With Indian presenting the new Challenger tourer and a new FTR version from EICMA present at Bad Salzuflen, even BMW even world-premiered its second R-18 Concept Bike at the show. But, surprisingly, what was missing was any of the new Harley-Davidson concepts which have been so talked about over the last few months. There was just one Live Wire on display, and that was exhibited by local dealer, Harley-Davidson Bielefeld. Two years after its introduction, the Milwaukee Eight powered model has arrived in customising but it hasn’t replaced previous Harley lines…
If you stepped into the halls of Custombike for the first time, you might have found it difficult to get your bearings. All of the exhibition halls are packed with booths and dealers while the display areas of the bike show are now just stretched over the two main halls—and sorted as much as possible by theme or genre—they also extend the full length of those halls with more than 300 bikes taking part in the bike show itself (with countless others on display), including some of the best custom bikes of the year.
Custombike, held in December, is the last big European show of the year and timed perfectly to introduce new parts and ideas while the building of next year’s projects is in progress or even in the planning stage. While there are many ‘bolt-on’ parts now available for Harley’s Milwauke Eight-powered models, extreme customs with the new motor remain rare. In fact, fully ground-up, handcrafted motorcycles have become less common these days and at this show many of those present were from elsewhere in Europe where there is still a more relaxed attitude which makes it easier to build one-off machines. And, of course, the advance of technology means that it is extremely difficult to modify new models from all manufacturers.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Over the last couple of years, very few if any motorcycles have inspired such bafflement and scratching of heads as Dan Duggan’s Honda CX500
Every project starts somewhere and this one began at the Bike Shed Show at Tobacco Dock in London or, to be more accurate, when my mate Matt Donaldson turned to me and said, “I bet you can’t build a bike good enough for here.” Well, that set me to work!
Jarno comes from a family with petrol in their blood. His father races classic motorcycles and Jarno was raised on a farm where the barns are full of motorcycles instead of cows! This is his very first project, the Jarno Bastian Special
CUSTOMBIKE Messe Bad Salzuflen, Germany
Sometimes what is missing from a show is more interesting than what’s present. With the German show Custombike celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the event remains a showcase for European customising in all its diversity— with the additional benefit of a focus on parts that are homologated and approved for Europe
It’s not often that I have to sneak in and photograph a motorcycle without the owner knowing anything about it—something that was made tougher in this case by the said motorcycle being kept at said owner’s house
Spike And Bob's Big Swedish Adventure: Part 5
In 1979 Hasse took Caprice to the Norrtälje show for the first time, but he had changes for the bike in mind and, during the winter, he picked up a jammer frame and a set of 20-inch tubes.
There's No Place Like Chrome
When settling down to write a feature for a magazine, it’s necessary to have two things, nay, three things in front of you. A computer is useful, it saves all that messy ink and blotting paper that we used in those long gone school days, a strong hot mug of tea should also be on the desk (goes without saying), and finally, a set of scribbled notes that a couple of months ago resembled a detailed description of a motorcycle, but that by now, are largely illegible…
Over the last few years Death Machines of London has produced a number of pioneering builds, some of which you will have seen in these pages, not least the Air Force One Moto Guzzi from the cover of 100% Biker #231. Just when you think they can’t possibly surpass the last build, designer James Hilton of DMOL and engineer Ray Petty of Ray Petty Meccanica raise the bar just a little bit more. And that’s just what they’ve done again…
Today motorcycle customizing is a phenomenon that spans the entire globe, of that there can be little doubt. However, it’s still all too easy to think that building custom bikes is primarily confined to Europe and the United States and often, even in these days of social media and instant information, we don’t hear about what’s going on in other parts of the world
After the Harley-Davidson Sportster, I would wager that the Yamaha XS650 is the most popular choice for a custom bike across the world