If you follow the custom-bike scene in the Middle East you would undoubtedly know of the Bikers Cafe Build-Off.
Introduced by Bikers Cafe – Dubai in 2015, it showcased 3 amazing creations come to life from builders like Moto, 86 CYCLES and Deus Arabia. This exciting event is now paving the way for other budding-builders to throw their creativity into the mix and see what they can produce.
A year later the 2nd Bikers Cafe Build-Off was held on October 27th 2016 and was very electrifying in many ways. Yes, once again three teams did battle including biking heavyweights Sebsports, internationally recognized custom-shop Lycan Customs and first ever seen amateurs Cafe Racers Middle East (CRME).
As the founder of Cafe Racers Middle East it was evident to me that we were definitely seen by the crowed as a loveable bunch of underdogs, just a group of likeminded bikers buddies with a flair for customizing, retro styling and modifying bikes! We were happy to participate and be the first independent / non-commercial garage to participate in the competition.
Fast-forward to the highly anticipated 2017 Bikers Cafe Build-off held on the 21ST October 2017. Three very exciting challengers from very different backgrounds and very diverse build style were given a 150cc “Hero Thriller” motorcycle and it was going to be a showdown!
4 rules kept them in check :
- Must keep the stock engine
- Must have the sponsors logo’s visibly on the bike
- Must have the bike make emblem somewhere visible on the bike
- Must be start-able / ride-able
The building and fabrication arm to the race team Vendetta Racing UAE. Known for building custom bikes and race bikes for both track and desert. Members Alan Boyter and Marc Roissetter are not new to winning trophies (mostly on the track) and customizing machines with their own hands. Seeing their past work, we knew this was going to be a dynamic team full of energy, knowhow and taste for speed!
Al Ain Customs
Enter the local heavy weights! An exciting custom bike company based out of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Known for their jaw dropping craftsmanship in fabrication, air brush & paint, CNC machining and overall modifying… they have made many dream bikes into reality.
With trophies won from all over the GCC for their custom builds, Al Ain customs was definitely going to be setting some bench marks for there competitors.
Probably the contender who reminded us the most of ourselves. Hamad Al Remeithi has been no stranger to customizing bikes. A face on the scene for a while now, Hamad’s custom builds can be seen at coffee shops, meet-ups and bike shows throughout the UAE.
His beautifully built, custom Honda CB750 remains one of my favorite builds out of the UAE till date.
We didn’t know what Hamad had in store, but knew it would be something that would encompass his unique style, flair for classic styling and attention to detail.
Invited to be a judge by Bikers Cafe alongside previous competitors Sebsports and Lycan Customs we had our work cut out for us. The benefit of being a prior competitor meant that we knew what was expected of the entrees and understand the painstaking effort of getting there builds ready for the show.
As we arrived on site we noticed 2 of the 3 competition bikes at the venue. Al Ain customs nowhere to be seen and everyone was anticipating their arrival!
We started with the unveiling of the first bike from VR Customs. The cover came off… a gasp was let out by the audience followed by applause. Flashes of red, that nostalgic shape known by anyone who has ever loved speed. VR had taken striking style elements from the famous “fastest Indian” built 1967 by the famous New Zealander Burt Monroe.
Taking things to the next level, Team VR decided to turn into a hard tail turbo drag bike….as you do. Lol !
Next to unveil was the build from Bikers Oasis. We watched as the cover silkily slid off the bike and the room rang with applauses….. A unique and very customized café racer.
Arabic branding and Arabian influences echoed through the build, these are the stylistics which have made Biker Oasis such a recognizable figure in the community. For me I particularly liked the Arabic speedo, I have never seen that before ever! Clean lines, amazing paint work…. A head turning creation without question.
We then heard a wave of excitement coming from outside, we all rushed to the front of the cafe……. The 3rd competitor had arrived!
A crowd of people all rushed to the entrance of Bikers Cafe and watched a long covered motorcycle inch towards us, as the team from Al Ain Customs guided it toward the crowed.
We couldn’t wait any longer!As soon as the bike crossed the café threshold we had to have her unveiled!
I matt green, custom fabricated motorcycle. It looked more aro-dynamic then a bullet out of a gun! The rims where large, shiny and menacing and the bike had an overall military feel to it that echoed a beast! Cheers rang out from spectators!
Assessing the bikes was hard, I would almost prefer building a bike to judging one as its hard work! Lol.
Finish/ paint/ fabrication/ lines….etc…. so many details to check over! We talked to each builder about their work, had walks around the bikes with the builders… answering our every question.
It took a while but eventually the judges tallied up the numbers and we were ready to announce the winners:
- VR Customs – 1st
- Bikers Oasis – 2nd
- Al Ain Customs – 3rd
Whilst some teams may be let down about where they placed, they really shouldn’t….
Everyone was a winner that day with the biggest prize being the love and support from both the local and international biker community!
Builders like these inspire others to take part in future competitions and share their creativeness with the rest of us!