The 2016 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show

The 2016 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show was held in Austin, TX last weekend. This show is put on by Revival Cycles along with other sponsors over the MotoGP weekend in Austin. This is my third year attending this show and it was bigger than ever. I got down there as the doors opened on Saturday to try and beat the crowds. There was a line to get in and it stayed that way the whole time I was there. It was a dense pack of people inside but the show staff was doing a good job of trickling folks in as others left to leave plenty of room for checking out the bikes. The motorcycle enthusiasts at this show are all there to appreciate and study the handbuilt cycles and everyone was polite about taking turns with getting unobstructed photos.

This indoor show is fairly dimly lit, with the most light coming in from open bay doors at the front of this warehouse-like space. I took a fast wide lens (Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4) to work in the low light. I'd meant to bring along a monopod and ended up running out of the house without it. It would have been nice to shoot at a lower ISO but the grainy look from pushing the ISO lends itself well to the subjects in this case. That's what I'm going with anyway. 

There was some great eye candy at this show. As usual, I gravitated more toward the grittier looking vintage builds. A few heavily chromed and polished bikes caught my eye as well this time through interesting and creative details. Here are a few favorites from my tour around the exhibition hall.

I kept an eye out for interesting details on these bikes. I especially love discovering subtle details that are missed on a casual glance. It's those small things that really personalize a custom bike in my mind. Here are a few interesting bits I noticed.

Part of the fun of going to shows like this is seeing the bikes in the parking lot that people ride to the event. The street in front of the venue was closed off and only motorcycles were allowed in. That made for a bike show of its own. Here are a few that caught my eye. 

New this year to the Handbuilt show was a track race course across the street. There were official races Friday that I unfortunately couldn't attend and Saturday was informal stuff that anybody who dared could sign up to participate in. My time was limited so I didn't get to hang out, although I did catch a glimpse of a two-up race going on as I was leaving.

The Handbuilt Show has become a respected custom bike show in Austin in a relatively short time. It is nice to see it catching on and it is drawing some talented builders. On the down side the density of attendees is increasing each year. While I'm not much for big crowds this is one show I'll look forward to for years to come.

You can check out more of my shots from the show here.