Blue skies on Saturday morning heralded the return of the Carole Nash MCN Scottish Motorcycle Show to the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh at the weekend.
More than 15,000 show-goers streamed through the gates, eager to shake off the shackles of winter and celebrate the onset of the riding season by checking out the latest models, snapping up some new kit and drooling over an incredible array of customs and classics.
The vast Highland Hall welcomed all-comers with great displays from many of the major manufacturers, giving potential customers the opportunity to swing a leg over and try their dream machine for size.
Laura Conway from Paisley currently rides a Kawasaki ER-6f on an A2 licence, but made a beeline for the 2019 ZX-10R. "I really, really fancy one of these," she beamed whilst talking to MCN, "that’s my aim one day."
Bike sport is hugely popular in Scotland and the Knockhill Stage proved a major draw throughout the day, featuring interviews with British Talent Cup champion Rory Skinner and BSB title contender Taz Mackenzie.
"The Scottish bike show is always great," said local lad Skinner, who’s earned a rookie ride in British Supersport this year with support from Chris Walker Kawasaki. "It never fails to surprise me and there are big crowds which is good to see."
Bikes and bits
The Central Hall hosted the market place, with great offers on tools and workshop equipment – not to mention the obligatory boxes of oily bits in the auto jumble – and led onto the Classic Bike hall, where the gleaming paintwork and glistening chrome of hundreds of vintage road and racing machines lay waiting.
"This is the place to come if you fancy a chat," said Shaun McGrath from Prestwick. "There are loads of amazing bikes, plus you can get a decent cup of tea and a slice of cake from the lovely ladies on the Legion Scotland stall!"
The quality of special bikes in the 'Built Not Bought' custom show, held in association with JM customs, was extremely high this year, and the Best in Show award went – perhaps rather aptly – to 56N Magazine’s 'Flying Scotsman' Moto Guzzi Scrambler, which also picked up the accolade of Best Retro Custom.
Live action was fast and furious in the outdoor arena as the UK's top riders competed for the title of Scottish Stunt Freestyle Champion. Spectators looked on in awe as Jonny Davies took top honours, but the outrageous routine from Josh Turner on his Harley Sportster (3rd overall) was a real crowd pleaser.
The MCN rolling roadshow now heads to Peterborough for the Devitt MCN Festival of Motorcycling on the weekend of May 18-19.
MCN Festival season is here!
The Devitt MCN Festival of Motorcycling, which is held on May 18-19 at the East of England Arena, is approaching fast – and Ducati and KTM have now added their ranges to this years' test-ride fleet.
Be more devilish
Ducati will be bringing a massive test fleet to the Festival including the 2019 Diavel 1260, Multistrada 1260, Multistrada 950, Scrambler, Panigale V4 plus the new Multistrada 1260 Enduro – which you’ll able to ride around an off-road circuit.
With its new 1262cc DVT Testastretta engine and styling updates the Diavel will undoubtedly be a bit hit at the event and Ducati are pulling out all the stops to get a huge test fleet of machines ready.
Try Team Orange
KTM will be bringing their fantastic 790 Adventure and Super Duke GT (and more) to the Festival for test rides.
The 2019 Super Duke GT bossed the MCN250, with tester Phil West declaring it's "So good I reckon it’s (probably) the best road bike you can get."
Campers get first dibs
All the machines on the test fleets are booked on the day. Simply take your licence to each manufacturer to sign on.
Campers get early access to the show – so also get priority test ride booking, as well as free entry to the evening entertainment and live arena action on Saturday night.
Make it a Festival weekend to remember! Book online now at www.mcnfestival.com