Saturday, April 25, 2015


One corner of the Handbuilt Show; the Fuller Hot Rods Norton Commando, plus Roland Sands' new Indian, the Revival J63, etc
My article on Austin's Handbuilt Show, put on by Revival Cycles (full disclosure; my Cannonball partners) is up on, with some great photos.  Here's a teaser, you'll have to click on the link for the rest...
The gorgeous HRD-Rudge, restored by Herb Harris, which I rode at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering last year...
"By now, everyone’s heard that Austin is an oasis of cool in the middle of Texas, but to this seasoned bi-coaster, visiting for the recent Handbuilt Show was a very pleasant surprise, and a little humbling. While busy growing our beards, Austin stole the mojo once animating Williamsburg and the Mission District, which are now dominated by people with, like, real jobs. The Handbuilt Show, in its second year under Revival Cycles, is planted in East Austin, a Hispanic neighborhood with rings of gourmet food trucks circled like wagons in vacant lots every quarter-mile, or even closer.
Jeremy Cupp, whose LC Fabrications '#7' Speedway custom won People's Choice; a crazy-clever machine mating a Buell Blast crank with a Ducati cylinder head, plus a ton of clever details, like a foldaway kicker for the Triumph gearbox (with hydraulic clutch adaptor)

The Show’s in a large warehouse with an open yard beside, but the interior is air conditioned, while the yard features two excellent food trucks and the American Motordrome for atmosphere—visual and sonic. The food and drinks aren’t free, nor are the T-shirts, but everything else is. Anybody could enter the wide-open doors, and it was still never too crowded, day or night, to slip in amongst the Wall of Death revelers and feel a 1928 Indian rock the boards under your feet, as horizontal rider Charlie Ransom snatched paper money from extended hands. That just never gets old."
Marty Dickerson's 'Blue Bike' - read about it here. 
The late Bud Reveile's Triumph chopper - an Austin legend, owner of Bud's Motorcycle Shop, an amazing place of a type increasingly rare these days...
A tidy Ducati flat-tracker
Sporting around with Steve Klein's 1911 Flying Merkel, with David Borras (El Solitario), moi, Alan Stulberg (Revival). and Brittney Olsen (20th Century Racing)
Presentation!  A sectioned Norton Atlas motor at Herb Harris' home
Revival's 'J63', which I reviewed for Cycle World
Who knew a Honda 250 needed a monococque chassis?
Lovely and Rudge-y
A sectioned Victoria Bergmeister engine at Revival
Late night builder chat and drinking session with Walt Siegl and David Borras 
Been there, done that, got the hand-built sweater.  Knitted by Dehen, the old woolen mill now reviving its old knitwear designs from the 40s/50s racing scene.  The bike is Max Hazan's remarkable supercharged Sporster, which I wrote about for Cycle World...
Setting up our show of Wet Plate photos at Handbuilt - check our portfolio at

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Anonymous said...

Well done Paul, for the full Cycle World article, and well done Alan for what sounds like a great show. - JZ

GuitarSlinger said...

Here's the thing . The city of Austin began loosing its ' Mojo ' a decade ago when the truly great music clubs began shutting their doors - gentrification took over to the point where even successful artists and musicians could no longer afford the cost of living - the clubs that did remain turned all their focus towards maximum commercialization - SXSW morphed into a Corporate love fest and the city was over run by trust fund ' Hipsters ' and Geek Squad tech weenies wishing they even knew what the term ' Hip ' even meant

With the Hand Built show being endemic of the ills overwhelming our current age when it comes to the arts / music / hot rod & custom bike culture / fashion etc .... which can be summed up by saying ;

" To revel in - appreciate - celebrate and even learn from the past is a positive thing

But to live in the past is not . Suffice it to say a society solely focused on " Living in the Past " is a society in deep decay "

... and the last I heard ... Decay is ... the polar opposite of ..... ' Hip ' ..

Anonymous said...

Re: Guitarslinger - I’m DYING to ask him what he’s built??? What makes him an authority of ANY kind? What makes people like that dude think his opinion overrides the 20k people that showed up to the Handbuilt show?

The Vintagent said...


Time to look in the mirror: quoting you, "to live in the decay". Focussing on how cool Austin 'used to be', before any of us motorcyclists showed up, is living in the past.

The vibe at the Handbuilt show was uniformly positive, and plenty of the work on display felt fresh. I didn't see much that was retro-centric, unless it was intentionally so. The event certainly didn't feel corporate, and I was impressed with the number of Univ.ofTexas students who showed up - a very good sign for the future.

Regarding the unaffordability of Austin today - dude, have you tried to rent an apartment in SF or NYC recently? Or had a sit-down meal there? Austin is a bargain. Yes it's changing, but as the Buddha says, that's life.