Fran Manen, explains in this first episode dedicated to the best custom bikes awards by Lord Drake Kustoms how he started in the world of motorcycle customization and what were the first Bike Show where he participated, getting his first awards.
From its beginnings in Spain for various motorcycle festivals to its establishment in the United States where it had its first motorcycle workshop in Miami. Here is a transcription of the interview’s video.
What is a Bike Show
In the world of motorcycle transformation or customization, there are some competitions where the best custom bikes are chosen, or the best motorcycle customization and transformation works, with different categories, different brands and at different levels, from local to global levels.
There are competitions where a selection of judges, who are usually other builders or media journalists specialized in the world of motorcycle transformation, usually determine which work or which motorcycle is more spectacular, or is more beautiful, which has the best painting. And all these types of competitions are usually held at events related to the world of motorcycles.
What was your first awared motorcycle?
When I started making motorcycles, the first motorcycle I made was a Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce. The truth is that it was a motorcycle that, even though about 15 years have passed, is shocking to see it.
The first thing I did, as soon as I finished it, was to take it to a Bike Show, because it was something very curious. I was new to this world, I did not dedicate myself professionally to it, but I heard that that same year, one or two months after in Fuengirola, the European Harley-Davidson Rally was going to be held for the first time in Spain.
It means that it is the largest and most official Harley Davidson rally in Europe. And there, in that event, a Custom Bike Show was held where Harley-Davidson chooses the best modified and transformed Harley in Europe.
Then, immediately I registered my motorcycle, and well … I arrived and honestly I was in paradise. But I was in paradise, not because of my motorcycle, but because I was with my camera taking photos of everything I saw enter there.
What was my surprise: it was the first motorcycle I did, it was the first time I competed in a Bike Show, and when they went to deliver the prizes, they say that Europe’s second position in the Harley-Davidson Softail category is Fran Manen. Well imagine … I hallucinated. I mean, I figured this is the beginner’s luck.
From there, with that same bike I dedicated myself to go to others local or national events where the most I got to achieve was the official Spanish Harley-Davidson Rally or Bike Show, where I stayed Champion of the Bike Show of the Softail category and also, I awarded a first prize “Best of Show”, the best of the entire contest.
Bike Shows in Miami
In 2010 – 2011 when I started to make motorcycles fully in my Miami workshop, I already made the first motorcycle with which I believed I could participate in a Bike Show and also, in the United States, in America, where the cradle of this type of events and where the most prestigious Bike Shows in the world are.
The first bike I ever made and brought there was a Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage, and I took it to the Poker Run Custom Bike Show, held in the Florida Keys, at the Key West, and the same thing happened.
I put it in the trailer, the whole family went, some friends and I took it back … it was the second time that I competed in an event of such prestige, and I won the prize for the best Softail, in Miami, Florida, in an event like is the Keys Poker Run.
So, I started participating in various American Riders Bike Shows, in Florida and in the United States because at that time I was working and I only had my workshop in the United States.
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