Bujar told us that he was inspired by the work of designer Daniel Simon in the creation of the Type 6’s hollow tank, which flows from front to back in a fluid form beaten entirely by hand in the company’s small south London shop. “The panel beat tank was a way to relive the old way of manufacturing,” said Bujar. “I wanted to give the young guys new design ideas and develop my panel beating skills.”
The end result is nothing short of superb, with detailing to match. The yellow hue of Ferrari’s Dino from the late ’60s shows through the eyelets on the seat, and the bike was painted silver to ensure the reflections harnessed the light to maximum effect.
Though Auto Fabrica has built custom bikes using primarily Yamaha running gear, Bujar says the next few custom jobs to emerge from their studio will use BMW and Moto Guzzi parts. We can’t wait to see them.
But Bike Shed isn’t just a showcase for custom builders. Yamaha partnered with Matt Black Custom Designs of Malaga, Spain, in the creation of its latest XV950 ‘Playa del Rey’. The bike was created using a selection of custom aftermarket parts: the springer front fork comes courtesy of Rebufini; the fuel cap was custom made by Crafty B in the USA and the rocker cover was hand engraved in Malaga. There’s also a Vitys headlight and grips and Bullet indicators by Rizoma adorning the front end; Bullet foot pegs, a Motogadget speedo and housing and a set of risers by LA Choppers. It’s all finished in a beautiful two-tone custom paint job reminiscent of the 1960s.
Intertwined amidst the bikes is a whole range of apparel and riding gear. But because ‘new wave’ motorcycle culture is so alluring, it’s not only reserved to the enthusiast. The work of Malle, a small atelier that creates tool bags as well as other accessories, is just one of these many companies that were on hand to showcase their creations.
Founded by British designers Robert Nightingale and Jonathan Cazzola just three years ago the company has its roots in London, but they’ve already made a global impact. All of their materials are sourced locally — the leather is from Devon and stamped in their workshop by dedicated craftspeople. But while the team initially set out to create considered and purposeful motorcycle bags — employing naturally robust materials, simple mechanisms and design aesthetics appropriate for classic and custom motorcycles — the business has blossomed into creating fashionable lifestyle items suitable for all people. Their products are now featured in 20 stores in Korea and they’ve just struck a deal with Barneys New York.
Bike Shed’s certainly come a long way since it first began hosting custom bike builders and accessory makers just a few years ago. While the first event was held in a photography locale that was adapted to accommodate 55 exhibitors, 44 of which were custom bike builders, the event has since grown considerably, proving van Someren’s original idea. There’s also an event in Paris, France, which took place earlier this year.
Dutch and his team are also planning to open a permanent 9,000 sq. ft. Bike Shed venue in Shoreditch, east London’s trendy equivalent to New York’s Williamsburg, and expand the live events to Madrid, Berlin and possibly Los Angeles. It’s clear that the Bike Shed is something that, much like the culture around which it revolves, will continue to evolve.
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