West Coast Lowdown


The point of this build-off is to encourage the average person to create a bike with their own hands, using commonly available tools and without specialist knowledge.  The POINT is to PARTICIPATE and to create the bike in your vision.  I realise this leaves the field wide open, so to help clarify the boundaries, the following rules apply. Please read them all before applying.


The most important date is the COMPLETED date – this is THURSDAY OCTOBER 12 2017 at MIDNIGHT and no later.  Proof of your completed build will need to be uploaded to your social media account – more details on this below.  Work must cease at or before midnight on the 12th, and photographic proof uploaded.

Builds that have already commenced are allowed as long as they were begun AFTER October 31st 2015 – the end date of our last Lowdown (Hall-O-Weird).

Documentation of your build MUST commence on September 1st no later than MIDNIGHT – failure to do so will result in your disqualification.  From this date, weekly progress posts must be made to continue to qualify for prizes.

ALL ENTRANTS MUST DISPLAY THEIR BIKE AT THE VENUE NO LATER THAN 5PM FRIDAY OCTOBER 13th.  No display alterations, late entries, or last minute modifications are allowed.  Your bike MUST match your last build photo or it will be disqualified.


Each entrant shall personally perform all of the work necessary to complete the motorcycle. It is not permitted to allocate portions of the build to outside services.  Other individuals, friends, buddies, helpers or agents are not permitted in any phase of the fabrication and assembly after September 1st. No team builds allowed. Custom fabrication shops may enter as a shop but only one team member is allowed to work on the bike.  Where machining is required for engine work such as milling for heads, blocks, honing etc or to machine brake drums for safety it is permitted to use a machine shop for this work.


In keeping with the traditional pre-65 styling focus of the show, we are not allowing modern chopper style bikes, sport bikes after 1995, motorcross bikes or postie (stamped frame) bikes.  No wide-tyre choppers (Big Bear, West Coast Choppers etc style). No ‘kit’ bobbers or choppers, stock bikes, or restorations – this is a custom build competition.

Within the allowed scope we include:

  • Long and short choppers, ‘frisco’ style or bar hoppers.
  • Bobbers
  • Cafe racers, modern and vintage
  • Lowriders
  • Brat style
  • Drag/Race
  • Full custom


You must complete your build under $10,000 total.  Purchase of a donor bike is included in that budget.  Materials given to you for free or through exchange do not affect the budget.  The point of this is to keep everyone on an even playing field, and to prove that a killer custom bike can be made on a budget most can afford.


All frame styles EXCEPT OFFROAD are allowed.  To keep to the traditional style of the show we are also not allowing monocoque frames or stamped frames such as postie bikes etc.

Wheels and Tires:

In the interest of safety wheels and tires may be of ‘modern’ manufacture. Modification of Car type wheels is permitted. Our preference is for vintage style rubber such as bias-ply but this may not be practical in your build.


For the sake of the display you will not be required to fix front fenders, however, this is a legal requirement for registration so where the bike is ridden on public roads please observe the relevant laws.

Front Forks:

Front forks may be fabricated from scratch and may be of any style or design. Springs and/or shock absorbers may be ‘new’ components.


Seats may be fabricated from scratch. Any material, style or design is acceptable.


Handlebars may be fabricated from scratch. Risers may be modern aftermarket components.


In the interest of safety brakes and brake system components may be of ‘new’ manufacture. Both drum and disk permitted. Front brake is optional for display but as above, where the bike is to be ridden on public roads please observe the relevant laws.

Foot Controls:

No specific requirement.

Exhaust System:

No specific requirement.


Motors shall be limited to any type manufactured in the 1995 calendar year or of older vintage. The entrant must personally do all work and/or modifications made to the motor. The use of ‘new’ vintage reproduction motors is permitted. (Motor criteria is still being looked at and ‘Evo’s may be accepted due to budgetary considerations as long as they are carbeuretted).


No specific criteria.

Fuel Tank/Oil Tank:

Fuel and/or oil tanks may be fabricated from scratch but it is permitted to use any reproduction tank that was commonly available prior to Jan. 1, 1995. Any modifications are permissible.

Painting and Finish Work:

The entrant shall do all painting and finish work personally. It is permitted to send parts out for chrome plating. No anodizing is permitted.


All entrants are required to submit photos to their social media account as nominated in the application below, on a weekly basis for the duration of the build.  You MUST submit a beginning photo on September 1st before midnight and you MUST submit a completed photo before midnight on October 12th.  Failure to submit these photos will result in your disqualification.  Progress photos count towards prizes and swag from Sponsors and help to involve the audience in the build process.


The overall top prize is the People’s Choice Award – thats the big one, with the cash prize and killer trophy.  Additionally there will be a Sponsors Award, and a West Coast Lowdown Choice Award.