HandBuilt Show Set for Austin in April
The lads at Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas, have been turning out some fine customs in the past few years. Co-founders Alan Stulberg and Stefan Hertel and lead fabricator Andrew James have seen their work showcased in all the major publications, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering and Jay Leno’s Garage. Last week they inaugurated a shop gathering slated to become the Annual Purge, giving away stock parts left over from their builds over the years. For free!
The fourth annual HandBuilt Motorcycle Show is set for April 21 - 23, concurrent with the Circuit of the Americas MotoGP in Austin. The Revival approach to custom builds is reflected in their outline for the show. “As our collective existence slips further into digital abstraction, we at the HandBuilt Motorcycle Show believe something has been lost and it is time to revive the culture of physical craftsmanship. Although in today’s modern mass-produced world few young people are taught how to do physical work or are encouraged to embrace a trade, there remains a universal attraction to the beauty that can only be formed by human hands.”
While Revival Cycles enjoys the advantage of Austin’s youthful lifestyle (not to mention the food, music and proximity to CotA), the trend in artisinal moto-craftsmen has been a national growth industry for the past few years. Rather than putting the emphasis on restorations or vintage machines, or building replicas of classic favorites, the young builders have focused on honoring the design and style elements of the past and incorporating contemporary reliability. Motorcycles we can enjoy looking at and riding
in equal measure, without the issues of dodgy electrics, marginal suspension, brakes, etc.
Some of the leaders in combining the best of the past and present have gained increasing national notice in recent years; Mule Motorcycles in southern California, Gasbox Customs in Ohio, Analog Cycles of Illinois and Fuller Moto in Georgia. But there are dozens of specialty builders across the country, creating custom machines built to customers’ requirements or simply crafting their own notions of the perfect bike to fit their needs. And given the growing supply of used (and used-up) motorcycles gathering dust in garages and barns, the trend is unlikely to fade away any time soon.
The HandBuilt Motorcycle Show has become the southwest’s premier showcase for the craftsman motorcycle community. “It is not enough to simply have a mechanically adequate machine that ignores the visual form,” say the Revival folks. “To be truly remarkable requires something more: the seamless blending of visual design with technical excellence. When these elements come together with just the right mix, the result is as much fun to ride as it is to behold. We believe a motorcycle should thrill and excite even before the first crackling rumble of an open exhaust.”
For more information on the show, visit revivalcycles.com
The Rickman Revival Velocette, a Sixties’ Velo Venom engine in a period Rickman chassis, won the Desgn and Style Award at The Quail last year. Shown in the lead image over the track at the Circuit of the Americas, you can expect to see this beauty at the HandBuilt Show.