Twin Club MC, Norrtälje, Sweden, June 2, 2018
One of, if not THE oldest custom bike show in the world, and the oldest (14th year) AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate event, the annual Twin Club MC ‘Custom Bike Show’ took place in Sweden on the first weekend of June – Sweden’s national holiday weekend.
First staged in 1971 and a bellwether of custom design trends ever since (check out the awesome time capsule of photography from the show’s early years on the event website!), it is staged at the coastal former port town of Norrtälje about two hours north east of Stockholm, the Swedish capital.
Riding to Norrtälje on the first Saturday of June is a long and well-established tradition for custom bike riders from all over northern Europe (and further afield). For many it is the first big trip of the year.
|Petri Ruusunen with ‘Velacimoteur’|
The show is a one-day ride-in, staged in a remarkable and enduring collaboration between Twin Club and Norrtälje’s community and city council that speaks to the respect in which Twin Club is held (as organizers and ambassadors for motorcycling) and a healthy attitude towards two wheels as a leisure lifestyle and transport solution.
This year saw over 10,000 visitors to the downtown societetspark (city park) where the show is staged, with some 5,500 motorcycles turning the dockside venue in to a hard-miles, trailer-queen-free zone - some 240 of the bikes ridden there enter the custom show itself, of which nearly 70 entered the legendary H-D Chopper class, with over 50 in the mild-to-wild Custom class that has often yielded some of the most radical ground-up builds seen anywhere.
|Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering)|
To improve competitiveness, some classes were merged this year, so additional classes included Chopper (for non-Harley platform choppers), Racer, Classic, Modified Standard (a new class that expanded the traditional Modified Harley class to include multiple modified factory platforms, in keeping with an increasing trend being seen at shows in Europe), plus Best Paint and Custom Chrome Europe sponsored People’s Choice awards.
Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs, Sweden, won the H-D Chopper Class – a ‘Norrtälje’ regular and prior winner – who also won one of the jury prizes to compete to be this year’s AVON Tyres World Champion at the AMD World Championship at INTERMOT ‘Customized’ in Germany in October.
Winners of the jury prizes to compete in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at INTERMOT ‘Customized’ are:
1. Petri Ruusunen with ‘Velacimoteur’
2. Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering)
3. Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs
The second and third places in the H-D Chopper class went to Finland’s Janne Antttila from Pythänskoski and Rezi from Oulu.
Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering) won the Custom class with a customized Indian Super Scout, and also scooped one of the jury prizes to compete at ‘The AMD’ in October, with the jury’s number one choice for the AVON Tyres sponsored Freestyle class at the AMD World Championship going to Finland’s Petri Ruusunen, a well-known artist and silversmith with several previously successful builds to his name.
This year he returned with an updated version of his ‘Velacimoteur’ – a combination of 1910s ‘oldest of Old School’ mixed with a little steampunk and date-proof unbranded engine of ‘Hybrid’ origin.
|Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs|
Gerhard Remmert of Bike Farm Melle, Germany, fame took two showbikes to Norrtälje, two different Harleys in two different classes (Custom and Racer), and headed back to Germany with third place prizes in both classes.
The Racing class was won by another well-known builder, Pål Steenersen from Rulperts Hog in Norway, a prior Norrtälje Modified Harley winner. This year's new class, Modified Standard, was won by Marko Antila from Seinäjoki in Finland with a Panhead from 1956.
The Public Choice winner (and second in the Racer class) were Strul MMC from Enköping, Sweden, who came to Norrtälje with their club build - a rare and converted Maico Mobil from the 50s, an early touring motorcycle made in Germany by Maico between 1950 and 1958. Conceived and marketed as a “car on two wheels”, the Mobil had body panels that enclosed the drivetrain, protecting its riders from the elements, included an integral pair of panniers and a mount for a spare tire. They took home a RevTech transmission courtesy of Public Choice sponsor Custom Chrome Europe.
This year’s long-distance hero was Giordano Sforazzini who came all the way from Rome, Italy – his third and, finally, successful attempt to ‘Ride-In’ on ‘Biga Valerio’ – a motorcycle engined Roman Chariot no less!
Our thanks, as always, to Twin Club MC for their meticulous organization, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse and Zodiac International for their support of the event, and the City of Norrtällje authorities for their biker-friendly attitude and use of the central park for the event.
Save the date: ‘Custom Bike Show’ 2019, Norrtälje, Sweden - Saturday June 1.