Motorbike Expo Italy
This past January we visited Verona, Italy, for the Motor Bike Expo show. This event is the heavyweight of the Euro bike shows with 18,000 square meters (190,000-plus square feet) of custom V-twin motorcycle madness. There was wall-to-wall bikes ranging from pre-war restored Harleys and Indians to Twin Cam–powered machines that would make Enzo Ferrari proud of his Italian brethren. After roaming the halls on setup day, we were blown away by the inventiveness of the builders who grew up on Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, Italian design, and good strong coffee.
Though the weather was on the cold side, there were crowds at the show every day with more than 130,000 attending the event in total. It seemed like this show brought in people from all walks of life and not just Italians, but the whole of Europe.
Our American contingent included myself, frequent contributor Chris Long, Jordan Mastagni from Baggers magazine, Kirk Taylor, Chris and Fiona Richardson from LA Speed Shop, Dave Perewitz and his lovely daughter Jody, Zack Ness, Alan Gregory from Bagger Concepts, Bryan from TPJ Customs, and Scott Lerg from Baker Drivetrian. We all stayed at the Hotel Fiera a few steps away from the Verona Fiere event site and nightly we ventured into the city center and checked out historical landmarks, such as the Verona Arena, which was built by the Romans on the Piazza Bra in 30 A.D.
While at the show we mostly hung around in the Custom Bike Village, which was held in three halls of the seven dedicated to the show. It was packed with the kind of motorcycles Hot Bike loves to feature and was filled with choppers, customs, vintage iron, Knucks, Pans, Shovels, and a ton of killer Sportster variants with a bit of moto and café mixed into them for some Italian good measure. There were many contests and shows inside the show, but none was more coveted than Custom Chrome Europe’s bike show. There were four different categories for builders: Championship Class, Modified Harley Class, RevTech Performance Class, and Jammer Old School Class, all of which were awarded First through Third Place. Yours truly also gave away a Hot Bike magazine award to an amazing bike built by Asso Special Bike (expect a feature on it in Hot Bike in the near future) that is like a carbon fiber and aluminum Italian-born supercar on two wheels.
With feet tired from walking the show floor as well as the cobblestone-clad streets of Verona, we spent every waking hour soaking up real Italian sophistication, food, wine, and the special way this nation puts together motorcycles. We are glad we went and cannot wait to come back next year to see more of what the Motorbike Expo has for us in 2014. We really think you should book some tickets to Verona for the show too. You need a little culture in your life, so it might as well be wrapped around a motorcycle show, don’t you think? For more info, check out motorbikeexpo.it.