Only 6 weeks ago The Bike Shed put on a show in Paris and last weekend they did it all again in London at the Tobacco Dock. Yet again the show presented a wide range of custom motorcycles with the odd surprise thrown in. I'm so happy to be part of this show as it's put together by a team of enthusiasts and the level they have taken this show to is incredible, so thanks to Dutch and Vikki and the whole Bike Shed team for keeping it going with great enthusiasm.
1930 Peugeot P50T
There have been many attempts to make board track bikes using modern small motors bolted into cycle frames, which never really hit the mark for me but this Peugeot works! The Peugeot is a cycle motor, previously having a single cylinder 100cc motor installed. The builder Bo Hare has made an inspired and informed choice of motor, a scale model of a radial aeroplane engine normally used on radio controlled models. Because it's a scale model the engine looks old in style and so doesn't stand out. The engine revs to about 7000rpm and so the bike really does go considering the cc is still 100cc. Bo explained that it currently takes off at 7mph and so he is making a larger rear sprocket to gear it down to a more sensible 4mph starting speed. He also hopes to get it road registered so he can see what it can really do!
Rebels Alliance, 'First Born'
The first of a trio of bikes the First Born was originally built by Rebels Alliance around 4 years ago. All their machines are ridden regularly and so First Born was in need of a strip down and tart up before visiting the Bike Shed. I hope you agree that it looks not just great but right. The tendency with custom shows is to have everything chucked at a motorcycle to impress but that doesn't always work in my personal opinion. Having a bike with the right amount of style and rideability is a perfect combination and First Born demonstrates that.
The perfect arc of the tank and seat unit sold this machine to me, the line is consistent across the top.
Another Rebels Alliance machine this one had a fantastic key system using a coded headphone jack!
Auto Fabrica, Type 6
Auto Fabrica's, Type 6 was a real show favourite, I didn't hear anyone say anything negative about it. Again this build proves that simplicity is a thing of beauty. The tank and seat unit is all made from hand formed aluminium, and simple sweeping lines are what this machine is all about. It's no surprise that the guy's at Auto Fabrica are trained automotive designers, and I love the fact that this comes through in this bike. It real is a gesture drawing made real.
Ross's 1966 CL77
Every now and then I get asked to draw someones bike at a show, I always enjoy the challenge of drawing something that I haven't chosen, and this CL was a joy to sketch. A lot of the original bike has been used in the build and I love the fact that a few well thought out decisions as to what to change and what not to, results in a very tidy and simple build.
Francis Barnett Plover
Well this build proves that it can be done. Built to prove a point this Francis Barnett was entered into the Kickback Custom Show and won best in show! I love the fact that a simple Francis Barnett with it's humble Villiers engine can work as a custom. Every element has been thought about and it really does work. The builder Rob also set himself a rule for the build that every part would not exceed £50.
6th Street Specials 360 Degree Sketch
(photos by Tom Rochester)
As well as sketching all weekend I displayed artwork. A new piece completed for the show was a circular display of the 6th Street Specials sketch I did last year in New York. I was really happy with how it turned out, and it was great seeing how people reacted to the piece, some people diving straight in and others not even realising the artwork was on the inside. Here's a video of the full piece:
Racefit showing their fantastic form over function machines.
Bell and Ross B-Rocket