April's arrived....Spring is in the air and it's time for thinking about a new season's motorcycling and checking out what's new on the bike scene - and where better to do that, than at the Carole Nash Scottish Motorcycle Show, the biggest and best motorbike show north of Hadrian's Wall.
The venue again for this year's two wheeled feast is the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April. The original dates were scheduled for early March but the Show had to be cancelled as the "Beast from the East" struck with a vengence and put most of Central Scotland under a "red alert" snow warning.
It's our "home show" so we'll be busy packing the Red Torpedo "stealth" wagon with loads of good gear and heading over to Ingliston for the weekend. The Scottish Bike Show is always a great day out for the whole family with loads to see and do - plus under 12s go free! It's packed with all the new bikes, a huge display of magnificent classics, a brilliant retail village with top biking gear and accessories, celebrities from the world of motorcycling, (including one of the greatest road racers in the world), fantastic non stop live stunt riding action, Honda's My First Licence for the kids - and much more!
New Motorcycles for 2018/19
Nearly all the major bike manufacturers will be in attendance showcasing their new metal to Scottish bike fans. The "Big Four" Japanese goliaths - Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki - will all be there plus Euro giants Ducati, (expect a V4 frenzy), KTM, (look out for the new 790), Triumph and smaller players CCM and Husqvarna. From the USA there'll be the earth shattering V-twin rumble of Harley Davidson and Indian - (FTR1200 concept bike?) Only BMW, Moto Guzzi and Norton look conspicuous by their absence. Further exhibitors may be confirmed nearer the opening date. So, whether you're looking for a new £20k V4 210 bhp superbike, a commuter bike to beat the train queues or a starter bike to get you into motorcycling, this is where to get a feel (and a seat on!) all the latest models. In addition, Michael Dunlop's Senior TT winning GSX-R1000 will be at the Show.
Gear / retail village
The retail area is always buzzing with show goers on the lookout for a top one-off show bargain. Dealers will be punting their gear in both "performance" and "lifestyle" bike wear and if you're keen to add a bit of an edge to your own bike, there'll be an extensive range of aftermarket parts - from performance 'cans,' fairings and screens, to hard and soft luggage and tyres. Red Torpedo will be on stand H176 in the Highland Hall - so drop by and say hello to Kenny and the team. They'll have loads of one-off discounted deals on the go especially for the Show. Unfortunately, they won't have the incomparable Guy Martin on the stand ... that would be a show stopper - but they'll probably have this tee shirt he's wearing in the photo! Oooph.....
Guy Martin - and a load of tyres.
The "Classic Bike" magazine hall will showcase Scotland's largest collection of classic motorcycles drawn from over the past eight decades. Members from over forty classic bike clubs will be proudly displaying their finest classics (and empty Solvol Autosol tubes!) - so there will be literally hundreds of pristine classic bikes to reminisce and ogle over.
Celebrity Biking Legends
There are always some really cracking biking celebrities lined up for the Scottish Show - so we've absolutely no idea what's gone wrong this year. No... there are two great racing legends who'll all be chewing the cud on the Knockhill Stage plus for the re-scheduled show, road racing 'royalty' is paying a visit in the form of 14 times TT winner Ian Hutchinson. Hutchy will be attending the Show on both Saturday and Sunday - so don't miss this opportunity to meet and speak to one of the greatest road racers of the modern era.
The Knockhill Stage is where the celebrity interviews, announcements, competitions, quizes and general "show banter" will take place. (No kareoke this year though). First up is ex GP and Isle of Man TT racer Alex George. A proud Glaswegian, Alex rode on the GP circuits in the 70s and podiumed three times with several other top six finishes in 500cc, 350cc and 250cc GPs. He was a class act on the roads too bagging three Isle of Man TTs with his finest win being the Classic TT race of 1979 - when he triumphed over none other than the mighty Mike Hailwood by 3.4 seconds riding a Honda Britain. Alex will be supported by another racing great - Niall Mackenzie - ex 3 times consecutive British Superbike Champion, GP racer and Father of racing brothers Taylor and Tarran, who are both British champions in their own rights (Superstock and Supersport respectively).
Live Stunt Shows
The Scottish Motorcycle Show has invariably played host to top stunt riders - like UK, European and World stunt champion Kevin Carmichael. Kevin can't make the show this year but nevertheless, the organisers have lined up non stop live action over the two days in the form of the Scottish Stunt Championship. This will bring together the best British and Irish stunt riders in one arena to trade their top "shapes and moves" in a bid to become the 2018 Scottish Stunt Freestyle Champion. Other entertainment lined up for the event includes five times world record holder James Dylan's FMX Stunt Show.
Essential Show Information
Where and when: Royal Highland Centre, Ingilston, Edinburgh EH28 8NB - adjacent to Edinburgh Airport and the A8. Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th April, 9.00am - 5.00pm.
Prices: adults £13.00 advance booking or £17.00 at the door. Under 12s go free accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets at: www.scottishmotorcycleshow.com
Parking at the venue: cars £5.00, motorcycles free - (secure helmet storage available).
(Photography: Red Torpedo)