The NEC Bike Show provided an interesting, if expensive, hour and a half’s entertainment this morning. It was busy despite the downturn and despite it being Wednesday: people are still looking for a dream. The atmosphere was deliciously politically incorrect, with preposterous bikes and no shortage of models in lycra.
Buell‘s bikes remain radical, with their Harley engines in sporty frames, their perimeter brakes and their belt drives:
The Chinese manufacturer Hyosung must scare the established players: their bikes are blisteringly cheap while at least looking quite good.
Follow the links from the photos for some other bikes of interest.
Politically, the Bike Show was encouraging. Despite New Labour’s best attempts at social engineering, men are still men, bikes are getting faster and scantily-clad women still seem to be acceptable. How long it can last, I don’t know. The only justification for the BMW K1300S and K1300R, for example, can be marketing: one thing the K1200S certainly did not lack was acceleration. It didn’t need more power and a short-shifter (which enables you to change up at full power without the clutch); it was already a missile, which was why mine had to go.
So what do we learn? You can’t stop people wanting a little freedom and excitement, however much you may try. I suppose, however, that returning to 85th percentile speed limits would be too much to ask.