Show Report: Pure&Crafted, Amsterdam

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
There’s a mystical connection between music and motorcycles that isn’t explored nearly enough. BMW Motorrad recognizes that—and hosts the Pure&Crafted festival each year to celebrate it.

Pure&Crafted is basically a mash-up of music and motorcycles, with a heavy emphasis on ‘new heritage’ lifestyle. So instead of getting pop rock and sport bikes, you get indie and alternative tunes, custom motorcycles, and handcrafted goods, food and drink.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
The first three editions of this music-and-moto shindig happened in Berlin. Then BMW experimented with a touring format. But this year, the festivities shifted to the land of canals, bicycles and stroopwafels: Amsterdam.

I’ve traveled through Amsterdam a-plenty, but most of the time it’s no more than a sprint through Schiphol airport to catch another plane. But this year I had a ticket in my pocket from BMW, giving me a chance to really sink my teeth into the Dutch capital for a change.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
With nary a hill in sight and a pretty crazy city center, Amsterdam isn’t exactly a motorcycle mecca…but there is a scene. And even though it’s small, it’s hallmarked by passion and dedication.

Rusty Gold Motorshop is a mandatory stop; a bike apparel store in the Overtoom area with a skate shop vibe, a secret basement workshop, and excellent coffee. And Deus Ex Machina has just opened an outpost across town too.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
This year’s Pure&Crafted venue was the historic Taets Art and Event Park—a collection of buildings about 15 minutes drive from Amsterdam Centraal. It’s a stunning location; a former munitions plant set on a heritage site alongside the Amsterdam North Sea Canal.

The vibe is industrial, with loads of raw metal and brick that shows years of wear.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
The event flowed seamlessly from one building to the next throughout the compound. One building hosted the main stage, with a large hall across from it containing the main ‘Wheels’ area. An alley of food trucks and bars led to a second building, which contained a second stage and bustling indoor markets.

As title sponsors, BMW had set up a lounge with Custom Works Zon’s groundbreaking R18-based custom, and Unique Custom Cycles’ R5 ‘Hommage‘ concept, acting as decor.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
They also used that space to showcase their upcoming line of heritage riding gear and apparel. It’s a good-looking range, with a focus on classic designs, minimal branding and robust materials.

But aside from that, and the overwhelming amount of mildly customized R nineTs, Pure&Crafted had its own flavor. And that flavor was very much alternative.

The ‘Wheels’ area acted as the main custom showcase, with EXIF alumni Ironwood, Rough Crafts, Pancake Customs, Motoism and Krautmotors all represented. I also caught bikes from Amsterdam’s own Cool Kid Customs, and Belgian outfit ROOK.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
A small foyer acted as a dedicated space for some of the best BMW-based customs we’ve seen. I had a chance to get up close and personal with VTR Customs’ Spitfire, Auto Fabrica’s Type 18, Krautmotors’ bananas C Evolution scooter, and the Achilles sprint bike by Kraftstoffschmiede and Man and the Machines.

And I do mean up close. Spitfire pilot Amelie ‘Amy’ Mooseder (below) and Krautmotors’ Rolf Reick hauled their machines into the open for a flame and burnout showdown.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
With the Sultans of Sprint season behind her (including racing head to head with legend Randy Mamola), Amy had no reason to preserve the Spitfire’s motor. The crowd got a kick out of it, and I got a head to toe rubber shower thanks to my proximity to Rolf’s rear wheel.

There was much else to see too. The indoor markets were stacked with everything from barbers giving hot towel shaves, to vendors selling all manner of motorcycle gear. I ran into Silver Machine too—a leather craftsman who has upholstered seats on several bikes featured on EXIF.

The Ken Fox Troupe and the Wall of Death at Pure&Crafted
Pure&Crafted also gave me the opportunity to watch something I’d narrowly missed twice before in my life: the Ken Fox Troupe and the Wall of Death.

There’s no way to adequately describe the sight, sound and smell of three daredevils riding vintage bikes (and even a go kart) inside a giant wooden cylinder.

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam
In between, an eclectic blend of food and drink kept me fueled. Highlights included Mexican pulled beef burgers, freshly made pizza, fries (for real, Dutch fries are heel lekker) and bourbon poured by a Dutch bartender with a heavy hand.

All of this was set to a soundtrack of local and international indie and alternative rock acts. We caught English punk rockers Bad Nerves early in the day, and closed the evening off with London-based psych-rock powerhouse Swedish Death Candy (below), Amsterdam’s own Indian Askin, and Dutch performer Blaudzun.

Swedish Death Candy at Pure&Crafted
That combination of good music, good motorcycles, good sustenance and good libation is tough to top. Oh, and good people too—Pure&Crafted draws a specific type of crowd, and it’s the kind you’ll want to kick back with all night. (And yes, even our friends from Bavaria know how to cut loose.)

The show circuit is saturated these days, but Pure&Crafted has carved out its own niche—because it’s just as much a music festival as a bike show. All it needs now is an even bigger cross-section of custom builders, and it’ll be unstoppable.

Pure&Crafted | Facebook | Instagram | Header image Jörg Künstle / BMW Motorrad, all others Wes Reyneke

Motorcycle show report: Pure&Crafted 2019, Amsterdam