The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, October 23, 2021


The Museum of Craft and Design showcases cutting-edge custom motorcycles, physically and virtually
Ernest Lee, Combat Motors, Wraith , 2009. Image courtesy of Combat Motors.



SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Museum of Craft and Design presents Moto MMXX, opening August 22 and on view through January 3, 2020. Originally slated to open in May of 2020, Moto MMXX was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MCD is implementing strict protective measures, including sanitation stations and directional signage to safely welcome visitors to view Moto MMXX once the state mandate is lifted. Masks will be required by everyone, including children over two years old, to enter the museum. Additionally, beginning September 1, a virtual 360 recording of the exhibition will be available at sfmcd.org.

Moto MMXX is a cutting-edge custom motorcycle exhibition showcasing innovative, international builders, such as Jens vom Brauck (Germany), Jack Watkins (Poland), Jay Wen (United Kingdom), and Kurosu Kaichiroh (Japan); as well as photos, sketches, and renderings that reveal the creative process behind these unique builds.

The Museum of Craft and Design’s Executive Director, JoAnn Edwards notes: "Moto MMXX teases us with a contemporary evolution of neat, sculptural packages of transportation, featuring hand-built motorcycles from an international A-list. Iconically California-driven, motorcycles embody West Coast culture as a source of identity, a way of life, a measure of freedom and a way of embracing the ride of life. Moto MMXX will no doubt spark imaginations and trigger a much needed diversion from our current troubled times.”

Reflecting a broad range of techniques that builders employ, guest curator Hugo Eccles offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the custom motorcycle scene, allowing visitors the ability to experience both the finished ‘design’ and the ‘craft’ behind the glossy machines. Co-founder and director of Untitled Motorcycles, Eccles has built custom motorcycles for both private clients and for factory brands such as Ducati, Triumph, Yamaha, and Zero. Of the exhibition, Eccles comments: "It's fascinating to see how different builders approach and execute their work. We are truly lucky to have a number of European builders involved. Some builds have never been exhibited in America before, and although they might be familiar to followers of motorcycle blogs, there’s no replacement for seeing actual motorcycles 'in the metal' in person."




Moto MMXX will challenge the audience’s perception of the traditional motorcycle and highlight possible directions that the industry is going, can go, or should go. In choosing the builders, Eccles wanted to represent the spectrum of ‘custom’: from the wholly traditional handmade to computer-aided design and manufacturing, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies like computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machining and 3D printing. Whether generated by hand or digitally, the motorcycles on display offer insight into contemporary and forward-thinking processes.

One example of a custom builder utilizing state of the art technology is Watkins Motorworks’ Jack Watkins, a Gdańsk University of Technology lecturer with a Ph.D. in mechanical design. Watkins designed and built the M001 utilizing his skills in 3D technology and was able to achieve some near-impossible tasks such as getting the engine mounting points right and manufacturing his own jig to weld everything together. Nearly everything on the M001 is meticulously custom made; it took four years just to design the front end of the M001. Powering this technological marvel is a BMW R 1150 RT engine from 2002.

Moto MMXX will feature extraordinary electric motorcycles such as the H1L (also known as the Fast and Furious motorcycle), created by UK based ETT Industries. Debuting for the first time in the US, the H1L was produced alongside Universal Pictures as a licensed product to support the film the Fate and the Furious (alternatively known as Fast and Furious 8). With the continual rise of electric motorcycles as a credible alternative to the internal combustion engine and never-ending advancements in technology, new opportunities have presented novel challenges for motorcycle builders. In describing the H1L, ETT states:

"With new technology comes new aesthetics and with that, a new language begins to evolve between rider and environment. H1L (a first of its kind, limited-edition electric motorbike) tears down what we know and boldly tells us what is coming, what to expect, and most importantly, where we are going."

Eccles has included an expansive array of builders in Moto MMXX, including globally-acclaimed designer, Joey Ruiter who will showcase a brand new build, No_Moto. Ruiter is known for pushing through the boundaries of the norm and stripping back the traditional so radically, that the result is jaw-dropping. No_Moto is no exception.

Moto MMXX will highlight twenty category-defying motorcycles from the past decade; each motorcycle is a one-off or a prototype for future batch runs. All the motorcycles presented are working and rideable, some built for speed, some for beauty, and some as a provocation. Each custom motorcycle in Moto MMXX provides visitors a new vision of what is possible in this industry.










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