April 6th - 9th 2017, Poznan/Poland
Text & Photo's: Horst Roesler, Motographer
It has started with passion and it has been a great show again! The 8th Custom Festival Custombike Show as part of the massive Poznan Motor Show and altogether 4 motorcycle-related halls plus outdoor program, which included Motorcycle and Quad Stunt acts. What is unique in that Polish event is the public interest which can be stated to be on a "national" level. This is the "main event" for Poland in all things automotive, but it has become rare in "the west", western Europe, to have such hyper-enthusiastic visitors that bring the whole family and
walk almost the complete exhibition. Which this year occupied the full capacity of the Poznan Trade Fair!
To say that outstanding Custombikes from Poland have made a huge impression in recent years is a massive Understatement! Numerous Polish Customizers have scored high in Bikeshows with immaculate custom creations! As they did again: As part of the "Poznan Motor Show", Poland's biggest automotive Showcase and trade fair, hosted about four halls are dedicated to motorcycles, of which one hosts the "Custom Festival" of Polish magazin "Custom" presenting a 60+ Bikeshow that presents everything what is currently up-to-date in the Polish and East-European custom scene. In comparision, the Camping/Caravan section only counted 3 halls, the general car manufacturers about 6, plus 1 "show truck" hall and outdoor program.
Polands 5th biggest City is probably the wealthiest and busyest one – and home to the biggest trade fair of the country. In three days, plus one Press day, more than 400.000 visitors and 500+ press representatives crowded the halls, including "School Friday", when all schools, Universities and professional schools "herd" their classes through the show halls, obviously much to the exitement of the students!
The big motorcycle manufacturers were present with their current model lines, either in the motorcycle halls or presenting the bikes along with the cars (Suzuki). Suprisingly absent: Harley-Davidson, which even lacked dealer-presence in the "Custom" hall. Indian did not shrink back, neither did Polaris with Quads and Slingshots. Public interest in all things motorized is still massive in Poland, yet buying power is not. Unfortunately. Nevertheless the inspiration was fired by the main manufacturers as well as the custom-built creations in the bike show.
"Custom Festival" organisers Lech and Bartek Wangin again organized a cool show with 60+ motorcycles and trikes in the classes Trike, Streetbike, Café Racer, Old School, Modified Harley and Freestyle, with a quite mentionable number of Special Awards like "Best Airbrush", Custom Chrome Europe Pick and others preceeding the "official" trophy ceremony. The entry list included customized bikes of all types from Poland and neighbouring eastern countries, trophy in the prestigious "Freestyle" class went to "Killer Customs" from Lithuania who presented a world class Bagger custom, which had modified Rick's wheels and Rick's frame modification while lots of components where handcrafted and extensively adapted to the bike. In the "Modified Harley" class, Polish Jack's scored 3rd and 1st place for his creations, with the 3rd probably would have been even higher, had he mounted the "engraved" version of the outstanding "Japan-Chopper style" Aluminium tank to his bike...
Lech and Bartek Wangin did secure the sponsorship of ACM, Custom Chrome Europe, Custom Rings, Free Star, Guli Customs, HRPP Records, Metzeler, Motorcycle Storehouse and Shoei (in alphabetic order), with Motorcycle Storehouse acting main class sponsor , while CCE added to the "prize pot" a 1155,49 € Akrapovic exhaust system for the "Custom Chrome Pick" which went to Lithuania's "Killer Customs", even before the voting results came in. Exiting is the "Custom" show also because of its sometimes odd, sometimes excellent choice of base bike to be modified: Honda's CX 500 or Yamaha's "old nail" XS 400 are last centuries bread & butter motorcycles, but here they are modified and customized to breathtakingly fresh life! This is customizing at its best!
The motorcycle outdoor program was held all 3 visitor days, featuring motorcycle and quad stunts. Ewa Pieniakowska (https://ewastunts.com) - Parts Europe sponsored female Stunt professional – participated in the outdoor stunt program and presented her bike and Icon fashion at the Parts Europe booth in the main motorcycle hall, always ready to sign some posters and postcards. The 3-day plus press day event was always crowded, even though Poznan weather only lived up to previous years standards on Sunday, when the sun finally came out. Nevertheless a busy event and in terms of visitors: You can't get a more exitable crowd than at Poznan. But your Polish language skills should be "polished" too...
Text & Fotos: Horst Roesler, Motographer