MBE 2017 wraps up with a final flourish, approaching 160.000 visitorS!

With attendance estimated at nearly 160.000 visitors, Motor Bike Expo 2017 confirms increased attendance than in previous years, beginning on the first of the three days and continuing steadily until the closing on Sunday.

The international motorcycle exhibition in Verona reiterated that the passion for two-wheels never ends and that this sector is brought to life with great vitality; it’s also noted that the original formula of the event, which puts its visitors in the spotlight, is increasingly appreciated by the general public.

“We’ve done it!” says Francesco Agnoletto, co-organizer of the event, with great satisfaction. “Motor Bike Expo is growing in numbers as well as in quality, confirming our high-level importance. The number of enthusiasts who choose our fair is increasing; our exhibitors are demonstrating confidence and esteem by taking on the challenge to enhance their products which contribute to the overall scene, and this event is preferred by entertainment, culture, and motorcycle industry celebrities. This year, visitors came to see Terrence Hill, Philip Lamantia, Renato Pozzetto, Piero Pelù, and Vittorio Sgarbi, just to name a few – all with a common interest or passion for motorcycles, and many being champions of yesterday or today.”

“The biggest reward at the end of Motor Bike Expo 2017 comes from the satisfaction shown to us by our exhibitors,” said Paola Somma, co-organizer of the event. “Many of which have expressed their gratitude and enthusiasm to the point that as of now they are planning their future investments with us. The companies present were able to do business, build contacts and relationships, and interact with a large international audience, highlighting the show’s role in the world of motorcycling; in a single word: growth. If we the organizers were able to create these opportunities (and the results prove this), then it means that we have done our job well, and we are greatly honoured by this. In particular,” adds Somma, “we are able to concentrate on the highlights of the motorcycling world as not only a passion, but also as a great business opportunity.”

“This year in particular,” said Giovanni Mantovani, General Director of Veronafiere, “has seen the major manufacturers partner closely with Motor Bike Expo. It’s been noticed that the big brands have paid particular attention and care to their participation, from the details of their stands and promotion, to the quantity and quality of their new releases they have alongside the other models on display. This event combines the best way to interpret the evolution of the market and the custom sector trends as well as motorcycling in general.”

The final day of the Expo was greatly enlivened by the presence of Vittorio Sgarbi, the head judge of the Elegance Award organized by Motorcycling magazine and Motor Bike Expo. The popular character – an art critic and a lover of beauty in all its forms – examined twenty bikes selected by the magazine staff, expressing very direct criticisms using a number of references of artistic expression (ranging from futurists to Fassbinder films, from pop culture to 1970’s science fiction cartoons) and succeeding every time to surprise, amuse, and captivate the packed and attentive audience. Before diving into the judging along with Nori Harada, the Vice President of Zagato Design, Rodolfo Frascoli (one of the designers of the Triumph Speed Triple), Paola Somma, and Francesco Agnoletto, Sgarbi wanted to admire the motorcycles in the halls and, with great kindness and openness, be available to the huge crowd that demonstrated his extreme popularity even amongst motorcyclists.

Best in Show for the Elegance Award was won by “l’Essenza” made by South Garage Motor Co. from Milan, a reinterpretation of a vintage Scrambler racer with a judicious mix of Mediterranean craftsmanship and creativity. The name “Essenza” conveys a concept very dear to the Milanese craftsman: transform without spoiling. The look of the bike is developed on the flow of the original lines of the Scrambler without invasive changes to the frame and chassis. “The style of ‘Essenza’ reflects, in modern and refined ways, the Steampunk aesthetic in which the craftsmanship, the attention to materials, and the shades and finishes all combine to fulfill our technical solutions,” said Giuseppe Carucci of South Garage Motor Co. The winners of the three award categories were Italian Dream Motorcycle’s Suzuki DR Dirt (Gravel); PDF with H-D Big Kahuna (Cruise); and Radikal Chopper with Supernatural BMW (Wind).

Sunday at Motor Bike Expo is the day of the Bike Show, and as always was the showcase of the highest-level specials within the Veronafiere halls. The long string of awards began with the “Ferro – Honda Award” with the winner being Alessandro Dellunto from Puzzle Garage, an enthusiast who played with chance by becoming a professional customizer with a Honda CB750F named “Tokyo’s Legend”. This special, already awarded the Ferro Design Award by designer Oberdan Bezzi, allowed Dellunto to bring home the new Honda CMX500 Rebel that was up for grabs thanks to the official partnership with Honda.

The specials that will be the stars of the custom scene in 2017 were presented on the main stage in Hall 1.

First was the prestigious CUSTOM CHROME EUROPE International Bike Show Series “Italian Championship”. The contest, divided into five categories, highlights the most beautiful specials present.

In the FXR’s of Verona category, dedicated to the Harley-Davidson model that gained popularity among bikers in the eighties, Bernese builder Danny Schneidr from Hardnine Choppers won with his bike “FXR$”; second place went to the bike presented by Otto di Cuori; third place went to the interesting FXRT Carbon Style made by TCB Carbon Parts, who offers carbon parts made specifically for this series.

In the RevTech Performance category, focused solely on specials with RevTech engines, the winter was a board track-racer made by the Harley-Davidson Pavia dealership; in second was “199 Radikal” by Asso Special Bike, and in third came “Black & Low” from MS Artrix.

In the Modified Harley-Davidson Class, first prize went to “Gas’d Rat” by British builder Rocket Bob’s Cycle Works; in second was the “Hard Rock Cafe Sportster” by Polish garage Game Over Cycles; in third place was the Rothmans-painted modified Sportster made by British dealer Warr’s H-D.

In the Jammer Old School category, first place went to Ortiz Verner, a watchmaker from Tolmezzo, with his turn of the century racer-based WLA; a respectable second place went to the “Typhoon”, a Ducati-based special made by the British builders at Old Empire Motorcycles, and third place went to “Sacred Chop” from Venetian builder Boccin Custom Cycles.

First prize in the Championship Class went to “Speed Weevil”, the Triumph-based Salt Lake Racer from Rocket Bob’s Cycle Works – a bike equipped with a turbocharger which will be especially useful to its owner when it’s raced in Bonneville next year. In second place came another bike built for the same vocation: “Karpatenhund” from builders Blech & Drüber (also the winner of the prestigious Willie G. Davidson Design Studio Award), and third place went to “Bonsai Ironhead” by Maik Morato Guell.

Karen Davidson and Ray Drea, Harley-Davidson Chief Stylist, awarded the coveted “Willie G. Davidson Design Studio Award” to Karpatenhund, a special based on a Sportster made by Blech & Drüber. It’s a racer inspired by the Bonneville Salt Flat and has a casing made entirely of aluminum, a chassis complete with a springer front fork, and dual side cushions placed underneath the seat.

Jody Perewitz, the daughter of customizer Dave Perewitz who recently broke the speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, presented the Perewitz Paint Pick to the best-painted bike in Verona: “Perkun” by Polish builder Boglan Malajowicz.

At Motor Bike Expo, we celebrate the presence and involvement of magazines from around the world by hosting the annual Magazine Award. This special project allows these prestigious industry publications to give a special award to the most deserving bikes in their eyes.

Minoruo Uemura from Vibes (Japan) selected “Gas’d Rat” by Rocket Bob’s Cycle Works; Onno Wieringa from Madness Photography (Netherlands) selected “PanUral” from Inglorious Basterds Cycles; Horst Rosler, stepping in for Biker’s Power (Germany), selected the bike from Apunania Choppers; Kia Neidrich from Easyriders (Germany) selected “DMC” from Toys for Men; Heinz Cristman from Dream Machines (Germany) selcted “Bike Legend” from Gallery Motorcycles; Gary Inman from Sideburn (UK) selected the Suzuki DR600 from Italian Dream Motorcycles; Blue Miller from 100% Biker (UK) selected “Sacred Pan Shovel” from Boccin Custom Cycles; Pilar Gargoles from Eliot Iron (Spain) selected “Hard Rock Café” from Game Over Cycles.

Preceded by the first National Italian Customizer presentation, a contest filled with some of the best builders within the Italian Customizer Circuit, the LowRide Magazine Award contest, which brought life and energy into Hall 1, named the “Atomic Snail” built by Asso Special as “Best in Show”. This is a Show Bike with kilometric frame geometry: the fairing conceals the rear lights and turn signals; the engine is equipped with a supercharger and an unusual exhaust system with forward-facing pipes. The front wheel is an impressive 30” in diameter and the carbon fins on the bodywork have been assembled the same way as you would see in MotoGP.

From the asphalt to the dirt, the Enduro Cross Country Experiment put on their show in the outdoor area on MBE. In the run-up to the Mondiale Enduro, which will include stops in Spoleto from the 25th to 28th of May, Tommaso Montanari from the Moto Club Spoleto won the Superchampion Trophy at Motor Bike Expo. From his victory in Game 1 on Saturday, Montanari replied on Sunday by also winning the final between the best 25 riders of the weekend. A lot of fun for the 20 Minienduro riders brought by MC Bergamo and Gaerne.
The Stunt Competition Trophy was won by Mike Jensen (Denmark) who beat Martin Kratky (Czech Republic) and Pavel Karbownik (Poland) for the honour.