The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the world’s premier car enthusiast destinations. Located in Los Angeles, the museum showcases automotive culture from around the world while celebrating Southern California’s rich history of automotive innovation, competition and design. The Petersen features exhibits primarily revolving around four-wheeled vehicles, but due to popular inquisition and demand, in addition to the vision and wealth of knowledge from the exhibit’s guest curator and motorcycle historian, Paul d’Orleans, the “Custom Revolution” exhibit was born.
“Custom Revolution” celebrates the visionaries who push the creative edges of alternative motorcycle design. Using both new and old engines, past and present chassis concepts, and unique styling, a group of 25 individual builders were hand selected to display their one-off motorcycle art creations.
“At the Petersen, it is our utmost goal to embrace and foster creativity – especially when it comes to automobiles,” said Petersen Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Because we’ve built exhibits around the art of four-wheeled vehicles many times, we believe it’s the perfect time to recognize a global phenomenon in the form of the custom bike revolution. This new exhibit will celebrate the international trendsetters of this movement while delivering a definite nod to LA culture.”
With 360 days of sunshine each year, Southern California is no doubt home to one of the world’s biggest custom culture scenes, exhibiting an endless variety of different types of vehicles on the road (amongst a sh*t-ton of Priuses). However, with a constantly growing population and increasing congestion on the roadways, more and more people in Southern California have been turning to motorcycles for their transportation duties. Being the cosmopolitan, fashion-forward city that LA is, it’s no surprise many of the city’s motorcyclists choose to style-out their bikes too.
Of the exhibit’s 25 builders, 10 are based in California, with seven from the LA area and the other three from farther north, in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The remaining 15 come from other parts of the States as well as Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Vietnam and Spain.
The motorcycles on display in the exhibit aren’t what you’re used to seeing at your local bike night. These 25 bikes take motorcycle customization to a whole new level, with truly innovative and original thinking – the type of pioneering that big-time OEMs take notice of and often times inspire their own future designs.
We were invited to attend the “Custom Revolution” exhibit’s opening night, and it was an experience we won’t soon forget. “Custom Revolution” is currently open and the exhibit will be displayed in the Richard Varner Family Gallery on the second floor until March 2019. The pictures here are only a taste of what the exhibit offers, there’s way more cool stuff. We highly recommend visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum if you happen to find yourself on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in LA. You won’t be disappointed.