2010 Long Beach, CA
Kiwi Mike brought along one of his customer’s bikes to enter into the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show in Long Beach, California, where he won the coveted Freestyle class.
Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Company has been specializing in old school rides for almost 30 years. Kiwi Mike, the man behind the company, has dedicated his company to keeping old Indians alive. Out of that passion he has designed and built updated Indian motorcycles that lend themselves to the look of the original with appointments of current technology.
The Ultimate Builder bike show embodies the 3 classes of Freestyle, MOD Harley and Performance Custom. The Freestyle class allows any motorcycle frame configuration and any drivetrain combination. The imagination of the builder is the only restriction of the motorcycle design. The structure for the show is based on the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building rules.
As you might have guessed, the competition in Southern California is stiff, as many world class builders live in the SOCAL area. And the Ultimate Builder show was no exception as Chris Richardson of LA Speedshop, the winner in the Mod Harley class, and Paul Cavallo of Spitfire, presented some outstanding motorcycles. In addition, Bandit from Bikernet.com brought along a few of his Bonneville racers to showcase some real out-of-the-box builds.
Freestyle Class Results
1 Kiwi Indian Chief built by Mike Tomas
2 Chris Richardson of LA Speedshop
3 Paul Cavallo of Spitfire
4 Spitfire Construction – Owner JKC
5 Russ Brown’s Bagger – Builder: MGS Customs
But in the end after the votes were counted, the builders selected the Kiwi Indian Chief as the motorcycle to win the trophy. At the Ultimate Builder shows, voting is conducted by fellow participants.
Kiwi Mike started making Indian parts back in New Zealand, hence his name “Kiwi,” and after moving to Riverside, California, picked up the pace and started making all kinds of reproduction Indian parts. He builds complete reproduction motorbikes that look exactly like an original with newer parts and technology inside to improve on the old design.
The winning Indian Chief has an iconic look. The engine is an American-made Kiwi Flathead mill that features a 42 degree V-twin and sports 84 ci. The bore and stroke is 3-1/4 x 5. The engine contains current metallurgy updates and is designed for durability and reliability.
The rolling chassis components include Kiwi spring frame, leaf spring forks and 16” Kiwi wheels. The leaf spring fork will fit either Indian or Harley-Davidson frames.
The Chief’s fabrication was outstanding and the paint was flawless. Additional custom components include external seat springs, vintage solo seat saddle, internal control handlebars and smooth Kiwi 30’s fenders.