Motoring Art Festival Celebrates Creative Entrepreneurship

  • Second stop for the MotoNation Motoring Art Festival.

  • Featured every form of automotive art.

  • Roadshow builds up to the finale in December 2017.


MotoNation’s Motoring Art Festival made its second roadshow stop at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur on the 26th August 2017, after visiting Kota Bharu, Kelantan on 5th August 2017.

Greeting us at the foyer, in front of the entrance to the gallery was the 1Malaysia Chopper, which was built by the famed Orange County Cycles (OCC) builder, stars of the TV series, American Chopper. Seeing it live outside the confines of the hall at MaTIC (Malaysian Tourism Centre) and in two-dimensional pictures was an entirely different experience.

The bike is fully raked out, with a large-diameter steel tube frame connecting everything.


There are details of Visit Malaysia scattered around it, including a miniature of the Petronas Twin Towers mounted to the lower front frame spars.

The festival seeks to unite petrolheads of every disposition under the banner of automotive creativity. There were customized motorcycles, as one could expect, but the manner of displays made the event ever more impressive.

“There are currently motor shows, auto festivals, auto salons, but these are all individual motoring cultures,” said En. Faisal bin Mohamad Ali, the Executive Director of MotoNation. “What MotoNation is trying to do is to put all these cultures together under one roof.” Similarly, there are well-known players to a small community only, and MotoNation wishes to expose them to a larger segment.

“Different states in Malaysia have different motoring cultures. For example, we found out in Kota Bharu that while there aren’t many high-end cars, they made their vehicles beautiful and dropped in great sound systems. But you won’t get to see these cars in Kuala Lumpur.”

“These enthusiasts have their own clubs and keep it within themselves. So we want to get all the different enthusiast into the main event in December.”

The motorcycles were exhibited in the mail gallery. The large capacity motorcycles occupied the floor area, while the smaller and lighter Street Cubs were placed along the central spiral walkway, which circled the main atrium. The first impression we had was the striking similarity to the Art of the Motorcycle Exhibition in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, held in 1998.

The big bikes were generally cruisers from Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and an Indian.

A Harley Fat Bob looked fairly stock but the see-through plexiglass wheel hubs gave the impression that the tyres were floating in midair.

Hungryghost Custom Inc.’s Boss, Ahmad Junaidi Abdul Aziz got his hands on a customer-owned Indian Scout and did some impressive work on it.

Junaidi replaced the rear tyre with a 240mm-section rubber, which fitted nicely into the space between the Scout’s swingarm spars. Junaidi pointed out, “That’s the maximum width. You couldn’t fit a pen in the space between the tyre and swingarm.”

A pair of Tommy Gun exhaust pipes swept all the way to rear, and the bike was sprayed with a handsome navy blue paint.

The finishing touch was Junaidi’s trademark ornament – ornately carved metal pieces wrapped around the fork stanchions, between the triple clamps.

A chopped Virago sat a few metres away. It didn’t look like much, initially, until you noticed that a vertical steel bar replaces the foot-operated gear lever. The clutch lever was moved to top of that bar.

There was also a handsome Harley Shovelhead which mimicked the FL of yore.

An extensively custom-painted and pinstriped Evo sat not far away, with the word Bugis proudly emblazoned on the top of the fuel tank.

A chopped and bobbed Evo Softail with Red Garage stickers sat facing the entrance – all stripped down to the bare essentials and nothing more.

Next to the big bikes was a section dedicated to the display of sculptures formed from recycled motorcycle parts, including headlamps, carburetors, sparkplugs, wire wheel spokes, etc.

The Street Cubs came in all sorts of shapes, sizes and creative themes, developed from the Honda Cub, Honda CG125 and MZ Mosquito scooter.

Those based on Honda Cubs were generally fitted with oversized tyres, but retained their unmistakable shapes. A standout the was given the Ironman treatment throughout, complete with an Ironman mask up front.

But the most special has to be a stretched Honda Super Cub, which the owner called the “Super Sub Limousine.” It could carry three adults or six children at one go.

The CG125s were stripped bare then custom finished.

The Mosquitoes on the other hand were stripped of their bodywork, then given even fatter tyres.

In the auditorium meanwhile, the SUPERB TERAJU Walk-In Bizpitch (also known as Jelajah Usahawan – “Entrepreneurs’ Tour”) carried on throughout the day as Bumiputera entrepreneurs pitched their business plans and proposals to the panel of judges. A total of RM3 million will be awarded among six finalists with the best business models in the automotive industry. The finalists will be announced at the finale in December.

Outside, the massive MotoNation “Transformer Truck” (not Optimus Prime, sadly) was converted to perform as the Main Stage for live performances. Indie bands played throughout the day and OAG made their appearance in the late evening.

A quartet of outrigger-forked custom motorcycles caught the attention of the visitors. They looked like those built by Eastern Bobber.

MotoNation also installed four large pieces of plywood to act as blank canvases for graffiti artists. Better to express their talents in a proper setting rather than being viewed as public eyesore, right?

Down the rows of booths, MotoNation organized fun activities for the entire family, such as an inflatable playground, a place for soap bubbles and fun quizzes.

Corporate booths included Petron who displayed their new range of lubricants;

RWB who specializes in widebody kits for air-cooled Porsche 911 models;

and Treeletrik T-90 electric scooters.

There was also an auto salon for owners to show off the results of their creativity.

F&B services included a whole street full of food trucks.

The MotoNation Roadshow will visit Johor Bharu next on the 16th and 17th November, and will finally be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) from 1st to 3rd December 2017.