Showtime for bikers
By Harriet Ridley
IF you love motorcycles there’s only one place to be from this weekend - the annual Motorcycle Live show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Every major motorcycle manufacturer is on board this year so unless you went to this year’s glamorous Milan show, Motorcycle Live will be your first chance to drool over and kick the tyres of a host of new-for-2013 models.
These include BMW’s awesome revamped superbike, the S1000RR HP4 that charters new territory for this competitive class in terms of technology.
Most notable is the electronic suspension called Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), which adjusts the compression and rebound damping automatically in response to braking, acceleration and cornering forces.
Then of course there’s British manufacturer Triumph that’s still as successful as ever, and will be displaying its overhauled Street Triple naked middleweight machines, and it’s completely re-worked Daytona 675 and 675 supersport machines.
And if you’re in the market for a smaller machine, then Kawasaki will be there with all its models including the all-new Ninja 300.
Then there’s plenty more from KTM, Ducati, Yamaha, Norton... and a host of Chinese manufacturers that are making quite an impact on the budget bike market.
As usual, Honda is planning a massive presence with activities including the first UK unveiling of Honda’s new-for-2013 models, star rider and celebrity appearances, visitor interactive entertainment, race team ‘workshops’.
Meanwhile Yamaha will have a Yamaha Escape Zone that will be all about adventure travel, where a host of companies and experienced travellers will be on hand to give your great ideas and advice should you have itchy feet and long for a motorcycling trip of a lifetime in 2013.
And if you've got young children on tow, then there’s even plenty for kids too with the Kiddimoto track that lets children as young as two try out the balance bikes.
Whatever you’re into, there’ll be a range of zones dedicated to different genres including adventure biking, classic machines with a dedicated Classic Zone, custom models with a dedicated Custome Xtreme Zone, and off-road riding.
There are also riding opportunities both indoors and outdoors, for instance at Suzuki’s off-road area where you can ride its latest dirt bikes, a live arena with shows including Freestyle Motocross with some of the world’s best riders, trials riding, and an entire hall dedicated to stands with a huge selection of biking bargains – from leathers, to gloves, boots, helmets.
The show opens on Saturday, November 24 and runs until December 2. You’ll even get a £2 voucher against the cost of parking.
The show is also about rubbing shoulders with your racing heroes. All the UK stars from Cal Crutchlow to Shakey Byrne, Bradley Smith, Scott Redding, Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and many more will be out in force.
If you’re into off road riding, then Wednesday, November 28 is 'dirt day' when Si Pavey and Chris Walker will be there, as well as round-the-world adventures Charley Boorman and Nick Sanders.
And the final day of the motorcycling extravaganza on December 2, has been named Mad Sunday – and that's the day to go if you’re a massive Isle of Man TT fan with John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop and Conor Cummins among the many stars confirmed.
Advance tickets for Motorcycle Live 2021 are £16 for adults, £10 for seniors, £6 for children aged six to 16. Children aged five and under accompanied by a paying adult go free.