Event Report: Picking Favorites at the 2023 Handbuilt Show

Handbuilt Motorcycle Show
Three days of
live music, art and over 150 handbuilt motorcycles and custom cars—it definitely took a bit to get our you-know-what together after a fun weekend in Austin. Its eighth year running, Revival Cycle’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is one of the most diverse motorcycle events around, not to mention serious sensory overload.

Citing a lack of connectivity in our modern digital world, Revival Cycles held the first Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in 2014 with the goal of getting people out to appreciate craftsmanship in custom bikes. The show has become a massive attraction since, and Revival estimates that roughly 20,000 people attended over the course of the weekend. The 100,000 sq-ft Austin American Statesman is the center of the event, which gives you plenty of breathing room to appreciate what’s on display.

It’s a pretty immersive experience, and the crew at Revival does a great job creating a setting that inspires you to dig into the details of every custom bike. You’ll find everything from traditional choppers, to cutting-edge street bikes and classic cafes at the show, with each one being selected for its unique brand of handcrafted character.

After you take in the static entertainment, the Ives Brothers’ Wall of Death show is something you have to see in person. Where else do you get to throw $1 bills at guys riding motorcycles and go-karts around a vertical pit? And as always, the show coincides with the MotoGP event at the Circuit of the Americas to fill your need for speed.

This year’s show brought more of the great things we’ve come to expect from Revival, including live music. 15 or so bands played throughout the weekend, which is definitely more than previous years. It was also a big year for BMW Motorrad, as the brand is celebrating 100 years of building bikes. Not only was BMW one of the show’s biggest sponsors, but they also brought a diverse fleet of custom motorcycles to display.

But for us, the highlight of the weekend was being selected to give three awards for best design, best paint and best of show. Picking favorites out of a pool of 150 awesome bikes was like trying to pick a favorite child, but we eventually we hashed out three winners.

For best design, it was hard to beat Rick Dozer’s Harley board tracker with a handbuilt tank, front end and aluminum frame. Eli Carver brought home best paint with an eye-catching BMW cafe that screamed 1972. Helmut Siepman never skimps on details, and his BMW bobber named Brunhilde was our pick for best in show. Stay tuned, as we’ll be profiling all three of our winners in upcoming features.

Images courtesy of Revival Cycles and Ricky Casado