Cape Town – The third annual Cape Bike Expo, this Sunday at Timour Hall Villa in Plumstead, isn’t your conventional motorcycle show of impossibly expensive new models on glitzy display stands. Rather, it’s a celebration of bikers daring to be different.
Yes, there will be new machine on show, all of them glitzy and some impossibly expensive – but most of the bikes you’ll see will be unique, custom-built for – or by – their riders. Mainstream is in the minority here.
Most of the trade stalls at this bike show for hands-on bikers are more technical in nature than you’d expect. It’s about wrapping your ride in colour, making it go faster, changing its style, or creating a new motorcycle out of scrap parts – not necessarily motorcycle parts.
Even the jewellery and biker gear on display at the Cape Bike Expo tends to be more individual than mainstream, more silver and leather than carbon fibre and Gore-tex, more body art than blue-tinted eyewear – but there will be something for everybody, no matter how conventional your taste, and much to learn about what you do to make motorcycle stand out from the crowd.
The Cape Bike Expo has become a showcase for the minimalist ‘bobber’ style of custom bike building that has quietly built up a following over the past few years. While it started as a revival of the café racer aesthetic of the 1960s – essentially light, agile race bikes for the road – it has been heavily influenced by the post-apocalyptic appearance originated by the Mad Max cult films.
These days, custom bikes wear their engineering on the outside, rather than under chromed covers; while they are often impractical as working motorcycles, the best examples are strikingly original.
Rolling bike show
Unconventional motorcycle shows such as this often attract unconventional motorcyclists, which is why the organisers call it a rolling bike show. Some of the most exciting motorcycles you’ll see at Timour Hall Villa this Sunday will not be on the stands but in the visitors’ parking area, and the display will be constantly changing as riders come and go.
As always, there will be a variety of food and drinks on sale, fun for the kids, biker-rock music to set the mood and an astonishing variety of stalls – but the real show will be in the lower paddock, and the bike you arrive on will be part of it.
The Cape Bike Expo at Timour Hall Villa in St Joan’s Road, Plumstead will be open from 10am to 3pm on Sunday 5 March. Entry will cost you R35 per person at the gate, and includes a metal badge. For more information call (021) 797-2582 or visit the Cape Bike Expo website.