Thursday, 4 March 2010

Alexandra Palace Ace Cafe Show

Last weekend saw the Ace Cafe London Motorcycle and Custom Show take place. For those of you that don’t know, the Ace Cafe is very famous in London as being one of the main (if the THE main) motorcycle cafes in the UK.







This year the “Ace” sponsored the new format motorbike show at Alexandra Palace. At present, this is a low key show with none on the big manufacturers attending – it is more for the man or woman that likes custom bikes and oil under their fingernails. This makes it a small but special show in a great location.


Alexandra Palace was originally built in 1873 as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment. In 1936 it became the headquarters of the world's first regular public television service, operated by the BBC. Its famous radio mast is still used today. Londoner’s affectionate nickname for the building is “Ally Pally”.



The show was over three days and whilst Friday was a quiet day in terms of the number of people attending, Saturday and Sunday were busy, despite some pretty appalling weather.

The custom bike show was one of the rounds of the AMD World Championship, so it was an important event for the custom motorcycle industry here in the UK. The selected winner of best in show would be allowed to enter his/her bike into the Grand Final taking place in Sturgis in August, so there was keen interest in the event. The £20,000 prize money drew some attention as well.

One of the differences between this custom bike show and many others is how the judging is done. Many shows simply have one or a small number of judges selecting what they think are the winners and that’s it. This method can throw up some odd results with the personal preferences of a single or small number of people having a large impact on the result. The way the AMD does it is much fairer, with all entrants and a selected number of guest judges all voting. In this way, a wide selection of views and opinions by people who know about motorcycles choose the winners – much better.

Here are a number of photos from the show.....

I have left the winning bike until last....

If you don’t like custom bikes, look away now....


Stunning paintwork....
































One of the bikes belonging to a friend, Ian of 7 Ages Custom Motorcycles....


















A green monster....

















A Roland Sands inspired bobber....
















Nice springer front end....





































A bit long....















A lovely old Ducati, that I know a German ex-pat would like....
















The usual traders helmets, jackets etc....































My red bike in the show....



































And now, the three eventual winners....
















A stunning piece of engineering....















Beautiful....
















Many thanks to Andrew Harbron, who is the editor and chief photographer of the London Bikers website for letting me use some of his pictures.

6 comments:

Rob said...

Those bikes are wild...........

motoroz said...

Very cool bikes. Looks like that was a great show. Good luck to the winner when they take it to Sturgis.

Gary France said...

Rob - Wild indeed. In fact, the wilder the better!
Oz - The great things is, I will be in Sturgis to see them!!! Yeah!!

SonjaM said...

Shiny! Thanks for the picture of the Duc, I certainly like that one ;-)

Baron's Life said...

Stuning and beautifully done, the bikes , the helmets, the atmosphere. I was happy to read about how the contest is judged now..seems much fairer as a method and less risk of a blatant fix by the judges.
I am glad you're going to be at Sturgis to watch the festivities....! Great

Gary France said...

Sonja - I am glad you liked it.

Baron - Thanks. even though by most standards it was a small show, I think it benefitted from this, in that it was much more intimate and dedicated mainly to custom bikes. I have never been to Sturgis, so I am looking forward to it a lot!