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Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show 2014

Hipster Mayhem: 6th Annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show 2014

I was planning on visiting a few friends down at the track at Thunderbolt this weekend, but first  I wanted to check out the Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show, which I stumbled on last year.  Williamsburg is the hipster epicenter of the free world, and I was expecting a bunch of sick bikes, most that can't be ridden too far or too fast, some of which are incredibly built; others that are just incredibly loud.

It was a beautiful day, but I was eager to get in and out quickly, since I had another 3 hours of driving to get down to southern Jersey to meet up with my buddies. so I rushed a bit getting over to Greenpoint where there was absolute mayhem in Brooklyn.
Bikes were parking everywhere; on the sidewalk, in construction areas and between cars.  I pulled up beside a car, looking for a parking space, and the car turned into me, pinning my saddlebag and rear wheel with his right fender.   Furious, I banged on his car and managed to pull out.
Luckily police, in their fruitless attempt to direct traffic, witnessed the whole thing, and came over to make sure everything was alright.  I pulled over at the first opportunity, and my bike seemed ok, so I decided not to pursue anything further with the cops.  
In this veritable biker frenzy, without any significant damage to my bike, the potential risk of a hassle  involving my insurance company and the legal system outweighed any possible gains I would make from escalating the situation.
 Hundreds of bikes poured off of Kent Ave onto North 14th Street by Bushwick Cove.
 I've hardly led a sheltered life, but I don't think I've seen so many tattoos, beards, rolled up pant-cuffs  and poor footwear in my life.
 Volkswagen's strategically placed billboards are going to get quite a bit of free visibility, as many riders (like myself) were amatuer/aspiring photographers.
I would say two thirds of the bikes were Harleys, and another quarter modified Triumphs or Japanese cruisers, with a handful of  other  British bikes, BMWs, Ducatis and other sport bikes.
 There were a number of events going on, but the throngs of black-clad wannabe ruffians, rebelliously cueing in orderly lines extending around the block scared me away from what was probably just food.
 The scenery, as chaotic as it seemed, was lovely on the last day of summer, while the stern spires of Manhattan skyscrapers distantly peeked over the horizon.

A Smattering of Ducatis

 I think this was one of the early Desmos, perhaps a 350 single from the late 1960's
 This Monster was bizarre, with knobby tires, exposed belts, custom exhaust and a custom welded tank that looks more like the new 2015 Ducati Monster than the old one.
 Another shot of this ratty Monster with the Empire State Building in the background.
 One of only two Sportclassics, which was strange as this is a hugely popular bike at the moment, this bike was pristine, with racing decals and full Termi exhaust.
 Duc parking; a couple of newer Monsters, a Panigale and a Sportclassic.
 I've met the owner of this SuperSport a couple times at DESMO events.
Newer chrome Guzzi.
This was one of my favorite bikes on display, a  beautifully restored custom BMW R(90?).

Japanese Customs

Cool old Yamaha single, with a powdercoated eggshell blue frame. 
 I couldn't even get close enough to guess the make of this bike (note the roll-cuffed skinny jeans and totally impractical riding shoes), but I'm guessing a highly customized Honda.
 These old Honda 4 cylinders are still bulletproof.
An old Suzuki GSXR1000 Racing bike.

A custom Yamaha bobber

Custom Triumphs and other British Bikes

 This was a cool custom painted old Triumph
 A flock of BSA's rolled through.
This was another one of my favorite bikes, an old Norton.
 There were more Harleys than anything, but the Triumph bobbers were probably the signature bike model of the show.
 Pretty hip Iowan on his Chopper (please excuse the dicks drawn on the engine case).
 Hey, there's my ST3 sticking out like a sore thumb amongst some cruisers.
A Triumph bobber and some crazy-tanked custom bike. 
 Another couple Triumph bobbers.
 ...and a few more.
 Another shot of that Norton.
 ...and another Triumph.

Harley Davidsons and the rest of the Customs

As I mentioned, most of the bikes rolling through were Harleys, a brand of bike with which I'm not especially familiar. 
A chalk painted custom Harley with what looks like an old Volkswagen tire.
 A highly customized trike, with inspirational messages and full on G-string lumbar support for your passenger.
 A wild, chromed out, skinny bike, whose handlebars appear to have come off an old Schwinn
 -another angle.
 I hope somebody loves this bike... though I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever built this bike is playing way too much Candy-Crush when they drop acid.
 Finally, a badass Harley, with bas-relief, bloody-fanged, sculpted sculls on the tank and rear fender
 More death and bitches (note the rear car tire)....
 close up.
Zoom in for a closeup of Da Vinci's "Last Supper." Too bad this poor sinner dropped the bike right on top of a few disciples.
 I like this classic paint scheme on this classic HD.
This old Flathead was FILTHY (guessing that's sort of his 'thing').
 Another completely custom stainless steel bike sporting a naked clutch and a minivan rear tire. I'll never understand riding a bike you can't lean on.
 This was a cool black and red Harley.
 ...and from another angle.
 A couple of shots of mostly Harleys outside of Works Engineering, which specializes in custom motorcycles.
 I guess this is technically North Williamsburg, but it's pretty close to Greenpoint.
 I love that cyberpunk headlight on the bike on the bottom right.
 Someone had put a lot of money into making this sportster match the custom wood/leather and black details.  Pretty smooth though.
 A couple more skinny custom choppers.  Check out the twisted metal forks on the bike on the left.
After calming down my nerves for an hour after getting into a minor accident, I went to check my EZpass, which wasn't working.  It was nearing 5pm, and I decided getting down to South Jersey would take way to long, so I decided to head back to the city for a quiet weekend at home alone.

© 2014 Tigh Loughhead


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