I visited the NEC, Birmingham for this year’s Motorcycle Live. Personally I love the bike show, there’s so many bikes to see, bikers to chat to and plenty of coffee to be had whilst wandering around – it’s a great day out.
I thought I’d share with you my top ten pick of bikes from the show. There were a lot of bikes to choose from, so some of you may disagree with my choice, let’s see……
The Zaeta DT-530 (Krazy Horse) £14,950
I’d not come across Zaeta before and was intrigued.
The founders of Zaeta are Paolo Chiaia and Marco Belli and they, along with Graziano Rossi, the father of the legend himself, and Giulio Bernardelle, an engineer with a long association with MotoGP, came up with the idea and conception of this bike.
Up until recently, you could only find this bike on a dirt track but it is now available as a road-legal scrambler. The DT-530 has a CNC aluminum frame with a single cylinder DOHC engine built by TM.
The bike is described as giving an uncompromising ride, it vibrates, is a bit brutal and primitive. Sounds like back to old school riding with no gizmos to me, perfect.
I like it because it’s different and it’s worthy of a top ten in my book.
KTM RC390 £5,594
This bike oozes coolness. Just look at it – the colours and the styling are perfect.
Powered by a 373cc liquid cooled, single cylinder four stroke engine putting out 42 bhp, the RC390 is described by KTM as a high-performance Supersports machine with its roots firmly planted on the race track.
The RC comes equipped with traction control, abs, supermoto abs (where you can deactivate the abs on the rear wheel allowing you to slide into a corner 😎), and an up and down quickshifter!
I would love to take this bike out for a blast, it just looks like it would be so much fun 🤩
Ducati Monster SP £13,995
Sporting the Testastretta 11° engine, a liquid-cooled 4-valve twin with 111 hp and desmodromic distribution, the SP comes in the rather gorgeous 2022 colours of the official team’s Desmosedici GP.
The gold Öhlins NIX30 forks, suspensions and Termignoni homologated silencer add to the superb Italian styling of this Ducati.
What makes the SP even better is that it is also available in a 35kw version so can be ridden on an A2 licence. Imagine the SP as your first ‘big bike’ 😎😎😎
Yamaha XSR125 Legacy £5,200
Now at first glance at the Legacy, you would not think it was a 125cc, to me it looks like the younger sibling of the XSR700.
The Legacy has a lightweight Deltabox frame and USD front forks complete with LED lights and LCD instruments.
Giving out 14 bhp, this sure is a stylish ride to be pulling up to college on.
If you’re learning to ride in your older years like I did, then great for gaining experience before taking your big bike test. I would have loved this as my learning bike.
Norton V4SV £44,000
No top ten list would be complete without a Norton in there, and my one is no exception. The stunning re-engineered V4SV is undeniably beautiful 😍
According to Norton, the V4SV is the only British designed and built superbike in production.
Boasting a carbon fibre fuel tank, a chassis designed and developed in house with a 1200 cc V4 liquid cooled engine pushing out 185 bhp.
The V4SV was certainly drawing a crowd at the MCL, myself being among them.
It really is a beautiful bike just to look at, there is so much attention to detail that has gone into the V4SV.
I am sure you would join the queue with me to ride this bike.
Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 Anniversary £7,099
The livery on this Caballero drew my eye straightaway, I just had to take a closer look.
The 500 Anniversary model is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Caballero which was first unveiled at Eicma back in 1969 and is inspired by the look of the Caballero born in Barzago, Nr Milan in 1969.
As well as performing well on the road, you can also take this bike off road with its Pirelli Scorpion Rally knobbly tyres, something which I would definitely like to try.
The single cylinder, 4 valve liquid cooled engine is Euro5 compliant and pushes out 40 bhp. The upside down front forks are Fantic FRS and the rear suspension is adjustable with a dual-channel ABS which can be disengaged.
The Caballero screams fun which is why it’s in my top ten.
Suzuki Hayabusa £17,555
The Hayabusa has been in production since 1999 and although it has evolved over the years with technology, it seems to me that the overall design of the Busa has not evolved as much, it’s such a recognisable and iconic bike.
Back in 1999 it won acclaim as the world’s fastest production motorcycle with a top speed of 303 to 312 km/h / 188 to 193 mph. Wow 🤩
Today, with its 1340 cc 4 stroke, 4 cylinder liquid cooled DOHC engine, pushing out 190 bhp, the top speed is said to be 186 mph with 0-60 in just 2.47 seconds!
My mate has one of these, it’s a ‘57 plate, it looks stunning and goes like stink. I think the Busa will always be in my top ten.
Honda Hornet 750 £6,999
The Hornet will always have a special place in my heart as I had a 600 as my first ‘big bike’ after I passed my test. I learnt so much on this bike.
The new Hornet is now a 750cc liquid cooled OHC 4 stroke, 8 valve parallel twin engine pushing out 90 bhp.
With a seat height of 795 mm and a kerb weight of 190kg, it is a great light bike and I am looking forward to riding the new Hornet.
With four colours to choose from: black, white, grey and yellow, and the bike being able to be restricted to 35kw making it A2 licence compliant, this is a great bike for both the new and experienced rider.
Triumph Street Triple 765 Moto2 Edition £13,795
Triumph have launched the new 765 Street Triples, one of which is the gorgeous Moto2 Edition available in a striking yellow and crystal white. This is a limited edition run of 765 bikes in each of the two colours.
At 188 kg this is a relatively light bike pushing out 130 bhp. There are a host of goodies on this bike: five riding modes:- rain; road; sport; track and rider, up and down quickshifter, Optimised Cornering ABS and switchable Optimised Cornering Traction Control (with IMU), and Front Wheel Lift Control.
There is also fully adjustable Öhlins suspension, NIX30 forks and STX40 piggyback reservoir monoshock!
The Moto2 Edition is the closest you can get to a Moto2 racer for the road. Cool 😎
Kawasaki Ninja 400 £6,749
As soon as I saw the Ninja 400, I knew it was going to be my number one! This is one extremely cool looking bike.
The styling of this bike is spot on with the trellis frame, the akrapovic exhaust, seat cowl and the smoke windshield. It just works.
With a 399 cc liquid cooled, 4 stroke parallel twin DOHC engine pushing out 45 bhp, and with a seat height of 785 mm, a kerb weight of 168 kg, this looks like it would be so much fun to ride.
The Ninja 400 comes in two great colours, the very striking candy lime green/ebony KRT Edition and also the metallic carbon grey/metallic mat carbon grey which does look equally as good.
I am going to have to get a ride on one of these, I just look at the bike and it is calling me to ride it. The Ninja 400 oozes that cool factor that we all look for in a bike 😎
So, that is my top ten from this year’s Motorcycle Live. Do you agree with me? What’s your top ten?
I agree with most, but not the lack of thought that went or should I say didn’t go in to the Kawasaki. Also the Norton, it may look pretty but with the engine issues and behaviour of Norton I feel it should be outside the top 10, sorry. With the Norton design I feel I did better, but you tell me.
I like the Kawasaki, think it’s a great little bike and I loved the colours, definitely my number one but probably not everyone’s choice. The styling of the Norton is spot on and drew my eye. Your choices are good too, it would be very boring it we all liked the same bikes!
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