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The Bike Shed Show 2024

A week on from unloading at Tobacco Docks, everything is back in the workshop and the dust is just about settling. The hearts and minds at PCHQ are (more or less) back to factory settings. The best edition yet? Yeah, probably.

A huge thank you is due to Vikki, Dutch, Gareth and the rest of the team from The Bike Shed. We had a couple of special requests this time out, and it would never have happened without their positive attitude and support.

More on the people who take a look at our hair-brained schemes and say “Let’s make it happen”: the builds were only made possible with the assistance of a few of our favourite suppliers. BG Motorsport and Öhlins, DNA Filters, Dunlop Moto, G&G Bike …they all played a vital role in the ambitious bikes we put together this year. Each of those builds will be treated to their own page on our Build Gallery, so sit tight for those. In the meantime, we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite snaps from the weekend.

Of course, there’s no show without the people coming to admire the handiwork of every builder exhibiting. And, as much as we love it, the motorbike scene can often feel like the heartland of veteran spanner-slingers in sheds and sometimes on dark nights we worry that we’re in something of a cul-de-sac. 

The Bike Shed Show always manages to buck this trend though, and it was super exciting to see people of all ages and backgrounds getting into the nuts and bolts of the builds with infectious enthusiasm. We feel like we’re probably part of the old guard these days – we’re certainly not getting any younger – and it was immensely reassuring to see that custom motorcycle culture is going to be in safe hands for generations to come.

Our co-conspirators at Valkyrie Paintworks truly outdid themselves this year – not only on the bikes, but also by enlisting Scott Fletcher of Maverick Artistic Services for the Akira bike portrait. Us PCC guys had plenty of people bending our ears on custom fabrication and component choices, but the paintwork was what brought those people in. Round of applause, please! Oh, and for the record, the Black Panther bike? That’s all paint. No vinyl, no wraps, no decals. Just masking, and an infinite amount of care and attention.

Not just a show highlight, but a career highlight for us: the first ever official BMW custom commission on the R12 platform. As soon as we got our hands on the new BMW R12, we could see the potential. This bike can go places the outgoing R NineT models simply weren’t suited to, and the riding style opens the BMW rider pool to a whole new crowd of heritage bike fans. Obviously we had to pick just one of these potential avenues, and we thought bringing a little of that L.A. sunshine over to the London Bike Shed would be just the ticket. We trimmed back the stock bike, fabricated some custom bodywork to create a sleeker silhouette, and layered up a seventies-style colour scheme complete with metal flake. Nothing too outlandish; the result is a bike that could believably have just rolled off the factory line. What do you reckon?

In many ways, the Bike Shed Show is our version of Christmas. It’s certainly the peak of our year: the whole calendar leads up to it, and rolls over to start again on the other side. We also tend to come up with our plans for the next 12 months over that weekend: conversations with suppliers and customers, and the crazy schemes that are born in the BSMC Clubhouse at 2am. Fire up the coffee machine, there’s plenty more where this year came from.

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