2017 Sydney Motorcycle Show Wrap with Bike Review
Bike Review head along to this year's Sydney Motorcycle Show for all the action in the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour, plus on the water with Robbie Maddison... Words & Images by Kris Hodgson
What a weekend of motorcycling we’ve just had in Sydney, with the Motorcycle Show rolling into Darling Harbour’s International Convention Centre and showcasing the latest and greatest on two wheels.
It’s a great location, being a short walk from Town Hall Station, with motorcycle parking available for $10, however the $25 ticket price is a bit on the steep side if you ask me, particularly considering kids over six cost $16. I was lucky enough to get media access, but I can definitely see it being a barrier for some, especially large families, with the family package only including entry for two kids.
Darling Harbour played host to not just the event, but also some amazing waterbike antics by Robbie Maddison, who rode from Cockle Bay Wharf and wowed onlookers, taking his specially modified motorcycle across the wavetops.
In a great move by manufacturers, we also saw a huge variety of new 2018 models for the first time in Australia. While much information has been available since EICMA, it’s always great for these bikes to be present, giving people a chance to see them in the flesh and perhaps sit on their prospective next machine.
On Friday the show started with Kawasaki unveiling the majority of their 2018 models, with the Z900RS and Z900RS Café both appearing for the second time, after a smaller launch at Deus Ex Machina. Totally new was the Ninja 400, which Kawasaki suggested would be arriving around February next year and at a price-point not much higher than the Ninja 300. That’s big news for the LAMS category for 2018, and I look forward to testing one.
Also present was the new Ninja H2 SX SE, carrying quite the model designation, and presenting the supercharged sports-tourer from Kawasaki, with an expected arrival of February in premium H2 dealers, for $35k ride away, although that price is to be confirmed. The standard SX won’t be available in Australia, just the SE at this stage.
With the gates open Sherco introduced their new 125 SE-R, before Troy Bayliss officially introduced the show.
Next up was Triumph Motorcycles, with the Bobber Black and Speedmaster introduced in front of a backdrop of basically the entire model range, as well as a strong range of accessories.
BMW Motorrad concentrated on their motorcycling initiatives and events, including a number of different courses with off-road courses run across all states, as well as sand specific courses, maintenance and non-brand specific courses, so people with other makes can also take part.
The Safari courses also received a special mention, alongside the California Superbike School and Phillip Island Ride days, where you can ride BMW machinery.
Yamaha had the largest of the displays, showcasing their full range of products, from road and offroad machinery, to four-wheelers and watercraft, as well as a strong racing presence, including Rossi’s MotoGP racer.
Highlights included the new MT-07, unveiled by Sean Goldhawk, as well as the MT-09SP, while the Wolverine X4 four-wheeler also came out from under covers.
There was also some wicked lightly modified machines, like an XSR700 and XSR900, plus an SR400.
MV Agusta revealed the new Dragster RR and Brutale 800 RR Pirelli edition, with two ultra-trick offerings also making an appearance. The Lewis Hamilton LH44 F4, and the RVS#1, which looks like a custom creators dream project.
Other new model unveils included the Benelli Leoncino 502cc, Harley-Davidson’s Sport Glide and the Gas Gas Enduro GP 250 Limited Edition.
There was the big unveil of the Panigale V4 by Ducati at their stand, with the new Scrambler 1100, while the Multistrada 1260 was found alongside the Multistrada 1200 Enduros, with the V4 in particular really drawing the crowd.
Also returning is the Ducati Monster 659 LAMS offering, ensuring Ducati have an entry level offering.
KTM also had an impressive display, with the Duke 790 taking pride of place and no doubt one of the big new additions in 2018 to keep an eye on.
Royal Enfield had the stage set to introduce their two new 650 models, the Interceptor INT and Continental GT, with a lot set to ride on these higher performance offerings and spreading the brands reach into slightly more performance orientated circles.
The last of the manufacturer unveils was from Husqvarna who had the Vitpilen 701 on stage alongside the Svartpilen 401, and ran a fashion show to give their presentation a bit of zing.
It was a bit lost on me, and with the eye-candy of the two new road going models on stage a bit unnecessary in my opinion, but anything that pushes motorcycle awareness into larger circles has to be a good thing, right?
There was also some amazing stunting displays on the indoor track in Showtime FMX, while an outdoor entertainment area included a bar and seating, with a custom bike display.
Also well worth a mention was the many smaller stalls, who came to show off their products at Australia’s biggest motorcycle show, giving punters the opportunity to see new gear and accessories and pick up some useful two-wheeled kit. They really help flesh out the show as a whole and while everyone is putting in huge effort to be present, the smaller players are doing the even harder yards.
We can only hope the Sydney Motorcycle Show was as rewarding for all those who came and showed off their products and skills, as it was to everyone who came.