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LOST FOR WORDS

Nobody goes to Yokohama in December by accident. And those who do have a vague idea of what to expect. But to find the right words when all is over is hard. Every year. “Madness!” “… best I’ve ever seen - and that’s what I said last year too!” “gnarlier than Born Free!” “why only a few hours?” “how do they do it?”

The Hot Rod Custom Show, meanwhile in its 26th iteration, works like this: Sunday morning everybody is crowding round the entrance, they all know that time is short (9 hours, to be exact), and they all want a good spot for the Ride In. A selected few special guests then shake, rattle and roll their 2- and 4-wheelers under their own steam into the venue. This is world class.

The rather large exhibition hall

is crammed to the last inch with sensational cars and bikes, pin stripe artists, model cars, art objects, all this while hundreds of trophies* are being given away. The fun lasts for those unbelievably short 9 hours, and then the Pacifico exhibition Centre closes its gates again for another long year.

Even seasoned custom bike aficionados, who have seen Born Free, One Show and the Brooklyn Invitational are stunned. They’re fighting for words after 5 minutes. So it’s just as well that our emissaries had a camera handy, which doesn’t make it easier for those who get to chose the final shots.

*Postscript: one of the many trophies

was the W&W Cycles Pick. It went to the mindboggling Knucklehead by Hammer Sycle. They couldn’t have found a name more fitting. This thing is as hard hitting as they get. Even our very own Nobbi-san found his Japanese again - sonkei!