I can’t believe its been a year since I was last at Motorcycle Live at the NEC Birmingham. If you’d like to refresh your memory of my first experience there please read here.
So, was this years any different than last years?
Well, actually it started off very much the same. I first visited the guys at “Get-On” who you’ll remember from last years blog post. They offer novice riders the chance to have a free, 20 minute lesson so I jumped at the chance to have another go. Seems as though they work with smaller groups now, just four of us this time. Once again I was clearly the oldest as the other three riders all looked about 15 years old. One of the instructors talked us through the basics. He showed us how to start the bike and then asked us how to start it. The three children looked unable to repeat what was just told to them but the guy was quite impressed with me when I went through how to start it.
We were geared up with jackets, gloves and helmets then on to the road. It wasn’t actually a road. Just some indoor space with room to ride up and down a few feet. This time I got to choose my steed, the Herald Scrambler 125. Not quite as tall as the yellow maverick from last year but still a great bike. It was great fun and I was surprised to find I had even improved since last year. I really need to get that licence.
The rest of the show I did on foot. Apparently a good 21,000 steps! This show is massive, I must have gone around all the halls at least three or four times and I still missed things. Still, one thing I didn’t miss was the CCM stand. They brought with them an aeroplane. A spitfire to be precise. This was part of the unveiling of the new spitfire bike by racing legend Carl Fogarty.
I’ve said before how much of a fan I am of Henry Cole. Unfortunately, Henry wasn’t there on the day I visited. If you don’t know him, he’s the presenter of The Motorbike Show on ITV4 and Shed and Buried on Travel channel, amongst other things. The last series of The Motorbike Show saw Henry and his resident mechanic Guy Willison, design a new bike for Norton. So I was very excited to see the finished product here. Sadly, it was behind the ropes, so no sitting on this one, but it great to see it in the metal.
Another bike that was featured in that series was Allan Millyard’s hand built R374 Honda tribute. I’d love to do devote an entire blog post to Allan’s work and maybe someday I will. For now this picture of the man himself and his wonderful machine will have to do.
As usual the National Motorcycle Museum was my favourite stand of the whole show. They always bring the best stuff. I was particularly drawn to this Royal Enfield “3” from 1915.
But the absolute highlight was a replica of Steve Mcqueen’s Triumph from The Great Escape. This is probably the closest I’ll get to the real thing, so immensely happy that I got to sit on it.
Thanks for reading folks.
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