The Bike Shed London 2017 preview

Don’t you just love bike shows?

You can check out the very latest model that makes your 3-month-old bike obsolete, and then spend all day carrying an insurance company carrier bag full of tat while hot pant wearing glamour girls (is this really 2017?) hand out leaflets for products they have no interest in. Am I wrong?

Maybe, but there are alternatives.

Later this month you could head for Tobacco Dock in Wapping, which will once again be the venue for The Bike Shed London’s 8th custom motorcycle extravaganza, which will be bigger than ever with more bikes, more entertainment, more brands and even some new catering options.

As well as the established food stalls, Patty & Bun will be serving up their American style cuisine, while there will be healthier options available if you’re watching your figure.

Jan Den Hartogh from Duke & Sons Leather will once again be making hand tooled leather wallets, wristbands and belts and the addition of a live music stage means entertainment can be provided by bands including Rev Ferriday & The Longdogs and JFK Blue.

Kids go free, and you can also park your bike, your lid and your jacket gratis too, the entrance to the bike park is in Pennington Street, but four wheelers will need to be parked in the nearby Wapping Lane multi storey, which isn’t free. Far from it in fact.

It’s not every bike show where you can get your bushy beard professionally trimmed, have a new tat inked, get your Barnet sorted out and listen to a blues musician while puffing on a fat Cuban in the cigar lounge.

And then there’s the bikes of course; all of them carefully selected by the show’s curators, they are essentially unique, many are previously unseen and without exception all of them are works of art.  

Major manufacturers have bought into this show, including Triumph, BMW and Ducati, all of whom will be displaying custom versions of model ranges inspired by trends introduced to many by The Bike Shed way back in the days when the show was underneath the arches beneath the railway lines. It seems like a lifetime ago.

The London Show has evolved and grown from the vision of The Bike Shed’s founder Anthony ‘Dutch’ van Someren.

One of the many things Dutch covered during his very interesting speech at last year’s International Journal of Motorcycle Studies conference in Chelsea, was his contempt for traditional commercial bike shows; he’d wanted to create a friendly and relaxed show environment where couples, women and children could come along and enjoy a great atmosphere while looking at some very cool bikes.

I’d say he’s succeeded, not only with the annual Tobacco Dock show, but also with the very successful Bike Shed HQ in Shoreditch.

The Bike Shed’s 2017 London Show runs from 26 May – 28 May.

Times are as follows:

Friday Press/Preview 7pm – 11pm

Saturday 10am – 10pm

Sunday 10am – 6pm

Tickets are valid for the whole weekend, prices vary depending upon whether you buy early bird, online or preview tickets, so for details and further information visit

Martin Haskell


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