The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows continued its whirlwind tour around the United States as it rolled into Denver, Colorado, for the fifth round of competition. The events serve as a platform for custom builders to showcase their latest work, meet potential new customers, and win some cash. Victors in the Freestyle, Custom Classic and Custom Street categories not only pocketed thousands of dollars but earned an invite to compete in the championship round February 9 in Chicago and a crack at its $10,000 grand prize.

Freestyle 1st Place - Ryan Gore Paper Street Customs 1978 Harley Shovelhead 

Riding off with $1,500 for first place in the Freestyle class was Ryan Gore of Paper Street Customs. Gore put his touch on every inch of his stunning 1978 Harley Shovelhead, the first Shovel to win the Freestyle class this year. Gore doctored up the old Shovel and spooned it in a ground-skirting hardtail frame. There’s an insane amount of small details on this bike, from the twisted motor mounts to the machined linkages to an Our Lady of Guadalupe medallion hidden in the bar end. The battery box and intake funnel are made of blue stained glass that matches the brilliant blue of the tank and rear fender. Both the handmade pipes and fork lowers sport the same ribbed design, subtle touches that give the build cohesiveness. The only things Gore didn’t do himself was the paint and seat, instead enlisting the services of two amazingly talented craftsmen, Scott Takes of Underground Art Studios and Curt Green of Bare Bones Leather. Coolest thing is, this ain’t no trailer queen. This Shovel is the real deal, a bike we’d hop on in two seconds and go rippin’ up our favorite twisty road. And it wasn’t the only stellar Shovelhead in the show, as Patrick Kitowski’s Freestyle Runner-Up was also Shovel-powered. Kitowski took an entirely different approach, though, turning his 2019 Dino’s Custom Cycles II Inc. Softail into a stylin’ Vicla lowrider with a big 26-inch front hoop, super-stretched fishtails, and plenty of sweet engraving.

Freestyle Runner-Up Patrick Kitowski 2019 Dino’s Custom Cycles II Inc. Softail

Taking home first place in the Custom Classic class was a well-known fixture of the Denver, Colorado, custom bike scene. Richard Ryan, aka “Irish Rich,” has been building award-winning customs for more than half-a-century. The 1979 Harley Shovelhead he brought out to the Denver Ultimate Builder Show featured a nickel-plated frame, one of two CFL frames made in this configuration by Jesse James’ West Coast Choppers. Talk about a tidy build. You don’t see any wiring on this bike as everything’s run internally. The battery is hidden beneath the transmission. The curved, homemade oil tank in front of the back fender is a thing of beauty. A sweet Springer kicks out the front end while a bad-to-the-bone Dick Allen Centerline wheel anchors the rear. The wicked paint and gold flames were laid down by none other than Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios. While Sportsters have shown strong in other cities, the Denver Ultimate Builder battle was ruled by show-stopping Shovels.

The winner of the Custom Street class didn’t get that memo, though. Garret Wilson won the $500 first place prize with a unique tracker-style 2000 KTM Duke II. Wilson cleaned up the LC4 engine and teamed it with a 41mm flat side carb and a custom exhaust with an FMF silencer. A custom subframe and Goon Glass tail section have been added to the old supermoto’s stock frame. A retrofitted Honda CB400 steel tank now flies the KTM flag thanks Dan White’s painting skills. The sporty build runs 19-inch Sun rims laced with Buchannan spokes front and back but retained the KTM hubs. It’s a rad little build, one we wouldn’t hesitate to take out to the nearest dirt track and spin some fast laps on.

Custom Street 1st Place Garrett Wilson 2000 KTM Duke II 

The last award went to Amanda Steele of Big Top Moteaux who won the Denver crowd over with her “Kawasexi” 1975 KS 125. Steele breathed new life into a vintage 125cc Kawasaki enduro and won  People’s Choice for her efforts.

People's Choice Amanda Steele Big Top Moteaux 1975 Kawasaki KS 125 

There’s no rest for the weary as the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is in Cleveland, Ohio, this weekend, and will be headed to Minneapolis right after that before wrapping up with the grand finale in the Windy City.

Custom Street Runner-Up Kyle Shorey 2004 T100 Triumph