The highlight of the final day in Columbus for the 2017 AIMExpo was the culmination of the Championship of the Americas. The finest custom bike builders in the country showcased their latest creations, which serves as an automatic qualifier for the World Championship of Custom Bike Building. A total of 31 bikes from from 24 builders were entered in one of four classes, with an eventual winner crowned for Free Style, Performance Custom, Retro Custom, and Street Custom. Additionally, all attendees casted votes to determine the People’s Choice.
In the end, Tim Dixon of Gas Axe Chop Shop in Ten Mile, Tennessee, and his bike Pennie Lane earned first-place honors in the Free Style category, reserving his spot on the American contingent that will travel to Cologne, Germany, and Intermot 2018 in search of the world championship. People’s Choice went to the BMW Alpha built by Salt Lake City machinist Mark Atkinson, and inspired by a concept created by Turkish designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem.
In addition, the Custom Culture area also housed the Simpson “Paint Slinger” Shootout. Here, 20 Simpson M30 Bandits were custom painted by some of the most talented artists and were on display for all to see. The winner was Kacey Elkins of Krossover Customs in Stanford, Kentucky, whose design will become a limited edition run of 400 helmets.
Antique motorcycle racer Brittney Olsen served as ambassador, sharing her passion for educating current and future motorcyclists about the early era of American motorcycle racing, while also putting some of her own vintage race bikes on display.
Complementing Olsen’s space was “Artisans Row,” where talented industry craftsmen put their talents on display with specialty skills like leather work and pinstriping.
The city of Columbus’ presence was also felt on the show floor, as local dealerships A.D. Farrow Co. and Iron Pony Motorsports both saw high traffic at their exhibit space.