For the first time an authorised Harley-Davidson dealer has scooped the custom motorcycle industry’s top design and engineering prize.

Thunderbike, of Hamminkeln, near Essen in Germany, was chosen by fellow competitors and selected VIP judges to have built the stand-out “class of 2012” custom motorcycle with “PainTTless”, a hand-crafted one-of-a-kind tour de force that oozes stunning design and engineering craftsmanship from every angle.

Using a restored and modified 1000cc Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster engine in a hand-built custom swingarm frame, Andreas Bergerforth and the dedicated team at Thunderbike have cemented their reputation as being among the world’s foremost motorcycle customisers, following up on their multiple AMD European Championship wins and AMD World Championship top-five placings.


Their work received widespread acclaim for its attention to detail, originality, quality of execution and design harmony, beating off stiff competition from a field of top quality examples of custom motorcycle craftsmanship from all over the world.

Thunderbike has made custom motorcycle industry history twice at the 2012 AMD World Championship - not only are they the first authorised Harley-Davidson dealer to take home the ultimate accolade for their work, but they are the first customisers from Germany to take top honours at the AMD World Championship; there have now been winners from six different countries in the nine years that the AMD World Championship has been staged.


Second place went to noted up-and-comer Jeremy Cupp of Crawford, Virginia. Jeremy came to AMD World Championship programme prominence in 2009 with a 6th and 14th finishes.

This year his “Old Black”, a hill climber based on a 1976 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster engine in a custom-made rigid frame, made Jeremy the top US competitor and secured him a place on “Team USA” 2013 to compete in the 10th annual AMD World Championship at the Big Bike Europe expo at Essen, Germany in May 2013.


Third place was taken by Sam Reali and the team at Abnormal Cycles, near Milan, Italy with “Speed-Demon”, a lovingly recreated homage to the days of Harley-Davidson board track racers. It features a 1200cc Harley-Davidson JD engine from 1919 in a 1930 VL frame.

Winners of the Modified Harley-Davidson World Championship in 2011, Abnormal Cycles won through to the FreeStyle class at this year’s AMD World Championship by scooping top honours at the AMD World Championship programme affiliate show staged at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum in England in June.