Excel London Bike Show 2016

By Events, Honda, Suzuki,

We were lucky enough to be at the bike show yesterday, soaking in the atmosphere, seeing what the manufacturers had to offer, chatting with other bikers and seeing what bargains were about.

Fridays tend to be the quieter day at most shows, but the Excel London Bike Show was fairly busy yesterday. Probably down to the fact that Valentines day falls on the Sunday. Now there are many biking couples out there, but ‘other halves’ not so integrated with the biking world would probably not appreciate spending the day on their own while their husbands/wives/BF/GF (delete as applicable) spend their day with their other, one true love – bikes! Not that we necessarily agree…

Honda stand at Excel London Bike Show 2016
The Honda stand at Excel London Bike Show 2016

As for our franchises, the Honda stand was swarming with folks clambering to get a look/sit on the awesome new Africa Twin (launched earlier this year). Also on show was the 2016 ‘TT Edition’ CBR1000RR Fireblade, the new NC750X and NC750S. There was a 1990s Africa Twin for comparison with the new one as well as an MSX125 with Snap-On branded decals, now we’re not sure if the MSX will make it into production, but it’s an interesting cosmetic step for a very popular bike from 2015.

Suzuki stand at Excel London Bike Show 2016
The Suzuki stand at Excel London Bike Show 2016

A stones throw across the hall was Suzuki’s stand with the GSX-R1000 L7 Concept and new SV650 with the red ‘number 7’ (we assume is Barry Sheen inspired) concept on show. There was a 1985 GSX-R (aka Slabby) down there alongside an XR69 replica to highlight the heritage of Suzuki. It was also the first time we’d seen the GSR750 in the MotoGP colour-scheme with all the Yoshimura accessories – which looked very decent and we’re sure will sell well in the spring when they make it into the showroom.

The manufacturers surrounded the regular attractions in the centre, a slide track and a Joey Dunlop museum. There was a room of Dunlop’s race leathers, trophies, lids and other memorabilia; then adjacent was a cinema screen playing a short film about the man himself. All flanked by four of his race machines from different seasons – definitely worth a look if you are going down.

The finale on the slide track in the centre of the arena was led by Carl Fogarty testing the traction control on the new Triumph. The main event so to speak was the speedway/flat track event including John McGuinness and John Reynolds, which was ultimately won by Reynolds who commented (to cheers) that he hadn’t raced since retiring in 2005.

That’s just a snapshot from our perspective, but there was absolutely everything else you’d expect down there. If you are going down on Sunday, Mike will be on the Suzuki stand, why not pop down and say hello!