Motorcycle Live 2017 drew to a close this evening after a nine-day stint at The NEC in Birmingham, England, where 107,072 bike fans enjoyed what many have hailed the most interactive, entertaining and action-packed event in the show's history.
Over 40 of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers turned out in force to debut their brand-new 2018 machinery, each one pulling out all the stops with their spectacular stands. Special features included a 20th anniversary display of the Yamaha R1 YZF, a full restoration of Kevin Schwantz’s Suzuki RGV500, a celebration of 25 years of the Honda Fireblade and the Harley-Davidson Jumpstart feature.
The Indian Motorcycles stand featured live music, Kawasaki’s Team Green stage hosted daily racer appearances and KTM displayed a stunning range of racing machinery in its Ready to Race showcase. Triumph, Carole Nash and the National Motorcycle Museum added to an already incredible atmosphere with regular start-ups of their respective Moto2, MotoGP and classic race bikes.
Among the interactive features at the show were 10 FREE opportunities to ride a bike, with activities for all ages and levels of experience. Strider and Arenacross were busy getting youngsters on two wheels, while Get On’s Two Wheel Taster and BMW’s Rookie to Rider targeted new bikers. The Test Ride Zone, Experience Adventure and the Yamaha Dark Side MT Tour allowed licensed motorcyclists to take a selection of great models for a spin. The ACU offered the chance to Try Trials and BMW tutored people in Off Road Skills.
The stunning FMX Live presented by Arenacross did not disappoint in its final year of tenure, keeping the crowds on the edge of their seats with bigger, braver and more impressive stunts than ever before. Slightly more sedate, but no less extraordinary, were the Classic Feature supported by The National Motorcycle Museum and the Custom Xtreme Zone supported by Back Street Heroes.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, each and every day saw an influx of famous faces from the world of motorcycling and beyond. MotoGP’s Johann Zarco could be found back flipping off the Black Horse stage while the legend that is John McGuinness signed autographs on the Isle of Man TT stand and singer James Blunt tried his next motorcycle out for size.
To round off a truly memorable week, the winner of the Motorcycle Live Ace Builds custom showcase was announced, with Phil Price from Stoke-on-Trent’s Yamaha XV750 Vigaro “PP2” being voted the ‘Ultimate Ace Build’ by show visitors.
“We’ve had a record show this year,” said David Holloway, sales director of Infinity Motorcycles, a PG&A retailer that had 10 retail stands at Motorcycle Live. “The visitors coming to our stand have all been genuinely enthusiastic, having a fantastic time and really raving about all the entertainment and interactive things to see and do. It’s been a brilliant year.”
John Drogan, head of customer experience at handbuilt bike maker CCM Motorcycles, agrees: “This year’s Motorcycle Live will go down as one of the most successful in CCM Motorcycles’ history. We’ve had so many keen visitors to the stand — all absolutely loving the show and the entertainment on offer. James Blunt unveiled our new FT6 Flat Tracker and we’ve hundreds of genuine orders, with the Scrambler totally selling out. It couldn’t have been a better show for us and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2018!”
Motorcycle Live 2018 will take place at The NEC, Birmingham from Nov. 17-25.