Article By: Chris Callen
Photos By: Heather Walker & Bart Mitchell
Originally Published In The February 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
The Artistry In Iron competition has always been the very top shelf builders from the custom bike world but it seems the past few years that has been coming on even stronger. In 2014 the bikes we saw from builders all over the country took that to a whole new level. Now a day at the Cashman Center during Las Vegas BikeFest is full of things look at. Hot bikes everywhere in several custom bike shows through the weekend, great entertainment and contests put on by the LVBF staff and vendors this year were at an all time high with semi trucks lining the massive property. Penny Osiecki was added to their staff this year and she really did a great job in filling the place up. The Sin City Art Gallery continued again this year, Metzeler had a burnout contest and in the parking lot, they even brought bike old time bike games. The staff did a great job making sure their event was all about motorcycles from start to finish.
All that is great, but when it comes to one of the best reasons for customs bike nuts and regular riders alike to visit this annual rally, Artistry In Iron is at the top of the list. The big news of course was that Rick Bray of RKB Custom Speed took his second championship in a row with the bike on this very cover. But the list of bikes that were right in the mix with him from builders like Chris Phillips from Doomtown, Nate Jacobs of Harlot Cycles and Aki Sakamoto from Hog Killers, brought it big time for this year. It made me really proud to walk around the show this year and see so much talent at such a prestigious event all in the name of custom, hand made motorcycles.
Also new for this year was the first ever custom championship bracelet designed by Steve Soffa, it was a thing of beauty and worth a small fortune. It was made from sterling silver, had around two karats of white and black diamonds and proudly displayed the Artistry In Iron championship logo on it. The respect these builders have for each other and their craft, over twenty of them this year who all spent a better part of a day hearing each others build story and determining among themselves who stood out among their peers. There were all types of bike in the show, metric based, bagger built, old iron and new, all with intricate details and a years worth of serious hand fabrication to make it to this show. Each one of them deserves our congratulations for what they brought to the show this year. You can see more about the bikes and builders on cyclesource.com under our Vegas 2014 Grease & Gears videos.