Just like last year, I entered my Sportster in the competition. Last year, I entered the "H-D Mild" class but this year there was an actual "Sportster" class, so I entered that instead. The winners at Rad's Extra Sharp Motorcycle Show are not picked by the crowd. It's a judged competition.
I remember overhearing someone talking to his buddy about my bike and commenting on the paint. He assumed the orange peel in the clear was deliberate to give it a particular look (I forget what he called it). For the record, the orange peel in the clear is NOT deliberate. I sanded, wetsanded, and buffed the tank and fender a lot but could never got them glass-smooth. It's rattlecan paint and I didn't want to burn through the clear as I didn't know what I was doing (and still don't).
As it turns out, mine was the only Sportster that was entered into the show. However, it was not the only Sportster there so it is possible that the other owners simply chose not to compete. Maybe they thought they couldn't win, maybe they thought it would be too easy, maybe they didn't have $10, or maybe they just didn't care. We'll never know.
For example, here was a hardtailed Sporty for people who love scorpions, skulls, spikes, and iron crosses... all on the same bike.
If that bike wasn't your style, this Nightster was a bit closer to stock but still had a few tasteful modifications.
The bike that I am lucky didn't enter was this gorgeous hardtailed Sportster with hand shift and king & queen seat. I had seen this bike earlier this year at both the Hog Feed and Bearded Lady and it's amazing.
In spite of the potential competition, I took first place again. Tom said something went wrong with the trophies so instead of the aluminum ones handed out last year, this year's trophies were plastic Frisbees. Regardless, I was happy to get one.
I definitely recommend attending next year but stay out the Sportster class as I'd like to three-peat.