Looking back on this years Motorcycle Live at the NEC from a pure road racing point of view, it proved immensely successful with roads riders, teams, machines and sponsors all having prominent presences at the week long event.
Main highlights included the launch of the Eppynt Welsh Road Races and confirmation of Dan Kneen linking up with Tyco BMW for TT 2018.
Additionally James Hillier was announced to lead Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s 2018 international roads venture, plus there was Jackson Racing’s ‘Roads Academy’ rider unveiling on the Blackhorse backed main stage.
The TT stand in my opinion had a better vibe about it than last year, largely helped by the layout which mixed high profile machines such as the Birchall’s multi TT winning outfit and attractions like the new TT game ‘Ride on the Edge’.
Classic TT machines on display included Josh Brookes Senior race winning Paton, plus the Ripley Land Racing Honda which Michael Rutter took to Sure Junior class success.
Long term sport backers RST, Pipewerx, Scott Leathers, Shoei, Spada, Devitt Insurance all gave good promotion to road racing as did the major manufacturers like Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, Norton and Suzuki who had on display Michael Dunlop’s Senior TT triumphing Bennetts backed Hawk Racing prepared steed.
I also got the sense from walking around the NEC that the TT and roads competition in general is becoming more and more important to the manufacturers, gradually growing in importance in comparison to BSB and WSB.
Words by Stevie Rial