If you want Indian Motorcycle to give you $10,000 toward building a custom Scout Bobber, you’re going to have to do more than sketch your idea out on a napkin. That’s the painful lesson being learned by amateur builder Kyle Kompas, who was not one of the three finalists announced Tuesday in the manufacturer’s “The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build Off” competition.
Kyle’s rough vision of an all-roads Scout Bobber was one of 12 designs submitted by amateur builders and put up for public vote earlier this month. Instead the public – and a panel of judges – selected the designs of Alfredo Juarez, PJ Grakauskas, and Christian Newman.
Juarez’s design has a low, nouveau board tracker feel; Newman’s vision transforms the Scout Bobber into something that is indistinguishable from every chopper ever made; and Grakauskas’ design turns the bike into a fully faired race machine befitting of its amazing engine.
“I’m excited to take a modern Indian motorcycle and infuse it with an 80’s chopper aesthetic,” said Newman. “I love that Indian is doing a 180 with this contest and shining a light on the guys that build for nothing more than the love of creating something totally personal and totally unique.”
Newman, 36, is a mechanical engineer from upstate New York. He says he plans to build a swingarm-chopper-style Scout Bobber with old-school custom components, including a Crazy Frank fender and raw metal fabrication.
READ MORE: 2018 Indian Scout Bobber – Ride Review
Juarez, meanwhile is a NASA engineer based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The 34 year old says he started working on bikes when he was 12, but really fell into the bike building scene in college.
“I’m very blessed to have this opportunity put before me,” Juarez said. “After all the
hours I’ve spent working on bikes over the years, it’s amazing to be recognized with something like this contest.”
Lastly, Ohio-based Grakauskas, 39, has built a number of cafe racers but says the Scout Bobber platform will be unique for him. Inspired by his love for road racing, he’s planning a full-fairing café racer with race-inspired brakes and suspension, as well as taking additional measures to increase the stock engine’s output.
Obviously, Grakauskas should win this thing.
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 – assuming the magazine doesn’t fold before then (Hot Bike is owned by Bonnier, which has been struggling lately).
All three bikes will be unveiled on 5 August, as part of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and again be put up to public vote. Based on the typical Sturgis attendee (ie, people who think CB radios should still be offered on new bikes), it’s unlikely that Grakauskas will win. Damn.
Whoever the winner is, his name will be announced two weeks later – once the Sturgis hangover has worn off and Indian’s interns are steady enough to count the votes. You can follow the progress of the builds by checking out the #TheWrenchIMC hashtag on Instagram.