Seven shows in seven major metropolises. Hundreds of the most creative custom motorcycles in the land. The level of competition at the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows was fierce this year, but when the smoke had cleared at the championship round in Chicago, it was Tim Dixon of Gas Axe Chop Shop who rode away with the $10,000 grand prize. The custom builder out of Ten Mile, Tennessee,  won the title with “Game Changer,” a Shovelhead chopper running a 4-speed Harley gearbox spooned into a rigid wishbone frame. A custom VL-style springer front end, homemade wheels, and a stellar paint job by Leatherwood Motorcycle Works all contributed to Dixon’s victory in the vaunted Freestyle class and the title “King of Custom Builders.”

Dixon makes a living repairing and customizing cars, trucks and motorcycles, but he said that no matter what it is, if it's broken, he can fix it. After seeing his game-changing Shovel, we believe you Tim.

J&P had a great conversation with Dixon who said his focus was 100% on craftsmanship. He's built 30 custom bikes in the past 25 years and finished in the top 10 in the world at the AMD World Championships in Germany a few years ago, so he's already got a pretty good grasp on the craftsmanship thing. He continues to evolve his craft as he taught himself how to design and make wheels for his winning Shovelhead.

Tim Dixon originally built his championship-winning Shovelhead for Michael Lichter's Motorcycles as Art exhibit in Sturgis. 

Dixon’s been welding for 30 years and appreciates older motorcycles, so much so that he designed and built his own version of a classic wishbone frame and springer front end. He also designed and created the headlight and mirrors. Initially he was going to polish everything, no paint, so he would not distract from the craftsmanship that went into the bike, but he ran out of time. We’re not complaining, though, because Leatherwood Motorcycle Works nailed it with the sweet inlay.

When asked what parts on the bike he thinks are "underappreciated" Dixon pointed out the front motor mount and the tail spacers, saying he spent countless hours on the grinder to get them just right. The build took seven months and 760 hours of his spare time (he's got a full-time job that pays the bills). Dixon apparently is going to use the prize money from the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show to get started on the custom motorcycle he’ll be taking to Germany to represent the U.S. at the AMD’s in 2020.