A bit disapointing in some ways as there was not a huge amount of stuff of interest to me but the biggest problem being that as I am at risk of being out of work after April I was in no position to spend any money.
In fact the only reason I went is I was lucky enough to get a free ticket and car parking pass and my friend John was driving up anyway so gave me a lift.
A possible bike for a campaign in the twins class of the Big Bike Rally Challenge? The very pretty Metisse Desert Racer, a replica of the bike raced by Steve McQueen.
On the BMW stand they had the new watercooled R1200GS, can't say that it did much for me.
Next door was the (BMW owned) Husqvarna stand, which had something of interest to me, Simon Pavey's Dakar Bike (well actually his practice bike as the race bike is already on board a ship for South America).
We wandered over to the Honda stand but were disapointed not to find one of the CRF450X Dakar Racers. But we were pointed in the direction of another stand were we found one...
Very nicely put together and it will be interesting too see how they go, come the Dakar on 5th January. Honda say they are going with the intention of winning but given KTM's stranglehold on the race in recent years, that remains to be seen.
A wander over to the KTM stand was next and they had the bikes of all six world champions riding KTMs in 2012 from Motocross to Moto3 and of course Cyril Despres' Dakar winning 450RR.
In the end I did buy something... a book!
I met the author Graham Field at the Adventure Bike Shop the other month when he was also at Chris Scott's book launch. Graham's book was recommended to me then but I had already bought Chris' so didn't bother.
Graham was at the NEC on the Traveldri-plus stand so after a chat I decided to buy a copy, which he kindly signed for me. It tells the tale of his trip to Mongolia on an £800 bike bought off eBay and very much on a budget.
It indeed turned out to be an excellent read and I finished only three days later.