Tuesday was our day at the show. Arrived a bit later than planned but still had time to get around all three halls and meet up with @Oldskool for a beer.
I don’t suppose Tuesdays are the busiest time but it didn’t seem as crowded as I’ve known it. I took some video (that I’ll put up soon) and it was noticeable how the aisles weren’t thronging. You can see it in some of these pictures, too. I’d be interested to know how this year’s ticket sales compare to previous years.
Triumph had one of the biggest stands. I think it may have been even larger than last year. Another sign of their ascendency to the upper eschelons of motorcycle manufacturers. I thought they’d make more of a deal with the stealth edition bikes but I only saw a couple and they were the same dark red offering. Nice but almost too dark. I’d still like to see the others.
The final edition Thruxton was there as well. Green has always been my favourite colour on those bikes. This one looks lovely; the coach lines adding to it’s retro cafe race chic. If I had the money I’d be happy to find a space in the garage for one.
This poor lady in the Suzuki top has just realised she bought the wrong bike.
CCM, considering the size of the company, had also splashed out on a bit of floor space. More of an open feel this year than the faux marquee they had in 2022. They’re Sunday afternoon bikes but they look like fun - I’d have one!
Kawasaki has their new hybrid bikes on show. I had a quick look at the H2’s as I like the idea of a supercharged bike and the aggressive looks. Mean green machines. Must take a test ride one of these days.
Another manufacturer in ascendence is Royal Enfield. They seem to be tracking an upward path with the bikes getting better but keeping them basic enough to be affordable in the company of Tigers, GS’s etc. So many bikes are the price of a small car these days. We need people like RE to keep it real.
This shot of the Ducati stand made me think back to other years when you had to wait for a chance to jump on a bike as small crowds of people hovered around them. In fact, of all the stands, Triumph was probably the busiest.
Norton have moved on since 2023. With more bikes available they had them off the plinths and bolted to the floor to sit on. They are beatifully made and I’d love one but those clip-ons are proper sports bike low. It’s a bit different when you’re riding but even so, there’s going to be a lot of weight on the wrists. If my numbers come up I’ll still buy one though.
Our timing was lousy for all the exhibitions and try-outs. This is the BMW stand. Every time we turned up at something like this is was between sessions. With the addition of the arena, BMW were one of the biggest exhibitors. Unlike Harley Davidson, who were completely absent.
The MV stand was modest but the few bikes on show were as you would expect. Equisitely Italian and very desirable. This is a special edition Superveloce. It was probably my least favourire of the MVs. I prefer mine.
“You can have any colour you like as long as it’s orange”, to paraphrase something Henry Ford never said. They should be handing out complimentary sunglasses on the KTM stand. The MotoGP bike is cool, though. “Can I have a go, mister?”
No pictures but the Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda stands didn’t have much to excite, unless you’re really in to the CBR600s. The Japanese seem to have lost their way recently in the face of exciting design and marketing by the European brands. Fireblades and R1s are great bikes but they’re not breaking ground any more. The Japanese are even lagging in MotoGP, where they used to be a dominant force. No doubt they’ll be back in the future but right now they’re the stands you can leave to last.
And that’s it for another year.