Tips to get more from the NEC Show… and how to get there

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The International Motorcycle and Scooter Show (The NEC Show to you and I) opens its doors on November 9. It’s a biggy, and can be overwhelming if you don’t go armed with a bit of forward planning. Our tips will help you get the best from it.

More than 200,000 of us are expected to pack the giant venue for a first glimpse of next year’s new models. You’ve already seen them all on (and if you haven’t, follow the link, top left, to LATEST ON NEW BIKES).

There was also a free and exclusive guide to the event published free MCN on Wednesday, November 7, 2001.

Organisers say there are more than 250 stands this year. Here’s how to cope:

Plan ahead. If you’re there for the day the chances are you won’t see everything, so use the fllorplan you’ll get with our free MCN guide to make a beeline for the stands you most want to see.

Set yourself a limit if you want to buy kit. There are so many bargains at the show that it would be a doddle to clear even Richard Branson’s bank balance. Take as much cash as you intend to spend, leave the plastic at home, and then you won’t receive any nasty surprises. There are cashpoints at the NEC if you prefer to get your cash together when you arrive. Queues can be lengthy and they have been known to run out of cash later in the day.

Get there as early as you can: The crowd size trebles by noon. It might be worth getting a B&B and having a night out in Brum the night before. Here’s some places you could try:

Use the Riders for Health helmet park. It raises cash for charity and helps you manage you handfuls of clutter.

Make a note of which car park you’re in when you arrive. It’s no fun traipsing around for hours in the rain trying to find it.

Avoid wearing one-piece leathers for obvious reasons.

If you travel down by bike, buy a cargo net to store those items you don’t intend to buy, but invariably do.

Weekends are busiest, so it you really want to paw over the latest bikes without a dozen kids sitting on them, go on a week day.

Stop for a hearty breakfast on the way down it will help stave off those hunger pangs and ensure you can spend more time wandering around.

Drink plenty of water you could end up walking a couple of miles during the day.

Listen to announcements over the PA they’re the best way to find out when the stars are about and when demos are starting.

Don’t forget to take your free MCN supplement it will prove handier than a hand-warmer in the Arctic.

Got better tips on tackling the NEC Show? E-mail them to with NEC Show Advice in the subject line and we’ll add the best to this feature and credit the authors.

If you fancy riding, there is an opportunity to try a scooter for free. Rider training and advice for anyone who fancies learning will be available throughout the week and an indoor obstacle course has been set up to test your skills.

If that’s too genteel, Chris Brock will be demonstrating some acrobatics in the MCN freestyle Arena throughout the week. A specially constructed ramp will allow him, and the rest of the Red Bull freestyle team, to jump more over 50ft while performing tricks that will leave you amazed.

Then there’s the Fashion Show and the MCN-sponsored scooter GP featuring John Reynolds and Chris Walker. Racing starts at 11am on November 9.

The show runs from November 9-18. Doors are open from 9am-7pm on preview day, November 9, and from 10am-6pm on all other days. To get there, leave the M42 at junction six and follow the signs. By rail or air, you’ll find the venue linked directly to Birmingham International Airport and railway station via a covered walkway. Tickets for preview day cost £25. Tickets for all other days cost £10 in advance or £13 on the door. Children aged 11-16 and OAPs get in for £5. Children under 10 get in free. Contact 08700-784878

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff