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  • Dealernews
  • Jun 24, 2020

Ben Zales Panhead

Michael Lange Banjo Board Track

Christian Newman - Knucklehead

When the COVID closures derailed the Mama Tried, Congregation Vintage Bike & Car and Born-Free motorcycle shows, Harley-Davidson decided to stage “The No Show” virtual event. After seven days of custom motorcycles being rolled out from 60 builders around the world, the results are in. 

-Media Choice Award: chosen and presented by a journalist panel from industry-leading motorcycle publications goes to Ben Zales of Burbank, California for his custom 1963 Panhead. The journalist panel applauds the bike’s uniqueness and its ’60s era style with an attention to design that effortlessly flows together. Zales fabricated the bike in his home garage and built the tank, pipes, seat and controls himself. He also designed the tear-drop oil tank to align with the gas tank, kicker pedal and seat. Zales’ artistry is widely known as he is a Born-Free 10 and 11 invited builder as well as a Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show 2019 invited guest.

-H-D Styling & Design Award: chosen and presented by Brad Richards, VP of styling & design at Harley-Davidson and long-time garage builder. This award goes to Michael Lange of Waukesha, Wisconsin for his customized 1921 Harley Banjo Two Cam Board Track Racer. Richards, of Harley-Davidson’s styling and design team, drew from Willie G. Davidson’s coined phrase, “form follows function, but both report to emotion,” when choosing Lange’s build. “The custom build stood out for its beauty, but also as a pure racing machine with a re-engineered motor that keeps the bike performing,” Lange has been an invited builder to every Mama Tried Motorcycle Show since its inception. 

-Harley-Davidson Museum Award: chosen by museum staff and presented by Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum and great-grandson of Harley-Davidson’s Co-Founder William A. Davidson, the award went to Christian Newman of Buffalo, New York for his ultra-narrow, all stainless-steel custom 1940 Knucklehead. H-D Museum staff selected Newman for the ingenuity behind all the hand-built components as well as the narrowing of the transmission 2” and running the oil through the frame. Newman is also a Born-Free 12 invited builder showcasing his talents at the show.

Those who missed the show can visit Harley-Davidson’s Instagram page to scroll through the array of bikes and tap into their favorites where they’ll see a personal video of each builder walking them through his or her masterpiece. 



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