycle enthusiasts every year.

The 2011 championship has ended in Sturgis, South Dakota, but saw entries from 20 countries (including South Africa) competing in three key categories – Freestyle, Modified Harley-Davidson and Performance Custom.

Japanese customiser Ken Tabata took top honours for his winning creation, the Tavax 2011. The project took more than three years to complete and Tabata describe his creation as looking like a cheetah about to pounce.

The design combines sculpted aluminium bodywork and hand-made pieces which form the suspension and replace the stock engine and transmission covers.


The swing arm pivots from behind the rear cylinder, arcing over the transmission, and carrying a linkage system operated single shock.

Following a slightly less selective approach was Larry Houghton, of Lamb Engineering, who took second place with his creation called Son of a Gun.

Based on a 1951 BSA single-cylinder engine and Talon motocross wheels bought on the internet auction website eBay, Larry built the rest of the bike himself often collecting material from the scrap bins of friends in the engineering trade.

This frugal approach meant that Houghton was able to create a world-class design for less than R90 000 – which also covers the special gold metallic paint he opted for.

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