From a motorcycle with hubless wheels to a three-wheeled, propeller-powered wooden ark, Cleveland brought the creativity to the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. And while the sixth round of competition was certainly a sideshow, more conventional builds ruled the renowned Freestyle class as rippin’ rigids from Raw Iron Choppers and Austin Martin Originals dueled for the top spot and the $1,500 prize.

Freestyle 1st Place Austin Andrella Austin Martin Originals 2009 Harley-Davidson AMO Rigid

When the dust had settled from the Freestyle battle, Austin Andrella’s 2009 Harley-Davidson AMO Rigid edged out Jesse Srpan’s 2019 Raw Iron Choppers “Amour” for first place. Andrella’s build is a clean combination of both classic and current elements. Anchoring the front is a vintage 23” Elsinore rim with a knobby tire and a custom spool hub from LC Fabrications. To accommodate the big front hoop he kicked out the Spitfire girder front end at a healthy rake. On the flipside, he mounted a pair of front calipers from a GSX-R1000 to the disc on the rigid rear to ensure this thing stops on a dime. He got its ’99 Evo crate motor from the factory, swapped out the stock Harley tranny for a Baker 5-speed/kicker arrangement, and built a set of stepped stainless steel exhausts. He machined the BDL belt drive down from three inches to two. While the handmade gas tank, suicide shifter, motor mounts and aluminum seat pan all contributed to his victory, little details like the Rubik’s twist fender struts likely sealed the deal.

Freestyle Runner-Up Jesse Srpan Raw Iron Choppers 2019 Raw Iron Choppers Amour

Because it took an immaculate build like Andrella’s to snatch victory away from Srpan. The Freestyle Runner-Up features a 93” S&S Knucklehead and a Baker 6-speed Frankentranny mounted in a one-off frame. The frame is 4” out and 2” up and all the mounts and gussets were fashioned from .120 wall DOM tubing. A Raw Iron “supa-narrow” springer sits out at a 35-degree rake angle while “supa-narrow” mini-apes provide proper balance. You have to look hard to see any cables or wires on Srpan’s show-stoppin’ scoot.

Custom Street 1st Place Robert Mcareavey Cynical Cycles 2016 Harley-Davidson Fatboy S

In the Custom Street class, Robert Mcareavey’s turbo-powered Fatboy S muscled its way to victory and a $500 payday. Not only does Cynical Cycles’ 2016 Harley-Davidson Fatboy S sport a Trask turbo, but the engine also features go-fast goodies from Zippers Performance. With all the performance parts mounted to the motor it’s easy to overlook its cool Panhead rocker boxes. The Fatboy’s thick-spoked DNA wheels are shrouded in sweeping fenders, a Bad Dad FL on the front and a Dirty Bird on the rear. The build runs a one-off Dirty Air suspension set-up front and back. Powdercoated copper accents are sprinkled about the build, offsetting the otherwise dusky paint scheme laid down by South of the Square.

Custom Classic 1st Place Phil Hudson 6th City Cycles 1980 Honda CX500

Checking out with first place in the Custom Classic class was Phil Hudson of 6th City Cycles with his 1980 Honda CX500. Hudson ditched the old CX500 engine for a bigger 1983 CX650 with Murray carbs which gave him an extra 30 horsepower to play with. He stripped it down, redid the rear, and updated the charging system with an antigravity 4 cell battery giving it a drastically different look than the staid stock bike. While he kept the factory tank, he thinned it out a couple inches, then had Krossover Customs give it a paint job that matches its racy new look. On the front end Hudson used an XS650 fork which he said was an easy swap because they were almost the exact same size. Kudos to Hudson for giving an old Honda an extreme makeover worthy of winning best-in-class.

Custom Classic Runner-Up Ralph Spencer Spencer Motoworks 1969 Suzuki T500

The final front-runner coming out of Cleveland was Tom Stine whose 1972 Harley-Davidson XLCH was nominated “People’s Choice.” The bike’s fully polished 1972 1000cc Ironhead engine is a real beaut, as is its custom chromed frame. Showcasing all that shiny goodness with Candy Apple paint was a smart choice, smart enough to win the Cleveland Ultimate Builder crowd over.

Custom Street Runner-Up Brad Ritondaro 2007 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Minnesota, you’re up next as the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show heads to Minneapolis this weekend. After that, it’s time for the championship round in Chicago where one talented builder is going to take home a big chunk of change and the “King of Custom Builders” crown.