Biltwell People's Champ / Round 2

Biltwell People's Champ / Round 2

March 12, 2019

The people have voted and here's the Lucky 13 who are left for Round 2. We will publish a new blog post with updates from the builders in mid-April. Voting for the Final Six Pack will be Friday, April 19 thru Sunday the 21st. Don't bother voting multiple times, we can see that easily with the voting software and will eliminate duplicates. Make sure to follow these guys (and gal!) on Instagram, that's where you'll get the most insight into the process and see what they're up to, and follow us at @Biltwell and @Biltwell_Peoples_Champ

BEN JEFFERIES INSTAGRAM: @BENJEFF LOCATION: FORT WAYNE, IN, USA 1960 FLH swingarm chopper. Single downtube “motorshop” style frame I made from the rear half of a drop seat panhead frame. All my secret stash parts been collecting for a while, dick allen style wheel, PM 12 spoke, cal products trans w/ ART hydro cover, etc. Aiming for show n go, style n function & made to ride. Very humbled to be apart of this along with some really talented people. Hope everyone digs how a backwoods punk from northern Indiana does a chopper! Wabi-sabi. More in depth thread over at the Jockey Journal.
SAM RAPSCHUTZ LOCATION: KANSAS CITY, MO, USA INSTAGRAM: @SAMRAPS This is my 78 shovelhead that I am building, influenced by the 70s bike and hotrod scene. The mag fired cone zone and 4 speed trans will be fully polished. The frame was a stock shovelhead frame that I grafted a replica rear section and 2.25 stretch up. It’s held up by a 16” over DLG Denver’s springer. I will be running 15” American racing wheel in the rear and a high shoulder 18” up front to keep the stance right. Has a narrowed mustang tank that will appear to be fully molded to the frame, and a floating hand hammered oil bag. I will also be doing all the molding and paint my self here at SILVERTOWNN.
NICK BUSBY LOCATION: SALINAS, CALIFORNIA USA INSTAGRAM: @__BUZZBEE Hello everyone! I am currently building a 1962 panhead. I have always enjoyed building things that haven’t really been done before. My bike has a dual drum wide glide front end, hydraulic foot clutch that matches the same set up as an original juice brake and a removable sissy bar with a molded flame paint job. This bike is going to be my personal go to bike, so I wanted to build it the best I could so that’s why I’m here! Thanks for checking it out!
CALEB DENTON INSTAGRAM: @CALEB.DENTON LOCATION: ELKO, NV, USA Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Caleb Denton, I am 31 years old and I was born in Norwalk California. I currently reside in Elko Nevada with my beautiful wife and 3 daughters. To support my Family I work as a Deep Earth Miner her in Elko. My Father was a Harley Rider and that is how I got introduced to the world of Motorcycles. In fact I started as a shop boy at a Chopper shop in Downey Ca when I was 14 years old. I ended up working there for about 4 ½ years and all through High School. At 18 I went to work in the mines to support my new young Family. I always kept up working in motorcycle shops on my days off from the mine and also during the mine shutdowns. I’ve built many styles of motorcycles for myself and for customers. I am particularly interested in hand fabrication, Custom design and styling and engine building. For the Born Free 11 and People Champ 7 I wanted to Craft a chopper that not only had style with obvious nods to the old school custom choppers but, it is mechanically designed to be a no joke cross country and daily rider. In December 2018 I started laying out my design using a 1975 shovel head FLHP which was in service for years with the Wyoming State Highway Patrol. The Frame is now modified with the help of Red Good as follows, 6 up 2 out and 30 degree rake. It has 2 inches of trail with a 6 over Springer front end. The drive train is 74 Inch Shovel. It has a torque cam setup and dual Mikuni Carbs mounted to a Branch dual intake manifold. The Primary drive is by Primo Rivera and it is open belt. The Controls are set up for handling with Mid foot controls and it has a handmade Jockey shift. The wheels are both Invader’s. The rear is set up with PMFR rear disk and sprocket and the front has a Hurst Airheart mini disk front break setup to keep the wheel visible. I’m wrapping up the fab work and mock up now. I am particularly proud of the way the sheet metal part came out. The rear fender is made part of the frame and the “wing” style Gas tank has a hidden fastener system for removing it easily. Really the biggest major accomplishment has been how quickly I’ve gotten this build to this point, I typically tell people 9-12 months to build a bike. This one is really coming together which hasn’t been easy considering my full time work schedule and that fact that I broke my hand last month. Early on I did have a few setbacks for this build. I initially didn’t get accepted for peoples champ so, I decided I had time to change some of the work I had already started. I had done some molding out of metal on the frame but wanted to do it little different (change some of the angles and styling) so I cut it all off the frame and cut up the gas tank to change it a bit. I wasn’t hustling like I could have been. Then right after I cut it up I broke my hand and ended up having to stop working on the bike for a bit. Then I got word that someone dropped out of Peoples Champ 7! I was lucky enough to get back into the competition but with only about two weeks before the first elimination vote! I’ve been out in the garage tig welding in a brace so I can catch back up and meet deadlines. It looks like I’m back up to speed now and the build time frame at this point looks good.
JEFF DILLON LOCATION: RIVERSIDE, CA, USA INSTAGRAM: @YETIJEFF “What’s up guys! My names Jeff Dillon with Mac Speed Cycles based out of Riverside Ca. Here’s where I stand today. I’m building an exact replica of one of Crazy Franks most well known bikes featured in the March of 1980 issue of Street Chopper magazine. With my front end and rear fender in pieces this is essentially a mock-up shot. Luckily we have good customers and even better friends. The frame is 5” out with a slight gooseneck, 40 deg of rake, and about a 2” pull in the front tubes. 16” over Dick Allen style springer and the CFE fender will all be fabbed in house along with everything else. A 100” stroker Shovelhead followed by an Andrews filled 4 speed brings up the power plant. I’d appreciate your vote for top 13 and I’ve been doing my best to post every aspect of this build as I go. It’s an honor to be in this group as we have all been busting our ass to bring the heat!”
JIM BAASKE LOCATION: YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN, USA INSTAGRAM: @HOCUSPOCUSBYFOCUS69 I’ve always wanted to build a skinny bike, the kind that looks a motorcycle from the side but when you look at it from the rear it practically disappears. I knew after pulling a Motor Shop frame, that was hidden aways for years, out of a cat pissed ridden basement, this was going to be that bike. I’m trying to keep the muscle bike theme of the single loop, but with a little added “show” to it. Trying to keep the bike as simple and clean as possible, no bullshit, but a lot of “go.” The bike will be powered by a 1970 74″ mag fired Shovelhead motor. Sitting on 19 and 21″ wheels, I am really happy with the way the bike is sitting, and the direction, in general, as it comes along. I want to thank Justin and everyone at Show Class Magazine for making the People’s Champ what it is. this whole thing wouldn’t be where it is today without those guys. Thanks to Biltwell too for stepping in to carry it on. There’s a lot of rad bikes being built this year and I’m stoked to see the progress of everyone’s builds. I also want to thank everyone that’s lent a hand along the way or even just drank a beer with me while bouncing off ideas. The chopper scene isn’t that big in SE Michigan, but it’s been cool to experience how much something like this brings people together.
TOM HEAVEY LOCATION: CHARLOTTE, NC INSTAGRAM: @OLDTRUMP Who is Tom: I’m a triumph guy only building and wrenching on old Triumphs, all my buddies build and ride Harley so I’m always the odd ball in the pack . I do everything in my home garage . I really enjoy the hunt for parts and the process of a build but more importantly the people and friendships that are created along the way. Inspiration: I’m getting my inspiration for the build from old photos of the 60’s car and bike show scene and the triumphs that were showcased in those shows. I like a simple , nibble , stripped down, clean bikes with some subtle customization of parts from that era . I went out to BF 10 last year, this was my second year going to the show. BF 10 had the best stable of pre unit bikes built by the invited builders I feel the show has ever had. These bikes were all a huge inspiration for me as well. The project: I really took a long time slowly piecing this project together. I picked this project up as a roller that was used as a hill climber. The engine had crazy mods, 100 over pistons, Swiss cheesed lightened crank, and speed holed head. Someone really put a lot of work into this engine years ago. I’m not going to bore you with all the details of the parts used on the bike to this stage , i rather you take it all in and if we have the chance to meet it gives us the ability to talk about it in person , again I feel one of the best parts of building a scoot is meeting like minded people and talking about the bike . I will share what you see as a roller which i think the stance on a bike is the most important aspect of the build , is a stock original 53 pre unit rigid frame that I had the guy’s at Prism Supply jig up and stretch about 2 inches. One of the none british parts I do get asked a ton of question on is the original 1929 Harley Peashooter springer, it fits the smaller triumph pre unit’s perfectly. i had to machine some sleeves to accept stock bearings and cups to mate up to the pre unit frame. I fabricated the oil tank using stock internals from a rigid oil tank as well and made the fender struts from some chrome flat stock i had laying around ,pipes and other small bits . I have really spent most time on the frame polishing it for chrome with my buddy Skip and can say the amount of time we have in it is ridiculous . At this point in the build I still need to finish fabricating some small parts and turn my focus to re assembly of engine and tranny. I sent out the head, cylinder and crank to Franz and Grubb engine to get all the machine work done, new piston, valves, guides, gaskets and clutch parts which i have ready to go. As far as finishes, I’m going with a fully polished engine, tranny, and primary cover. The frame will get chromed as well as many other parts. In regards to paint,Shawn Long from Imperial House will do his thing. To sum things up, it was so unfortunate showclass magazine had to pull out of the show and I know this years contest has gotten off to a rocky start . I have been following the peoples champ since the first one, the level of talent and quality of bikes every year keeps going off the charts. When I walked up to Cook’s Corner last year and saw those 6 bikes each sitting on their own stands I really got my juiced and I made up my mind that Friday night that I was going to through my hat in the ring for the Show Class 7. What I enjoyed just as much as the bikes was seeing like mind people talking and really appreciating all the hard work and details in those bikes that the average guy doesn’t see or even get. Like every year everyone is building a different style of bikes and that’s what the contest is all about . l want thank Biltwell for stepping up to the plate and giving us all the platform to express ourselves.
JAMES JUAREZ INSTAGRAM: @THE_LIVIN_COMPANY LOCATION: LOS ANGELES, CA, USA The initial idea behind the build was to build a bike that was tight with a long front end. The plan is… there is no plan. I’m kicking around ideas as I go, but always pushing myself to make things a littler harder, and make stuff I’ve never made before. It’ll look nice once it’s done; chrome, paint, etc. and then I’m riding the fuck out of it. CHOPPERS FOREVER.
HENRY SCHELL LOCATION: FRANKFORT, KS, USA INSTAGRAM: @HENRYS_CHOP_SHOP Born and raised in north east Kansas, from a family with a long history in farming and Chopper life style. The bike I’m building for Biltwell Peoples Champ is a 1990 FXR, chopped 14 up 7 out 45degree rake. A chopper to me should have be stock at one time in its life. With just enough hand made parts and just enough stock parts to know where its life began. It doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does it have to be clean or full of chrome, just built from what was available at the time to minimize cost, it just has to have that look. I own several different choppers Pans, shovels, Ironheads, but nothing screams MIDWEST CHOPPER like a chopped rubber mount FXR. Inspiration comes from my Dad and Family along with many other Midwest legends. I was always told as a youngster to write my own story and not use someone else’s coat tails to get you through life. The chopper supporting a Crazy Frank Fender (for the particular Harley rider) Given to me many years ago modified to my own spin , Westcoast Chopper Tank modified coffin tank , which will hold the memory of many brothers and mentors who have passed on, Hand cut sissybar , Metal Seat Pan ,shop logos , a hand forged knife oil dip stick made by my 13 year old son from an old crazy frank sissy bar, 107’’ S&S Engine, Dual carb, turbo charged hand cut primary all hand engraved, custom molded and painted. Pretty much do it all, Fab, Weld, Paint, wire assembly, & RIDE IT.
CRAIG KENYON AND JOHN REPETTO / THE EAZY COMPANY LOCATION: WORCESTER MASSACHUSETTS OF THE GOOD OLD USA INSTAGRAM: @THEEAZYCO Hey y’all!! We’re building a heavily molded Ironhead chopper. We’re taking cues from some of the greats Kelsey Martin , Arlen ness and Denver’s choppers. We’ve just spent a majority of the time cutting up the frame and metal finishing it all together. We plan on adding a few more hundred pounds of metal. Especially with the rigid front end. We have plans on running an open primary and have a few other smaller motor details up our sleeve. All in all we still have a lot more left to do and we’re excited to get to work.
SUZY PILACZYNSKI LOCATION: TUBE CITY, CA, USA INSTAGRAM: @BENEATHTHEGLASS Here’s my progress so far: I’m building a rigid 1977 Shovelhead I’m calling the “Hexaglide”, with a hand shifted, ratchet top 4 speed transmission and a vintage single loop frame -which I just discovered is one of only about 33-35 that were made by Billy Gruhlke between ‘72-79 in Santa Cruz and primarily sold through Don Hollingsworth’s shop in Redwood City. I just completed my front end which I designed and machined in house; it’s a narrow glide but has hexagon tubes and will have suspension- hence the name “Hexaglide”. Instead of rounding off the split rocker boxes, I chose to chamfer them to create flat surfaces around the edges and more work will be done on the heads and cylinders. There’s not a whole lot to look at in the photo at the moment because I’m in the process of working on several things that weren’t ready to be put on the bike; I’m designing and making a lot of the parts myself, using a variety of methods and I’ll be using some vintage parts as well. Paint is undecided but it will be simple yet colorful- it’s meant to be the background against which everything else pops. It’s important to me that this bike has lots of custom work and splashes of color, while still remaining legible; it’s too easy to try to include everything and then the bike becomes cluttered and indistinguishable. Thanks for looking and I hope you’re as excited to see the final result as much as I am.
MATT PONTANO INSTAGRAM: @MATT66SPORTY LOCATION: WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ, USA Hey guys this is where I’m at in my build. Fab work is pretty much almost complete minus my foot controls and headlight bracket, which will both be done in a few days. Once they are done I can break this thing down and start my molding and send everything to chrome. I have had a killer time doing this bike and have had the pleasure of meeting a ton of good people already because of it. I feel like choppers are supposed to be bare bones and sketchy and that’s exactly what this thing is. Thanks for looking and I hope everyone feels I have what it takes to make the final 6.
ANTE PRATEZINA LOCATION: CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA INSTAGRAM: @CHOPPER.DRAMA I’m building a skinny Panhead chopper called War Horse with a built 93” motor and a baker 6into4 transmission from my garage in the capital city of Australia. There will be key traditional big twin parts that are narrowed to suit the style and also my version of other classic parts made to fit the bike. The frame will be chromed with the castings and welds left original and unfinished to preserve the character of Harley frames from the era and otherwise the tins will be a deep candy black with original style 51-54 Harley-Davidson tank emblems. It will be a simple and timeless, truly garage built chopper and I have a good vision for the bike and what it needs to do for me once built. Some of the main things are, it needs to be able to ride highways, be reliable and fixable on the road, win light to light and do big peel outs from the bar all whilst keeping that show chopper glam. This is very much mocked up here but is the direction I will be going in. I’ve got a rigid frame, a set of 3.5 gal tanks axed and joined just like they used to, 19-21” high shoulder wheelset all chromed, 9-10” extended risers with 2-1/2” centres and a narrow 41mm Hydra Glide front end with a custom built nacelle to suit. Vote for me so I have a good excuse to bring this thing to California! It will be tough, loud, fast and skinny.