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October 23, 2017

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Motorcycle marvels: Builders’ creativity on display at bike fest


Ric Anderson

People take a closer look at Vaughn Spurlock’s entry at the Artistry in Iron competition at Las Vegas Bike Fest on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

The Artistry in Iron competition at Las Vegas Bike Fest is an annual art display in steel, metal flake, leather, rubber and chrome.

This year's participants in the design competition came from as far as Wisconsin to compete for the top honor: the Master Builders Championship.

Their creations ranged from Dalton Walker's spidery-thin, 1970s-inspired chopper with a seat thinner than one you'd find on a kid's bicycle, to Vaughn Spurlock's 11 1/2-foot-long highway cruiser built for riders as big and tall as pro athletes.

Cafe racers, antique-inspired creations and even a bike with a sidecar were on display at the event, being held this weekend at the Cashman Center. Here are a few of the entries.

    • Shaun Ruddy's entry

      Shaun Ruddy, of Las Vegas, won the People's Choice Award for his stripped-down low-rider, which takes its design cues from World War I-era motorized bicycles.

    • Dalton Walker's entry

      Dalton Walker, of Hanford, Calif., looked to '70s choppers as the design inspiration for his entry. The bike features skinny tires, a wispy frame and minimal instrumentation. It also boasts an engine from British bike manufacturer Triumph, a rarity in a field in which many bikes featured Harley-Davidson power plants.

    • Paul Cavallo's entry

      Gleaming gold and brass highlights, metal-flake paint and custom-tooled leather adorn Paul Cavallo's entry. Cavallo operates California-based Spitfire Motorcycles.

    • AFT Customs' entry

      Not every bike was a chopper. This cafe racer came from Jackson, Calif.-based AFT Customs and was built by a team of female designers and fabricators. The Japanese symbols on the tank translate to "Faithful Friend," the name of the bike.

    • Vaughn Spurlock's entry

      Vaughn Spurlock said his entry was inspired by the red, white and blue chopper ridden by Peter Fonda in the classic biker movie "Easy Rider." Spurlock's creation is much bigger, longer and exotic, though. It features ground-lighting effects and a seat crafted from python and shark skin.

    • Chris Richardson's entry

      Chris Richardson, from L.A. Speed Shop, took a novel approach by entering a bike-sidecar combo.

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