Weekend plans: The Lightning Bolt custom motorcycle show

Image source: The Lightning Bolt

The Lightning Bolt is Africa’s first winner-takes-all custom motorcycle build-off, and it’s happening this coming weekend, on the 28th of November, in Cape Town. Presented by BMW Motorrad South Africa, hosted by The House of Machines and sponsored by Super Bock, it’s a unique show that sees ten finalists duke it out for one substantial prize: R150,000.

A local extension of the US custom show, the Golden Bolt, the Lightning Bolt borrows much of its format from its international counterpart.

Image source: The Lightning Bolt

Bikes need to not only look good, but also pass a 25 km riding challenge. And rather than being judged purely on aesthetics, scores will also be tallied for paint, upholstery, fabrication and originality. There are also no prizes for second place, no style categories, and entrants have been selected from all over the country.

Photo credit: Leon Bosman

The ten finalists are diverse, and include bikes like a BMW R nineT cafe racer (above), a vintage Triumph bobber (below) and a Yamaha XS650 chopper. It’s a mix of professional and garage builders, and they’ve come from as far afield as Gauteng and Mpumalanga, too.

The judges include Kyle Scott of Wolf Moto, BMW restorer Freek De Villiers of FD Classic Worx, and House of Machines founder and all-round aesthete, Paul van der Spuy. The head judge is Wes Reyneke—ZA Bikers contributing editor and the editor of the popular custom motorcycle website, Bike EXIF.

Photo credit: Kevin Sutherland

In addition to gathering South Africa’s best custom motorcycles under one roof, The Lightning Bolt will also take over Shortmarket street with motorcycle-related activities, food and beverages, and live music. Jason Bakery, Frankie’s Burgers and The Pizza Guy will keep guests fed, with Jack Parow, Nomadic Orchestra and Jak Tomas providing the soundtrack.

Image source: The Lightning Bolt

The show kicks off at 2PM on Saturday the 28th of November. Tickets are available for R150 a piece via WebTickets and at the gate on the day. Most of the event will happen outdoors and strict COVID regulations will be in place—including mandatory mask-wearing and multiple sanitization stations.

The Lightning Bolt sounds like the best way to bookend the crazy year we’ve all had. So we’ll see you there!

Visit thelightningbolt.co.za for more information.

Photo credit: Devin Paisley