The UK’s Battle of the Kings competitors have unveiled their 2019 entries, and they are playing under very different rules this time.
It’s bigger than ever this year and played on an international stage, and is a far cry from a few years back, when dealers were quite constrained in the choice of donor bike and the rules were more complicated, but then something changed.
It was no longer a compulsory dealer activity, which meant that the odds were better, but the focus switched to the international competition.
Then last year a couple of the new Softails were eligible, That’s more like it.
And now, this year, any bike except CVO and Trike models are fair game. And the budget is still 50% of the retail price of the bike – half of which much be spent on Harley-Davidson parts and accessories. Bring it on!
Start with an FXDR and you’ve got a £15k budget; start with Street Rod and you’ve got £3,400 but custom building has never been about who can spend the most.
Want another curve ball?
There are three categories: Dirt, Chop and Race.
Oh, and the Americans are coming. And they’ve added an extra dimension: they’re teaming up with trade schools, to design and create their machines, encouraging the next generation.
There are already more than 350 entries which will be voted on nationally by the public, before going into regional finals, with an international final scheduled for November.
Steve Lambert, Director of Marketing for Harley-Davidson International is already looking forward to this year’s competition: “The Battle of the Kings is an incredible showcase for the customisation DNA that is at the core of our brand. It inspires our dealers to show just what is possible and inspires customers globally that they can have a truly unique motorcycle – whatever the scale of their budget. After a fantastic competition last year it is really exciting to have dealers from the USA joining the competition – we can’t wait to see the amazing entries from all over the globe!”
You have to register to vote but once you’ve done that, you can vote for as many bikes as you like – and from any country: it has never been easier to seek inspiration from the national characteristics of builders from other countries, with other influences.