New bike launch sea­son is upon us. Why not go see them for your­self?


EICMA – Mi­lan, Italy

Dates: 8 11 Nov, 2018 Tick­ets: £14, EICMA is the big­gest mo­tor­cy­cle expo on Earth. In fact, it can be be­wil­der­ingly mas­sive. Man­u­fac­tur­ers ex­hi­bi­tion spa­ces are huge and elab­o­rate two-level con­struc­tions packed with new bikes, clas­sics, cof­fee ma­chines, foos­ball ta­bles, vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ences and more… And then there are the Ital­ian ex­hibitors such as scooter race part man­u­fac­turer Malossi who show chaotic scooter rac­ing high­lights on a big screen and Ter­mignoni whose stand is made of ex­haust pip­ing. Cram in thou­sands of vis­i­tors from all over Europe and the re­sult is may­hem. Wear com­fort­able shoes. If you want to see ev­ery­thing you’ll have to walk about ten miles per day, over two days. Our rec­om­mended strat­egy would be to plan noth­ing for the first day and in­stead al­low your­self to be led by the nose, then take in the live events at the Moto Live sta­dium on the sec­ond. Book tick­ets early. Buy­ing them on­line ( costs £14 be­fore 1 Oc­to­ber, £17 af­ter. On the door it’s £20. EICMA hap­pens at Rho Fiera, a hu­mon­gous expo area on the north-west out­skirts of Mi­lan. Close prox­im­ity ho­tels are £100+ per night but get book up quickly. Al­ter­na­tively, an en­tire Mi­lanese flat on costs £60 per night. Or book into one of Mi­lan’s many ho­tels: Ho­tel Rit­ter is £80 per night and just 180 me­tres from Moscova Metro (two line changes to Rho Fiera). It’s a long walk to EICMA from the Rho Fiera Metro. In fact, the expo cen­tre is so big it’s a fif­teen minute walk from the Metro exit at the east gate to the west halls. Driv­ing or rid­ing? Fol­low signs for P1, P2 or P5 – these are the park­ing zones clos­est to the show. On a mo­tor­cy­cle? Do what the Ital­ians do, even if it means hop­ping a kerb. There are sep­a­rate en­trances at each of the six halls, so make a note of which cloak­room you dropped your kit off at.

INTERMOT – Cologne, Ger­many

Dates: 3 7 Oct, 2018 Tick­ets: £12, Ger­many’s mo­tor­cy­cling ex­trav­a­ganza cranks up once ev­ery two years, but that’s not to say it’s small. There are five halls stuffed with mo­tor­bikes and com­pa­nies who make bits for mo­tor­bikes and it all sits on the banks of the River Rhine within Cologne’s city lim­its. Intermot’s num­bers are big with 1000 com­pa­nies signed up to ex­hibit and 220,000 vis­i­tors ex­pected. There’s also a test track where you can ride the lat­est mod­els from ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers. This show is one for BMW fans be­cause the Bavar­i­ans tend to use it to launch key mo­tor­bikes: the S1000RR in 2008 and 2013’s wa­ter-cooled R1200GS for ex­am­ple. It’s a good bet they’ll re­veal the R1250GS and new S1000RR here this year.

No need for pub­lic trans­port, just walk from your ho­tel to Koel­n­messe, Intermot’s venue. It’ll take 30 min­utes on foot from a city-cen­tre ho­tel such as the Ci­ty­class Ho­tel (£108 per night mid­week). Keep things cheap at the Penny Pincher Inn (£23.50 per bunk per night) and you’ll be

even closer to the expo. Look­ing for se­cure park­ing? Try the Con­tipark next to the Kol­ner Phil­har­monie con­cert hall. It’s con­ve­nient for the cen­tre of town and costs £15 per 24hrs.

Tick­ets are £12/day be­fore 2 Oct, and £16 on the door. Go to tick­ets.koel­n­messe. de to buy them. A two-day stub will cost £22 at the event, or £16 pre­sale. Be pre­pared to stump up £7 for a cat­a­logue with event in­for­ma­tion and £4 to park your mo­tor­cy­cle for the day – fol­low signs for hall 2 west, and halls 2/3 south. On the up­side, park­ing is guarded and you don’t need to stress about the Cologne green zone (Umwelt­zone). This is the city’s emis­sions-based ex­clu­sion zone which doesn’t ap­ply to mo­tor­cy­cles.

EICMA and Intermot and Europe’s lead­ing new bike shows, and both are well worth the e ort

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