I. – Introduction
For the fourth year the Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival took to the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn, Northern Ireland 8-10th February with the main stage action taking place on Saturday and Sunday with riders including Dean Harrison, Danny Buchan, Alister Seeley, Taylor & Tarren McKenzie.
II. – Who likes to talk?
As usual there were some big names on the stage as well as some unfamiliar faces (yet). 2018 British Supersport Champion Alister Seeley made an appearance as well as Danny Buchan, Dean Harrison and a few others.
The current Lord Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Uel Mackin, made an appearance and while he stated he didn’t have any interest in bikes, it didn’t stop Gary Dunlop giving him the run down on his new Honda retro livery.
For those who hadn’t been to the show and haven’t seen the livery before now, you may look at it and think, I’ve seen that somewhere before! And you’re right, it’s a modern take of the retro livery from Joey’s famous 1999 Superbike victory at the Grand Prix on the RC45 Honda, marking 20 years since the original livery took to the road races.
III. – Fancy buying a new bike?
As every year, one man dominates the show with his large collection of bikes for sale, that is Phillip McCallen.
As a local himself, Phillip is well known in the road racing community with his history of wins including 11 times TT winner (4 in one week), NW 200 winner (5 in a day), Ulster GP and Macau GP Winner. With this impressive record behind him, Phillip claims to be Northern Ireland’s premier motorcycle dealer and rightly so with new bikes from brands including Triumph, KTM and Kawasaki, with used bikes from every brand under the sun.
Other bike enthusiasts who prefer the retro vibe could gaze their eyes on Royal Enfield’s collection who, if you didn’t know, have the tag “the oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production”.
The Charles Hurst BMW Motorrad stand took central stage at the front doors greeting the attendees with a display of new bikes as well as Michael Dunlop and Ali Kirk’s Tyco BMW Bikes.
IV. – Spray Painting and Jumping
At the show it wasn’t just all about the bikes on show to try and entice you into buying a new bike, but also about what else went on around the show.
This year there was a spray painter from Precision Customs (located in Longford) who was at the back of the hall, away from the commotion but he was still doing his thing. This guy stood with his spray gun in his hand, doing precision spraying of an elderly man. The skill that is required to produce something like this could be seen from the work he was putting into the piece of art.
The outdoor exhibit of the show allowed unique talent to show their skills off which included Andy Perry doing trials, Mattie Griffin showing off his stunts and the pitbike racers.
V. – W-riders pick
When I was at the show apart from seeing who was about, I took some time to look around a few of the bikes and see what ones caught my eye. For me, one that struck my eye was the BMW R nineT Urban G/S and what brought me to that bike was the old school feels of the bike with the bright and vibrant colours on a white body. The off road tyres also gave it a cool look.