As those of you living in the southern(ish) states will know, the annual Motorcycle Show now alternates between Sydney and Melbourne. So does the Motor (car) Show. Times are tough in automotive land and the manufacturers reckon they can't afford two shows every year. Anyway, for 2011 it was Sydney's turn, so I went along to check out the latest and greatest. 
If you got here from my Blog (which is most likely), you'll know a bit of general stuff and clicked here to look at the pictures. But just in case you got here from the General page, and the article Going To The Show in particular, I'll mention a few details first before get to the drool-on-your-computer bits.
Firstly, it was at a different venue; the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre rather than the Homebush arena. That made it a bit more difficult to get to for me (right in the middle of Sydney's traffic etc, rather than around the outskirts to Homebush), but did provide a bigger (and someone told me cheaper) venue.
That article on Going To The Show was a light-hearted look at the actual going-to as much as the show itself. So maybe I should mention that. A mate and I decided we would go by train. Yes, it is slow and frustrating, but you don't have to worry about parking. (And, having a Senior's Card, my mate gets the whole shebang for just $2.50!). Then our plans were, quite literally, derailed. A coal train came off the tracks, some of its carriages tumbled over and spilled a few gazillion tonnes of the black stuff all over the rails. Going by train would now require a bus around the affected area. So we decided to forego the train-then-bus-then-train experience and drive up.
The hustle and bustle of Sydney traffic was made considerably less stressful for me by being a passenger in my mate's car, with him doing the driving. We decided on this (well, technically I think I decided on it) because he knows his way around Sydney a lot better than I do. (He actually likes Sydney, I like it better the further I am away from it!). I suggested splitting the costs by me paying for the parking.
The show was interesting - as it always is! People often criticise these shows for not having this or having too much of that, but I'm the sort of person that if it's got wheels and an engine I'll happily have a look at it, sit on it, and more than likely take a photo of it. So I thought it was good. I always do!
People make it interesting too. On my way in I'm sure I saw John Smailes (former commentator and motoring personality). I saw The Bear (Peter Thoeming) at the Australian Road Rider stand, but by the time I got to the stand he'd gone. (Probably saw me coming!). I made a point of going back to the Motorcycle Trader stand at the appropriate time to meet Spannerman, (alias Groff, alias Grant Roff). He seemed a really nice bloke. I didn't tell him this, but he looked younger than I expected. He's been around motorcycling forever, and has had a big grey beard for as long as anyone who knows him can remember, but his skin looks smoother and younger than I expected from all that. I of course knew what he looked like from photos in the magazines, but photos of me are much less common and less informative - if people have seen them at all. When I introduced myself to him, he told me that I didn't look like he imagined. Apparently he expected me to be shorter and fatter. I was somewhat flattered when he said that something he'd read on my web-site was really helpful to him. I vaguely remember him mentioning this in a column he wrote, but neither of us could remember what it was. Anyway, for someone of his vast experience and knowledge to have learnt something from my site was, as I said, quite flattering.
Anyway, enough of this, lets get to the photos!
The new Ducati Paningale, which will replace the 1198, attracted a crowd. Looks quite spectacular; although not sure about the under-stated exhaust.
There were custom bikes too. "I'd like to roll up to the local bike-hang on this, just for pose-value!" Said my mate.
The ultimate stocking-filler! Yamaha always have a spectacular back-drop to their display and this year it had a distinctly Christmas theme.
The Yamaha FZ8 has a lot going for it, apart perhaps, from the rather ugly exhaust.
An amazing original XS650 from Yamaha. Apparently kept in storage and not even started.
What's a car doing here? Well, it's powered by a Ducati 1198 engine! Light enough to still go quick.
Nice to see the big old XJR1300 still on display; looking good in its new black livery.
How cute is this! You can't beat the original can you. This is the 125cc version of the iconic Vespa.
For spectacle it was hard to go past these big flashy trikes. This one from OzTrikes.
A couple of "golden oldies" at a dirt-bike magazine stand. 1970s DT Yamaha and Suzuki PE250.
Triumph are doing some nice things with the Thunderbird. This version looks great!
Still a favourite of mine. Triumph's Sprint GT. And looking good in its silver paint job.
Honda were taking full advantage of Casey Stoner winning the MotoGP championship.
The latest version of Suzuki's popular and very capable V-Strom 650.
Still not sure about the Spyder, but it was very comfortable to sit on. (No, that's not me on it).
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