Motorcycles and Customization
Motorcycles and Customization
Motorcycles and Customization

The Allure of Motorcycles and Customization: A Journey into Personal Expression in Los Angeles

Motorcycles captivate the imagination and evoke a sense of freedom, adventure, and individuality. It requires specific involvement that only a motorcyclist can describe. I have been riding since my teens, and the feeling of moving forward with an engine between your legs is unique.  From the engine’s roar to the rush of wind, the experience of riding a motorcycle is unparalleled. Beyond the thrill of the ride, there is a deep-seated fascination with customizing these two-wheeled machines, transforming them into unique expressions of their owners’ personalities. At the same time, the motorcycle’s nationalities run into their DNA. American bikes are built for the open road, Italian bikes are purebred racing machines, Japanese always innovating, and British represent the golden era of motorcycling.

The Los Angeles Invitational Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is perhaps the best event to summarize this. Individuals and shops gather to show their creations and their own interpretation of a motorcycle. Therefore, the range of approaches and delivery is more art than machine. The warehouse exterior in downtown Los Angeles gave you no clues to the eclectic machines displayed in its interior. The machines prove that customizing is an art form. A motorized object that reflects the mind of individuals with a passion for motorized genius

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show originates in Austin, Texas, and is significant in the world’s custom motorcycle culture. These events celebrate the craftsmanship, creativity, and passion that go into building custom motorcycles. It brings together builders, enthusiasts, and artists from around the world. It serves as a platform for sharing ideas, techniques, and inspiration. Attendees to the show are often motivated to pick up tools and create something of their own after witnessing the ingenuity on display. This community-driven event fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual appreciation among motorcycle enthusiasts.

On display, Shinya Kimura’s work is more sculpture than motorcycle. Christian and Robert Sosa’s machines (Sosa Metalworks) represent some of the best of ‘Hecho a Mano’ (handbuilt). Bryan Fuller’s (FullerMoto) customizing takes things a step up. Dozens of unique motorcycles filled the warehouse. Machines came from all over the country and from known shops, as well as first-time builders, including a couple of teenagers.

Some motorcycle modifications pay homage to specific historical styles, which carry with them a sense of nostalgia and respect for the past. Others were defined by their style, like café racers, choppers, and bobbers. These are custom styles that reflect different eras and subcultures within the motorcycle community.

The fascination with motorcycles and the drive to customize them are deeply rooted in the desire for personal expression, performance, and connection. Motorcycles offer a unique blend of freedom, adventure, and individuality that captivates riders worldwide. The custom motorcycle culture, exemplified by events like the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship that go into creating these machines. Ultimately, the relationship between motorcycle and man is one of mutual respect, emotional connection, and a shared sense of identity and community. Los Angeles provides the ideal background for all of us to create our dream ride.