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Published: Wednesday July 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday July 3, 2013 MYT 8:55:35 AM

Custom-motorcycle builder wins best in show with his take on a vintage Harley

Backyard bone shaker: Ku Zen, who won in the Best of Show category, with his home-made Bobber-style 1947 Harley- Davidson Knucklehead.

Backyard bone shaker: Ku Zen, who won in the Best of Show category, with his home-made Bobber-style 1947 Harley- Davidson Knucklehead.

KU ZEN Tuan Ismail enjoys building motorcycles and spends hours indulging in his hobby in his backyard

“I enjoy hanging out at my friend’s workshop to watch them repair motorcycles. It may sound boring to others but I love watching how they solve each problem and make it right,” said the 45-year-old Kelantanese when met at the annual Kustom Kulture & Hot Rods Show — Art of Speed Malaysia recently.

The show was organised by Switchblade Kuala Lumpur, a rockabilly (one of the earliest styles of rock-and-roll music) lifestyle boutique.

At the show, about 254 owners displayed their hot rods, American Muscle Cars, Japanese Old School, choppers and low-rider bicycles at the Citta Mall’s courtyard and art gallery in Ara Damansara.

The event, themed “Celebrating Art in Automotive Culture”, was modelled after the highly successful “Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show” that recently celebrated its 21st anniversary.

Ku Zen, who was participating for the first time, drove his home-made Bobber-style Harley-Davidson Knucklehead to the show.

To his surprise, he was named the winner in the Best of Show category.

“This is a big surprise for me as I do not know much about assembling a motorcycle,” said the self-taught Ku Zen, who learned the art through his research on the Internet.

He chose to build the 1947 Harley as it was a rare model and something that he fancied.

Most of the parts had to be shipped in from the United States.

His efforts over 18 months paid off when he was crowned the winner and received a trophy and a ticket to Japan to attend the prestigious Mooneyes show in December.

The Mooneyes award went to Omar Jumiran, who displayed his Yamaha XS 650.

Local drift prince Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel’s pick for the show was Kamarul Azahar’s Honda Cub C70SE.

In the low-rider bicycle category, the award went to Johor’s Roda Radikal team member Bang Bang Harianto Samsudin.

The two-day event attracted over 60,000 fans, who were treated to various activities held both indoor and outdoors.

It also included a showcase of artworks in various formats such as canvas, poster, moving visual, sculpture and rolling art.

“After a year of planning, we were hoping to attract those who are into custom-made machines, live music, art works and photography for the show,

“To make it more interesting, we also invited speed addicts, pinstripe and airbrush artists to display their works this year,” said Switchblade Kuala Lumpur managing director Asep Ahmad Sastrawidjaja.

Two celebrities in the custom-made and hot rod scene, Shige Suganuma and Hiro “Wildman” Ishii from Mooneyes, were at the show to share their knowledge with local fans.

The highlight of the show was the Kustom cruise convoy, which saw traffic police escorting a parade of customised choppers and custom-made cars for a drive around the city, from the mall to Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.

Tags / Keywords: Family Community, custom cars

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