Published on November 24th, 2015 | by Boris
2015 SYDNEY MOTORCYCLE SHOW – TIME TO SHINE
It was great and glorious relief not to have “work” a stand at the motorcycle show this year.
My feet were grateful, as was my digestive system. There’s only so many gozleme and gourmet hot dogs (really?) a man can eat before passing from this world in a welter of impacted colon-content.
Instead, I attended as a member of the “press”, which I suppose I am, though I make no pretence to journalism.
This year the show was being run by Troy Bayliss Enterprises, and the great man himself was in attendance. He did not recall our brief meeting in the Gardner Straight toilets at Phillip Island scant minutes before Round Two of the 2000-and-something WSBK race. Or maybe he did. Either way, we did not speak of it.
Which was just as well. The pre-start wee-wee habits of world champion motorcycle racers is no-one’s business but theirs.
What was everyone’s business was the announcement that Troy Bayliss Enterprises is now in partnership with a reinvigorated Motorcycling Australia, and will be running a brand-new national motorcycle-racing series for the next three years. Troy will be fielding a factory Ducati team in conjunction with Ben Henry’s Cube Racing, which will now be known as DesmoSport Ducati Corse. 2015 ASBK Champion 21-year-old Mike Jones will be the pilot, and there are rumours that Troy himself may saddle up.
For me, the show began during the Press Walk.
This is when the media moves from stand to stand and is smilingly received by the manufacturer, and introduced to the latest models that have made their way to Australia. This year’s show followed mere days after the EICMA extravaganza in Italy, which is the traditional release expo for new models. So we got a few new bikes in Sydney, but not all of them.
Which was bitter-sweet.
It was also bitter-sweet to share the Press Walk with the general public for the first time. My bitterness with the public did not cease until the Press Walk was over, and then it was sweet.
So what caught my eye? What were the stand-out, drool-inducing, shut-up-and-take-my-money motorcycles?
There were a couple, actually…
Triumph’s 1200cc Thruxton S was simply stunning – a vision in silver paint, classic clip-ons, Brembos and Öhlins gold. The new black T120 Bonneville and the Street Twin also looked pretty fine. But I really dug the mental-looking drag-racing/salt-lake-drinking beast Triumph had ticked off to one side.
Yamaha offered up some fancy café racing metal with its XSR900, and also brought every wondrous thing Yamaha makes (motorcycling and non-motorcycling) to the show, occupying vast swathes of real-estate both inside and outside the main hall.
Sadly, the bike everyone wanted to see from Yamaha in the flesh, the MT-10, was still at EICMA.
To compensate, it brought stunt-monster Dave McKenna, who then stunted himself into hospital during his opening show when his big-toe bone came out to say hello to the world. This left Lukey Luke to carry the stunt-load all by himself, which Lukey did without going to hospital, so I can only surmise he wasn’t trying as hard as Dave was.
Indian came out swinging with two customised Scouts, some new paint for the Chieftains, and it also launched its Indian Motorcycle Riders Group.
Harley had its new Softails S range there, which I had ridden just the other week (and which you can read HERE), and a killer Blackline that had been customised from the catalogue. It also had Pepper, the monstrous 120-cube salt-flat hell-hog out the back, and Marcus from H-D would fire it up now and again and people’s ears would explode.
Suzuki had its snazzy new SV650 spinning around on a podium, the RMZ250, and a slate-grey Boulevarde I liked very much. But the big news at Suzuki was that Todd Waters had signed to race for them in the coming season.
Ducati moved heaven and earth to bring its new Diavel X and Multistrada to Sydney and the crowd was most appreciative. I am sure Ducati was pleased it had bolted the Diavel to the ground and had the Multistrada on a podium beyond the reach of hot-scissors action by the public.
Kawasaki had a few new models, but all anyone wanted to gawk at was the new ZX10, and I do not blame them. Unlike the H2 and the H2R, this is the production superbike the Greenbloods have been howling for. If I get a crack on it, I’ll let you know if it’s what it certainly looks like it might be.
Moto Guzzi and Aprilia had every single model available for sitting on, but it had launched the RSV4R, the Tuono RR, the Audace and the Eldorado some months ago, so there was nothing to unveil. The Tuono RR still does it for me in so many ways, which you will remember I wrote about HERE.
BMW had its new LAMS bike, and had added yet more mid-spec bikes to its fabulous GS-range, as well as a neat-looking scrambler.
I spent a lot of time at the MV Agusta stand. But I always do that. They remain, for me, the most stunning bikes on earth. I just like to look at them. Yes, they’re great to ride and all that, but it’s their physical appearance that takes my breath away. I followed David, the local Sydney dealer (Mototechnica), around like a panting dog. He eventually agreed to let me have a Dragster for a few days and I agreed to stop whining at him. It worked out alright, I reckon.
It was also great to catch up with the good folks at Held, Kreiga, Innotesco, Bike Skate and the National Motorcycle Alliance – purveyors of top-notch gear and in the Alliance’s case, the only motorcycle representation worthy of the name.
What was not good?
No Honda and no KTM.
No, I do not know why and I won’t speculate.
In their place there was a chamois salesman and boot-cleaners. And some strange old people selling Jesus and SMIDSY – none of which I had any truck with because all of it made my skin crawl.
And I would prefer my goosebumps to come from the promo girls, of which there were many and of a high quality.
And there was a pub nearby.
So it went alright.
To Trevor Hedge at MCNews. He’s got lots more great pics on his MCNews site HERE.