This was our my third visit to London for the show in about 7 years. It's nice to have a chance to see all of the new bikes in one place, rather than visiting many different dealers, which is difficult where I live on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
This year's trip was tied in with a family trip to the UK which meant I would be visiting the show with my Dad who is very interested in a new cruiser from Indian or Harley. Whilst I am being drawn by the new BMW GS1200 Rallye.
The show was quite quiet when we arrived at 10am and got steadily busier until about 1pm. We took advantage of the first couple of hours to look around the manufacturers stands that get busier as the crowds arrive.
Dad was very impressed with the Indian Scout Sixty, the staff on the stand were knowledgeable and helpful which is always a bonus. We looked at the Harley stand too and the Triumph Bonneville T120, I think the Indian was favorite though.
The GS Rallye is a great looking bike with a more off-road bias, especially if you add on a few of the options from the BMW parts catalogue. If BMW Spain would like to lend me one for a few weeks to review that would be awesome, hint, hint.
The Honda stand had the Africa Twin, although not a new model now, it has been on my list of favorites since its launch. The new stand out model was the X-ADV adventure scooter crossover, with its funky styling and from the promotional video's, it's off-road capabilities it's an interesting idea, but it's not much cheaper than the Africa Twin and I know which I would rather have.
Ducati's 1299 Superleggera was good to see in the flesh as were the 2.1L Hesketh V twin and the Brough Superior, non of which are on my list on price alone but lovely to see non the less. The engineering alone is worth a look.
The custom and classic stands and stalls offered a good choice of machines to admire as well as the Coys auction where I saw a Honda NR750 for the first time in years and a lovely looking RC30 (whish I'd bought the one i looked at 15yrs ago).
Once the big stands became busy we spent a couple of hours walking around the smaller stalls and stands talking to people about, bike stands, tools and protective equipment.
It was nice to chat to the guys from 1Jac and try there stand on a bike. It's easy to use and gives total mobility of your bike in a small garage. They are definitely on my list of garage additions and currently make fitting kits for both of my bikes.
Last but not least we talked at length to Nick from Love Life and Ride who sell a range of Helite Air Bag clothing. The products range from a basic vest to a fully integrated leather or adventure style jacket. The airbag system is very light to wear and after a couple of minutes you forget its on. Any extra protection in an accident is a great idea, look out for more information coming soon.
Dad and I had a great time at the show which was very well attended with enough to look at and entertain us for about 5 hours. Hopefully we will be back for next years. The Excel location is easy to get to on public transport and has a good range of catering facilities to please most tastes.