2015 Scottish Motorcycle Show

This years Scottish Motorcycle show was held at the Royal Highland Centre with most of the manufacturers displaying the latest models. Yamaha had the new bikes on display including the new XJR1300 & XJR1300 racer.

also on display was the V-max (celebrating 30 years) and looking mean, the excellent custom styled XV950 R, a special edition MT-09 the new R1-M, and a custom version of the XV950.

A nice collection of old Ducati’s got my camera clicking

Other bikes that stood out were the Honda VFR, Kawasaki Ninja H2 and a Rather nice customised Harley forty eight.

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Motorcycle Live 2013

This was my second trip to the motorcycle show at Birmingham NEC, I had a few bike I was looking at, as I’m considering changing my bike soon. All the manufacturers had the latest bikes on show, some for you to try out and some for you to look at.

At the Honda stand i was looking forward to see the new VFR 800, this was a bike near the top of my shopping list, well, the now “old” model is. The new VFR 800 has reverted back to the looks of pre 2002 models, the exhaust has returned back down to the side of the back tyre, I rather liked the under seat exhaust system the previous model supported. I also got to see the CTX1300 which seems to be the pan european version of the F6B, just as ugly in real life, as it is in images on the net. It reminds me of the Honda DN-01. The VFR 1200 is unchanged, I was also interested in this bike, but sitting on it, i felt it to be quite a sporty seating position, for a sports tourer. They have also produced a new take on the Monkey bike, a half sized mini bike called MSX125, strangely appealing and look great fun, not for the long journeys though.

Yamaha had the MT-09 at centre stage this year, this seems to be like a flagship model for them. and lot’s of manufacturers are releasing this “street” style of bike, so it’s turning into a tough competition. The bike that caught my eye was the custom style XV950 and XV950R. Yamaha have upped the stakes on the custom market, these are some of the best looking custom bikes I have seen coming onto the market.

At the triumph stand, the rocket 3 was hogging the stage, every other bike seems small in comparison when sitting on this bike, and that wasn’t even the touring edition, which seems to be larger. I got a sense of the acceleration this thing can produce and it wasn’t even moving. Also on show were the numerous classic style bikes the Bonneville and Scrambler still have desirable 60’s looks, that outclass many new designs.

Ducati always impress with their unique designs, even if they were to just show up with the classics of yesterday, their stand would still be packed, luckily they had some new monsters on show, the new model has some similarities to the Diavel, which is a good thing as the diavel is a good looking bike, the monster seems to have that same “brute force” look to it. And, just to keep you salivating, they also had a mat black 1199 Panigale, (i’m sure it’s to make it invisible to radar).

Kawasaki have a few upgrades, as I’m almost positive the green paint they use was extra vibrant last year, and this year the volume was all the way up to 20. The ZZR1400 has had a few tweaks, and still looks good with the GREEN Claw marks on the side. Not a lot to report from Kawazaki, there range is impressive but nothing stood out. Suzuki also seemed to suffer from this problem. A new Hayabusa that has not changed much from the previous version except from the colour scheme, which is quite nice. The new V-storm is also a nice looking bike, but all manufacturers these days seem to base the design of adventure bike on the multistrada and R1200.

BMW had a nice display of past bikes, got to see the long way round and long way down bike as well as some classic race models, they had a K1on display, one of the best looking bikes of yester-year. The C1 was there, but not sure of it’s place in motorcycle history. The BMW tourers were impressive, especially with the angel eye headlights, not to mention the comfort, you kind of get an idea where your extra ££££’s go. The R nine T is just as nice in real life as it is in pictures. Plus the new toys you can get for the K1600 are good enough to keep you on your bike even when your parked up in the garage.

Motoguzzi are quite like triumph, in the way that they can bring out bikes that take the style of 1960’s and don’t look out of place in 2014’s market. The standout bike was the V7 Racer, chrome tank and red frame with race style numbers plastered all over it, It was a cafe racers dream bike. The new Californai was also eye catching, but it hasn’t changed much since the last model, sill a head turner though.

Ninja

Ninja
In 1984 kawasaki released the GPZ900R, it won bike of the year and became the worlds fastest bike with a top speed of over 250km/h. It was also the first kawasaki to carry the name “ninja”. After the success of the GPZ900R kawasaki released the 600cc version, which became a best seller, and was one of the first 600cc supersports. In 1986 they changed from GPZ to ZX but that didn’t change the ground breaking performance. For decades kawasaki have been setting the bar for performance. Their bikes may have changed shape, design, colour and engine size but the “ninjas” still remain the flagship sports models of kawasaki. The current line up is more versatile than ever, with 5 models ranging from a 300, for A2 licence holders to the flagship ZX-10R. And one thing is for sure, they’re green and stand out in a crowd.

 

Yamaha MT-09

MT09

Yamaha made a big announcement about a new bike that would be a new concept in sports bike design. As the biker world looked on to see what Yamaha were going to show us, we were reminded of some of Yamaha’s other revolutionary bike releases. The R1, V-max and eh! hmmmm! I’m sure there is more. So, expecting to see something that would be consider revolutionary , we were treated to …the MT-09… Is that it?

The first thing I done, was go to the yamaha bike page and compared it to the current line up, yip, it looks the same as most of the range. It could have been a new addition to the XJ or FZ series. It comes with a new high-torque 3-cylinder engine, 3-cylinder, thats what triumph have been using for years, hardly revolutionary. The engine is a 850cc that produces 115hp. Yamaha made this bike light and gave it a lot of torque that promises fun with a twist of the throttle.

I don’t think anything on this bike is going to set the biking world into meltdown. It’s aimed at the European market and has a competitive price of £6,799. It goes up against bikes like the Honda CB1000R £9,499,the Kawazaki Z1000 £9,099the Suzuki GSR750 £6,999 and not forgetting the Ducati Hypermotard £9,950

All the above bikes promise, lot’s of power, mountains of torque, all put into a naked style street bike, yamaha, might be a little bit late to the party they thought they were hosting.

Luggage Space

suitcase bike stickers
Not to be confused with the large number of sports tourers out there, these bikes are not just sports bikes with panniers and a top box plopped on it. These bikes are built from the ground up, for touring.  An up-right seating position, big screen, built in panniers and a large, powerful engine are all included, not to mention comfortable for those journeys that swallow up the miles. They have a wide range, with most manufacturers having one or two models to choose from, and they mostly include some nice new toys with the latest models. Here are a small selection of some tourers:

 

Honda ST1300 Pan European   £14,299

Yamaha FJR1300A   £13,499

Kawazaki 1400GTR   £13,699

BMW K 1600 GT   £15,740

Triumph Trophy   £12,949

Japanese Supersport

Not to be outdone by the Europeans, the Japanese bike manufacturers also “up-the-anti” when it comes to producing Supersports bikes. The “big four”, Honda, Kawazaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, all put the latest tech and experience into the design of these bike to make them perform to the red line. The design of these bikes get crazier every year, but it’s all about the performance.
jap supersport
(Left to Right)
Engine: 999cc producing 175hp, Top Speed: 180mph, £12,000
Engine: 999cc producing 182hp, Top Speed: 186mph, £10,999
Engine: 998cc producing 179.6hp, Top Speed: 176.7mph, £11,999
Engine: 998cc producing 197 hp, Top Speed: 189mph, £12,199

Alternative Custom

Alt Custom
If your looking for a custom style bike and want to be different from the offerings of Harley and Victory, other manufactures offer a range of cruisers that come with all the trimmings, chrome, low riding positions, big V-Twin engine and a huge range of accessories. Here is a range of entry-level cruisers from non American manufacturers.
Suzuki Intruder C800, £6,690, 805cc V-Twin
Triumph America, £7,030, 865cc Parallel-Twin
Honda VT750C Shadow, £7,300, 745cc V-Twin
Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star, £6,995, 942cc V-Twin
Kawazaki VN900 Custom, £7,299, 903cc V-Twin

Kawasaki ZZR1400 Special Edition

Kawasaki ZZR1400 Special Edition

Kawasaki ZZR1400 Special Edition

Seen this at Motorcycle Live. I think it was the most admired bike there. It’s the only bike I had to wait to get a seat on, and the styling of this bike is amazing. It’s Kawasaki’s flagship model and costs £11,899, features include ABS, Power Mode Selection, Strong Shorter-geared Transmission , 3-Mode Traction Control and lots of other toys. You can find full details at http://www.kawasaki.co.uk/ZZR1400SpecialEdition