Indian Motorcycle this week announced the semi-finalists in its “The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build-Off” contest, and the guy getting our vote is amateur builder Kyle Kompas, who has plans to transform an Indian Scout Bobber into a full-on adventure bike.
READ MORE: 2018 Indian Scout Bobber – Ride Review
Sketches and renderings from 12 non-professional builders have been posted on Indian’s US website to allow fans of the brand to vote on their favorite. Based on the results of the vote, three finalists will be given a 2018 Scout Bobber and a build budget of US $10,000 to put their plan into action.
Kompas, who works at a Royal Enfield dealership in Milwaukee, has built a handful of motorcycles in the past. His very rough sketch, which looks to have been drawn on the back of a napkin whilst standing in line for tater tots, has a certain Royal Enfield Himalayan quality and speaks to a bike “capable of going long distances off-road and overcoming any obstacle.”
Voting closes on 19 April, with the three finalists being announced on 24 April. The builders will have to get working straight away, because Indian says the completed builds will be presented to the public in late July. A second vote will be opened and the ultimate winner will be handed another $10,000 at Sturgis.
The other entrants are:
Alfredo Juarez – Alfredo bought a MIG welder in college and started building his own tools and experimenting with metal fabrication. Now as a mechanical engineer for NASA, he continues to build custom motorcycles and tinker on his projects as a pastime and form of expression.
Christian Newman – Christian’s build is all about details. Spending his days engineering mining equipment, he has access to a huge variety of tools and the expertise to use them. While a few of the bikes he’s built in the past have seen media attention, Indian says he still fits the spirit of this competition. Christian says he wants to utilize the Scout Bobber’s dynamic chassis with some old-school custom components and raw metal fabrication.
Matt Landman – Matt is an executive for a jewelry company by day, and a builder of old-school rigid choppers by night. Matt says he wants to build a vintage style tank-shift Scout, utilizing original Indian components that have been modified and restored to fit his design.
Ben Davis – Ben’s inspiration comes from vintage board trackers Indian Racing used to dominate the circuit many years ago. Ben wants to build a ridged frame from scratch and fabricate a Druid-style girder front end for a truly one-of-a-kind build.
Ross Latimer – Ross is a union pipefitter and welder out in Warrenton, Virginia. He says he wants to build a full drag-style bike in the spirit of pro-stock drag racers, with an extended swingarm and chassis, as well as a long wheelie bar to help maximize the power to the ground.
PJ Grakauskas – Ohio-based PJ splits his time between work, his kids, and his 10×12 shed in the back yard. While all of his neighbors know he’s the guy to go to with internal combustion problems, he says been dreaming of the opportunity for a personal project like this for ages. For his build, PJ wants to build a race-inspired full-fairing Scout Bobber—making almost every component by hand, in-house. We say yes to this.
Kyle Kaifesh – Kyle says growing up running around in a precision machine shop means he was born for this level of work. When he was 14, his father started a custom bike build and Kyle was instantly enamored with the process—he knew he would have to build his own bike someday. Now with over 15 years of experience and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Kyle has the skills and knowledge it takes to make it happen. For The Wrench, he wants to build an aggressive, short-fendered salt flats inspired Scout Bobber.
Ashlee Wegner – A 16-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Ashlee is pulling from his military experience with a fighter-jet inspired build. He is proposing a military flat green, stripped-down custom with Flying Tiger-inspired graphics. A one-piece seat and rear fender combination with a mini sissy bar and riveted details will help complete the aeronautic look.
Brian Ragle – Not too long ago, Brian started a small co-op garage for himself and a few of his buddies. He says he wants to build a full custom-framed bike for the contest. That exhaust looks like the product of some quality 1970s drugs.
Jon Lefevers – Jon is a full time painter from Jonesborough, Tennessee. For this project, he wants to follow the American tradition of V-twin choppers with a heavily modified rigid-framed Scout. Jon appears to have also submitted his design on the back of a napkin.
Cody Brouwers – With a handful of clean and often-ridden choppers under his belt, Cody Brouwers is hoping to build an aluminum faired café racer. We’d love to see this. As a sign maker in Reno, Nevada, Cody says he has plenty of experience shaping metal. He aims to blend the classic styling of 1970s TT racers with the Scout Bobber’s modern performance.