Re: fighter buildoff!
ok, here's how we did it on another forum i frequent. this was for as many competitors as wanted.
first thing, there was a dedicated person who would take care of the progress reports/pics. all builders were assigned a number. the only person that knew the bulder's number was the person who was in charge of posting the progress of each bike. (of course the builder would know his own number). this was to keep judging fair and unbiased. people voted for the bike they liked, not the builder they liked. the only hard part was keeping the builders from discussing thier bikes with other forum members, since that kinda negated any advantages to buildersd having a number. with builders talking about thier bikes, it was east to put two and two together and figure out who was building what.
the person in charge of the build progress pics would post weekly updates with nothing more than the pics with the builders number, maybe some build info if desired.
as far as the money aspect, we used a $1000 budget, not including the cost of the donor bike (but nothing too fancy), and not including the price of parts needed to make the bike RUN. and when i say run, i mean JUST run. the rest would have to come out of the build budget. some people also have some serious parts connections, so any parts used in the build would be priced at fair market value, not what you actually paid for them. this is especially true to guys like me who (at the time) worked at a salvage yard where i could get parts for next to nothing.
the only other rule we had were that the last pic sent in had to be an "in action" shot, just to prove the bike was ridable.
they insisted on the bike being completely street legal, but since some states are more relaxed as far as what's legal and what isn't, i thought that was a bad idea. (like here in va, the only things required are a headlight, tail light, left mirror, and a horn, that's it)
so, on that note i'd say that as long as the bike is functional enough to move under it's own power, it's all good.
if you REALLY want to see what people are capable of, bump the budget up to 1200-1500 bucks, but make it so that's ALL you get, icluding the price of the bike, getting it running (if needed), paint, chemicals, EVERYTHING. that'll get the creative juices flowing as people will be forced to make things work to stay under budget. of course, the "fair market value" of parts would still have to apply.
as far as timeframe, thats up in the air. most people have jobs and lives that come first, so that'd have to be discussed as to what's fair. i personally work for myself building /fixing bikes so my schedule is alot more open this time of year. i'm cool with just about any time frame. it's the budget thats gonna kill me, lol.