Gilby Builds Custom Strider for the 2019 Flying Piston Strider Custom

Initially, Donnie Smith was on task to create a custom Strider Custom for the Flying Piston Benefit. However, as time drew near, circumstances conspired to keep it from happening. But as happens in our motorcycle community, Donnie’s friend Todd “Gilby” Gilbertson, graciously stepped up and took on the project in the last few weeks before the deadline.

Gilby Builds Custom StriderGilby has been in the custom pinstriping and painting business for about 30 years, starting at the young age of 13 years old. As time went on and his skills increased, he added welding and fabricating, working his magic on all kinds of vehicles including motorcycles, altering frames, handlebars and more. His business, Gilby’s Street Dept., is located in River Falls, WI, and the radical customs Gilby builds are fully roadworthy.

Gilby builds custom strider with all his skills accumulated over the many years of building custom bikes.

Gilby Builds Custom Strider


As for the tiny Strider Custom, the pressure was on to make it happen so Gilby resorted to his motto: “Never stop, never give up”. He and crew took to designing a Strider bike in the chopper-style to honor his friend and colleague, Donnie Smith.


He wanted the Strider custom to be fully functional and rideable and so every modification was considered in the overall design. When he cut the neck, the rake of the front end changed, tilting it forward. This resulted in a change in the swing arm position so he had to bend the seat post – all to ensure proper function.


Gilby Builds Custom Strider

Want to meet all the Strider Custom Builders? Surf over to the 2019 Flying Piston Benefit Builders Breakfast page.

Gilby Builds Custom StriderGilby’s buddies at J &B Plating chromed the handmade front end in just one day! Impressive to say the least. Gilby and his team did the lettering, gold leafing, pinstriping and paint, finishing off the custom Strider with a perfect clear coat, ultimately creating a tiny chopper that gets double-takes every time!

Flying Piston Benefit Custom Strider Class of 2019

2019 Custom Strider Builders

The Flying Piston Benefit 2019 Custom Strider Bikes

The 2019 star Strider builders are Steve Reed, Xavier Muriel, Devin Henriques, Brian Klock, Jessi Combs, Roy & Nikki Martin, Eric Hermann, Todd “Gilby” Gilberson, Count’s Kustoms, James Washnock,  and Motorcycle Missions.

About Flying Piston Benefit: The Flying Piston Benefit is produced by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News and Jeff Najar of Horsepower Marketing. The event and silent auction supports veterans issues and the motorcycle industry through fundraisers for non-profits and individuals.

Each Flying Piston Benefit provides a silent auction that is art-oriented and also includes unique and collectible items.

Each event also doubles as an industry get together where enthusiasts, businessmen and women, custom builders, athletes, and artists come together to socialize, enjoy breakfast and support a worthy cause.

To get involved, contact Marilyn Stemp at our contact page or text her at 828-205-8482.

Watch the Flying Piston Facebook page for our latest updates.

About Strider: Strider designs lightweight bikes that build two-wheeled balance, coordination, and confidence in children. Strider is helping kids learn to ride and developing new motorcycle riders through the AllKidsBike movement which makes bike-riding a part of the kindergarten curriculum.,

Auctioned Off at Mecum Auctions

The 2019 class of Strider Rider Customs were auctioned off by Mecum Auctions during their auto and motorcycle event. ( The 2020 class of builders started after the auction. Check them out here. 

Gilby’s 2019 Flying Piston Strider Custom
Todd Gilby Gilbertson of Gilby’s Street Department
Story by Diane “Shadow’s Wife” Jones