A SCOTS company who specialise in customising Harley Davidson motor bikes are all set to launch in America – after winning a string of top European awards.
No Nonsense Choppers have also attracted the interest of Harley Davidson legend Willie G Davidson who admitted he was “blown away” with their intricate designs.
The company owners are readying themselves to fly out to South Dakota to compete in the World Biker Build-Off Championships – the first time any Scottish company has qualified.
David Lothian, and brother and sister team Helen and Charlie Beaton, have been producing their startling custom built machines for almost 20 years.
The Selkirk-based company has just returned from Faro, Portugal, where they took part in Europe’s top competition, with Logie bagging himself the coveted Best in Show award with his bike ‘Offensive’.
The Beaton’s also picked up a handful of awards at the prestigious American Motorcycle Dealers-sponsored contest.
Mr Lothian said: “Winning in Portugal was amazing. It was a surreal experience with fireworks and flames on staged that burnt the hairs on my arms.
“The buzz of driving onto the stage after I’d won was incredible, and being on stage in front of 30,000 bike fans was just unbelievable.”
The three bike enthusiasts are “delighted” to be heading to the States to compete in the world’s biggest event in custom bike design.
Mr Lothian admits the company has little chance of winning the competition, but any prominent placing could mean the difference between the company going full-time or it remaining a part-time hobby.
He said: “It’s going to be an American that wins it, but if I get my bike in the Top 10 it will be life-changing.
“If you get that kind of break you could be a millionaire in a few years.
“We’d definitely stay out there if things worked out. There’s a lot more interest and the bikes sell for twice what they’d sell for back here.”
But for artist Helen, the prize money is less important.
She said: “It’s a real passion. The bikes are a work of art. I hate it when they sell them and I couldn’t care less about the money. They should be in museums.”
At the 100th anniversary of the Harley Davidson open road tour in Barcelona, the work of the talented Borderers caught the eye of Harley legend Willie G Davidson whose grandfather was one of the original founders of the world-famous bike manufacturers.
Mr Lothian also claims the bikes produced by No Nonsense Choppers are more authentic than most of the other competitors.
He said: “Everywhere we’ve gone to compete, hardly any of the others are actually rideable bikes- they’re just for show.
“We actually turn up having ridden the bikes to the event and I think a lot of people respect us for that.
“The response we get from people on the road is incredible.”
The Build-Off Championships shot to fame in 2002 when it premiered on the Discovery Channel and turned many of the sport’s stars into household names.
The most prominent being Orange County Choppers’ owner Paul Teutul Snr and his son, who have gone on to become stars of the hit TV show American Chopper.