Thanks for taking the time to check here before submitting a bike. You probably spent 100s of hours on building your bike and are eager to share with the world, but please, grab a coffee and take 5 minutes to read EVERYTHING below before firing-off an email.
In the build-up to Bike Shed London 2018 we’re slightly changing our format as we need to divert our resource into producing the very best show possible. Therefore producing more than one full-bore feature a week just isn’t possible. But we’d still like to share your work, so please read on.
⊗ WE PREFER EXCLUSIVES/FIRSTS:
Just like all the other leading custom bike websites we prefer not to copy each other, or to crowd our followers’ timelines with the same stories. If you send us all a group email with the same bike photos and info, it’s much less likely that any of us will publish a feature.
We know you just want the maximum exposure for your bike, so it seems to make sense to email us all at once, but your followers will only click one story – the first one they see. Facebook will also recognise repeated photos and the Facebook algorithm will downgrade similar posts that come later.
So, what do we suggest? We prefer you to decide which custom motorcycle website is right for you (check them all out) and then give us or them the exclusive (i.e. the first showing). If you chose us we can take the time to write a really good story and publish at a time when you will get the most web-traffic and exposure. It’s better for us, and better for you.
If you chose us for an exclusive please tell us and we will prioritise your bike and story.
⊗ SHED BUILDS
This is where it all began, people without many tools, facilities or premises getting up close and personal with the angle grinder and having a go. We still want to hear from you and see your bike. OK, so the game has moved on considerably and the standard of workmanship and therefore expectation has surpassed the skill-set of most weekend tinkerers but shed means shed – built despite limitations. If you already have a website, line of T-shirts promoting your X-Motorcycles ‘brand’ then we are likely to presume you are a pro or semi-pro builder and discount shed-credentials, therefore unfairly comparing a low budget hobby-build to a big budget manufacturer special project.
⊗ WHY SHARE YOUR BIKE ON THE BIKE SHED?
The Bike Shed is a co-op of of real riders, builders and writers, active on the custom scene organising international events with brand partnerships both large and small. Our online audience of over half a million bike aficionados a week knows that we only publish bikes we love and would ride.
⊗ GREAT BIKES:
What makes a bike worthy of sharing with our readers is a combination of desirability, rideability, originality and great custom work, but also; who you are, and why you built the bike. We look for a combination of aesthetics, engineering and storytelling.
⊗ GREAT PHOTOS:
Your bike took hours to build, right? So reward your own hard work with a decent set of photo, preferably taken by a pro or at least someone handy with a camera. We reject 80% of all the bikes we are sent because the photos are not good enough, or do not show the whole bike from all the best angles. Please check out the guidelines and examples below.
⊗ GREAT STORY:
We like pretty pictures of nice bikes but lists of parts ordered from the internet isn’t going to stir excitement for the reader, and might deter a potential customer from sending you that important email.
We, and the readers, are much more interested when we know the story behind the build. Who are you, Why did you build this bike, Who is it for and What will it be used for? If you blew through the fuel tank 3 times trying to weld it, conquered a head scratching problem or had workshop dramas, tell us. This sort of thing is way more interesting than fitting a set of LED indicators. Your audience is wise and generally knowledgable, they can spot the simple stuff.
⊗ WILL WE FEATURE YOUR BIKE?
We really appreciate all the hard work that goes into your passion and/or business, and we are grateful when we receive your pictures and stories, but from the 5-10 daily submissions we can only feature 2 or 3 a week.
Each week we simply select the best bikes, with the best photos and the best story. If you do not hear from us within two weeks then we probably couldn’t feature your bike this time, but keep ’em coming. There’s a fairly impersonal auto-reply on the submissions email, sorry about that, it’s simply impossible to reply to everyone.
Read all that and just want to use us to help sell your bike? We have no problem with that, stick and advert on the Custom Classifieds and email us when done, and if it’s something really good, super value, a famous build or has a story behind it, we’ll share it with our audience.
THE PHOTOS – MORE DETAILS…
“People prefer great shots of an average bike to crap shots of a great bike”
LANDSCAPE, LANDSCAPE, LANDSCAPE! We publish predominantly in landscape, portrait shots are great but we’re unlikely to be able to use them.
BACKGROUND: Find a neutral background that doesn’t break up the lines of the bike. Grass is usually bad news and a graffiti covered wall might look cool but it distracts from your bike.
FRAMING: Stand 20 feet away from the bike, and crouch low to tank-height to take your photos. Move the bike around to take pictures of every angle and both sides of the bike. Move closer to get details like the lighting, instruments and special features.
LIGHT: Choose a space with lots of flat even light. Avoid shadows and high contrast.
AVOID (Unless you are a pro): Wide angle lenses, green grass, red brick, trees and hedges, strong light and dark shadows, your neighbour’s fence/car/caravan, your own shadow etc.
INCLUDE: Both sides of the bike, front & back, 3/4 angles, all from a distance. Then add close-ups of clocks, logos, etc.
SIZING & SENDING YOUR PHOTOS: We need 5-10 good quality images at a minimum of 1400 pixels wide. Send them in large sizes And DON’T CROP TOO TIGHT! Leave that to us.
SENDING PHOTOS TO US:
THE STORY – CHECKLIST
“Great photos are always worth a quick look, but it’s a great story that will inspire people to sit up and take notice, or bother to click LIKE or add a comment”
Tell us the human story as well as the story of the bike and build assuming the reader knows nothing, even if you’ve been featured before:
1. WHO ARE YOU?
- Where are you from?
- What do you do?
- Are you a pro/amateur/semi-pro/new-kid-on-the-block?
- What inspired you to start building bikes/this bike?
- Who else worked with you, are you a one-man operation or a team/group/mates, etc.
- Do you have any links we should connect readers to. How do they reach you?
2. THE BIKE?
- Why did you build this bike and what was your vision?
- Where did it come from? Interesting find, or customer bike, ebay?
- What was your vision/design/plan/brief?
- What’s the donor bike, make, model, year, cc?
- What did you do to the bike – just the basics; but tell us all the cool stuff, clever ideas and upgrades?
- If you’ve upgraded parts like the wheels, lighting, gauges, brakes, suspension, exhaust, etc, what make did you choose and where from, or what was the donor bike?
- Any interesting challenges or mistakes?
- Any unique signature features?
- Tell us about the finish, logos, design?
- How does the bike ride?
- Are you happy? Is the customer happy?
- What will you do next?
KEEPING TRACK OF YOU
Use [email protected] to get in touch. This is our official submissions email.
If you message us on Facebook as BIG DAVE, then email our personal email address with your story from D’s-MOTOS, and then send your pics separately by WeTransfer from your girlfriend’s email account, we will definitely lose track of you and your story. Please help us join the dots by referencing your previous communication every time you get in touch.
Please don’t send us bikes via Facebook Messenger
So, what are you waiting for? Go borrow your mate’s fancy camera, take some pics of your stunning bike, and send them in.