Vintage rally boosted by dealership bike building event
A lack of mods brought on a name change for the largest annual vintage motorcycle and scooter rally in the U.S.
Even so, the newly named Motoblot proved to be a success in Year 1 in Chicago, thanks in large part to a bike building competition that pitted four Triumph dealers in the Iron Moto Challenge.
“Behind the scenes at any dealership, behind the parts counter, if you will, there’s always a unique culture or shop vibe,” said Joe Gustafson, marketing and communications specialist for Icon Motosports, which assisted with event promotion. “We wanted to give each of them a bike and parts to express themselves.”
Of course, the festival is still a celebration of motorcycle and rock and roll culture that features custom bikes and hot rods, an amateur film festival, live music, and a pin-up contest.
British Customs partnered with Triumph Motorcycles to bring the bike building competition of the year to the 2014 Motoblot Show in mid-June. The British Customs Iron Moto Challenge, presented by ICON 1000 and Raen Optics, proved to be a hit. Competitors were randomly assigned a bone stock Triumph motorcycle to base their builds on, then were given free reign to do whatever prep, paint, or performance modifications they wanted before the show. The four bikes arrived at Motoblot on June 14, and fans watched as the builders stripped down their machines and built them back up into unique custom rides right there on the streets of Chicago.
Johnny Scheff of MotoWorks Chicago, Carl Peshof of Northern Ohio Triumph, Todd Ligman Team Triumph of Wisconsin and Ken Rudoy of Windy City Triumph were the team leaders.
“Out of the top 10 Triumph dealerships, we had four of them at this event,” Gustafson said. “It was great for us to show the benefits of what Icon 1000 can bring to a dealership. So we were able to show what we can do for brick-and-mortar. We have one of the largest growing social media platforms and our website has more traffic than ever.”
“Now more than ever before a custom Triumph is affordable and attainable,” British Customs founder Jason Panther said. “Our aim is to encourage Triumph owners to head to their local Triumph dealer to get ideas, put together a BC parts package, or just talk shop.”
Nearly 100,000 attendees were expected to participate, elevating the status of the event that joins others like The One Show and Born Free in gathering like-minded riders.
Competitors pulled from British Customs Parts Packages in order to complete their builds. The result was four unique bikes that showcased the variety of looks and styles that can be accomplished with British Customs bolt-on components.
The winning builds were determined by a panel of judges composed of industry leaders Julian Heppekausen of Deus Ex Machina, Brian Klock of Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, Kevin Dunworth of Loaded Gun Customs and Christy Lee of All Girls Garage.
British Customs will soon be offering Dealer Packages at Triumph dealerships across the country. Triumph owners will be able to mix and match from Appearance, Performance, Lighting, Protection, Control, Driveline, Suspension, Braking, Paint & Body Packages to customize their sport bike, cruiser or modern classic to create a unique machine.
Fans who voted on the builds were registered to win a $1,500 trip to Cabo provided by Raen Optics; a $1,500 British Customs Package of choice; and a $1,500 ICON Motorsports apparel package.