It’s AMD World Championship time. The annual freak show held at the Sturgis motorcycle rally reveals the best and worst of the traditional custom world, including many sphincter-tightening lapses of taste.
There are signs of sanity amongst the Big Hair and leather vests though. And this year’s winner, from Thunderbike, is a definite step in the right direction.
Thunderbike is one of Germany’s most prolific builders, and has a Teutonic obsession with craftsmanship. The winning bike is called “PainTTless”—yes, it loses something in the translation—and it’s a tribute to inter-War salt flat racers. Built around a 1984 Harley Ironhead motor, it’s a diminutive machine running Amal Monoblock carburetion and Bosch ignition.
The transmission and primary are from a much older WLA, but everything else—from the frame to the bodywork—was created in-house. That even includes the 19” wheels, shod with Avon and Heidenau rubber.
And the name? “Two reasons,” says Thunderbike’s Martin Mix. “There’s less paint: the ‘difficult’ parts of the bike are 100% clean. It’s high gloss nickel with many, many layers of copper. And the ‘TT’ is an homage to the old Tourist Trophy bikes at the Isle of Man. On our last two World Championship bikes, we wanted to hide as much as possible. This time we showed every single detail of the bike.”
The tactic has paid off, and the boys from Hamminkeln are nursing world-class hangovers as we speak. Check out their website for previous builds, and follow their Facebook page for the latest Thunderbike news.