A quick lap of the NEC as soon as the doors opened al­lowed me to get a feel of the lay­out. A sec­ond lap saw me try to pin­point the hotspots. The big­gest crowds this time around showed that the CCM stand was cre­at­ing a buzz. Al­though it was the Spit­fire plane that was caus­ing the queues and not re­ally the bikes on the British firm’s stand.

As I tried to work out what peo­ple re­ally wanted to see or sit on, I was struck by how evenly spread the crowds were. The Nor­ton stand was pretty busy all day long with a steady stream look­ing at the new At­las mod­els and the Su­perlight 650. Be­yond that ev­ery stand seemed busy, but with­out any par­tic­u­lar mass gath­er­ings. That re­flects the spread of new ma­chines across the bik­ing land­scape. Strong of­fer­ings in all mar­kets and by most man­u­fac­tur­ers means there’s a strong class of 2019. Not just a cou­ple of high­lights but more a strong squad. And with the UK mar­ket be­ing so frag­mented these days, that could bode well for the com­ing year.

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