VISITORS and traders have lauded this weekend’s International Dirt Bike Show as the best ever as tens of thousands packed in to Warwickshire’s Stoneleigh Park for the four-day spectacular.
Partnered this year by oil giant MOTUL, the event – October 27-30 – recorded a healthy 4.2% rise in overall attendance as the scene’s major players displayed their 2017 ranges alongside hundreds of trade stands and exciting live action.
At the venue and across social media, showgoers heaped praise on the premier off-road exhibition in Europe with many describing it as a “great weekend” and declaring their intentions to return in 2017.
Head of the event Nick Mowbray said: “What a superb few days. To see the enthusiasm from the punters and efforts put in by all of our exhibitors is fantastic, and only serves to demonstrate the strength of this show and the scene generally.”
MOTUL brand manager Richard Barrett added: “I’ve been attending and exhibiting at the International Dirt Bike Show for many years and this one was without doubt the most impressive. The engagement we had with the visitors was great and our first year as title partner gave MOTUL a tangible boost in brand awareness. We have some great things planned for the new season and can’t wait to launch them to our off-road customers.”
At the heart of the action was a who’s who of star riders and top names gracing the main stage, and it was eight-time world champion and KTM rider Tony Cairoli who arguably created the biggest buzz; the Italian motocross legend jetting in from Rome especially to visit the show and be interviewed by commentator Jack Burnicle.
KTM marketing coordinator Ross Walker said: “We’d like to pass our thanks on to Tony who made the time to come to this year’s show to meet fans and sign autographs. What a buzz!”
Two live action halls provided the thrills with three sessions per day of Dougie Lampkin’s Arena Trials featuring mountain bike ace Danny Butler, along with non-stop racing in the action-packed MiniBike Supercross competition.
However, the main hubs were undoubtedly the three manufacturer, trade and retail halls which were inundated with eager shoppers looking to upgrade their hardware and pick up a bargain or two.
KTM’s Ross continued: “There was so much interest in the new KTM 2017 off-road range and it’s always a pleasure to welcome so many visitors onto our stand to help and advise.”
Graham Foster-Vigors, newly appointed off-road sales manager at Honda, also told the organiser the event had been a memorable one: “We’ve had a really, really positive few days with a high quality of customer, many of whom were looking to make purchases. All of the manufacturers should be commended for their efforts… we are nothing but impressed.”
Arenacross had an increased presence at this year’s show, and Arena Sports Live managing director Matt Bates said: “We put a lot of effort into our stand and incorporated many Arenacross elements such as strobe lights and distinctive music, and it paid off in terms of exposure and ticket sales for the 2017 Arenacross Tour. Saturday in particular was great for us as we had a huge crowd on the stand when our presenter Jeff Perrett interviewed Tommy Searle – the British champ talking about how he’s looking forward to contesting the 2017 series.”
As well as enjoying a jam-packed event, visitors and exhibitors were also given a teaser as to some changes which will be happening for 2017 and beyond.
Show manager Nick added: “I can’t say too much right now, but watch this space because throughout the next 12 months we’ll be revealing all regarding exciting developments and new elements which are being introduced.
“We already can’t wait to get back to Stoneleigh next year, so get the dates of Thursday to Sunday, October 26-29, 2017 in your diary… it promises to be another unforgettable four days.”
For more information on the show, and to keep up with what’s coming in 2017, be sure to add dirtbikeshow.co.uk to your favourites.