The Lightning Bolt Africa 2022

Photo credit: Sean Gibson / The House of Machines

Africa’s biggest winner-takes-all bike building competition returns in November with a R250 000 prize

This coming November, The House of Machines in association with BMW Motorrad South Africa is closing down Shortmarket Street for the return of The Lightning Bolt, the biggest winner-takes-all bike building competition on the continent, it invites builders from across Africa to compete for a grand prize of R250 000.

Competition entries will be scrutinised by a panel of judges which includes an international guest judge from The Golden Bolt, the premier Bolt event scheduled for Europe in 2023. Builds are judged on all the usual criteria, but uniquely The Lightning Bolt also incorporates a ride-out challenge. All builders must ride their bikes on a pre-determined route. If their bike fails to complete the ride, they are exempt from winning.

Photo credit: Sean Gibson / The House of Machines

South African motorcycle journalist, Wes Reyneke, said: ”Africa’s custom scene might be small, but it’s not lacking in creativity or talent. Shows like the Lightning Bolt create a platform to showcase—and reward—that talent.”

Photo credit: Sean Gibson / The House of Machines

The event will take place over two days, 11 and 12 November. The first day mostly concerns the builders and their bikes, until that evening’s party at The House of Machines which is open to the public.

The second day is open to anyone with a ticket and includes a full music program, headlined by Fokofpolisiekar and Jack Parow, with more acts to be announced, as well as various on-site activations from our partners and hospitality providers.

Photo credit: Sean Gibson / The House of Machines

Ticket pricing and purchase options will be announced soon. Until then, The Lightning Bolt is calling all builders, tinkerers, garage enthusiasts and professionals to submit their builds, or builds in progress at –

Follow the journey of The Lightning Bolt Africa on @thehouseofmachines_cpt and @thelightningbolt_africa.

Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.