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.it 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 (eicma.it) 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 airbnb.com 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, intermot-cologne.com 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