Royal touch at Motorcycle Live

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Bike mad His Royal Highness Prince William visited Motorcycle Live today, as he dropped into the show at Birmingham’s NEC for a look at some of the 2014 bikes on offer, as well as visiting a number of British manufacturers.

The Duke of Cambridge, having been greeted by Paul Thandi, deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands and also chief executive of the NEC Group, spent over an hour mingling with the general public on the Norton, Metisse, Triumph, CCM and Triumph stands.

He also stopped off at the Ducati stand to try out one of the Italian firm’s ultra exclusive 1199 Superleggeria machines. The prince currently rides his own 1198 Ducati, and is a big fan of the Italian firm.

Seen as a welcome PR bonanza for the British motorcycling industry, he spoke with key personnel from the firms, including Norton boss Stuart Garner and Dean Linehan, Exhibitions Director of MCI Exhibitions, the show’s organisers.

He was also presented with a Kiddimoto balance bike for his four month old son Prince George, with special one-off royal graphics.

Dean Linehan said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge to Motorcycle Live. We know he likes motorcycles and that he rides when he can, but he showed a great knowledge of and appreciation for the UK’s motorcycle industry, which employs more than 80,000 people and will generate around £7.5 billion for the British economy this year.”

The Prince also met with MCN’s Michael Guy, who spent a number of weeks riding with him back in 2008 as part of Enduro Africa. For the full reaction from the industry check out this week’s Motorcycle News.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer