MOTORCYCLE LIVE: GREAT EXPECTATIONS
A GUIDE TO THIS YEAR'S SHOW, 18TH - 26TH NOVEMBER 2017
Motorcycling's biggest show of the year is coming soon and here is what to expect.
As per usual, there'll be a selection of classics for you to feast your eyes on and perhaps try for size at the National Motorcycle Museum's Classic Zone in Hall 2. Models include those from AJS, Velocette, DOT and Excelsior, as well as a few 'very special' veteran bikes, yet to be revealed. And if you like the restoration factor of classic machines as much as eyeing up the finished product, the Classic Zone's live restoration project should be your thing.
Sunday 19th will be a top pick for classic race fans, as the Isle of Man TT zone will be hosting its Classic TT day. Faces will include McGuinness, Dunlop, and Hillier. While those why fancy themselves as racers will be able to have their picture taken with the Senior TT Trophy and have a go of a new electronic riding experience game which will be revealed on the stand.
British motorcycle enthusiastic shouldn't be disappointed with what's on offer this year. The line- up includes CCM's Scrambler, Café Racer and Spitfire, along with a new variant which will be debuted at the show. While over in Hall 4 will be Brough Superior with a brand new model, as well as more from the likes of Métisse and, of course, Triumph and Norton. Watsonian Squire and Ariel will be in Hall 3, and the Herald Motor Co. displaying some beautiful rides in Hall 2.
For those who are new to the motorcycling scene, Get On will be hosting free 20-minute motorcycle lessons in the Two Wheel Taster Zone (Hall 2). And there'll be a range of bikes on display for the beginner, from the likes of SFM and Lexmoto, both of whom will be showing off their latest 125cc machines.
For little learners, the Strider Adventure Zone (H4) will provide a safe environment where 1-5-year-olds can explore. And Strider will be giving away a Gold Pro Balance Bike to one lucky competition winner.
Give it a go
Those already with a license will have a chance to try out new models in the Test Ride Zone in Hall 3. While young people who fancy themselves as trials riders can partake in a 15 minute ACU Try Trials session.
BMW will be there teaching some basic handling techniques in its GS Experience Zone (H4), while Honda, KTM and Triumph will be offering visitors the full adventure experience in Hall 2 with a bike skills course designed to introduce riders to their first taste of adventure riding. Bikes available include KTM's 1290 Super Adventure R and Honda's CRF 1000L Africa Twin.
KTM is also holding a 'Ready to Race' feature. A separate stand to its main one, whose sole purpose will be to celebrate KTM's presence in Moto GP with a display of all its bikes from every class. KTM will also be giving away one of its 2018 motorcycles which it has yet to unveil. Pulling all the stops out this year.
That's not all from the brand. KTM's Super Adventure R will be in the Eurosport Entertainment Zone (H3) for a load-your-luggage challenge. Participants will go against the clock to expertly load the bike, with the winner taking away a KTM goody bag.
Other competitions include the classic Stronger for Longer tyre-holding affair, the AX Back to Front Challenge, and Steve Parish's Question of Bikes. All taking place at the Blackhorse Stage (H3), with hosts Parish and Whitham, who'll also be conducting a number of interviews with MotoGP, WorldSBK, BSB and TT stars.
The list is endless and includes Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Shakey Bryne, Neil Hodgson, and Carl Fogarty. A preliminary schedule of attendance is outlined on the motorcycle live website, for those wishing to plan their dates.
FMX riders will be in Hall 4 performing 30 minutes shows featuring various tricks and manoeuvres twice daily during the week and three times on the weekends.
The Italian line-up is looking impressive, too. Aprilia, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Vespa. Fantic will also be there (H2), releasing its new Caballero Scrambler and Flat Track models to the UK public. The newly relaunched SWM will be featuring a number of machines in Hall 3, including those from its Classic range. And Energica will be there to satisfy the needs of electric motorcycle lovers (H4). Three bikes will be on display from the company's new Eva EsseEsse9 model, which promises to deliver old-school style – we're intrigued! On the other side of the spectrum will be Czech company, Kuberg, also in Hall 4, featuring its range of electric off-road machines. Something for everyone…
Elsewhere in Europe
French retro company MASH will be in Hall 3 with its new release: the Cafe Racer TT40. It will also be featuring its new 250cc Black 7 model, a 50cc DirtStar model suitable for 16-year-olds, an A1-complaint flat track, roadster and café racer models, suitable for 17-year-olds, as well as a new range of retro scooters.
And talking scooters, Peugeot will be there in Hall 3A with new models Belville 125, Citystar compact maxi scooter, Satellis maxi scooter, and the new - fourth generation – Speedfight. Its game-changing three-wheeled Metropolis will no doubt also be taking up a key spot on the stand.
For those whom three wheels are not enough, Swiss company Quadro will be presenting its Quadro4 Steinbock in Hall 2: the adventure version of its Quadro4, the world's first maxi-scooter with four independently tilting wheels.
Visitors can view some of the best bobbers, café racers, choppers, flat trackers, scramblers etc from the Custom Bike Building Championship at Back Street Heroes' Custom Xtreme in Hall 4.
Following its disappointing sales, Harley obviously has a point to prove and is pulling out all the stops at this year's show. Its Jumpstart will give non-riders the chance to experience a Harley on a rolling road, while the brand's competition will see someone win two days of HD motorcycle hire and two nights accommodation in the UK. Display-wise, Harley is promising the latest line-up, Dark Custom and 'a few surprises'.
Big in Japan
And, of course, no motorcycle show guide would be complete without a nod to the 'big four'.
Visitors can sign up to experience the full range of Yamaha's new MT models at its Dark Side Test Ride stand. The latest SCR950, XSR700 and XSR900 will also be there as part of the brand's Sport Heritage range, with their customizability being celebrated through its latest Yard Build machines which will also be on show. There'll be tourers on display, a limited edition track-focused R1M for the performance enthusiast, and the 2018 X-MAX 400 scooter will be making its debut.
Honda will be celebrating the 25th birthday of the Fireblade, along with the opportunity to get up close and personal with its latest machines, and will be hosting guest appearances from those BSB riders who've ridden the bike. Visitors can also get a taster session on the dirt with Honda's CRF1000L Africa Twin, or sign up to test a selection of Honda's 2017 range. Plus, the brand is promising some 'very special new metal'.
Kawasaki will also be debuting some new models. Famous Kawasaki riders will be giving interviews, and there'll also be a dedicated Kawasaki 'Feature Zone'. Suzuki will also be displaying its 2018 line-up, including classic and racing displays, as well as a live restoration project. And if all this gets a bit tiring, visitors can put their feet up and enjoy a free tea or coffee in the Suzuki Hospitality Area.
Have you got your ticket yet? If not, head over to www.motorcyclelive.co.uk to buy one or to learn more about the ten-day event.
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