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16 November 2019
It’s day one and the NEC bike show has got off to a flying – and busy – start.
Mind you, Motorcycle Live is always quick off the blocks as bikers flock to check out the latest models, coolest customs and chicest classics.
The Principal Insurance stand (Hall 2, stand 2A15) has been attracting it’s fair share of admirers. That’s little wonder given the magnificent metal on display.
We may have mentioned the Midwest Indian 3 – OK, we definitely did – Grinnal Trikes’ Scout-based wonder, which we exclusively revealed to the world today. It’s a beaut.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.
But the gorgeous Grinnall is but one of the tricks we have up our show sleeves.
Take this 325bhp Yamaha XJR Turbo. Armed with bored and wired XJR barrels with GSXR liners and a Sierra Cosworth Garrett T3 turbo with adjustable dump valve, it offers quite a kick.
Built and owned by Kev Bartlett, ‘Pinky’ can hit 160 mph when you push that 1251cc, 106bhp, air-cooled transverse DOHC inline four.
As bikes go, this is the real deal.
A proper thing with plenty of poke. The tubular steel double cradle frame hosts a suspension comprising a chunky swingarm and Ohlins coil spring and gas/oil damper to the rear, telescopic fork and sring/oil damper on the front.
As Motorcycle News said back in the day, this is “a motorcycle to make you feel good.” This unit, immaculate as it is, can do that sat on its stand.
It’s so very easy on the eye.
Another pristine machine completing our trio of Yamaha show bikes.
The RD in RD500LC stands for “race developed”, reflecting this terrific two-strokes genesis as a road-friendly version of Yamaha’s 80s track conquering YZR500.
We’re talking here of a bike designed to mimic Kenny Roberts’ works GP racer. The one he rode to six victories.
Not surprisingly the road version packs a punch, swiftly stepping up the horses to hit 130mph plus.
Modifications to this particular machine include upside down 37mm telescopic forks forks and wheels pinched from a Suzuki RGV250.
It stops courtesy of 270mm discs with 2-piston calipers.
All this makes for a machine we’re assured handles as well as it goes. And as you’ll know, an RD500LC certainly goes!
The six-speed transmission is navigated via a wet multi-disc coil clutch, with the final drive courtesy of O-ring chain.
Once again, an absolutely pristine example, it’s currently valued at some 18 grand.
Whilst so far it’s been something of a Yamaha-fest, we’ve also raided the locker for another Japanese gem.
The machine we’ve brought to the NEC bike show has just 4,300 miles and has had just the own owner since it rolled out of the showroom.
Given it’s concours that should read one careful owner.
The liquid-cooled DOHC V4 motor spits out 118bhp, aided by programmed electronic fuel injection, titanium conrods and lightweight low friction pistons.
To the front you’ll find 41mm USD forks with adjustable compression compression, rebound and preload and 310mm brakes. The rear suspension is taken care of by pro-link adjustable compresssion, rebound and preload, with 220mm brakes.
As you might expect, it can fly, offering a top speed in the region of 160mph.
It is a very sweet machine indeed.
Naturally you’ll enjoy a warm welcome from the Principal posse. But more than that, in a special NEC bike show promotion, they’ll be offering you £50 off any UK road motorcycle insurance, car, van or home policy.
Drop by the stand for full details.
Don’t forget too that the gang will be happy to help with any queries you have about modern, classic, custom, moped, scooter, quad or trike insurance.
The show’s set to run until 5pm on Sunday 24th November. For ticket prices and practical details click here.
Hope to see you here!
Call our specialist team on 0330 024 0087 for your bike insurance quote.
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