After the original field of over 300 entries from some 26 countries had been whittled down to a final five builds, EICMA saw one of California's oldest Harley dealers - Laidlaw's of Baldwin Park near Los Angeles - scoop the win in Harley's 2019 worldwide 'Battle of the Kings' custom competition for authorized Harley dealers.
|Winner - USA, Laidlaw's H-D Los Angeles: 'Coast Glide'
The winning entry, the stunning "FXGTS Coast Glide" is based on a Harley Sport Glide model that has been extensively customized to create a throwback to FXRT styling with a Southern California twist - paying tribute to the Pacific Coast Highway and the Southern California influence on modern performance cruisers.
|Finalist - Germany, Thunderbike H-D: 'Roar'
"As a concept, it covers a lot of ground. As a design, it's far more than the sum of its parts - the team wanted full functionality but with a strong California flair."
'Battle of the Kings' is the world's largest dealer custom build-off competition - in 2018, the Custom King crown was taken by debut-entrants Harley-Davidson Bangkok with Street Bob-based build "The Prince".
|Finalist - United Kingdom, Warr's H-D: 'The Crook'
For 2019, any model in the Harley range could be selected as a base for the build (excluding Trike and CVO models), meaning dealers had more choice than ever before in order to create a title challenger.
Dealers had to choose from three style categories - Dirt, Chop and Race - for their build. The rules were simple - 50% of the parts used had to be genuine Harley-Davidson accessories and the customization budget was a maximum of 50% of the donor bike retail price.
|Finalist - Mexico, H-D Queretaro: 'Joe Tracker'
Grand final runners-up were Warr's Harley-Davidson, The Crook (United Kingdom), Thunderbike Harley-Davidson, Roar (Germany), Calgary Harley-Davidson, Moonshine (Canada) and Harley-Davidson Queretaro, Joe Tracker (Mexico) - whose machines were all on display at EICMA for the tense final voting.
"Once again the global Harley-Davidson dealership community has excelled at demonstrating their custom leadership," said Steve Lambert, International Marketing Director, Harley-Davidson. "Huge congratulations to all of our over 300 entries, the regional winners and finalists - and especially to our 2019 champions Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson. A truly stunning build - and a worthy champion."
|Finalist - Canada, Calgary H-D: 'Moonshine’
The competition kicked off with a public vote to shortlist each country's favourite bike, then each country voted for its National Winner, with a shortlist of five bikes selected by public vote to compete in the Grand Finale at the EICMA Show.
Entries are open for the Modified American V-twin class at the 2020 AMD World Championship of Custom bike Building at INTERMOT, Germany, October 6-11 2020. www.AMDChampionship.com