Tuesday, 25 November 2014

NEC Bike Show 2014

I went up to the NEC Bike show yesterday with mate Dan to check out the bikes on show this year, and it was worth the trip. It felt slightly smaller than years past as in less exhibitors and floor space used, but it was much more interesting, with smaller manufacturers and companies out in force. Lots of specials too, some nice and some awful, by various builders and the manufacturers too that have tapped into the 'hipster' scene. The Piaggio, i.e. Guzzi, Aprilia, Vespa range was very strong - the build quality and innovation is impressive. Ducati too have a comprehensive range, though apart from the stunning Panigale, the Diavel and the Scrambler, I have problems telling some of the Ducati (Ducaudi?) models apart nowadays.

Anyway, here a few pics to give you a flavour, mostly Italian stuff and other bikes too. 

Moto Guzzi Eldorado 1400

Dan likes it. Low and comfy

New colour for the California 1400

Moto Guzzi Griso with new paint scheme

Aprilia Caponord 1200

Great looking bike. Looks capable too

Decent crash protection too

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100

Aprilia RSV4 RF - tiny and sculpted so you can really fold into it well, if you're still that flexible..

Moto Guzzi V7 Alce - a one-off by Guzzi that harks back to the military Superalce of the 1930s/40s

Nice paint scheme on the new V7 II. Lower too.

Stelvio NTX

Piaggio MP3 - if you've never ridden one, try it - they are amazing..

Rear of Guzzi special built I think by Motostrada

I really liked this Vespa - the attention to detail is superb, as is the build quality. A real mix of retro and new. After all, Piaggio invented the Vespa so have the right to re-employ their own heritage

Guzzi special based on a Sport 1100i motor. Not my cup of tea style-wise but very nicely constructed

Love the master cylinder!

Photographed this seat spotted on a Harley chopper. Ouch!

This company Zircotec provide various coating methods for motorcycle silencers. Ideal for all those old black Italian silencers. It felt very durable too, and looked just right

The Tomos stand was fascinating, with mopeds with retro looks, and petrol or electric motors

Metisse café racer. Nice but a bit bulky

This Norton café racer, one of 50 built apparently last year, and all sold, was stunning. Not often you see a factory special that looks just right

The Ducati Scrambler.  The young Scrambler PR guy working on the stand had a very impressive 'tache, and it slightly disarmed me. The Scrambler is small, for sure, and interesting, but I'll be honest, doesn't do much for me as it is. To be fair, there were signs saying that the bikes on show were pre-production models, but running my hand across them felt that they just seemed a bit cheap and plasticky. We'll see, no doubt if priced right they will sell well to the youngsters. They're also all about lifestyle and accessories, and the list of accessories is extensive. Clever marketing, no doubt.

Ducati Panigale - just stunning

Ducati Multistrada - many of the Ducatis seem to have this slightly beaky front end look now

Ducati Testastretta DVT motor

Herald Motorcycles - check them out. Chinese imports restyled over here, and sold at a decent price. Don't know about reliability, but if I was in my 20s and wanted a 125 or 250, I'd love to jump on one of these

The only shot I took of the new Ariel, not sure why

BMW S 1000 RR Sport - beautiful

BMW by Kevils Speed Shop - nice and understated

Deconstructed Royal Enfiedl on the wall

Gulf Fizzy, cool..

Moto Guzzi Audace - we found the stretch to the bars was a bit too far for us to be comfortable