Motorcycle Live - Big Ed's Highlights
It's that time of year again when the bike manufacturers of the world head to the NEC in Birmingham for the first big UK bike show. Motorcycle Live this year is filled with all sorts of new models with quite a lean towards the middle weight category. There are also plenty of shows to watch and bargain gear to buy! Here are my highlights of the first big show of the year.
British manufacturers Norton have got themselves a stand at this years show. On first look it's a bit empty and thrown together with strange lighting rigs but don't let that turn you off. They've got a whole host of Commandos to look at plus their special edition £22,000 Domiracer. They've only made 50 of these and they're already all sold but it's definitely worth a look, the craftsmanship on the frame is unbelievable.
German manufacturer BMW are in their 90th year of building bikes and have gone all out to show you their history. They've created a timeline of bikes from the beginning right up to the present; there are some weird and wonderful machines in there, make sure you check it out! Also on their large stand they have new models including the S1000R (naked), the R1200RT and the 90th special edition RnineT.
The Yamaha stand this year is a buzz of new models. Last year we got a suspended triple engine on wires, this year it's inside a bike and ready to roll. The MT-09 (triple) and MT-07 (twin) are fantastic looking bikes that nod to the future. Yamaha have needed to do something radical the last few years and finally they have. These bikes are customisable, reliable, ride able and fun with the aim of bringing biker and bike together. Definitely worth checking in with these bikes, you might just fall in love.
When you first step onto the Ducati stand you feel relaxed and in awe. They've got the whole family of Panigales on show including the new 899 model. They've also got the £54,000 Superleggera in two forms, one complete and the other showing all the replaced parts that make the machine what it is. The new Monster 1200 is definitely worth a look too.
The big Japanese manufacturer has plenty of new models on show. They've got the new range of Z's which are incredible to look at and supposedly have the performance to match. They've also got their new big scoot the J300 which aims to tackle that area of the market. Make sure you pop and see MCE BSB rider Chris Walker too who's there promoting his MX school.
The Austrian manufacturer has plenty on show as usual but the star of the stand is the Duke 1290. It was supposed to appear at last years show but didn't make it out. The 'beast' is definitely worth a visit.
Honda's stand is more of a village than a stand. They've got bikes galore including a host of new models including the Fireblade SP, the VFR 800, the CTX1300 and the CB300R to name a few. Make sure you pop into their cafe for a coffee and a go on Alex Lowe's leaning superbike.
The Black Horse Stage
Make sure you pop along to the Blackhorse stage which is being run by the guys from Eurosport. They've got shows on everyday with different visiting riders and celebrities. I'll be onstage too at the weekends handing out prizes during the Eurosport memory game.
The Retro Zone
The retro zone is always worth a look at motorcycle live, this year it is full of Yamaha FS1Es. A must see!
The Custom Extreme Zone
The custom zone is also worth a visit. You'll see some motorbikes that you wouldn't think to be possible; one of my favourites is the twin turbo bandit.
Of course it wouldn't be a show without my team quoting for you guys. You can get 3 months FREE on your bike insurance at the show and with all the benefits that come with an MCE policy such as Club MCE there's never been a better time!
This is just a brief overview of my highlights. There is plenty more to see and plenty more to do. Give the show a good day though as I found there's so much to see this year you may run out of time!
For more information visit the Motorcycle Live website.
28.11.13 - Big Ed