2008 NEC Show highlights

More than motorcycles

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 03, 2008
Throughout the year there are many motorcycle shows that simply cannot be missed -whether you happen to be an avid enthusiast or keen journalist looking to cover newsworthy events, it’s a no-brainer. For many, this is not the case when it comes to the Carole Nash Motorcycle and Scooter Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England. Apart from the expensive accommodations, many people decide to avoid this show in favor of spending a quiet weekend at home for a number of reasons. This is likely to be primarily, if not exclusively, due to the fact that the show lacks the premieres and unveilings of new bikes found at such European shows as Intermot and EICMA.

While such bikes as the BMW S1000RR, unveiled by World Superbike star Ruben Xaus, Ducati Streetfighter and Suzuki Gladius, were all inaugural unveilings to the UK public, they were old hat for anyone with a computer and access to the Internet. Regardless of whether or not there was something completely new that you have yet to see at the show, there is inevitably a star-studded display of new-for-2009 bikes that you may not have had the chance to see in the flesh. This may seem like yesterday’s news, but this year has seen the release of some pretty incredible bikes, like the Triumph 675 Daytona, YZF-R1, Kawasaki ZX-6R, Buell 1125CR and F800R – just to name a few.

While his buddy Ewan McGregor gets to fly spaceships in a galaxy far far away, Charley Boorman settles for a ride fit for the streets of Gotham.

Plus, there were plenty of bikini-clad biker babes in attendance and a number of celebrities on hand to create a buzz around the show. Since when were motorcycle shows only about bikes anyhow? Opening day included the youngest ever GP winner Scott Redding taking on James Whitham at the Show’s mini-moto circuit but perhaps the biggest draw of the show was a bike that you will likely never even get to sit on – the Batman Batpod. Celebrity motorcycle explorer Charley Boorman made an appearance to test out the bike that most of us would kill to ride, but will admittedly never get the chance.

The Carole Nash Motorcycle & Scooter Show continues until Dec. 7 at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

Show visitors will also have the chance to bid on a replica of the ‘stormtrooper’ helmet worn by the late Craig Jones in an auction. The original helmet made headlines across Europe after it was stolen and put up for sale on eBay shortly after Craig’s death at Brands Hatch in August.

Back by popular demand from last year’s show, The Wall of Death is an 18 foot high cylindrical wall where performers ride around the inside of the wall on vintage “Indian” motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson announced a new series that will support the 2009 British Superbike Championship with race-prepared XR1200s, while The Isle of Man TT organizers confirmed that the 2009 TT event will follow a first ever Championship series format and increased factory support from race teams. Now in its 20th year at the Birmingham NEC, the Motorcycle and Scooter Show, which runs until Dec. 7, is still a show worth checking out.