Event preview: Motorcycle Live 2018

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The NEC, Birmingham will once again play host to the UK’s biggest bike show, Motorcycle Live in 2018. With a host of live action, features, entertainment and new bike models, there will be something for bike fans of all levels and ages.

One ticket will get you access to four halls packed with everything that motorcycling has to offer, including 10 free opportunities to ride a bike and the brand-new live action arena.

Motorcycle Live gives visitors the chance to see the brand-new, just-unveiled machinery from the world’s leading manufacturers and this year there will be 40 manufacturers displaying their latest releases.

Meet your hero

2018 WSB Champion: Jonathan Rea

The Black Horse Stage in the Eurosport Entertainment Zone will be playing host to a range of two-wheeled celebrities.

2018 World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, 2018 World Speedway Champion Tai Woffinden, 2018 World Sidecar Champions Tom and Ben Birchall and 2018 World Supersport 300 Champion – and the first female rider to win a motorcycle world championship – Ana Carrasco will all be in attendance on the opening Saturday to kick things off with a bang.

2018 British Superbike Champion Leon Haslam and legendary four-time World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty will also appear at the show on the opening day, taking part in Q&As on the Black Horse Stage and signing sessions on their respective sponsor stands.

Fogarty and Rea will take part in a chat together with James Whitham at 14.00, comparing notes on the eight SBK titles they hold between them.

The rest of the week will continue in a similar vain, with popular riders, commentators and personalities, such as James Westmoreland, Danny Buchan, Keith Huewan, Steve Plater, Julian Ryder and John Reynolds, all taking part in the non-stop entertainment. Carl Fogarty will return to the show every day from Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 November.

BSB Day - Saturday, November 24

Motorcycle Live will join forces with the Bennetts British Superbike Championship to host the first ever official ‘BSB Day’. There will be special guest appearances from a whole host of Bennetts BSB stars, including 2018 champ Leon Haslam and fellow 2018 showdown contenders Bradley Ray, Peter Hickman and Glenn Irwin.

James Whitham will host on-stage Q&As with the riders, getting all the lowdown from another thrilling season of edge-of-your-seat racing.

TT Day - Sunday, November 25

TT Day will bring the show to a close with a takeover on the Black Horse Stage featuring all the biggest names from the Isle of Man event, including John McGuinness, Conor Cummins, James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson. The riders will also appear on the Isle of Man TT stand for signing sessions and photo opportunities.

Nine ways to get riding at Motorcycle Live 2018

Test Ride Zone supported by Shoei, Sidi and Spada

The Test Ride Zone features a great line up of motorcycles from the leading manufacturers exhibiting at the show. Visitors can take their bike of choice out on the open road around The NEC, accompanied on a set route by experienced out riders. Participants will be kitted out with all safety equipment.

Experience Adventure

Get to grips with the latest adventure bikes

Experience Adventure is supported by Honda and Triumph, with clothing supplied by Bell Helmets and Fly. The FREE adventure bike skills course is designed to introduce riders to their first taste of adventure riding which will include tuition, on bike set-up, body positioning and balance across a number of testing terrains.

Get On supported by Lexham Insurance

The Get On campaign is offering FREE 20-minute taster sessions on a 125cc scooter or motorcycle in a private, indoor area with expert tuition from fully trained instructors. Thousands of visitors have been taking advantage of the Get On feature in the last few years, with many getting the biking bug and going on to gain their full motorcycle licence.

ACU Try Trials

Try out Trials riding

The ACU will once again be teaming up with BUMPY to provide visitors with the opportunity to learn the basics of trials riding in a FREE 15-minute session with direction and guidance from an ACU-certified instructor. There will also be demonstrations by the experts throughout each day to showcase the capabilities of the bikes and the skill of the riders.

Youth AX Experience

A full-powered Arenacross Experience will return to Motorcycle Live this year, with two mini-AX dirt tracks suitable for first-time and intermediate ability girls and boys aged between 4 and 12. Youngsters will get the chance to ride an ultra-cool electric AX machine, kitted head-to-toe in the latest AX-branded kit with instructions from the best AX coaches – and best of all, the experience is totally FREE!


The Strider Adventure Zone is back, providing a safe and friendly riding area with ramps, see saws and rumple strips that encourages kids aged 18 months to 5 years to explore balance and mobility on a bike. Demo bikes and helmets are provided in this FREE feature that will give your little one a taste for life on two wheels and start them on their journey to becoming a motorcyclist.

H-D Jumpstart

The popular Harley-Davidson Jumpstart™ will return to give non-riders, or even bikers who have never experienced a Harley® before, the chance to get to grips with one of the machines on a rolling road including acceleration, clutch control and gear changes.

MT Tour

The popular Yamaha ‘Dark Side MT Tour’ makes its final stop of the season at Motorcycle Live, with the giant truck taking centre stage for the MT Tour display with its Dark Side branding and collection of MT clothing and accessories, plus accessorised MT Tour bikes. Experience the full range of new MT models for yourself by visiting the Dark Side Test Ride stand and booking a demo ride at the show.

BMW Dual Sports Arena

This year, World of BMW will bring its Off Road Skills and Rider Training demonstrations together, forming one big multi-bike show in a new Dual Sports Arena. Riders of all abilities will have the opportunity to get a hands-on experience tutored by BMW’s best on-road and off-road instructors. The interaction will range from the first steps of riding a bike on a rolling road to more advanced, static handling on different models from BMW’s range.

Live Action Arena at Motorcycle Live

A brand-new, high-tech, high-energy live action stunt show will be debuting at Motorcycle Live 2018. Moto Cirque is the brainchild of pioneering show creators Arena Sports Live and will be the first spectacle of its kind to take place in the UK.

Moto Cirque

The intensely choreographed daily performances will include world-class street bike stunt riding, BMX, freestyle Motocross and moto trials in an intoxicating mix of lights, lasers and theatrical performances.

The show will be set within an amphitheater-style layout of ramps, structures and platforms, and surrounded by 2,000 seats for Motorcycle Live visitors to get a birds-eye view of the stunning show.

Entry to the Moto Cirque arena is completely FREE, with performances taking place at 12.00 and 14.00 from Monday-Thursday, 12.00, 14.00 and 15.30 on Friday and at 11.30, 14.00 and 15.30 at the weekends.

The Custom Xtreme Zone supported by Back Street Heroes will be the place to see something a little different, and The National Motorcycle Museum will be displaying iconic machines in the Classic Feature.

FMX action from Motorcycle Live 2017

Suzuki one week only deals

Suzuki will be running ‘For One Week Only’ offers for seven days during the Motorcycle Live show week. 

The current GSX-R1000R will be available with a £1000 deposit contribution as well as the choice of either one year’s free servicing worth over £470, or a complimentary sports accessory pack worth over £1000.

Suzuki will be one of the manufacturers attending Motorcycle Live 2018

The GSX-R125 and GSX-S125 are also available with a deposit of £500 and with either one year’s free servicing worth over £450, or £250 that can be spent in their dealership on accessories, merchandise, or riding kit.

Motorcycle Live 2018 takes place at The NEC, Birmingham, November 17 - 25, with advance tickets on sale August 1, priced at £19.50 per adult, £12 for senior citizens, £1 for 11-16 year-olds (children aged ten and under go free) and under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Assistant Editor (Motorcycling), hick for life, two cylinders max