MODEL launches, new exhibitors and rider team announcements kept visitor interest on the boil at the 2015 International Dirt Bike Show, maintaining the Show’s reputation for being the shop window for the industry.
Visitor numbers for the off-road showpiece matched last year’s record-breaking attendance, ensuring the event retained its title as the biggest exhibition of its kind in Europe. The retailers and dealers who packed into the halls for the Show’s duration will now look to continue the positive momentum and many expect to see increased custom, both on the shop floor and online
With positive feedback from showgoers, and exhibitors already confirming plans to attend next year, the organising team announced the four-day dirt biking extravaganza will return to Stoneleigh Park on Thursday, October 27-Sunday, October 30.
Attending manufacturers covered all sectors of the sport and industry, with stands of varying sizes housing the likes of Beta, Bultaco, Electric Motion, Fantic, Gas Gas, Honda, Husqvarna, JotaGas, Kawasaki, KTM, Kuberg, Mecatecno, Montesa, Rieju, Sherco, Suzuki, Yamaha and Vertigo. The retail hall was buzzing and, if the sight of show-goers laden down with purchases as they left the hall was anything to go by, business was clearly strong this year.
The Show stage has become the place for teams to head to introduce riders and sponsors and this year was no exception. Announcements included Tommy Searle’s move to Steve Dixon’s Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki team, Elliott Banks-Browne and Ashley Wilde to Geartec Yamaha, Brad Anderson to GL12 Yamaha for EMX300 and Tanel Leok to MVR-D Husqvarna.
Staying with the stage, the newly-introduced Putoline/DBR X-Box Challenge proved to be immensely popular, with gamers eager to have a shot at winning the prize of an X-box console and game, together with a box of Putoline goodies. The ultra-quick time of 1:12:26, set on the opening day by Cole Howard of Manchester, was never bettered. Over on the strongman front, the best was saved until last, when Steve Lake held on to the wheel/tyre combo, with a weight of 8kg, for a muscle-trembling six minutes. He truly deserved the amazing prize of a set of top-quality Michelin tyres mounted on a pair of exquisite Talon wheels, worth in the region of a cool £1000.
Live action has always been a firm favourite with show fans and the 2015 event took it to another level with the introduction of Arena Trials under the guidance of 12-time World Trials Champion Dougie Lampkin. Trials riders James Dabill, Jack Price, Iwan Roberts and Billy Bolt took to the circuit three times daily, scaling seemingly impossible obstacles and going head-to-head in flat-out races. But they didn’t have it all their own way, as Extreme MTB riders Danny and Ash Butler wowed the assemble audience, often out-manoeuvring the engine-powered boys.
The International Dirt Bike Show Minibike Supercross also provided uncompromising, fast and furious racing throughout each day of the Show.
Over recent years, the International Dirt Bike Show has become synonymous with providing entertainment for the younger members of the family and the have-a-go kids’ activities were a massive hit. The little ‘uns patiently queued for their turn on My First Honda Licence, Kuberg and Mecatecno electric trials bikes, Strider no-pedal balance bikes and kids quads, whilst the older members of the family were able to test out the Electric Motion and Bultaco Brinco electric machines.
Reviewing the 2015 event, Show organiser Nick Mowbray said; “As a team, we continue to aim high in terms of providing an exhibition that offers great value, expansive product displays and plenty for the whole family to see and do. The response so far from visitors and exhibitors is that we pretty much got it right. We’re tremendously indebted to the thousands and thousands of visitors who made the trip to Stoneleigh Park and engaged in the Show this year, and, of course, huge thanks go to every single exhibitor who helped make the Show a success.
“Of course, there is no room to sit around and rest on our laurels as there’s less than 12 months now to make improvements and get next year’s Show sorted. The planning is already underway …. “