It’s Europe’s biggest and best independent custom motorcycle event and once again The Bike Shed Moto Show in London has shown why it’s earned a five-star reputation. Held over the weekend at the spectacular Tobacco Dock location, this year’s theme ‘Common Ground’ was all about honouring our diverse scene, in the most inclusive way possible. The event truly is a celebration of the custom motorcycle culture, the people and machines that make it up and the community which has grown around it. Hosts Vikki and Dutch sure know how to throw a party, and with hundreds of bikes, beers and burgers to consume, nobody walked away without a satisfied smile.

Well-established motoring events tend to have a certain vibe about them, some are rough and gruff, others are nothing but lifeless trade shows and then there are the events that make you feel like you’ve come home. And that’s exactly what the Bike Shed and their annual show are all about. “Leave your differences at the door and join an inclusive crowd of people who simply love motorcycles and moto-culture, in beautiful surroundings, with great food, live music, multiple bars, lounges, shopping and entertainment.”

By the numbers, it looks like 2024 was a major success. “One Weekend, 500 Exhibitors, with 300 Custom Bikes, 9 Bars, 5 Live Bands, 19 Food & Drink Vendors, 8 ShedTalks, 5 Barbers, 16 Tattooers and much more, in a stunning, 200 year-old grade 1 listed venue, backed by 7 major Partner brands …and 20,000 huge smiles.” And the major sponsors show just how important the custom scene is to the motorcycle industry in general, with LiveWire, BMW Motorrad, Alpinestars, Norton, Royal Enfield and Scrambler Ducati, all throwing their considerable might behind the event.

Being an invitation-only show means that the Bike Shed team has a chance to truly curate an experience that captures the essence of the scene at the time. And this year, quality and diversity were top of the list. No single style of bike dominated, with cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, scramblers and all manner of machines earning their place amongst an elite crowd. But what continues to be front and centre is quality, it doesn’t matter if you’re building a funky little scooter, it still has to be first class.

Boxer-powered Bavarians continue to be a staple, but there is an obvious increase in late ’80s/early ’90s superbikes starting to get built to a seriously high standard by some of the industry’s finest builders. Think of Slabby Suzuki’s, often turned into some pretty horrible street fighters in days gone by, who are now getting the sort of makeover that engine truly deserves. Speaking of wild engines, Ben’s Blown BMW is truly remarkable and if a Dresda Triton isn’t cool enough, then someone went and bloody supercharged one – and the engineering is spot on too.

But that wasn’t even the best of British, I never thought I’d see the day, but in attendance was Brough Superior, custom built and with a cafe racer tail on the thing, and it works! This is why The Bike Shed Moto Show is so important, it rewards builders who take a risk and do incredible things in the process. And if you want wild and wacky, you get it, a lime green mobility scooter built by Paul Petrie not only looked the goods but will get you home in a hurry, groceries and all, as it’s been repowered with a Kawasaki Z1 engine. If you can think of it, then someone has built it and they were all there standing proudly side by side at the Shed.

A feather in the cap for the organisers and a big win for all in attendance was the presence of Ducati to launch two new models in their Scrambler range. Such launches are normally reserved for big trade shows but the Italian firm didn’t disappoint, delivering two stunning concepts that look all but production-ready. The first is the CR24I, a true cafe racer that blends styles old and new and also incorporates design features from beloved Ducati models like the 750SS. The second bike, known as the RR24I, is even more wild and would look right at home in a Mad Max movie, with its post-apocalyptic styling and go-anywhere functionality.

MW and Royal Enfield both had a major presence too, and they’re being rewarded in sales for backing the industry and the men and women who make it so great. You almost wish the entire event could remain in place, as a permanent installation, but we don’t ride motorcycles sitting still and there were plenty of power packed machines for the horsepower lovers too. So, they came, they saw and they consumed, and now it’s your turn to indulge, as we present our favourite photos by Michael Jersovs from one of the year’s truly great events.

[ Photography by Michael Jersovs ]