Indian Motorcycle Presents, The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build Off

Brent Jaswinski
by Brent Jaswinski

Small-time builders showcase their big-time skills

Building and customizing motorcycles is an art form with freedom of expression like any other, but there’s one catch: More than just something to look at, these rolling works of art have to function properly, too. Indian Motorcycles has created a totally unique custom build-off competition that celebrates undiscovered, small-time builders with big-time skills – The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build Off.

This competition isn’t for the well-known professional builders who design and build bikes for a living, but rather the guys who chop, weld and grind on bikes in their own time after they’ve clocked out from their day jobs. It’s for the guys who tinker and create motorcycle art because it’s their passion, not their paycheck.

Indian Motorcycles has teamed up with Jordan Mastagni, Roland Sands, Jason Paul Michaels and Satya Kraus, all professional builders, to seek out three motorcycle craftsmen who have the vision and talent to turn stock Scout Bobbers from concept drawings into real-life, one-of-a-kind pieces of motorcycle art.

Indian has just announced its 12 Scout Bobber Build Off semi-finalists, and below you can see sketches and renderings they’ve envisioned to transform their Scout Bobbers, as well as a little background on who they are. Of the 12 semi-finalists, fans will determine which three will be selected to compete by voting HERE. Fans can vote daily up until April 19th and the three finalists will be determined and announced on the 24th.

The three chosen builders will be given a brand-new 2018 Scout Bobber and a build budget of $10,000 from Indian Motorcycle. All three builds will be unveiled in July, where the final voting will take place to crown the champion. The winner will be announced at Sturgis and they’ll be taking home a grand prize of $10,000.

From mild to wild, and adventure bikes to dragsters, check out what the 12 semi-finalists have planned so far. Read on to find out what Indian has to say about who these builders are:

Alfredo Juarez

Alfredo has had a passion for motorcycles and their inner workings his entire life. Always tinkering and welding, he 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. Alfredo’s expertise is used on some of the most advanced projects in the world, and he wants to try his hand at a Scout Bobber.

Christian Newman

The devil is often in the details when you look at a bike Christian has built, and it’s all details. Spending his days engineering mining equipment, he has access to a huge variety of tools and the expertise to use them. While a couple of the bikes he’s built in the past have seen some media attention, he fits the spirit of this competition to the T. He wants to utilize the Scout Bobber’s dynamic chassis with some old-school custom components and raw metal fabrication.

Matt Landman

Matt Landman is an executive with one of the nation’s most notable jewelry companies by day, and a builder of old-school rigid choppers by night. Matt wants to build a vintage style tank-shift Scout utilizing original Indian components that have been modified and restored to fit his design. We’ll see if Matt’s experience in high-end accessories and detail pays off when it comes to motorcycle building.

Ben Davis

Indian Motorcycle’s history has inspired a lot of customs, and for good reason. When Ben looks at the Scout Bobber, his inspiration comes from vintage board trackers Indian Racing used to dominate the circuit many years ago. Ben wants to build a rigid frame from scratch and fabricate a Druid-style girder front end for a truly one-of-a-kind build.

Ross Latimer

Ross Latimer is a union pipefitter and welder in Warrenton, Virginia. Spending his days welding massive pipelines, Ross spends his off-time working with much smaller and more precise pieces of metal. 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

As a family man from Ohio, PJ splits his time between work, his kids, and his 10×12 shed in the backyard. While all of his neighbors know he’s the guy to go to with your internal combustion problems, he’s 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.

Kyle Kaifesh

Growing up in a precision machine shop, Kyle 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

As a 16-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Ashlee is pulling from his military experience with a fighter-jet inspired Scout Bobber 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

Nobody has ever accused Ryan of slacking off. As a father of three and owner of a financial firm, he started a small co-op garage for himself and a few of his buddies. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Brian wants to build a full custom-framed Scout Bobber for The Wrench. Judging by his design and current workload—he doesn’t plan on sleeping much.

Jon Lefevers

Jon Lefevers is a full time painter from Jonesborough, Tennessee who is ready to get deeper into a new build for The Wrench. For this project, he wants to follow the American tradition of V-twin choppers with a heavily modified rigid-framed Scout. With a heavy workload of cars and bikes, Jon is going to have to work some late nights to pull off the most engaged build he’s ever attempted.

Kyle Kompas

When it comes to fixing things and wrenching, Kyle isn’t about to pay someone else to do his dirty work. When he is done with work at the Royal Enfield dealership, he heads back to work on his passion projects: building motorcycles and restoring a mini-mansion built in 1892. For The Wrench build off, he wants to transform the Scout Bobber into a full adventure bike, capable of going long distances off-road and overcoming any obstacle.

Cody Brouwers

With a handful of clean and often-ridden choppers under his belt, Cody Brouwers is heading into The Wrench with a different type of design — an aluminum faired café racer. As a sign maker in Reno, NV, Cody has plenty of experience shaping metal, though never on anything quite like this. He aims to blend the classic styling of ’70s TT racers with the Scout Bobber’s modern performance for the ultimate custom cafe racer.

Here’s the Indian Motorcycles The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build Off link again to cast your vote!

Brent Jaswinski
Brent Jaswinski

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2 of 7 comments
  • John A. Stockman John A. Stockman on Apr 13, 2018

    Less-than drawing/artistic skills rarely mean a lack of skills in the fabrication department. So I'm not making any determinations based on some of those, uh, renderings. Chopper? Played out again and again with a lack of ride-ability and not even a modicum of lean angle. The aesthetic aspects are interesting and fabrication skills are excellent, but translating that to something that can actually be ridden, they are far apart. No stranger to choppers or riding many varieties. From the home-built, extended-forks and solid bars for the rear shocks Japanese and British bikes from the 60s and 70s, to modern customs from well-known shops, never one I could get a decent lean angle with or not receiving tortuous punishment on the tail bone. The ADV and cafe' versions are not the me-too chopper look, so my interests are right there. Just mine, as I know many that love the chopper aesthetic. I'll be following along to see the end results, but a great way for Indian to present other's visions and give the non-commercial guys and shops their due recognition.

  • Auphliam Auphliam on Apr 17, 2018

    Kyle Kompas got my vote. The only one there that isn't some rehash of stuff that's been done in previous "Build Offs'.