You know that the riding season is just around the corner when the annual Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show pitches up at the ExCeL Centre and if you haven’t booked tickets for this weekend’s extravaganza then don’t worry – you can still rock up and pay on the door.
This year’s event is being billed as the biggest ever, and with good reason. It literally is an A to Z of motorcycling, with all the major manufacturers at the event – from Aprilia to Zero – but the show is much, much more than a giant motorbike showroom.
The allure of the London show has always been the ability to get up close and personal with motorcycling royalty, rare classic bikes and exotic race machines, the likes of which only the experts at MCN are able to source.
As always, the halls will be dominated by a live arena and this year sees a new race attraction called the Michelin Thunderdrome, a banked, 1920s style, boardtrack arena where superbike legend Carl Fogarty will face off against old rivals Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus, Chris Walker and James Whitham, as well as current British superbike stars Richard Cooper and Lee Jackson. Race fans will also be well catered for with regular startups of the howling Triumph Moto2 engine, that will be adopted in the intermediate Grand Prix class from 2019 (don’t forget the earplugs!) and a collection of seven world title winning factory 500cc and MotoGP bikes, from Freddie Spencer’s 1983 Honda RS500 to the RC213V that powered Marc Marquez to glory last season.
With injury ruling him out of the live racing arena, Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness will be landlord of his own pop up pub, The Cockle Pickers Arms, where he will be pulling pints and telling tales as only he can. It will be the 23-time TT winner’s first public appearance since announcing that he will race for Norton at this year’s TT festival, so why not go along and ask him about his hopes for the year ahead in person?
But it’s not just racing fans that will be well catered for in London. The show has proven to be a mecca for classic bike enthusiasts and clubs showing off their cherished machines. This year’s ‘Barn Finds’ feature will showcase some of the country’s best lovingly restored machines, while auction house Coys of Kensington will hold an auction of rare machines on Saturday, which includes Hollywood star Brad Pitt’s custom Triumph Bonneville. The bike, listed as ‘formerly the property of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’ is a tribute to legendary stunt performer Bud Ekins and carries an estimate of between £20-30,000.
And don’t forget to come along to the Carole Nash stand to pick up some free swag and peruse some of the cool bikes we’ve got lined up. Bike parking is free, as is entry for under 15s, and the show runs from Friday (February 16) to Sunday. Visit www.mcnmotorcycleshow.com to pre book your tickets.