Judges and fan votes chose a NASA engineer, OSHA safety inspector and a mining equipment engineer as the three finalists who will compete for top honors in Indian’s ‘Wrench Bobber Build-Off’ for amateur customizers.
A judging panel of professional builders and experts, including Roland Sands, Satya Kraus, Jason Paul Michaels and Hot Bike Editor-in-Chief Jordan Mastagni, along with an online fan vote, selected Alfredo Juarez, PJ Grakauskas and Christian Newman as the top three entrants. The three selected finalists will face off in a custom-build battle for a grand prize of $10,000 and a feature spread in Hot Bike Magazine.
All three will now get a new 2018 Indian Scout Bobber and a budget of $10,000 to design and customize the stock bike. From over 100 submissions, 12 top designs were showcased online and available for fan voting - Juarez, Grakauskas and Newman, who received the three highest vote counts, each come from distinctly different backgrounds and offer equally diverse concepts.
Newman, a mining equipment mechanical engineer from upstate New York, “is an incredibly creative amateur builder who shook up the chopper scene with his recent build of a 1940 V-twin fabricated almost entirely out of stainless steel.”
Newman will be building a swingarm-chopper-style Scout Bobber with old school custom components, including a Crazy Frank fender and raw metal fabrication. “Newman uses many old-world techniques, which are more painstaking than most modern methods, but require a more intensive attention to detail and higher level of craftsmanship.”
Grakauskas is a 39-yo family man from Ohio working as a safety inspector for OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), “but it’s inside the shed in his backyard where his real passions are fed. With several polished and refined Cafe Racers under his belt, the road racing enthusiast is building a full-fairing Cafe Racer with race-inspired brakes and suspension and increased performance.
Alfredo Juarez is a 34-yo NASA engineer based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He started wrenching at the age of 12, but his fabrication journey began in college, building bikes and hot rods for his friends, and making all his own tools and tables. His design concept is incredibly ambitious given the short timeline, but Juarez has built frames in a matter of weeks and is confident he can produce an incredible rigid Scout Bobber on deadline.
The three custom Scout Bobbers will be unveiled on August 5 at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The public unveil will trigger a second fan voting process, which will determine the grand prize winner. The winner will be announced two weeks later and will receive a $10,000 grand prize along with a feature spread in Hot Bike magazine.