(Photos courtesy of J&P Cycles Brent Brooks and Progressive International Motorcycle Shows)

The new year kicked off with a bang as the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show swept into Dallas for the first competition of 2020. Texas loves custom motorcycles, evident by the eclectic array spread about the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center during the third Progressive International Motorcycle Show of the season. There was no shortage of creativity on display, from a purple Yamaha “Franken-Fazer” to a rusty War Monkey 150 café racer sipping gas from a Jameson Whiskey bottle.

While there were plenty of first-timers competing in the Lone Star state, a familiar face to the Dallas J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder shows banked the $1,500 Freestyle first prize check. Tim Scates took a page out of the Arlen Ness playbook by reinventing a prior show-winning build called “Amy’s Twisted Bobber.” One notable carryover is the frame’s twisted downtube. Considering the 1.5-inch solid bar came from an archaeological dig in Houston and reportedly was twisted in the 1800s, it deserves to still be a prominent feature of the motorcycle. Beyond that, little has remained the same. Gone are the engraved split rocker boxes on the 74 cubic-inch engine, traditional Panhead covers in their place. Scates’ build features new pipes, wheels, fork, and handlebars. While it formerly was a jockey shifting scoot, now it’s equipped with an ingenious bearing system and no longer has a clutch lever of any kind. The big V-stacks rising off the right side are from a flathead Ford and still sport Ford badges. Hand-engraving and 24k gold inlay continue to add a dash of class as Scates notched another victory on his Ultimate Builder belt.

Tim Scates took a page out of the Arlen Ness playbook and reinvented an award-winning build to win the top prize in Dallas.

In the Custom Street class, Kevin Anderle’s clean 2006 Sportster 1200 café racer edged out the Liberty sidecar-equipped 2012 Harley Road King built by the Motorcycle Missions team for top honors. Anderle’s build started with a garage-find Sporty that had only 200 original miles on it. Anderle dressed it up with a beautifully fabricated aluminum tank, fairing, and tail section. Stripping down the back end meant he had to make a custom rear license plate bracket. He also made custom rearset foot controls and threw on a polished Dyna rear wheel. The 2-into-1 exhaust has been ceramic-coated and culminates in a Super Trapp muffler. The raw finish on all the tins allows Anderle’s metal-shaping skills to shine.

Custom Street 1st Place - Kevin Anderle 2006 Sportster 1200 café racer

Rounding out the list of Dallas winners was Brian Nikkel of OKC Chop Shop who rode off with the $500 prize for first place in the Custom Classic class. “El Flaco” features a ’75 Ironhead Sportster engine with S&S pistons, a Super B carb, and nickeled rocker boxes. The front end is a twin-shock Knuckle Dragger with double tube-style fork legs and Nash Midget Gimps that have been narrowed and shortened. The jockey shifter features a linkage system that brings the shifting mechanism from the right to the left side. The Detroit Bro’s gas tank sits on a modified Led Sled frame and is decked out in root beer and metal flake paint applied by Manny’s Ink & Air. Slim and sporty, a set of six-piston Beringer brakes round out a true custom classic.

Brian Emig also deserves a shout-out for his funky “BMF Hardley-Davidson” chopper, the People’s Choice award winner at the Dallas J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. With bent wrenches connecting to chain linkages, a shovel for an air cleaner cover, and a faucet handle controlling fuel flow, it’s easy to see that this bike was built with fun in mind.

The three Dallas winners punched their tickets to the championship round in Chicago Feb. 7-9 and a chance at big prize money. Until then, though, the fourth round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show will be held this weekend in Washington, D.C., as one of the most acclaimed competitions around continues its tour across the country.