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Burning rubber

The miserable weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the motor enthusiasts who attended the National Motorbike Show at the Gmex last weekend…

Published on January 9th 2007.


Burning rubber

Damp and overcast it may have been, but bike enthusiasts came from all around the North West to the 7th National Motorbike show at Manchester's Gmex last weekend.

The rain did not stop many of those attending from doing so on their bikes either, once again, the bike park (the forecourt of the Gmex’s bold entrance) was full to bursting with all manner of race replica, touring and custom bikes.

The organisers do a good job in entertaining the crowds at these events, so it is a shame that the rain prevented some of the more extreme stunts from being performed. Nevertheless, Jason Finn wheelied his way round a very wet course, Marc Gillespie turned his rear wheel into a cloud of acrid rubber chunks to the baying crowd, and Russ Swift handbraked his way into ever tighter spots, a parallel parking manoeuvre that is certainly not found in my version of the Highway Code.

Indoors, Chris Doney was very entertaining. If you think you can ride a push bike, this guy will change your perception. OK, he did not go very far, but then again hopping up and over scaffolding and a transit van could not really be classed as a form of transport. This reporter was there risking life and limb to bring you the images.

The stars of the show of course were the bikes themselves. The organiser had secured several coups for the event, notably the UK launch of the Ducati 1098, two Benelli 1130 race bikes and the Boom GG Quad, more an F1 inspired synergy between a Smart Car and a Superbike. When I win the lottery… sigh.

There were also the girls that want to be models, those that were models and those that looked like Airfix models, draped over superbikes and custom designed creations that don't look like they will ever be used, although they does showcase some of the skill and talent here in the UK - I mean the bikes obviously.

Certainly an entertaining afternoon if you like motorsports and motorbikes. Not just for bikers. The North West has a great heritage of two wheeled sports, and riders, and with the Centenary of the Manx TT this year, expect to see and hear far more in the local and national press. It is already too late to find any accommodation in the Isle of Man.

Chris Keller-Jackson

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