Three years ago, the CF collective had a brain storm. With the northern hemisphere blanketed in snow during the winter months, there's not much opportunity for riding, but this cold, gray time of year does, however, offer a great opportunity to dream, create and build. With that idea in mind, we decided to launch a Streetfighter "Build-off" among forum members.

The basic idea, then and now, is this: Starting on November 1 and closing on May 26 (coinciding with the Northern hemisphere's cold-weather season), members of the Custom Fighters forum get half the year to decide upon, begin and complete their projects. The entire process, from beginning to end, must be photo and/or video documented so we can see the starting point and final result of your progress. Just to make sure no one is entering a previously built bike, the first pic of the build must be accompanied by a legible, currently dated newspaper with the bike in the same photo.

The build-off began with a healthy response of 25 entries. We don't expect everyone to finish, but this year's finalists dwindled to seven when the voting booth opened. But these seven amazing bikes were full of artistry, engineering and home-grown craftsmanship. Hand-formed bodywork, in-house fabrication of damn near everything, custom subframes, a handbuilt gas tank and airbox, tails, headlights, exhausts, suspension swaps, and more! Each bike that was finished had its creators own style and brand of engineering to it, illustrating the very different facets to our fighter culture! Honorable mention goes out to each and every one who participated.

We have worked out a simple and effective system for judging the event. The best possible way to put everyone on a level field, as well as involve those who not only participate, but follow this yearly event, is to have open polling for a People's Choice Award. This allows forum members to express their opinions and give accolades to their fellow members. The top spot, however, is decided by a panel of judges: professional builders, industry insiders, and people who have good standing in the community and directly affect the U.S. streetfighter scene.

The voting couldn't have been closer, the People's choice winner was within 2 votes between Fathead's and Truckinduc's bikes. The Pro's Choice was within the same margin of two votes between the same two! Congrats to them both, and their pics and write-ups to follow.

With the success and close of the 2008 Custom Fighters winter build-off, we thank all who participated and congratulate everyone who entered, building some incredible machines. We had just as much fun following it as you all did building. This year brought out a lot of great talent and really stepped up the game for all of us. We thank this year's build-off sponsor,!

With the 2009 winter build-off in full swing, and only three months left, there are some very interesting builds coming to fruition for the season contest. As well, this year we have introduced the Parts Buildoff, where people are building single pieces for bikes to demonstrate their craftsmanship and abilities on a smaller scale, so be sure to check that out!

Words: Shaun Kelly | Pics: Bike Builders