Motorcycle Live 2014

I took the day off on Friday and aimed the car in the direction of Motorcycle Live with Andy. We were both hoping the combination of it being a weekday and ‘Black Friday’ would mean It’d be less busy. Nope! It was absolutely rammed! Fail.

The main bikes on the agenda were the new Yamaha R1, the Kawasaki H2 and H2R, the new Ducatis and the new Ninjas. Anything cool we found aside from these would be a bonus.

It was tough getting good photos unless you were happy being the, “everyone back away from the bike so I can get a good shot” guy. I’m not that guy, but mostly down to patience I managed to snap a few decent shots of the nicer bikes. If they weren’t worth waiting for, they didn’t get a photo.

First bonus bike of the day was the Triumph custom “TFC2” Scrambler. I absolutely LOVE this bike!

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One of two bikes that came to be as the result of a Triumph custom factory build-off, both starting life as brand new Bonnevilles. The other bike was the “TFC1” Bobber, which actually came out on top in their online voting but the scrambler is the winner for me.

Then we found the Ducati stand. I don’t think they’ve got a single ugly bike in their 2015 line up but the 899 Panigale was my personal favourite. In fact, of all the bikes at the show this is probably the one I’d most like to actually own. Pearlescent white with red wheels, “yes please!!”

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The 899 and 1299 Panigales were drawing a lot of attention, but there were still large puddles of drool around the perimeter of the revolving Panigale R display too…

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Kawasaki brought along some really cool stuff, from crazy concepts that looked like they were powered by Dyson vacuum cleaners, through their range of super-evil looking sports bikes to the new 30th anniversary edition Ninjas. They really know how to put together a mean looking bike, the ultimate example of this being the new H2 and H2R.

Now don’t get too mad, but the H2R stand was swamped, so I didn’t get a decent photo. But I did get a nice collection of H2 shots…

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As much as I can appreciate what a great piece of engineering it is, and how insanely evil it looks (it could be Megatron’s little sister) I don’t think I’d actually want to buy one.

The H2R has some rather nice looking carbon fairing and overall looks pretty badass (technical term), but the H2 seems to have a lot more of the black chrome finish paint. I feel like it cheapens the look of the bike. Matte black plastics would have probably looked much better and definitely have been cheaper.

The H2 and H2R are both special bikes, just not bikes I’d want to spend my money on instead of maybe a Ducati and a custom project. Luckily it’s not a choice I’ll be burdened with given that I can’t afford either of them anyway.

Back over to the Yamaha stand and the new R1 was pulling in some crowds. Listening to what most people had to say about it, it seems the headlights were the main point of contention. I think it looks like a hamster with projector headlamp cheeks. It’s so close to looking great, but the lights really let it down.

It was too overrun to get a good shot of the whole bike, but the R6 was pretty much deserted…

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Admittedly, not the most attractive angle but still clearly a much prettier front end than the R1. Maybe the new R1 will grow on me and maybe I’m alone in thinking it’s not all that nice. It seems like people universally hated the look of the previous generation R1, but I really like those!

My guilty pleasure of the show was this custom Suzuki 1250 bandit ‘Fat Mile’…

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I’ve never really been into Suzukis, but there’s something about this bike that makes me think you’d have a beaming smile on your face every second you rode it. It just looks like it’d be a load of fun.

And that’s it. Motorcycle Live 2014: Done.

// Matt

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