International Motorcycle Show, NEC, Birmingham (0121-780 3195) to 5 NovReuse content
If the names Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Laverda make you want to slip straight into your leathers, boots and wraparound shades, then there can be only one destination for you this weekend - the International Motorcycle Show at the NEC, Birmingham. And if you turn up on a motorbike, you can park bike and helmet for free. Once inside, there's a feast of two-wheelers, from supersports bikes, custom machines and luxury tourers to mopeds and moto crossers. This year, there will be about 50 new launches, with no fewer than nine new or revised models from Yamaha alone. If it's pure luxury you're after, then head for the BMW stand to check out their "tourer of the future", the R1100 RT. Complete with electrically-adjustable windscreen, warm air supply to the handlebars and anti-lock braking, you'll hardly notice that you've left the comfort of your armchair. For the wind-in- your-hair purists, however, goggles will be focused on the new releases from Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Laverda and the eagerly awaited Suzuki GSX-R750 (below). Also new to this year's show is a dedicated information stand for those slightly confused as to the advantages of "a new slant-block engine running in a short-wheelbase chassis", as on the new Yamaha 1000cc Thunder Ace. "Take to Two Wheels" will act as a one-stop shop for frustrated pillion passengers, with fully-qualified instructors on hand with the latest tips.