Monday, 20 April 2015

Bespoked 2015

Last Friday I finally made it along to the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show. This was my first bicycle show, and what a great show! There was a plethora of amazing hand made bicycles on display and some very interesting ideas in both engineering terms and design. If you didn't make it this year and like what you see I urge you to make sure you go in 2016.

Takhion Tsubasa Mass 2

(ink sketch)

This intriguing track bicycle is the result of a collaboration between Reginald Vorontsov the founder and designer of Takhion and Tsubaba Bicycles (Edvinas Vavilovas). Vorontsov designed racing bicycles which eliminated the use of the headset and put the handlebars directly onto the front forks. Not only did this reduce the weight it also made the riding position even more aerodynamic. These bikes pushed Russian cycling to win at the 1988 Olympics.

The Takhion Tsubasa Mass 2 is the latest incarnation and evolution of the Takhion design, using an all carbon fibre frame and fork set using "A unique carbon fibre layering system, where pieces of carbon fibre are meticulously layered over each other, resulting in  a strong seamless but incredibly light frame."

Due to the extreme riding position the rider doesn't exhort much pressure on the seat and so a minimal design has been employed.

The prototype frame T+T Mass 1 is to be auctioned off to raise funds for the Red Cross, to support the war orphans of the Ukrane. To bid on the frame or even make a small donation please go to the following link. The auction ends on 8th July:

Reginald Vorontsov is from the Ukraine and due to the conflict it has made the collaboration difficult, but Edvinas and Reginald feel that they can overcome this and prove that "man and man is more than war"

Ogre, DH-1R

(ink sketch)

Built by Eiji Konishi this is a beautifully crafted downhill bicycle, the main frame is made from sections of flat titanium, and the rear swinging arm is almost organic. To find out more about Eiji's amazing bicycles please go to his website:

More Photos...

GWG Innisfree

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Bike Shed Paris

The Bike Shed are at it again but now they have taken their show to Paris. The format that they used in their previous London Shows has been shipped across the channel and has worked phenomenally well. The majority of bikes on display were from Europe and it was great to see that the custom scene is just as healthy here as in the UK. Alongside the bikes there was a plethora of artwork, photography as well as a barbers, tattoo parlour and a leather worker. Am angst all this where a few manufacturers in the motorcycle world Triumph, Harley Davidson and Yamaha. Having these names there didn't turn the experience into the usual trade show as they seamlessly mixed in with the whole show and kept the atmosphere relaxed and the way the Bike Shed is. This show has proved to me that you can have a show without having the commercial side shoved in your face. This is a really refreshing change and I think it is this social side that needs to be pushed more as thats what the motorcycle scene is about meeting new people and machines with one common thread.

Art Display

(Full display)

I was fortunate enough to be able to display some of my studio work, which I've been spending more time on of late. One of my new experiments was the Dirt Quake 3 Panorama which I mounted on a curved mount in order to allow the viewer to see the whole piece within their peripheral vision...

 "The Pits"

(panoramic ink sketch on curved mount)

"Vincent Engine"

(oil painting, with screen printed elements)

These paintings were started around a year ago and sat unfinished in my studio until recently. I had been working digitally overlaying ink sketches over digital paintings for a while and I really liked the effect it gave. I'd been trying to think of a way of doing it with real paintings and whilst talking to Ben Cheshire at Mesh Silk Screen the lightbulb turned on and the thought of screen printing over an oil painting came about. To do this I traced a 1 to 1 ink sketch over the painting and then screen printed it over the top. I then worked over the top with spray paints and enamels to achieve what you see here.

"Vellocette Engine"

(oil painting, with screen printed elements)

As well as displaying work I also sketched profusely over the whole weekend. Here's the results....

Kruz Company's Mini Rod Dax

(ink sketch)

I saw this bike during the setup and knew it was a must sketch for the weekend. The bike has taken 3 years on and off to finish. The engine is race tuned and Kruz are planning to take it to a Mini Bike Drag event in Belgium later this year. This is a really fun build with a serious edge, and I wish Kruz luck with racing it later this year.

Triumph Speed Twin, 

 (ink sketch)

I'd loved this sprint bike for a while now and I was so happy to see it at the show. This 1938 speed twin has been run on many circuits in Europe and ran at the Brighton Speed Trials coming 4th in it's class. This is very impressive as the people that run at Brighton are real veterans of the sport. The speed twin is built and run by Frank Chatokhine who is a real wizard at tuning and racing vintage motorcycles. He came first in the vintage class in the Dirt Track Rider Association race series last year.

TT, Honda V4

 (ink sketch)

It was mainly the engine and array of radiators that attracted me to this bike. The engine is a 500cc V4. After speaking to the owner the engine is typical of the off the wall thinking that Honda had at the time this was built. The extra radiator has been added as these engines alway overheat, it does however add to the experimental flavour of this build.

Tom Rockwood's, Triumph Trackmaster
(ink sketch)

I can't let a real race bike go, even though the show was a custom show it was great to see a genuine flat track bike there. This bike was ridden at Ascot Park in L.A. in the early 70's by Tom Rockwood who was one of the top AMA riders at the time.

Lucky Cat Garage, Sprint Beemer

(ink sketch)

I'd seen a lot of this Lucky Cat Garage bike on various websites and always loved the look of it, especially with the fairing. The bike is based on a BMW and has added NOS! There were so many details and complexities I thought I'd give myself a challenge and give it a go.

Lucky Cat Dust Beemer,

Kikishop Customs, 750 GSXE

(ink sketch)

The pure simplicity and subtlety of this custom is just right. It looks so simple that the amount of work that has gone into this build is deceiving. All the work has been done by one man, including the paint job, metalwork, chrome the list goes on. The cowling is a modified Norton fairing and the tail section is all hand beaten!

This Honda 750 Four is done in the same simple fashion and as said before it's just RIGHT!
Kikishop Customs travel in style too.

More Artwork.....

Unlimited Velocity displayed some amazing large prints. Also known as Hans Surs, Hans has a real understanding of painting and is definitely knows what he's doing, please check out his website as you won't be disappointed!

Pimp My Bell had a display of custom helmet on display these two where my top choice...
Will Barras, always amazed by the liquid quality of his work.

Maxwell Paternoster does it again!

Susan Mclaughlin and Paul d'Orleans amazing wet plate pieces on display.

More Bikes....

Shaw Fat Tracker
Shaw Miss Universe

The Orange Bud, By Wild Workshop
Bad Seeds, 6 piper

Addict Motorcycles, Norton Hot Rod

XTR Pepo "Suzuka"

Stuff that turned up outside....