One day a few months ago at the Hot Bike offices my ears opened up when I heard, "Hey, Ed, you wanna go to Switzerland for the Art and Wheels Show?" Hot Bike Editor-in-Chief Jeff was asking… I couldn't finish chewing my stale meatball sub fast enough to yell out, "Hell yes!" I had seen photos from last year's Art and Wheels Motorcycle Show and it looked nothing short of amazing with a mix of rad custom motorcycles, killer motorcycle-inspired art, riding in the Swiss countryside, and loads of fun. I had my bags packed as soon as I got home from the office even though the trip wasn't for a couple of weeks.
I"m not going to lie: I'm pretty spoiled with traveling all over the world with this job. But I had yet to journey to Switzerland. That fact mixed in with the list of invited builders and artist had me plenty pumped up before I even hopped on a plane. Some builders I was familiar with, such as Chris Richardson (LA Speed Shop), Max Schaff (4Q Custom Conditioning), Paul Cox (Paul Cox Industries), and Uwe Ehinger (Ehinger Kraftrad). Others I will admit I was not familiar with at all, such as Markus Roch (Stuff From Hell), Andy Niemi (Flying Choppers), VTR Customs, and Raphael Schaub (Schaub Metalworks).
Show founders Vinz, Mario, and Lukas did an amazing job of lining up these talented builders and artist. As soon as I entered the show venue (after checking out a few hundred cool bikes ridden to the show outside), I was blown away by the amazing bikes and art, and the setting for the show was super cool to boot. The bikes and art were laid out in an actual art gallery, quite fitting since these two-wheeled gems were exactly that, art—rolling art, to be exact.
The vibe at the show was laidback and friendly. One thing I noticed as I walked walked among the onlookers was everyone's strong passion for all things motorcycling. All the little details on all the custom bikes that the builders had poured their heart, sweat, blood, and souls into were noticed and appreciated by all the show goers, old and young alike. It was also cool to see the show goers interact with all the builders and the smiles all around.
I was also fascinated with the bikes the people rode into the show. Everything from pre-war Harleys, '70s-style choppers, café racers, baggers, supermotos, and everything in between. Switzerland loves them some motorcycles!
The day after the show, Mario Burkardt (Art and Wheels Show co-founder, MB leathers) had arranged a ride for the invited builders, artist, and media. We picked up our rides at Harley-Davidson Aargau and took off on an all-day adventure through the amazing and beautiful Swiss countryside and ended up at Ace Cafe Luzern. Super cool!
If you get the chance, the Art and Wheels Show is a fantastic event to check out; it's a one-of-a-kind show with its own cool personality and takes place in an amazing country. Start making plans now, you won't be sorry.
Big thanks to Mario and the Art and Wheels crew for everything!