The custom bike scene are quiet achievers of New Zealand motorcycle culture, with the immaculate results of months of hard slog rarely gaining the praise they deserve. Call it tall poppy syndrome, but Kiwi customs could use a bit more support from us regular guys.
Enter Harley-Davidson’s Battle of the Kings competition, which pits Harley dealers worldwide against each other for top honours.
The idea behind Harley’s Battle of the Kings competition is to create on-off custom bikes using only the expansive Harley-Davidson parts catalogue for after sales parts and the know-how of the dealership’s tech staff for the rest.
For the first stage of the competition, 26 Harley-Davidson dealers from across Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head showcasing their one-off, two-wheeled creations. In a new element to the competition this year, dealerships can select their base bike from any Harley-Davidson model family (excluding CVO and Trike) to enter into one of three build categories – Dirt, Chop or Race.
Once crowned, the ANZ winner will take to the world stage in a showdown against national champions from across the globe. Four finalists will be selected from the participating nations to be showcased at the EICMA, alongside the US finalist in Milan, Italy where the 2019 Global Custom King will be revealed.
Six of New Zealand’s Harley-Davidson dealers have thrown their hats in the ring this year with North Auckland Harley-Davidson, Auckland Harley-Davidson, East Coast Harley-Davidson, Rolling Thunder Harley-Davidson, Motomart Harley-Davidson and McIvor & Veitch all producing some very unique builds all in the name of vying for supremacy against a host of Aussie machinery. And they need your support!
Unlike bike shows where the voting is often a mystery as men in lab coats check every aspect of a bike, the Battle of the Kings is a popularity contest with the bikes which secure the most votes moving on to the final round to go up against the best builds from around the world.
Voting is now live via the www.h-d.com/BattleOfTheKings website where you can read more about the six Kiwi builds and vote for your favourite.
Our favourite is Rolling Thunder's Billy Bob (above), which in their own words is "a cheeky bike born to climb like a goat and crown you King of the Hill, or kill you trying."
Yup, this bike has personality, looks cool and has the performance to back it up. Our favourite features include the classic Harley inspired fuel tank which harks back to the era when hillclimbing was more than just a laugh at bike rallies, and the chains on the rear tyre. You know, for extra traction.
All these Kiwi creations are deserving of your vote though, so come on, let’s get a deserving Kiwi dealer to the finals this year!