The world-famous ‘social club for motorcycle Enthusiasts’ Bike Shed of London has hosted the iconic Bike Shed Moto Show since 2013, and is widely considered the biggest exhibition of custom motorcycles in the UK – and this year, was also the launch of the jaw-dropping new production-ready Norton V4CR, and stunning enough to be well worth a starring role on the Friday evening that we attended.
With an exclusive invite from Norton Motorcycles in hand, our first stop was to see the stunning V4CR – which saw its official launch that evening. There was food, drink, bands, some great manufacturers in attendance, and naturally, plenty of custom motorcycles to drool over.
So let’s have a quick recap of what we saw whilst there, starting with…
Brand-new 2023 Norton V4CR
This could quite possibly be the most imposing and powerful British café racer in existence, and the new Norton was incredibly pleased to present the second bike from the now TVS-owned manufacturer: the £41,999 V4CR!
We first saw the V4CR as a prototype in 2021 at Motorcycle Live, where visitors to the stand were enamoured by the hand-built craftsmanship and top-notch components. Sure, it’s a £42k motorcycle, but it’s built by hand in Solihull with a maximum lifetime production run of just 200 units – by all accounts a seriously special motorcycle.
This launch revealed the full spec of the motorcycle, with the 1200 cc liquid-cooled 72-degree V4 producing 185 bhp at 12,000 rpm, and 125 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm. Coming in either a Manx Platinum or Carbon trim, the V4CR has a 204kg wet weight and an aluminium tubular chassis, aerospace 5-axis CNC machined outriggers and headstock, and a hand TIG welded frame, hand-polished to a mirror finish.
As expected it’s a top-notch spec for the money, with Ohlins suspension, Brembo discs, master cylinder and callipers fitted – and the chassis design developed from those crazy/brave enough to ride the annual Isle of Man TT course.
It certainly is superbly well-specced, but at that price point, I can only imagine they’ll be snapped up by riders who will keep them tucked away as opposed to being ridden. We’ll see!
If looking to register your interest, you can do so online on the Norton website – or head to Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023 (12-16th July), where you can have a look yourself (and place an order if you’re lucky and loaded).
Custom Motorcycles at Bike Shed Show 2023
Onwards past the Norton stand, we had a wander around with a beer in hand (we travelled there by public transport, don’t worry), we had a look at some truly spectacular custom-built motorcycles.
Weird, wonderful, and some seriously wicked bits to see – practically anything you can dream up was there on display – classic Aprilia sports bikes, the Suzuki TTS Superbusa, countless chopped builds, classic Norton, a Benelli Sei, a lovely Shovelhead that my mate was drawn to… it was feeding the need to go out and build a custom motorcycle of my very own.
Plus, there were plenty of manufacturer-sponsored specials, with Yamaha promoting the freshly announced XSR900 Racer. Royal Enfield took the tact of simply showcasing some of the wonderful one-offs that have been built by their huge (and growing) custom crowd, and Indian Motorcycles were placed in the corner of the show with (what looked to be) one of the bagger racers from the across the pond in the States!
Weird and Wonderful Motorcycles
Oddities spotted at the show included a Segway with accompanying throw, a wicked-looking lowrider Kawasaki with added boost power, a Kawasaki KX with ‘television screen’ fairing, a KTM with leather panelling… and JPS-inspired Ducati! Amongst plenty of others.
In short, if you’ve never been to the Bike Shed Moto Show (or the Bike Shed in general), it’s seriously worth a visit. It’s the biking mecca for a reason, and there are plenty of like-minded bikers to chat with whilst there – or the manufacturer representatives if you fancy a chat (and gentle prod) about what’s coming up for them.
Friday VIP tickets are pricier, but get you into the festivities of the entire weekend. There’s food, beer, bands, and plenty of bikes. The perfect weekend.