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The Second annual Sketchs Ink Backyard Build-Off


Do you or your buddies have a backyard motorcycle build that’s currently in the works?

Is it going to be worthy of winning a FREE custom paint job when it’s back in one piece?

Every year Sketchs Ink hosts a high-stakes, amateur motorcycle building competition where backyard builders from Ottawa and the surrounding area have the chance to win a FREE custom paint-job for their (or their team's) custom motorcycle. With this year's prize at a whopping $2500, this year's build-off will be one you won't want to pass up.

We’ll be kicking off this this year’s competition by accepting your entry submissions TODAY, and will keep accepting them until January 1st, 2019.


This year we’ve made it easier for you to enter the competition by creating an entry submission form that you can download as a .PDF file. And yes, we also have printed forms in the showroom for you oldschool-types. If you choose to download and fill out the .PDF form, your entry submission must be submitted by email to [ ]

Teams of amateur builders ARE in fact able to enter the competition as a team with one single motorcycle project, as long as each team member is eligible to enter. (see contest rules for more info.)

For your entry submission to be considered valid, each team member (if applicable) must have their first and last names listed in the entry submission form. In addition, you must attach NO LESS THAN 2 PICTURES OF THE MOTORCYCLE AS IT CURRENTLY SITS to the email. You may include other photos if you wish. (ex. The bike before you started the build)

For those who wish to fill out a form in person, photos can be emailed to the address above or scanned by us at the shop in person.

We will review each submission thoroughly before selecting TEN of the most genuine, most interesting, and most innovative motorcycle builds to compete in this year’s Sketchs Ink Backyard Build-Off.


November 15th, 2018 - Accepting Entry Submissions

January 1st, 2019 - Entry Submission Deadline

January 11th, 2019 - List of 10 competitors is Announced

February 1st, 2019 - Voting round 1 opens to the public online

February 15th, 2019 - Voting round 1 is closed

February 18th, 2019 - TOP 3 finalists are announced

March 1st, 2019 - Final round of voting opens to the public online

March 15th, 2019 - Final round of voting is closed

March 22nd, 2019 - WINNER ANNOUNCED

April 1st, 2019 - Winning Motorcycle is completed and has been delivered to Sketchs Ink

May 3rd, 2019 - Paintwork done to winning motorcycle is complete.




  1. Be building a bike you plan to complete in 2019

  2. Fill out the submission form

  3. Email us the form with at least 2 pictures of the bike as it sits today

  4. Get selected by us to compete

  5. Build your bike more

  6. Get votes from the internet

  7. Build your bike even more

  8. Get more votes from the internet

  9. Win a FREE paint job


Meet the 2018 Winner


Ian Murchison

1978 Yamaha XS400 Cafe Racer

Before Ian knew he would even be chosen for the contest, let alone win, he sent us his application photos along with what’s written below. It definitely sparked our interest, and the depth of Ian’s plans for his project down to small details was enough for us to give him a shot.


A Few Words From The Winner

"I've been slowly chipping away at this bike for 2 years now, really trying to build something that's a great, around-the-town bike. I purchased the bike in relatively well, running condition, it's been stripped down and chopped a little bit. I quickly ran out of money needed for a proper paint job though so progress has slowed and design simplified to just get something on the road. Core fabrication parts I still need to work on are finishing the front light mounting in the number plate, custom fibreglass seat pan with leather seat and custom 2 to 1 exhaust.

The core idea initially is a hybrid mix of offroad (where I first started on a motorcycle) and simple onroad. Nothing to crazy, I just wanted a nice clean, reliable build to call my own. Core initial paint idea was an all white front (wheel, fender, forks, number plate, tank) and all black rear (seat shell, frame, rear wheel).

If I were to win the competition I would consider a more unique approach to the tank design, something to bridge the change from white to black, possibly something like the KRINK drip graffiti style or a 'sharpie-like' artwork of the white 'earth' cracking and revealing the black world below."

Scroll to see the winning project from start to finish.