Yokohama, Japan - My favorite show of the year is undoubtedly the HotRod Show (HRS) in Yokohama. It is the Pinnacle of custom cars events in Japan and also the last major one to take place every year. Light years away from the Tokyo Auto Salon that as grown quite posh during the last decades with always more luxury cars and less street based machines, the HRS is just unique. Japan’s custom, American and classic cars scene is getting stronger, probably also because of the lack of exciting new cars and the increasing number of people looking back at what was the essence of automobile, when spirit, passion and character were still defining those mighty machines we love.
This year, the number of motorcycles had increased by a lot and the number of tuners and shops was astonishing. The HRS is a unique occasion for custom shops from all over the world to gather in one place, show off their incredible creations and share the passion with like-minded enthusiasts.
Visitors as well as exhibitors, most of them having tattoos and wearing leather are not the usual crowds you would find in other car shows. It’s a totally different world, a different culture. IF you have lots of money you can always buy a brand-new Lamborghini but would you really be as cool and badass as the one driving a 1950 Chevrolet Styleline or a 1941 Buick?
The extraordinary quality of every build displayed at the HRS was unbelievable. I can only try to imagine the gigantic number of hours each and everyone of these cars and bikes took their builders to complete, from restoration to custom, modifications and paint job. I literally had to hold my jaw that was dropping on the floor every two or three meters.
At the UBC/Coboo/Liqui Moly booth was displayed a splendid Harley Davidson Touring we will soon feature. The bike was built in collaboration with Liberty Walk and the handmade paint job on it alone would deserve a set of photos. Make sure you stay tuned to 9tro so you don’t miss it!
BMW was there with a booth for their current line up but also some really crazy customs, in an extreme retro-futuristic style.
It was really difficult to see everything. The show has grown really big these last years and the number of vehicles displayed rises with every edition. Lots of people came from Thailand, Singapore, China, Indonesia. Lots of members from famous MC also came, sometimes from the other side of the planet, just for the HRS.
An interesting detail that struck me was the limited number of baggers. This style is usually really popular, and that type of bikes is usually legion in all other major similar events. However, the HRS held lots and lots of choppers instead, which was quite refreshing. Also were gone the super wide rear tyre Breakout and other Softail. The slim tyre-old-school-to-the-core types were the stuff this year, proving that the scene is constantly changing.
Lots of “non Harley” bikes were to been admired and some were just insane. However, HD remains king in matter of numbers and well, considering the awesomeness of all we saw, we are not going to complain about anything today!
I can’t wait to get to Yokohama again next year to discover what wonders these crazy tuners and builders will unveil.
Keep on Rocking everyone, gasoline smell and loud pipes rule!!!