"Here in the UK, we are pretty lucky to be blessed with some awesome pockets of custom bike enthusiasts scattered across our beautiful country, but we’re not so blessed in the way of bike shows and I can’t "
House of Vans Assembly Chopper Show goes down a storm
Danni went along to the House of Vans
Well, that’s the second edition of the House of Vans Assembly Chopper Show done and dusted for another year and what a show it was!
Bike enthusiasts from across the world – as far as America! – united at the House of Vans Lambeth venue in South East London for the weekend-long event held from June 14-15.
In only its second year, it smashed attendance of last year’s show seeing floods of inspiration-seekers and people of intrigue through the doors.
The free-to-attend show welcomed more than 50 of the world’s best custom-built chopper motorbikes for display in the most awesome of venues! There were skate ramps, which were useable to anyone in attendance, pop-up shops including Joe King Helmets, The Great Frog jewellers and Dice, featuring some seriously cool sh*t. There was even an on-site cinema showing more motorcycle porn.
The venue was, to put it bluntly, ‘sick’! Turn the corner out of Waterloo train station, descend a flight of stairs (turning your back on the normality of London life) and you’re there. This underground, graffiti-strewn – cool graffiti, not “Kandi was here” – backstreet featured platforms housing some of the best custom bikes we’ve ever seen.
There were some pretty famous builders there, too, including Ryan Grossman who built choppers for hit TV show Sons of Anarchy and also runs Vintage Dreams Choppers, as well as chopper-builder and fine-art painter John Copeland who returns to London following his first UK solo art exhibition at Damien Hirst’s famous Newport Street Gallery, as well as ex-pro skater Max Schaaf.
One unfortunate rider from Baltimore, USA – Oliver Jones – arrived in the UK (travelling across the pond specifically for the event) without his bike, due to a shipping error.
A couple of head turners for us were James Bull’s 1950’s Panhead Harley Davidson. James claims his favourite feature as ‘the tank that’s not allowed to be shown at this show’ – well, with a name like ‘Dirty Dildo’, we’re pretty sure it’s not a picture of a cute puppy…
Then there was Niels Dene’s absolutely stunning original four-speed 1980 Harley Davidson ESC FX.
Speaking to Influx magazine, attendee Tom Pine, 27, travelled all the way down from Newcastle Upon Tyne to see what the show was all about: “The show was really good. It was a collection of some of the world’s best choppers under the roof of a seriously cool venue. It was something special to get to see some of the American builds, as well as meet their makers too. My sole reason for going is that every bike there was built to my style. Huge credit to Dice Magazine, House of Vans, Great Frog and all the builders – it really was a sight to behold. My favourite bike of the show has got to be Panhead (IMAGE 33) built by Jason Webber from ATR – absolutely unreal in the metal.”
Anna, 37, from Hertfordshire said: “I’ve always been into bikes, but you rarely see this much custom-style under one roof. The House of Vans event is so unique – I just wish it was more than once a year. I’ll definitely be back for the third edition next year.”
Also new for this year was a motorcycle swap meet, giving attendees the chance to sell or swap parts or even whole bikes while they browsed.
Well, if you didn’t manage to attend this year’s show, we’re hoping this has painted a pretty clear picture of just how awesome it was, but if not these shots of some of the best machines in attendance should go a little way to helping…
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