Monday, 9 April 2018

Scawtish Show 2018

I have been going to the Scottish Motorcycle Show for more years than I really care to remember. It started out quite small and was run as a side project by a local couple. It grew arms and legs and eventually had to move to its current home at he Highland Showground near Edinburgh.

Three different manufacturers trying to appeal to the same market
However, with handing over of responsibility to a big corporation the charm that it had in its early days seems to have been lost. Prices for exhibitors have apparently risen steadily and priced out a lot of the smaller vendors, the guys who sold nuts & bolts, who would make you a number-plate, that sort of thing. 

They have been replaced with a steadily rising number of stall holders with only a tenuous link to motorcycling; cheap leather tat, t-shirts with skulls and half naked women on them, and a first for me this year, one selling ladies tweed handbags. I had wanted some decent gloves but was unable to find anything I'd consider worth the money. I came home and bought a set online.

You thought that I was kidding, didn't you?
Each year I come home from the show disappointed and vow never to go back. In fact, I did stop going for several years, before being enticed back with the offer of a free ticket. 

I did something similar on the MZ club stand 20 years ago
This year was particularly poor, perhaps due to rescheduling after snow caused it to be cancelled last month the only big manufacturers present that I noticed were Triumph and Yamaha. The remaining places were given over to local dealers, and there was a fair amount of duplication of effort.

Beautiful but expensive modern Norton Commandos
Very well done conversion on a Honda GL1000 Gold Wing
Something to annoy the HD boys
One-off DELTA Sunbeam 928
Why go if it is so bad? Probably because, being so early in the year, it is really the first opportunity to get the bike out and it’s an occasion to meet up with people who you may not have seen for a while. 

Ten and a half - Moto Morini
"Look left" - MZ TS250s on the club stand with a modern 1000S in background
As always, the club stands are the best bit, with some lovely old bikes on display. I seem to spend most of my time there, talking to people I know and making plans for meeting up elsewhere in the course of the year. 

It's also always worth just wandering around the parking area outside as there's always the odd interesting machine or two to find. Whether this is worth the entry fee is debatable.


  1. It is sad when corporate greed can take over a good show. Weird to see the hand bags there. And yet you couldn't find gloves. Sigh.

  2. We stopped going to bike shows as well, they end up being the same thing over and over, same bike manufacturers, same vendors.
    We have a small local vintage club that sets up every May at our County Fairgrounds, and they too are moving to a bigger venue next year, the Expo Center in the next County.
    I agree, the parking lot is the best part of most shows; I also prefer local bike nights.