Motorcycle Live is on at the NEC in Birmingham and runs until December 1st. It’s the place to see all the new models up close for the first time (and ride quite a few of them in the test ride zone). Or if you’re thinking about buying a bike it’s also the place where you can sit on one and talk to the manufacturer to get some advice on what is right for you. So get yourself down there this week, take the family as well because there’s something for everybody, from kids bike rides to BMX and trials action.
Here’s a quick look at some of our favourite bikes, scoots and kit from the show…
The new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 was at the show both in real life and in augmented reality 3D. Simply download the free ‘V-Strom ar’ app and hover your phone over the target, which can be downloaded at www.suzuki-gb.co.uk/suzuki-v-strom-1000ar then explore the bike in 360º virtual reality – amazing. It’s like science fiction come to life.
Electric scooters aren’t cheap, especially when they come with a BMW badge. The 48bhp C Evolution will be priced from £13,500 when it arrives next year so start saving if you’re serious about wanting to save the planet! The C Evolution has a claimed range of 100km’s and can be recharged from a domestic socket in around four hours. Who said petrol was expensive?
The new Suzuki Burgman 125 will arrive by spring next year. It won’t be available in the matt finish shown here though, just as well really because it doesn’t suit the Suzuki. The Burgman 125 sits nicely alongside the existing 400 and 650 models. Check out our road test on the superb 2013 650 Burgman.
CCM are back with some exciting new adventure models after a couple of quiet years, good to see the British firm back with a bang. Aside from the bikes, these nifty tailpacks caught our eye on the CCM stand, they’re throw-over panniers with additional bags to attach for expanded carrying capacity– great for any adventurous types.
An enduro bike may not appeal to everybody but off road sport is on the increase and they are great fun, they also make a great winter bike so have some fun commuting. The new GasGas enduro distributor (Clements Moto) is also responsible for the popular Baotian and Zontes range of bikes and scooters.
It may be small but the Honda MSX125 is also perfectly formed, it reminds me of a lap dancing dwarf I once met on a drunken weekend in Prague! The micro sized bike attracted plenty of attention at the show, and was as popular with older riders as it was youngsters. Have a look at our road test if you want to know more about it.
The popular Suzuki Inazuma 250 has had a bit of extra styling for 2014; it’s nothing too over the top but adds a bit of kudos to this naked commuter. The Inazuma Z was also available for test riding on the day, so bring your driving licence with you if you fancy a ride on one of the new bikes whilst you’re at the show (there are loads of test ride bikes available). The Inazuma is a great value A2 class bike for less than £3500. We road tested it last year during the bike show, so check out our road tests for more info.
Finally seeing a Kawasaki badge on a scooter seems a bit strange but the new J300 looks great in mean green, the special edition costs an extra £100 over the £4049 base model but is worth spending the extra money on in our opinion. The J300 will be launched early next year and 2Commute hope to be amongst the first to ride it.
The Duke range is expanding all the time; the RC 390 Race caught our eye, 67bhp and a few tasty goodies in a lovely looking package for £4999. Add that one to our Christmas list. KTM are planning global domination, they’re already hot on the heels of many of the major manufacturers, not bad for what was originally an off road niche manufacturer from Austria. Expect plenty of exciting new models over the next 5 years.
Fancy really learning the fine art of bike/scooter control? Those friendly chaps at Moto Gymkhana can help. It’s a sport that originated in Japan and consists of banzai like races against the clock around a series of small cones known as Pylons. It can be done on any kind of machine and really will help you hone your riding skills. Go and see them at the NEC and let them know we sent you, or have a look at www.motogymkhana.org
The Piaggio Yourban three-wheeler still gets people talking, it may not be the novelty it once was but these middle-aged gentlemen were enjoying it! It’s quite good to watch peoples reaction to what is still relatively new technology, especially when riding one. People really do stop and stare. Try one, you won’t be disappointed.
The great looking Shark range has expanded for 2014, new colours and designs including the stylish Raw. We’ve been using a Raw over the summer, it’s great looking and certainly gets you noticed but can also be used as an open faced lid if it gets too hot. Not so good at this time of year though!
We love TCX boots; great functional styling, fantastic features and they do exactly what the manufacturer claims. The X-Cube and Street are our personal favourites and this new colour will appeal to scooter riders and anybody who likes the advantages of a mid length boot with both CE approved protection and urban style built in. The Street waterproof boots retail for around £100 but be sure to check out the full TCX range. There’s plenty to choose from.
New from Vespa is the Primavera 125 (and 50cc), it’s a replacement for the LX. Check out our launch report on the Vespa Primavera 125 in the road test section, it’s a great looking scooter and performs well too. The popular GTS is due for an update soon, rumour has it we’ll see something in 2014 but Piaggio like to keep things under wraps until it happens – so we’ll have to wait and see. A 350cc Vespa GTS would be nice but don’t hold your breath.
The Chinese are coming! WK Bikes latest SP50 (£1799) and SP125 (£2399) sports bikes look very tasty and they now have a 250cc (£2699) brother. The WK range includes some affordable super motards, nakeds and tourers, plus sports and retro scooters so they’re worth a look. We road tested the Bellissima 125 scooter recently.
The new Yamaha Tricity concept takes a different approach to other three-wheeled scooters, it uses a twin motorcycle style hydraulic fork on each front wheel as opposed to separate shock absorbers. The 125cc machine is also compact and relatively lightweight at 150kg (an MP3 125 weighs 199kg). The Tricity is expected to retail at around £3400 so isn’t too expensive when compared to other high spec 125’s.
New to the motorcycle market but having a strong history in Formula One and supercars comes this ceramic plasma sprayed exhaust coating from Zircotec. The company claims it reduces exhaust temperatures by 33%, improves engine performance and reliability by keeping the heat in the exhaust and most importantly it is a very robust coating so you can fit it and forget it – no more laborious spraying of exhausts to keep them looking good. We’ll be trying it on both 2 and 4 stroke scooter exhausts over the winter but have a look at www.zircotec.com for more details.