What better way to spend an autumnal Monday than a mooch around the NEC looking at motorcycles. It’s an annual pilgrimage for many of us seasoned motorcyclists, and one that I’ve been indulging in on and off since 1986. Two hours of motorway misery, and £25 later and I’m inside Motorcycle Live. I had tried to obtain a media pass, but the hoops required to jump through get bigger with every year that passes, this year I gave up before I had really started. The lengthy online application beat me, it wasn’t because I didn’t qualify for a media badge, it was more a case of I couldn’t be bothered to gather up the required information to tick the many boxes.
It’s not long past 10am, a whole day of oohing and cooing over motorcycles could now be enjoyed, woohoo!
Certain stands do more for me than others, first up was the KTM stand, the orange branding was hard to miss, but it’s not a marque that talks my language. I had that feeling that I get when I enter a supermarket and I want to get away from the healthy fruit and veg that’s by the entrance and head for the bakery aisle.
My doughnut fix came in the shape of some cool classic bikes dotted around the NEC.
Retro bikes are something that I’m interested in, maybe 2019 might the year that I finally cave in and buy a new motorcycle? It’s something that I’ve yet to do in over 30 years of motorcycling.
The PR suits have done a top job of filling my socials with the new Katana, it’s one of a few new models that I’ve come to Birmingham to see. Last year it was Kawasaki who had us forty somethings clucking with their ‘new’ Z900RS, a year later and nobody gives the retro Kwacker a second look! Motorcycling is becoming so fickle.
I continue to wander around the supermarket, sorry I mean the NEC, stopping, looking and taking in the stands. Ducati went large on the pallet and oil drum theme this year!
There was even a barber chair!! No, I’ve no idea what that was all about either.
I smiled out loud at the splattering of classic machines that caught my eye. Away from the glamour of the new models are the traders who attend the show with the intentions of relieving you off your cash or switch card card details, each one suggesting they can offer you much cheapness and bargains. I wasn’t in the market for any riding clobber, etc so skipped by most of these stands.
Steve Wheatman’s extensive Suzuki racing bike collection was out in force, his ex Kenny Roberts Jnr Suzuki RGV500 was helping Fast Bikes magazine sell a few subscriptions.
The Suzuki stand was home to several more.
By 11.30am I still hadn’t clapped eyes on the new Katana, so I set off to give it a stroke.
I wasn’t overly struck on either, part of lusting after a bike is that feeling you have that makes you want to look back at it, for me this wasn’t happening. With a rumoured price tag of £11,500 being touted about the retro vibe clearly doesn’t filter down to point of sale territory.
It then dawned on me that I had been around the entire show, not just once, but more like twice! Either I’m a faster walker than in previous years, or there just wasn’t too much to see? I think I know which one it is.