Honda now have the best simulator for photo opportunities.
Motorcycle Live 2018 at the NEC - all the main manufacturers here in the same space.
Big and thriving, all the main brands here in the same space. But the mid-size supersports bike, like the CBR600RR that I ride, is an endangered species. Honda no longer offer that model and the new CBR650R is a much less sporty replacement. Triumph now also offer a mid-size bike, similarly polite; so far no sign of a street version of the race bike Triumph are to supply to Moto2 from 2019 onwards. I didn’t see either the 600 or the 750 version of the 2019 GSXR.
Only Kawasaki have the Ninja ER-6R which has the power. It’s the emissions controls of course that’re strangling the class, the need for a three-stage catalytic converter and exhaust sensors that feed back data in to the engine control electronics. So I stay with my CBR600RR 2017 ABS, it’s running great.
Much shining metalwork, motorbike art at its best.
Litre bikes continue to advance in the supersports category but you need to get on a track to fully use their potential, and have serious bottle.
I spotted a Yamaha M1 in Rossi VR46 trim and a Honda RCV213 in Marquez MM93 trim, as well as plenty of World Superbike machinery polished up.
Honda now have the best simulator for photo opportunities, a hydraulic mount leans a Fireblade over to 45° or so, quite a challenge to maintain the position without the counteracting forces of a bike in motion. Shame about the mirrors.
A friendly and mixed crowd, the show in the Midlands still has a good-natured friendliness and camaraderie which the London show has lost.
This was a visit to Motorbike Live with GBMCC London, Midlands and East Anglia groups, some had been out to the clubs in Birmingham for the Friday night and some more of us met up for a meal on Saturday night. Birmingham City Centre on a Saturday night in the run up to Christmas was a full-on fearsome experience, Christmas market stalls selling beer outdoors in the streets and the Bullring thronged with people. One of the hotels people from the club were staying in had put earplugs out on the pillows, oh dear. Me, I saw the dawn from the ninth floor, and the noise wasn’t too bad.
Thanks to Oded for his help with the pictures.