This year you finally have the opportunity to return to Motorcycle Live at the Birmingham NEC! For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it started in 2011. It is an annual motorcycle show, which is usually held in November / early December at the Birmingham NEC. This year, it takes place from the 4th to the 12th of December.
There is a huge amount on offer, mainly due to the pent-up frustration of the exhibitors as much as the punters (we included). Shoei with their latest lids, Bikerswear have a range of clothing at fantastic prices as always. Motorcycle manufacturers such as Triumph and Honda put on a hefty show. Motorcycle tour companies, such as Orange & Black, are staple visits, along with a bunch of other stuff to be enjoyed. As you could probably guess from the fact that we have written this article… It is safe to say that we always have a fantastic time and would highly recommend it.
Where did it all begin?
Like most “new experiences” in 2011, we were not sure what to expect from the Motorcycle Live show, as it was brand new. With all the amazing motorcycle brands present, we knew it would be a great event. The standout memory stands around the main stage and catches the tail end of the opening ceremony. There was a line-up of epic motorcycle talent on the stage. Tommy Hill who was the British Superbike Champion that year. MotoGP World Championship rider Cal Crutchlow was there and on form too. The crowd of people stood shoulder to shoulder with what seemed like hundreds of cameras in the air. There was a dull roar of hundreds of people talking throughout. It was quite an opening for a bike show, to say the least.
Beyond 2011, the next standout year was 2014, no reason other than company on that occasion. On reflection, it seemed like the biggest Motorcycle Live. There was a huge Arenacross-esque live action stunt show in Hall 1 (I think), but there must have been over 200 exhibitors. There were certainly plenty of things to see and do, and it still goes down in history as the most bags of goodies purchased at the show in all its history. A complete haul of 2 helmets, 2 textile suits, every clothing accessory going. It was basically an entire wardrobe shop to match the new Yamaha Fazer 1000 on order.
The show was the place to be!
Over the period 2014-2017, it began to feel like there were more motorcycle fans at the Motorcycle Live show, as all manufacturers’ stands were always packed pretty much! The shopping areas were busy with a steady flow of traffic. Most of the time on the manufacturers stands, you literally couldn’t get near any bikes. It was great how motorcycle manufacturers had crowds surrounding their brand-new motorcycles. At this point, my mind drifts to 2016, when the Ducati XDiavel arrived… It was mental.
Triumph was a motorcycle manufacturer that cared for all motorcycle riders in 2016. They had a very interesting display; they really upped their game from the previous year. As a result, it was decked out in a very appealing style that allowed fans to view their motorcycles. They also had plenty of staff mingling with bikers and a decent range of gear on display. Other impressive stands that same year (if we remember correctly lol) was Ducati. This was the year they had their new Scrambler on display. It was glorious looking and surrounded by yellow shipping containers, cool…
It wasn’t our intention for this to be the Motorcycle Live Stand Appreciation Blog, but while we’re at it… In 2017, Harley Davidson pulled out all the stops to put together something that looked like a biker bar you might find on Route 66. The dark woods and lighting accents were more like a work of art than a “trade show stand”. As we’ve come this far, it would be ridiculous not to mention the 2018 CCM Stand. They parked a wartime Spitfire fighter plane right there on the stand, as well as a cool retro looking gin bar (we don’t remember much about that ha ha).
Anyway, where were we? Yes! The show…
Since 2011, the show has been getting better, year on year. The attractions, (particularly the big one in Hall 4) is always immense. The test ride opportunities are incredible, as are the “Get-On” opportunities for first time riders. 2019 was an excellent show, plenty to see and do, and a lot of newer, exciting brands showing off their work. Sadly, we all know what happened next, the 2020 show was cancelled, and before you know it (scarily quickly) here we are at the 2021 show!
With a year off, we know there’s a lot of anticipation, excitement, and a fair amount of frustration in the community. A lot of people we have spoken to are looking forward to “getting back to normality” and getting their annual bike binge and shopping spree fixed in the calendar. So… If you haven’t got your tickets booked yet, get them! We are here with our state-of-the-art helmet cameras, a load of familiar faces from the Motorcycle Live exhibiting crowd will be there too.
So in summary, it’s a brilliant show, if you haven’t been yet, get your ticket booked and we’ll see you there!!