Jon Langston

The Brooklyn Invitational’s 10th Anniversary Party Is Full Of Cool Customs

Brooklyn, New York’s renowned custom bike show celebrates its 10th anniversary by showcasing even more bikes

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.

Oliver Jones Black FXR

Oliver Jones brought the FXR action with this midnight black job.

Mark Velasquez

Jones FXR Nitro Boost

Jonesey’s FXR came replete with a nitro boost built into the tank.

Jon Langston

Ryan Grossman gold flake chopper

Ryan Grossman’s gold flake chopper held court in the back of the Root Gallery. The detail was spectacular from tip…

Mark Velasquez

gold flake chopper fender detail

…to tail.

Jon Langston

Keino Sasaki motorcycle

One of the perks of being a show organizer is getting a plum spot in the corner of the gallery. This is Keino Sasaki’s contribution.

Mark Velasquez

wild zonkern bike

We overheard someone guess the wild Zonkern bike was really a Buell in disguise.

Mark Velasquez

Black scale detail bike

Yes, please.

Mark Velasquez

Brooklyn invitational 10th anniversary poster

Ten years and still bringing the iron…

Jon Langston

custom detail leather motorcycle seat

…and the leather.

Jon Langston

county of kings custom gas tank

Several custom tanks were on display. This one comes from the County of Kings.

Jon Langston

roland sands indian motorcycle

Roland Sands went old-school chopper this year with this well-worn, mad-raked Indian.

Mark Velasquez

brooklyn invitational harley-davidson

Unlike a lot of custom shows,the Brooklyn Invitational has bikes that proudly display their wear and tear.

Mark Velasquez

japanese sidewinders

The Japanese contingent really brought the goods this year.

Mark Velasquez

bare chested motorcycle

Of course, not all of the tasty bikes were inside the gallery.

Jon Langston

vintage police motorcycle

This vintage police bike was the envy of plenty of NYPD’s finest.

Jon Langston

got balls motorcycle seat

This guy’s clearly nuts.

Jon Langston

brooklyn invitational mini bike

But this guy’s minibike might have stolen the whole show.

Mark Velasquez