Every year on the Friday night before Born Free, six finalists in Show Class Magazine's People's Champ competition roll out their freshly-minted, hand-built motorcycles for the world to see. Hundreds of riders converge at the Orange County biker institution to cast their vote, drink some cold beers and watch the night unfold. The concept behind the "show within a show" was simple–it was designed to give the every-day-Joe a chance to show off his skills at the bike building craft. A builder doesn't have to be famous or California-based, they just have to build something other people like. Chopper democracy, if you will. The magazine picks a big number of competitors to start with and after a series of internet votes, the field is whittled down to six finalists. Those final six are the ones who roll their bikes onto the back patio at Cook's and let the people vote. Every year the bikes are fantastic and this year was no different. Styles varied wildly, and it was obvious that each of these dudes poured significant time and treasure into the machines on display. In the end, Christian Newman took the prize and was honored with a spot in the Invited Builder's section at Born Free. With the attention to detail and wild engineering, it wasn't much of a surprise that he also won "Best Knucklehead" against some very talented builders the next day. Click the galleries below to scroll through a few photos of each finalist's bike. [foogallery id="18841"] Christian Newman / @ctnewman
[foogallery id="18834"] Brian Stanley / @the_bone-orchard
[foogallery id="18850"] Cody Kemmet / @smalldickpoppa
[foogallery id="18856"] Vintage Technologies / @vintagetechnologies
[foogallery id="18864"] Scotty Dettwiler / @_scottyd69
[foogallery id="18831"] Brent Maggard / @curtismaggardbrent
As much as show bikes are fun to gawk at, I can't help but be drawn to the ones outside the bar that were ridden in. Some from hundreds of miles, some from down the street, but they all got their on their own and that counts for a lot in my book. Scroll through the gallery below for a look at what rolled into the Cook's Corner parking lot this year. -Bill [foogallery id="18874"]
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