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Dirt Bike Show

Interest in off-road motorcycling is at its strongest for over a decade, if attendance at the 2005 Dirt Bike Show is any measure. Final figures have yet to be announced, but early indications are that nearly 21,000 people braved sub-zero temperatures and freezing fog to see the latest hot bikes, kit and clothing. That’s an increase of 2.5% over the previous record year in 2003, bucking the trend of other major events, many of which are down on last year and creating an all time record in the event’s six year history.

Once past the new covered ticket booths, visitors got a warm feeling in the new virtual paddock feature, where Bike It Dixon Yamaha, Rob Hooper Maximum Solutions Suzuki, Molson Kawasaki and CAS Honda had their race trucks and bikes on display. The central ‘Try a Quad’ feature proved particularly popular with younger visitors, giving parents some welcome peace and quiet.

There was certainly plenty of hot metal to keep the winter frosts at bay. APRILIA, who were exhibiting at an off-road show for the first time in 30 years, launched their revolutionary V-twin RXV and SXV dirt bikes to UK riders. Highlights from other manufacturers included BETA’s Enduro RR range, CCM’s British FT-35 flat-tracker, the Pro Trials bikes in 250, 280 & 300cc options from GAS GAS and HONDA’s new CRF250-R, with its distinctive dual silencer exhaust. HUSQVARNA were focusing on their TC250 enduro machine, while for KAWASAKI the KX250F and 450F 4-stroke bikes took pride of place. KTM’s 250 SX-F generated much interest, as did their Carl Nunn replica range of junior motocross machines. The SUZUKI RM-Z450, which is synonymous with Ricky Carmichael, and YAMAHA’s new YZ450F and YZ250F models, with all new alloy frames, created great interest. The small but perfectly formed THUMPSTAR 125cc BSF Spar Carbon demonstrated just how trick mini bikes have become.

Four-wheelers were well represented too. The Outlander quad from BOMBARDIER, powered by an 800cc V-twin motor, the Vector 250 from E-TON, Predator from POLARIS and PGO Bugrider 250 all provide road-legal thrills. For the sport quad rider, HONDA’s CRF-engine powered Sportrax 250 & 450 and SUZUKI’s LTR450 sports ATV displayed cutting edge racing technology.
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