World champion riders and the world’s biggest bike brands shared the spotlight at last week’s Australian Motorcycle Expo Melbourne.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted the three-day event which featured close to 150 exhibitors from all areas of the motorcycle industry.
An already-packed guest list expanded even more when reigning World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi stopped off at the Aprilia exhibit, meeting with fans and posing for photos alongside his race bike which would he would ride soon after in a test session at Phillip Island.
Teammate Leon Camier also raced by, along with Kawasaki WSBK rider and Aussie Chris Vermeulen, who was on hand on opening day to help reveal the marque’s all new ZX-10R.
The contingent of Aussie champions was also well-received, with KTM’s champion off-road team and Suzuki’s champion road race team taking time out to speak with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. Bathurst winner Todd Kelly was another local legend to drop by.
BMW Motorrad vice president of design David Robb provided a unique insight into the design theory behind the manufacturer’s range of bikes, and adventurer Steve Crombie provided a first-hand account of his two-wheel experiences in some of the world’s most remote and toughest environments.
Ducati’s Diavel, the Victory Vision Trike, Aprilia’s Dorsudoro 1200 and the BMW K 1600 GTL were just a few of the event’s focus machines.
Over 500 new bikes lined the 15,000sqm floor space, ensuring there was something on offer for all visitors.
The final stop of the East Coast Custom Australian Custom Bike Championships had over 40 entries, and there was plenty of deliberation before judges finally awarded the Overall Champion award, and the S&S ‘X-Wedge’ engine, to Queenslander Stuart Riley for his ‘47’ Custom.
The Yamaha Action Arena was alive with activity, with Lukey Luke on his Triumph joining the lineup featuring the Showtime FMX team, Trials riders and the Brown’s Grafix Mini Moto crew.
Event manager Mark Petersen said the event had been a successful one with positive feedback from visitors and manufacturers alike.
“It was great to see such a strong presence from manufacturers at this year’s show, plenty of effort and expense was invested to ensure a full range of bikes and scooters were on display,” said Petersen.
“Early reports indicate solid interest on the new products which is encouraging.
“Visitors were kept entertained with a range of guests attending, including three World Superbike riders and many more.
“We competed against Melbourne’s typical turbulent weather and the state election so visitor numbers were down slightly on the 2008 figure, however they did buck the general trend of the industry which seems to be undergoing a slow but steady recovery.”
The next event on the calendar is the Sydney Motorcycle Show, set to be held from 25-27 November 2011 at the Sydney Showground in Olympic Park.