BikeShed 5

I have neglected this site of late and I had lost interest in the custom cycle scene both here and abroad.

I can’t put my finger on the reasons exactly, I still liked bikes and I enjoyed riding my Bonneville and my Ducati but something wasn’t quite there. So after a long overdue catch up with Dutch, albeit via text, earlier in the week I found myself getting genuinely excited by the forthcoming show.

During that week I’d finalised the sales of the aforementioned bikes and bought a new toy which I’ll wax lyrical about in another post. I’d seen the new itroCkS! bike on Exif and it said it would be making its debut at the show, then a few texts promised an opportunity for long overdue beers with old colleagues and friends and Friday couldn’t come quick enough.

I arrived early and found myself engrossed in a conversation with a lovely bloke and his wife (whose names I never found out) chatting about bikes, travel and world music. I had hoped to catch up with them later but didn’t see them again but it set the tone for the evening. Robin and I walked around noticing how high the bar had been set this year and I apologise that my photographs don’t do them justice but there was a strong presence from manufacturers and from some great custom houses.

The show felt like it had grown up this year, it seemed comfortable with itself, like a chair that just gets better with age. BikeShed5 had it all this year, spectacular bikes, great people, great vendors and support from the industry with many more people desperate to be part of it all. It has a lovely vibe to it and a vibe that I’m sure will carry over into their new premises when they open a permanent venue later in the year.

And with that let’s get back to the bikes. So much goodness to see but there were several that really stood out for me.

The first was the Adam Kay’s UMC Bol D’Or racer. He and I had been chatting about this for so long and each time we caught up he’d show me where the build was at so it was great to finally see it in the flesh.
The exhaust that flowed up into the seat hump is a real work of art and the colour is not something you’re going to miss in a hurry. The Electric blue is quite breathtaking in the flesh and is offset beautifully with a gold pinstripe and matching gold hub at the rear.

Secondly was the itroCkS!bikes CS_06 Dissident aka the most beautiful XJR1300 you’ll ever see. If you’ve seen the photos on BikeExif then you’ll know why I’m being so effusive about it, but it’s even more beautiful in the flesh. I was blown away that Alexandre and Osvaldo recognised me from the first BikeShed show and they were blown away by the feedback they’ve had from round the world and he fact that they were approached by Yamaha. They’re such lovely guys and they were so passionate about the work they’ve done on it and were at great pains to tell me that the one piece unit comes away with just two bolts. The idea being a bespoke plug and play option for those with the money to spare. If I did I would, it’s that simple. The fabrication is stunning from the bodywork to the headlight that shrouds itself around the R1 forks and then to the 2-2 handmade exhausts that wouldn’t look out of place on a classic roadster. The guys have just finished work on a new site and there’s a Yardbuilt video to accompany the release of the bike which is well worth a watch to see it in action.

There were many beautiful bits of machinery on show, the Mokka cycles birdee GL500 was keeping me occupied for ages, there were so many things to lack at and it looked great unfinished with no cables or levers on it, there was a purity about it.

The latex from AutoFabrica was resplendent and the more you see of their work the more you feel one of their bikes should occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square or at least win an art prize.

There are many more I should have paid more attention to and found out more info about but the beers were flowing, as was the great conversation. I hear rumours of an LA show in the near future and perhaps another visit to Europe after the successful weekend in Paris but in the meantime go and check out the updated site, classifieds and await the opening of the venue. The whole gang are on top of their game and it’s great to be around, it really is.



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