Monday, February 11, 2013


Reena and I went to the International Motorcycle Expo in Chicago this weekend with a couple of other riding buddies. It is a fun way to spend a day, even if it does mean 4-1/2 hours in the car to spend 4-5 hours at the expo. It is an opportunity to see all the new makes and models, and find all the gear you might be looking for (or wanting to investigate to buy locally) in one place. Among the things on display are custom bikes, generally not in a defined class, but representative of what is going on in the custom scene in general. For a decade or so it was all about cruisers, Harley-ish sorts of bikes all stretched and slammed and completely useless for actual riding. They reached such a point where I just called such trailer queens (never, ever going to be ridden) "butt jewelry". Those days faded along with Orange County Choppers (thankfully), and now the focus seems to have shifted to making sport bikes impractical.


Nothing like taking a brilliant motorcycle like a Suzuki GSXR-1000 and working hard to turn it into an ill-handling beast that is only interesting to ride in straight lines!

The other up-and-coming trend seems to be cafe racers, and that one I am happy about. At least with that sort of custom, the goal is all about form and function. It also frequently involves small displacement engines making the whole thing more affordable. Here are a couple of fun examples.


A venerable Yamaha SR500, sold here from 1978-1982:


I have some more, and will make a detailed post about someone's steam punk inspired build tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you don't have a blooger or "open" ID, you are free to use "Anonymous" for your posts, and leave your name if you are willing.