Last weekend saw a trip to the International Dirt Bike Show at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry. I met up with Michael at Junction 12 of the M1 and we rode up together, it was a rather chilly ride but went without incident.
When we arrived we were able to park the bikes right outside the entrance which was handy but I then discovered Michael had been promised a ticket by a friend, John and after a phone call discovered he was still twenty minutes away. I decided to buy my ticket and head inside as I had already stripped off all my bike gear and was starting to feel the cold. I went in and got us both a tea and bacon roll, which I then had to hand over the barrier to Michael. I then deposited my gear at the cloakroom. Being a fairly regular visitor to Stoneleigh, I knew that they charge £1 per item at the cloakroom, so had brought along a large roll bag, into which went boots, trousers, jacket, gloves etc. turning everything into “one item” for only a pound J
On wandering outside again we met up with Mark and Vanessa (you may recall I rode with Mark and Michael at the Hafren Rally, when Michael tried to take his eye out)! Shortly afterwards John turned up and we all went inside.
Well to be honest it was rather disappointing being even more dominated by motocross than last year, with several of the adventure/rally biased exhibitors being noticeable by their absence. First stop was the KTM stand which had nothing bigger than a 525EXC on the basis that 690s etc. are “Road Bikes”. They did have Cyril Despres’ Dakar Bike a 450RR which was the only thing of interest to us. Mark especially as he has bought a 690RR which the 450 shares most of its components with and he took over a hundred photos of various aspects of the bike!
We had a quick look round before it was time for the presentations for the Big Bike Rally Challenge and UK Rally Challenge (for the little bikes). With Burt and Moly away in Morocco this fell to Stewie to arrange and it went without a hitch. Mark picked up his trophy for third place in the twins class, a prize that would have almost certainly gone to Michael if he hadn’t DNF’ed at the Cambrian Rally. Several winners were unfortunately absent, so we all pitched in and Michael accepted Lyndon’s first place Trophy in the sub 575cc class and as he was wearing his Lyndon Poskitt Racing jacket, got introduced as “one of his sponsors”. I went up to accept a trophy for someone in the UK Rally Challenge who I don’t even know but it all made it look like it was pre planned.
We spent the rest of the day looking round; Michael bought himself a pair of new (and very orange) Sidi crossfire boots with £100 off the normal price of £350, as well as picking up a pair for his mate Warwick. On the basis of having just bought £500 worth of boots he negotiated a price of £280 for a Shoei Hornet DS helmet. Not bad as although you can get good deals on these, they are usually about £300. The retail price for these is £370 for a multi coloured one and the plain colours go for £320 (seems a lot extra to pay for a couple of coloured stripes)!
Michael got one in Black with orange stripes (which match his new boots rather well) and on the basis of this I asked if they would do another at the same price, which they would, so I got myself a white one with black stripes that matches the bike. I hadn’t intended to buy a new helmet but my old Shoei Synchrotech helmet was certainly due for replacement so it was too good a deal to miss.
A few other friends were bumped into and there were some other interesting sights, like a couple of old CCM’s with the 1985 version looking strangely similar to my 2002 example despite the much earlier 500cc Rotax engine.
Eventually all that was left was the cold ride home again!