Every event begins the same: A couple of friends get together and start throwing around “what ifs.” The “what ifs” turn into a couple of phone calls, meetings, and then the dreaded deadline ensues. The Show Class Magazine People’s Champ began the same way and three years later, Tim Lind continues to bring the little guy to the forefront. If you’re an avid reader of this site, you know that we work side by side with Tim to help promote his contest. The winner of the People’s Champ has the distinct privilege of moving their custom motorcycle to the Born-Free Invited Builders circle. Everyone and their brother congregate at Cook’s Corner on Friday night to vote for the champ. My ticket went to Kyle Edgar for his beautiful VL framed Shovelhead. The attention to detail was impressive and I was instantly smitten! Sadly, Kyle didn’t get crowned the winner that night. His victory came during Born-Free 6 by winning first place honors in the Best Shovelhead class. That victory also helped him attract Mike Davis’ and Grant Peterson’s attention and they welcomed him to be an Invited Builder for Born-Free 7. We’re honored to be able to showcase Born Sugar here and look forward to seeing Kyle’s latest build.
The evening before my deadline to ship the bike to Cali, I decided to take her out for one more ride for the hell of it. As I slammed into one of our finest upstate NY potholes at 80+ mph, I realized it may have been a regrettable decision. I got back to the shop and inspected the bike meticulously to discover my biggest fear, a fine hairline in the paint just below the neck... I cracked my damn frame, and the bike had to be in Jersey by morning. I reluctantly called up my painter to give him the news, and he was super cool about accommodating my situation. "It's cool man, do what you gotta do... I'll pack up my gear and be there in a bit." I went right to work stripping the area around the crack and doing my repair work, while Ray got set up for a late-night/early morning seamless paint fix in a less than favorable painting environment. By the time it was done, we had accumulated a small audience in the shop... we all looked at the finished job with a collective sense of relief and amazement. "You can't even tell this ever happened, man...." said one of the guys, and everyone agreed. I was really lucky that things worked out. It was a multi-layered paint job that needed to be feathered in... we could've had issues with many things including my compressor... not to mention that we had to have the garage door wide open for ventilation and the shop lights were like a beacon to hoards of summertime bugs. Every build has a lot of bumps along the way... (especially when you believe it's all done) but that's what makes it all worthwhile in the end.
The Show Class PC2 competition was the perfect opportunity to get this thing done and stop procrastinating. It has been one hell of an adventure... from the "oh shit, now i really have to finish this thing" moment to actually setting foot on So-Cal soil along with the other 5 People's Champ builders to be part of Born Free 6. It was a journey for all of us and everyone brought their A game... each one of those guys are topnotch and really cool guys. I was pretty happy for Mike Nielson for his win though. I think that we all felt tremendous satisfaction in just being at Cooks's Corner swapping our war stories and relaxing (finally) together with our completed builds.
This past winter I never imagined that I would be on the left coast come June, never mind receiving the award for 'Best Shovelhead' at a show that I doubted I'd make it to anytime soon even as a spectator. I'm incredibly honored, and the reality still hasn't completely set in. I'd like to thank Tim and Justin of Show Class for allowing me this opportunity... it was your incentive that got me there! I also want to thank Mike and Grant for the personal invitation to be an invited builder at BF7 and putting on an amazing show... I'm looking forward to this year!
Photographs by Brandi Budziak Leadfist Cycles
Owner name, location: Kyle Edgar, Woodstock NY
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: '68 Shovel - rebuilt by me
Frame: '32 HD VL Frame
Fork: '46 Offset Springer - narrowed
Tire/wheel size and style: 18" rear 21" front
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Headlight - VW
Taillight - '30's NOS
Pegs - Throwback Cycle Parts (Josh Frazzitta)
Upholstery - Pirate Upholstery (Jay Teske)
Shiftknob - Leadfist (Brandi Budziak)
Paint - Ray Sampson (Pirate Productions)
Be sure to follow Leadfist Cycles on Instagram, http://instagram.com/leadfistcycles and check out their store.
I would personally like to thank Tim, Mike and Grant for continuing to give the little guy a place to shine. Be sure to check out the latest issue of Show Class Magazine, www.showclassmag.com, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram. Please check out Born-Free's website and blog, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram as well.