Last weekend I popped by Llangollen Motorcycle Festival up in North Wales. Having not attended before and staying with family nearby, it seemed like a good day out plan. Situated on the Royal International Pavilion ground in Llangollen (pronounced Lan-gof-len), a short walk from the town centre, the event saw thousands of bikers descend to check out bikes and attractions on show.
In the pavilion there were hundreds of classic and famous bikes on show, from famous race bikes to old Brit bikes from times past. Celebs John McGuinness, John Reynolds and Steve Platter gave talks and Q&A sessions, with some interesting opinions from McGuinness with regards to Honda! Outside, there were many stalls to pick Motorcycle gear, new bikes to check out from Triumph, Indian and Suzuki – who were offering test rides for visitors. It was interesting to see the new Triumph Street Triple R low in the flesh – very few seem to be available at dealers for test rides. Something Mary and other shorter female friends are tempted by; my daughter at 5′ tall could pretty much flat foot on it. Continue reading “Llangollen Motorcycle Festival 2018 Report” »
A sunny weekend, lumbered with the bored kids and wishing I was out on the bike. Hmm, what to do instead? Well, the MCN Festival up near Peterborough was on and looked like a good day out. At £16 quid for an advance day ticket, kids going free, only an hour and bit drive away and plenty on schedule – it seemed a good option.
Located at the easily accessible East of England show ground it was a surprisingly big event. My first time in attendance and I’d certainly not been to the old BMF rally it descended from either. A large number of manufacturers and key dealers were present displaying the latest bikes to see up close, sit on and take for a quick test ride out on nearby roads. Continue reading “MCN Festival Peterborough Low Down” »
I popped along to this local fun day a couple of years ago, I recall it being a bit small – just only a handful of stalls. Returning this year, it was good to see the event had developed and had a lot more going on.
The fund raising event is organised by the Essex & Herts air ambulance, a entirely charity funded service, and one that is often deployed to a fallen motorcyclist. North Weald airfield is a great venue for the day, and obviously where the air ambulance runs from.
At the weekend I popped by the Classic Dirt Bike Show up in Telford. Being in the area with family and having not checked it out before, it seemed too good to miss. Admittedly I’m no off road dirt biker, but some green lane and trail riding has always been on my list of stuff to try. So with kids in toe we rocked up to ponder all these curious bikes with knobbles.
Earlier this month I popped along to the IAM’s 60th birthday bash up at the Nation Motorcycle Museum in Solihull (near Birmingham), being a member of IAM it seemed daft not to. Especially as they had guest talks from Steve Plater, Peter Hickman and Mick Grant and a chance to check out all the classic bikes in the museum.
I rode up with another from my local ELAM (East London Advanced Motorcyclists), avoiding the M1/M6 by taking the old A5. On arrival, of course we had to check out everyone else’s bike, including the parade of bikes from every year of the last 60. Next we hurried into the main hall to listen to Steve Plater, Peter Hickman Mick Grant discussing BSB, the TT and how bike racing has changed over the years.
It was a Bank Holiday weekend, so as per tradition it pissed down. Not that rain could stop the Essex Motorcycle show, over at North Weald airfield.
Being local and free I dragged the family over (albeit in the car), to see what the fuss was about having not visited in previous years. It was a small, local show setup outdoors with various aeronautical gubbins as a backdrop. Stands were mostly a mix of local dealers (promoting KTM, Suzuki, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson), local advanced riding groups, training schools and the emergency services. Not a huge amount, but still worth an hours mooch, especially as it was free. Oh yes, did I mention it was completely free to get in?!
Back home after tiring day walking around the London MCN Show down at the Excel centre. Pretty local, so seemed a good plan, however in hindsight it’s debatable if taking the two kids was also a good plan. Much moaning, whining, squabbling and numerous toilet stops later, we’re feeling pretty damned drained!
The MCN show is not huge, certainly not a patch on the Brum show at the NEC, but still visited by all the main manufacturers; Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, KTM, BMW, Ducati, Harley, Victory, Moto Guzzi. There was also an Ariel stand, some Lexmoto and Peugeot scoots on show too. No Royal Enfield’s this year though. No brand spanking new releases unveiled, but it did give me chance to check out first hand the new Yamaha R1 and Tracer, the Kwak H2 (No H2R on display though).
At the weekend the Bike Shed MC were hosting their annual show down in Tobacco Dock, East London, having outgrown their usual Shoreditch haunt. The event was a huge showcase of the best custom bikes, cafe racers, cruisers, bobbers and other random hand built two wheel mayhem. The weather was lovely, but unfortunately this was a family outing, so the bike remained at home. But that didn’t stop hundreds of other bikers descending and enjoying the chilled out atmosphere. But I couldn’t help wondering if I’d fit in better with a well trimmed beard, waxed moustache and a full sleeve tattoo. A peculiar blend of ’50s rockabilly and Chap was very much in vogue.
I couldn’t help wondering if I’d fit in better with a well trimmed beard and waxed moustache…
It was good to check out all the funky bikes, even if I’d be hesitant to take any out on the streets of London myself, style over substance seemed to pervade in many instances. Knobbly tyres and Hessian wrapped pipes are definitely this seasons look. Front mudguards are optional and the more belts on show the better.
Hope you like the snaps of all the best bikes we saw. The kids pinched my camera for most of the show as they were getting a bit bored, so please excuse the odd framing or any not quite in focus. They were pissed they couldn’t sit on all the bikes like at the last show we went to!
Yesterday we had a family outing to the MCN bike Show down at Excel London, as such not on bikes, but in the car. Bad as we had to pay £15 for parking and get stuck in the rush hour jams on the way home, but good in that we stayed dry and had more room for shopping. 🙂
The show took up a sizeable area of Excel, but ironically was located directly opposite the (push) Bike Show, so cue lots of confused people expectantly finding bikes with (or without engines). A lot of the big brans were present at the show, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati, BMW, KTM, Harley, Indian, Royal Enfield, etc. However notable there was no Suzuki… On the Friday, the show was reasonably busy, but not too busy and we had plenty to opportunity to sit on many bikes and get a feel for for them. Something the kids loved doing at every step! With Mary’s short stature, it was a great chance for her to check out what bikes suited her best. The Ducati Monster 696, Honda CB500 and KTM Duke 390 all seemed good candidates.