Making short work of the sub-three hour journey, we got to the show just after it opened and immediately I could tell it was a vast improvement over previous versions. Walking through the entrance you were greeted by an amazing display of Grand Prix bikes and that set a nice positive tone for the event.
In the middle of the show was the Thunderdrome, a short oval track where a range of pros, including Carl Fogerty, Ruben Xaus and Neil Hodgson would race against each other during the day. I have to say I liked this feature, not because I wanted to see a few quality riders muck about on tiny little bikes, but because it meant the crowds were drawn there, clearing a bit of space around the rest of the show.
As expected, probably the best stand was Kawasaki. They always seem to put in that extra level of effort with their stands. This year their stand resembled a retro record shop, with their new Z900rs sat in the middle on a revolving turntable record player. You can see from the below, this bike was getting a great deal of interest and it really is a beautiful bike.
BMW had their stunning HP4 Race on display and with the benefit of being displayed away from greasy hands, the carbon was glinting under the show lights, adding something a little extra to this rare piece of exotica.
Overall, the show was well worth the drive and both Dean and I took advantage of a ticket offer to visit the Classic car show next door for a brief walk around. If you don't get a chance to head to the NEC, the London show has proved itself to be a worthy companion having grown out of previous year's disappointment.