Brit bikes steal show at Motorcycle Live

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British bikes proved a massive hit at the NEC Motorcycle Live show last weekend thanks to stunning displays from Triumph, Norton, Metisse and Royal Enfield.

Triumph led the way, with show-goers swamping its stand to see the new Tiger Explorer, top-spec Speed Triple R and the firm acknowledging demand for its Steve McQueen Edition Bonneville looking set to overwhelm supply.

Show-goers were also impressed by the Speed Triple R – a new high-spec version of the existing Speed Triple with uprated Ohlins suspension, lighter PVM five-spoke wheels and monobloc radial brake calipers with optional ABS.

Despite lacking any of the Explorer’s or Speed Triple’s cutting-edge technology, the Steve McQueen Edition Bonneville was also hugely popular. It’s a homage to the bike ridden by the late Hollywood icon in The Great Escape – a Triumph TR6 Trophy disguised as a BMW R75.

Based on the Bonneville T100, it’s been given matt green paint, a single seat and luggage rack, a bash plate and smaller headlight.

Simon Warburton, Triumph’s Product Manager, said: “We’ve been absolutely mobbed. The reception has been absolutely outstanding.

People are even more excited about the Tiger Explorer than they were about the Tiger 800 last year, which is saying something.

“The Tiger is grabbing all the attention at the moment but I think what we’ll see with the Speed Triple R is that once people have had a chance to ride it, then it will draw the attention back.”

Meanwhile Norton showed off its Commando 961 range and NRV588 race bike, which holds the world speed record for a rotary engined motorcycle at 173mph.

Metisse impressed with its 997 Cafe Racer and Street Scrambler.

You can read full reports on the British marques in MCN on Wednesday.

Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell