Sunday, 10 February 2019

10/02/19 - NI Motorcycle Festival

Myself and Fintan took a trip up to the Eikon Centre in Lisburn for the NI Motorcycle Festival with the thought that its good to keep an eye on what's on offer to the current generation of bikers. It's 8 years since I sold my last bike, a 1983 CX 500 Eurosport. However , I was drooling at the mouth when I laid eyes on the new Suzuki Katana, it cut me like a knife ( pun intended ) . I'd seen photos of the bike over the past few months but they don't do it justice. I know Suzuki are just raiding the parts bins and building a bike around a softened GSXR1000 engine, but they did a fantastic job. It's every bit as much of a head turner as the original machine that was launched in 1981.

The only problem was that I'd already fallen in lust with an absolutely mint 1995 Honda NSR250R SP Repsol (MC28) before seeing the Katana. The bike was taken out of its crate when new and assembled with the road fairing kit. The race fairing kit is still wrapped in paper. It gets the oil and water changed every 3 months and is fired up to stretch the seals etc. The owner recently turned down an offer in excess of 30K for it.

The bike is in brand new condition as it has never been ridden on road or track. 

Check out the odometer - 0km

The bike used an innovative electronic swipe card system for starting it.
It stored the engine management system settings and there were 3 different types available. The most popular one was for the stock road bike settings, but there were 2 racing cards available from HRC. The bike couldn't be started with either of the HRC cards unless the HRC wiring loom was fitted, but it didn't have any provision for road riding equipment like lights, indicators etc. So it was a track only option, calm down......

Next up was a visit to the NW200 stand to have a look at Derek Shiels' new bike.

No trip to a motorcyle show would be complete without having a look at some machinery that was raced by the various members of the Dunlop dynasty. As usual there were plenty of machines that were raced by Yer Maun back in the day. Some of Joey's most memorable bikes were on different stands dotted around the show.

In a painful reminder of the loss of his nephew William last year, the Tyco Suzuki that he took many wins with in 2015 was on display. The bike had been used by Derek Shiels since then but has been restored back to it's original condition.

Also on display was the Tyco BMW HP4 that was built for Michael Dunlop but as far as I know he didn't race it. 

It's a good job this photo is out of focus because you can't see my buddie's bald spot...

There was some lovely machinery on display from the 70s / 80s, enough to keep me stepping on my tongue as I walked around the hall anyway.

I was impressed with the kit for transporting bikes.
The beast that is the Kawasaki H2 in all it's disguises attracted a lot of attention, understandably. 
This was 'only' a ZX10

It doesn't matter whether it's 2 wheels or 4, you can't beat a bit of Italian sexotica....
Apart from when you can't pass a filling station

There were some fantastic superbikes on display on different stands as well

How many of us got our first taste of motorcycling on a 'Nifty Fifty'. Quite a few if you look at Honda's cumulative production figures for the Super Cub series which was designed by Sochiro Honda himself and has been on sale since 1958. Over 100 million of them have been produced since then and Honda launched the Super Cub C125 to commemorate it. It is the first vehicle to be awarded a 3 dimensional trademark in Japan. I don't know what that means either...

How crazy is this bike from Yamaha? I'm not even going to try to describe it! The Niken is about as crazy a bike that the world needs right now. Yamaha claim there is 40% extra grip available due to the innovative and highly unusual front end.

I thought this was nostalgic, I'm not talking about the poser, until I saw the Katana.
There were some real cool motors on the BMW stand but it was the retro ones that caught my eye.

The Triumph stand was full of a wide variety of eye candy

We had an AJS ( Ah Jaysis Start ) back in the day and were impressed to find that the make is still in production but it's in name only. The bikes are manufactured in China now. 
The eternal engineer was checking out the design work on some of the other Chinese brands that were on display.
I wonder which bike manufacturer was using this truck?
I bet we all know a little devil that would love one of these monkey bikes...

I'm not sure if I mentioned the Katana that was at the show...

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