VENICE, CA – A few weeks ago, my friend Julian from Deus ex Machina Motorcycles asked me to be a judge for the U.S. leg of their Boundless Enthusiasm Bike Build-Off. My reaction? What are you crazy? And then I found out who the other judges were and knew for sure he’d lost his mind. Shinya. Yoshi. Woolie. Roland Sands. All motorcycle building legends… And me. Call me crazy, but I do not fit into that mix.

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Julian insisted he wanted me for a judge, saying he liked my boundless enthusiasm, and thought I could well recognize it in someone else. He paid lovely compliments to my Bondorella, the Bonnie Lass, and the Chromester. I didn’t answer right away. Instead I sent a panicked email to my feller saying, “I’m totally not qualified to do this, right?”

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Instead of agreeing with me, Brian said I should totally do it, that even though I wasn’t a builder, I had an eye for style, plus, I ride. With that boost of confidence, I agreed to do it, and I’m so glad I did! For one, because I got this awesome picture with my fellow judges and my Bonnie Lass. (Roland Sands had to back out last minute, so Mike Larkin from Akrapovic stepped in!)

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Plus, I had a great time talking to the contestants. This wasn’t just another who-could-build-the-most-extreme-motorcycle event, but rather one focused on personality. Zeal. Creativity. The true spirit of motorcycling, or at least what it should be. This was about FUN.

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The winners impressed us with their originality, ingenuity, and yes, their boundless enthusiasm—from the engineering teacher with the chalk-drawn tank, to the Denver guy who pinstriped his bike in the parking lot, to the Van Halen inspired Yamaha, complete with Eddie-patterned fender—and of course the crazy, wild, actually ride-able mini-bike/scooter/sidecar builders who described their creation with an infectious fervor that couldn’t be ignored. When their entry came up in the judging room, every one of us smiled. That says something right there.

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Surprisingly, we all quickly agreed on the winners during our deliberations, even if we didn’t have them in the same order. Out of the nearly fifty bikes, we narrowed it down to five who we felt best exuded what Deus was looking for, an abundance of boundless enthusiasm.

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And my fellow judges? They couldn’t have been nicer to this non-bike-building girl. Thanks guys! And many thanks to Deus for having the contest and to Nevin Pontious for the fantastic photographs! To see more pictures of the event, check out Brian’s Blog.

And now it’s in YOUR hands!! Go vote for your favorite today! Voting closes November 18th!

Until next time…

Later gators!

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