Without doubt, the Brooklyn Invitational is a can’t-miss. Builders and enthusiasts come from all over the world each September not just to showcase their talent and admire the work of the their peers, but also to gauge what’s on the horizon because the craftsmen and aficionados who gather here are often the very same tastemakers who will set the tone for custom style and fabrication for years to come. And it’s always a helluva party.
Instead of a massive blowout, however, the 10th anniversary of the Invitational saw the celebration take a back seat to the bikes. This was a good thing. In the past, the customs on display were limited to about 20 in the sprawling Root Gallery in Williamsburg, with other rooms hosting metal bands, tattoo artists, vendors, and cash bars. And the crowd on the street was often (usually?) more fun than the scene indoors.
This year, organizers Keino Sasaki, Jessica Lee Wertz, and John Copland chose to ditch the bands and showcase even more custom motorcycles. The result was a Brooklyn Invitational that was mellower in revelry but practically twice the size—and the crowd on hand was comprised mainly of the the old friends and talented fabricators on whom the Invitational’s reputation was built in the first place.
The motorcycles on display this year ranged from the usual vintage bikes and choppers to racers and streetfighters, and even a few metrics. Here are a few of our favorites.