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Motorcycle Live 2018 Preview

Here’s our must-see bike, stands and activities at this years Motorcycle Live

FOR BIKERS up and down the country, the annual pilgrimage to the NEC is nearly here. The stands are nearly built, and the bikes will be getting their final spit and polish before the crowds arrive on the 17th November.

To save you from aimlessly wandering the halls in search of something to see, we’ve compiled this guide detailing all the bikes you can’t afford to miss and the stands you need to be on.

Bikes:

BMW S1000 RR

207bhp – 197kg – Hall 2 – Stand 2B20

BMW’s range topping, road bike gets sleek new lines, reduced weight and variable valve timing for 2019. At 207bhp (claimed) it’s slightly behind the class of 2019 in terms of outright power, although BMW claim the new bike is more rideable and better handling, thanks to improved low and mid-range delivery, new suspension and revised frame design.

Be sure to check out the new R1250GS and R1250GS Adventure while you are on the stand and also the BMW off-road arena with tips from Simon Pavey’s off-road school.

DUCATI PANIGALE V4R

221bhp – 165kg – Hall 3 – Stand 3D30

We struggled to find enough superlatives at the unveiling of the V4R – the ultimate evolution of the Panigale that almost makes you wonder, how can they top that?!

And if the already blistering performance that comes from having 221bhp isn’t enough for you, bolt on the race kit exhaust from Akrapovic and you’ll be unleashing, a claimed, 234bhp to the Tarmac.

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701

75hp – 157kg – Hall 2 – Stand 2D05

The Husky’ takes KTM’s 690 Duke engine which, in my mind is one of the best single cylinder engines on the market, and wraps it in moody, matt black bodywork. In doing this Husqvarna have created a modern-day take on the café racer like no other, and we can’t wait to ride it.

The team at Husqvarana will also have their gorgeous looking Vitpilen Aero Concept on stand – not to be missed.

Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory

217hp – 199kg – Hall 4 – Stand 4B15

Another bike jumping into (and then all over) the 200+bhp club is Aprilia’s mean looking, RSV4 1100 Factory. Alongside the power output, it seems wings on superbikes in 2019 are like shell suits on pop stars in the nineties – if it doesn’t have ‘em, it’s just not hip! Aprilia hasn’t held back with the RSV4 by lifting the design for its aero components straight from their World Superbike and MotoGP projects.

While you are at the Aprilia stand, make sure you look at the RS660 concept which Aprilia claim heralds a new design direction for the company. Using half an RSV4 engine, the RS660 could put the Aprilia brand back in the supersport bike category - Or they might disappoint us and use the lump in a maxi-scooter. We sincerely hope it’s not the latter!

KTM 790 Adventure and Adventure R

95bhp – 189kg – Hall 2 – Stand 2C10

If there was one bike at EICMA that caused a buzz like no other, it’s the KTM 790 Adventure. The crowd of people around this machine for the entire show made it nearly impossible to take any pictures of it, let alone a video walk around!

Sharing some parts from the excellent 790 Duke, the 790 Adventure fires KTM into the mid-range adventure bike category with a machine that on paper at least, looks to have all its contenders beaten.

Bike start-ups:

Ever since Kawasaki took their H2R to the show a few years back and ran the bike on a Dyno, the public have fallen for the sound of a bike being started within the walls of the NEC. This year’s highlight has to be Allen Millyard’s beautiful, shed built, RC374 which is a replica of Mike Hailwood’s RC174 race bike.

Running open pipes, the handcrafted six-cylinder will be screaming down the halls at the following times:

  • Saturday 17th – 11am
  • Sunday 18th – 15.00pm
  • Monday 19th – 15.00pm
  • Sunday – 25th – 15.00pm

As a tribute to the late William Dunlop, The National Motorcycle Museum will be starting up a 1971 750cc Triumph TT bike and Dunlop’s 2015, NMM Racing Norton. The start-ups will take place at 12:30 throughout the show in the Classic Feature, Hall 4.

If you are taking young children to see the bikes being started, ear defenders are a must as it is extremely loud. The organisers offer complimentary earplugs for all, available from the office in hall 2, and children’s ear defenders which require a £10 deposit.

Test rides and try-outs

For those looking to take their first steps into the world of motorcycling, Get On will be on hand to guide you during a free 20-minute motorcycle lesson with a professional instructor.

Get on is available to anyone aged 14 years or older and you can pre book a slot – advisable as it gets very busy – by clicking here or calling 02476 408040

If you want to see the laws of physics defied, head to the ACU Trials area where the team of instructors will be showing off on the indoor trials course. If trails is something you think you’d like to try your hand at, they are also offering the chance to ride the course under the supervision of one of their instructors.

The ACU Try Trails area is in Hall 2, sessions are 15 minutes long and all riding gear is provided.

Yamaha’s Dark Side MT Tour rolls into town, offering visitors the chance to hop on Yamaha’s latest range of street bike including MT-10 and MT-10 SP, plus the MT-09 and new for 2018 MT-09 SP, while the latest incarnation of the best-selling and award-winning MT-07.

The Dark Side MT Tour is in Hall 3, participants wishing to ride must provide an appropriate licence for the bike they wish to ride and there is zero tolerance to alcohol consumption and all safety equipment is provided.

Motorcycle Live runs from the 17th – 25th November.

For more information or tickets head to: www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

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