You may have noticed in the build-up to this year’s Festival of Speed that, as well as the usual dazzling array of celebrated drivers and motor cars there will be an unusually strong line up of famous riders and bikes. We always try to give a good representation of the two-wheeled world, but this year FoS will for the first time feature a dedicated ‘Bikes at the Festival’ village where BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi will display a broad selection of wares.
BMW Motorrad are bringing Charley Boorman’s ‘Long Way Down’ R1200 GS, Guy Martin‘s Isle of Man TT S1000 RR, a Concept Roadster, R1200 GS Trophy and one of the fastest bikes on the road – the fearsome HP4 derivative of the S1000 RR, amongst others including the way-cool R nine T.
Ducati is bringing fourteen of its famous machines from Bologna, with the ferociously-powerful Panigale R topping the bill. It will be supported by a sturdy cast including the much admired Multistrada 1200, the popular, pared-down Monsters, as well as two versions of the recently-released Scrambler – one of which is the ‘Blue Moon’ custom machine built by Northampton firm Britaliamoto.
Triumph will have another of Guy Martin’s racing machines – the very 675 with which he scored a podium finish at the recent Isle of Man TT, backed up by a couple of Jack Lilley specials; a ‘bobber’ and a Speed Triple R ‘cafe racer’ as well as a standard Street Triple R and an America LT.
Italian giant Piaggio will be represented by three of its most famous marques; Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Vespa. Guzzis both old and new will sit alongside a 1957 Vespa GS (prettiest scooter ever..?) whilst Aprilia will show-off its RSV4 RF – another contender for the ‘Fastest Bike on the Roads’ title and winner of multiple World Superbike championships, the Tuono V4 ‘super naked’ and last, but by no means least, a pair of 125cc and 250cc MotoGP mahcines ridden by the great Valentino Rossi earlier in his career.
Add to the mix the likes of Rossi, John McGuinness, Kenny Roberts, Casey Stoner, Sylvain Guintoli, Troy Corser, Greg Hancock and the ever-popular Dougie Lampkin (to name just a modest handful) and it’s clear that the Festival of Speed is shifting up a gear or two in the bike department.
Right then! Prize for the first one to wear out a knee slider!