Big British names join the new-bike charge
There’s been a barrage of new bikes over the last few weeks as the world’s biggest and best companies display their 2017 machines to the world.
The reason for this surge in shiny new metal is that there are two massive European motorcycle shows which traditionally provide the platform for such revelations. Dealers start putting their orders in as do motorcyclists – at least that’s the plan.
And then, often, there’s a bit of a lull. A delay between seeing the bikes revealed and them actually appearing in showrooms. The wait is punctuated with Motorcycle Live in Birmingham (don’t miss the bumper Show Guide in next week’s MCN). But this year it looks like there will some extra spice and excitement within the NEC’S packed halls. Just seeing the new metal in the flesh and being able to sling a leg over the potential new addition is enough to send over 100,000 motorcycle fans flocking to the show. But this year there will be some genuinely never-seen-- before bikes. Not only that, but these bikes will be British. Most notably Norton will be pulling the covers back on a pair of V4 road-going superbikes (see more, exclusively revealed in next week’s MCN) and Ariel will announce a more aggressive R version of their Ace.
It’s more evidence of the British industry recovering, albeit in different ways. While Triumph blaze a trail in the world of mainstream biking and genuinely compete with the likes of Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and co, others find a niche and target the low volume, high price route.
Another famous blast from the British bike industry past are also set to make a dramatic comeback. BSA have been bought by Indian company Mahindra and while it’s too soon to say exactly what sort of bikes will carry the BSA badge, it is certain that the BSA name has been acquired (for about £3.4million) for a reason. And that reason won’t be to hide it away.
While some will complain of another great British name being bought by foreign investors, at least the name and heritage live on.