Motor shows: It’s that time of the year again

Foggy at MCN London Bike Show

In just over a week’s time, Tokyo’s Big Sight exhibition centre will open its doors to motorcycle manufacturers, hacks and fans for the 44th Tokyo Motor Show.

As well as being one of the biggest motorcycle shows in the world, it also kicks off bike show season with Europe’s EICMA and the UK’s Motorcycle Live quickly following in its wake in the run up to Christmas.

While Italy and the EICMA show is a hotbed of European launches from the likes of Ducati, Japan is where the likes of Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki launches its 2016 models.

The UK’s Motorcycle Live usually misses out on world exclusives from the big manufacturers but it remains the first chance for UK fans to clap eyes on the latest models from the biggest names in bikes.

What’s on and when

Tokyo Motor Show

Dates: 29 October – 8 November

Where: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan

What to expect: The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show has a new theme this year, ‘Technology + Fantasy’, so it’s fair to assume that the 44th edition of the show is going to be heavy on tech and Yamaha is stealing the early headlines.

The Japanese giant has announced plans to display a motorbike riding ‘humanoid robot’ and a pair of electric two-wheel concepts, including the PES2 concept (see below).

Yamaha PES2 electric concept debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show

In its 60th year, the Tokyo Motor Show is expected to be a big one this time round with a 6km parade scheduled this weekend to mark the start of the event.

70 vehicles are set to travel the parade route, with a mix of cars, vans and motorbikes taking part. Each has been picked because organisers believe they symbolise the years since 1954 when the first show took place.

EICMA Motorcycle Show

Dates: 19 – 22 November

Where: Fiera Milano, near Milan, Italy

What to expect: EICMA is one of the highest profile motorbike shows in the world, not least because of the world exclusives and announcements that litter the four day event.

While Japan usually plays host to madcap concepts and debuts from the big Japanese manufacturers, EICMA is for the purists (especially if you’re European), with most new European bikes debuting in Milan.

Ducati has started the ball rolling with its ‘This is X’ teaser earlier this month. We know Ducati is taking its 2016 range but nothing else, and that’s how it will go for other manufacturers in the run in to the show – teasers and tasters but nothing concrete.

Motorcycle Live

Dates: 28 November – 6 December

Where: NEC, Birmingham

What to expect: Motorcycle Live is the UK’s flagship motorcycle show and where most manufacturers display their new bikes for the first time on British soil.

As well as a comprehensive range of models from manufacturers, Motorcycle Live always has a big interactive element. And that’s set to be the case again this year with opportunities to try your hand at off-roading, ride for the first time or get test rides.

Ducati Scrambler on display at Motorcycle Live 2014 for its UK debut

What else is on?

The above list is by no means exclusive and there are lots of other motorbike and motor shows around the UK and the rest of the world that are worth a visit.

In February, the Excel Centre in London plays host to the MCN London Motorcycle Show.

In the 2015 edition, the show was dominated by Valentino Rossi’s race bike collection as well as Top Gear, with Richard Hammond and James May’s collection of bikes on display.

Rossi's 2014 MotoGP bike at MCN London Show in early 2015

In April, the eyes of the UK motorbike scene turn north to The Manchester Bike Show.

Held at EventCity, actually just outside Manchester, this is the North’s only indoor bike show and has more than 16,000 visitors earlier this year.

Guy Martin with The Bike Insurer girls at the 2012 Manchester Bike Show

In May, The Bike Insurer and The Van Insurer are sponsoring the Herts Auto Show, the biggest open-air auto show in southern England.

With vehicles from the movies and hosted by Steve Parrish, we’re expecting more than 5,000 for the one day event.

If you know of a brilliant show that’s a little off the beaten track, or if you think we’ve ignored a show that really deserves a mention, let us know and we’ll add it to our mix.

Next page: Rossi’s bikes in the limelight at MCN Show