Indian Motorcycle has opened up public voting in its Scout Bobber custom build-off. It’s possible – in fact, probable – you won’t remember this build-off even though The Motorcycle Obsession has reported on it three times in the past, so we’ll save you some time: you should vote for the cafe racer.
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Way back in April, Indian first announced the three finalists who would compete in the build-off: a NASA engineer from Las Cruces, New Mexico, an OSHA inspector from Avon, Ohio, and a mechanical engineer from Buffalo, New York. Each was given US $10,000 and tasked with transforming a stock Scout Bobber into something unique and new.
Their completed builds were unveiled at Sturgis this past weekend, and the ultimate winner will pick up an additional $10,000 and have his bike featured in Hot Bike – a magazine that apparently still publishes pictures of scantily clad women draped over motorcycles because that’s not outdated and there’s no way such a thing could ever hamper efforts to diversify and broaden the appeal of motorcycles.
Anyway, you have until 16 August to vote for your favorite, which, of course, is the cafe racer made by Ohio’s PJ Grakauskas. The winner will be announced 21 August.
“These builders blew us away with their commitment to the program, their build and overall finished product,” said Reid Wilson, senior director for Indian Motorcycle. “Each one of them made significant sacrifices and adjustments to their daily lives. They put in countless hours, long nights and a ton of work to meet the deadline. We cannot thank them enough for their time, energy, and investment into the program.”
Grakauskas says the inspiration for his cafe racer came from growing up on two wheels and hanging around racetracks and garages most of his childhood. Highlighted by its handmade full fairing, his build is inspired by vintage racing with a modern performance sensibility.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be building a custom motorcycle for such a great company with a storied history,” he said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to represent us little guys working in their small garages and sheds. I am truly humbled by the whole experience.”
Impressive in its own right is the mad build of New Mexico’s Alfredo Juarez, 34. He says his build was inspired by a number of different mechanical works of art, both in and out of the motorcycle industry. The story of the build is one of family effort.
“This experience has been amazing inside and out,” he said “It’s been a huge blessing for myself and my family. I’m proud of the final product, not only for all the work I’ve put into it, but for all the work my family has put in and the sacrifices they have made to allow me to focus on this over the last three months. My dad’s time and support on this project has allowed my daughter to spend quality time with her grandpa. My wife painted the tank, which she’s never done before, but we had all the confidence considering her creative talents. My family and I are so very thankful for this opportunity.”
Upstate New Yorker Christian Newman, meanwhile, chose a style that will be particularly familiar to attendees of custom shows, turning his Scout Bobber into an old-school chopper. He prides himself on using old-world techniques that are more painstaking than most modern methods, requiring a more intensive attention to detail but delivering a higher level of craftsmanship.
“This experience is sort of surreal because it put me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to work with less of a budgetary constraint,” said Newman. “It’s flattering that I was chosen and I am very thankful. I was a little apprehensive about my build when it first began. I’m not used to using a largely unmodified frame or motor, so I was worried that the bike wouldn’t feel like I’d done anything significant. But I’ve wound up replacing almost every piece on it besides those two major components, so it really feels like mine.”
(Click to enlarge)