Well I’ve been to Motorcycle Live three years on the trot now and it’s a fair old trek from down south all the way to sunny Birmingham. You have to tackle the joys of the A34 and the outstanding beauty of the M40, all interspersed with overpriced overcrowded service stations.
So why oh why do I do it each year? Well the answer is simple, I’m normally after a show bargain or two or just want to see next year’s latest and greatest bikes / accessories. So, what does the 2016 show have to offer the man on the street?
Well there are quite a few exciting bikes coming next year which I wanted to get up close and personal with. First a bike I have been waiting five years for, the new Honda Fireblade!! Now I could have perhaps been tempted with this machine if it had been what Honda promised. A new bike, well that’s just not the case, after 8 years since the last major update it seems Honda have just stuck on a new dress and poked an electronics package under the seat!
OK OK there is slightly more to it than that but at the end of the day it’s the same frame / suspension and swinging arm as the old model and the engine had a few tweaks. Come on Honda what you playing at??
Next up on my to see list was the new Panigale Superleggera, now this bike isn’t for us mortals (the £75k price tag takes care of that) but it’s good to have something to dream about right? The bike is gorgeous, a true work of art, carbon frame (not that it’s got much of one) and full carbon swinging arm. Basically, anything which was alloy on the old SL is now carbon! Exhausts, even Ducati can’t escape the euro 4 constrains here but I quite like the shotgun system and I bet it sounds heavenly..
There was also plenty of wanky hipster café style bikes, it seems every manufacture is jumping on the band wagon here (boring) If you want one of these it’s like a good soup, homemade is best! BMW has stuck some disgusting shiny vinyl wrap on the gorgeous Nine T and called it “custom”. Triumph has the new Bobber (yawn) and I didn’t see or pay attention to what the Japanese are doing with these..
So bikes, some good, some bad, some unchanged for another year, things I did like is Kawasaki had a H2 for the general public to climb all over. Now that’s a beast of a bike to sit on, can imagine its quite a ride! Norton had their new V4 carbon beast there, probably one of the bikes of the show to be honest an amazing looking machine. Its always good to see race bikes on display and Ducati brought Shane Burns Wiser 1199 Panigale race machine to get up close and personal with. Bloody looks awesome!! Honda had two RCV’s this year, the road version and Marques Repsol bike which I had a good look over.
Kit wise I was after some heated glove liners which I managed to try out, unfortunately no bargains to be had as they were selling them £10 more expensive than direct from their ebay shop!! WTF
So would I return next year? Probably not, it’s so expensive to get in and park I don’t think its value for money (tight git). I also think if you want bargains the MCN Excel show in February is better as dealers clearing 2016 stock with good discounts. But if you plan to go this week enjoy, it’s as good as last years and always plenty to see.