The Gettysburg Bike Week may not get the same amount of publicity as its counterpart in Sturgis, South Dakota. But rest assured, anybody who has been to the motorcycle rally in Pennsylvania will swear by its awesomeness.

Like most rallies, the Gettysburg Bike Week comes with no shortage of events. A look at its website shows a schedule of what you can expect from the July 9 to 12, 2015 rally. There’s going to be a swap meet, a motorcycle tour, concerts, and yes, even a wet t-shirt contest. Good times all around.

But the real highlight of the festival remains the bike build off, an annual tradition of the rally that calls on some of the best aftermarket builders in the country to build and design their own custom bikes. This year, the Gettysburg Bike Build Off will prominently feature three top-flight bike builders some of you may be familiar with: Vicious Cycles, Franklin Church Choppers, and Hellion Custom Cycles.

Unlike past years, all three custom bike shops will build their respective bikes ahead of time at their respective shops and then bring them to the festival where rallygoers can check them out in person.

There’s still no word on what kind of prize the winner is going to get, but if their past creations are any indication, these three custom bike shops will bring the pain at the Gettysburg Bike Week, making all those who see these three bikes up close the real winners of the festival.

Continue reading to read more about the three competing bike builders of the Gettysburg Bike Build Off.

Why it matters

I’m excited to see what all three custom bike shops can do with their project bikes. Ok, that’s an understatement. I’m really psyched about it because I know what all three shops are capable of.

Vicious Cycles, in particular, has gotten my attention more times than I care to count. The company that Greg Carter and Scott Fisher operate have been responsible for some of the sickest one-off custom motorcycles you’ll ever see. Long custom bikes with frames in exotic angles seem to be an affinity for Vicious Cycles and a recent photo of its project bike for the Bike Build Off fits in that particular design style. Oh, and from the looks of the project bike’s wheel configuration, it appears that the company is making some sort of a three-wheeled motorcycle. Interesting, indeed.

Then we have Franklin Church Choopers. The company might be just 10 years old, but in that period, it has established itself as one of the best all-around custom bike builders in the state of Pennsylvania. Tom Keefer, the man who started the company, clearly knows what he’s doing and unless my eyes deceive me, a look at its own Facebook page reveals a project bike that it’s currently working hard on. Could this be the bike that it brings to the Gettysburg Bike Week? I’m not quite sure yet, although I can tell that there’s a lot of metallic red in it. Looks splashy to me.

Finally, there’s Hellion Custom Cycles. The shop is responsible for its own lineup of nutty custom bike builds, something owner and operator Bill Raber takes special pride in. Hellion is also known for its versatility in building custom motorcycles, whether it’s a bagger, chopper, bobber, or even a cafe racer. If there’s a bike that needs to be customized, Hellion Custom Cycles can do it. Unfortunately, the company’s Facebook page doesn’t reveal any new projects that can be construed as its entry to the Gettysburg Bike Build-Off. That’s ok because a little surprise never hurt anyone.

Good luck to all three custom bike shops! I’m confident all of you will present otherworldy projects at the Gettysburg Bike Week.

Source: Gettysburg Bike Week

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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