I’m so glad that I went to the Dirt Bike Show as it was genuinely great to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves at a non-competitive off-road event.
If I’m honest I never got to see all of the show itself as I ended up speaking to people for far too long which hindered my progress through the halls. Even if the show lasted for a whole week I fear that I still wouldn’t make it around to seeing everything, or speaking to everyone, I’d like to, as I simply get too engrossed.
I find the whole experience entirely invigorating as the passion this sport produces in the kind of people who are willing to invest their time, effort and energy into events like the show is immeasurable. I genuinely hope all that investment pays off too although I fear it may not as the footfall at this year’s show was lower than I’ve seen previously…
It’s tough to put a finger on why the wider audience is becoming disinterested in the show. Yes, the internet is playing its part and people claim ‘they’ve already seen it’ but even if they have, that’s all they’ve done and like anything else off-road stuff is better when it’s live and you can enjoy it with all your senses.
You can look at something but it’s not the same as picking it up and getting a real feel for what it’s actually about. And that’s something you see on the manufacturer stands as people weigh up the new models. Yeah you can look at a new bike but nobody leaves it at that – levers are pulled, grips are twisted and seats have hands slipped along them.
It makes me wonder what all those non-showgoers who only want to look at new models online are holding in their hands while their eyeballs are taking everything in. Yeah, you’ve seen it but you’ve not really experienced it and life would be fairly rubbish if it was only viewed through a screen. Am I right?
After ‘seen it’, ‘no bargains’ seems to be the next annoyance that people have with the show. That might be true to a degree but I can guarantee you that each and every trader that sacks up and pays for a pitch is offering the best prices they can without putting themselves out of business.
After ‘no bargains’ it seems that ‘no show’ is the next excuse for the no shows. By that I assume they mean that there’s a lack of stars and team launches and there’s not really any defending this one as the show promoters themselves tend to ignore this area with the manufacturers, importers and distributers taking care of this stuff.
The loss of KTM, Husqvarna and Honda had a major affect here as previously they’ve brought along many of the stars in an effort to draw show-goers to their stands. No stands + no stars = no draws!
One stat that I heard many times from many different sources at the weekend was the ‘fact’ that there were 40 new traders to the Dirt Bike Show trading there in 2018 which is fairly impressive when you think about it. The downside to that is the ‘fact’ that 54 of 2017’s attendees didn’t return. I say ‘fact’ as this fact isn’t official although the number of times I heard it said makes me think it might be true.
That said, I also heard it was ‘fact’ that TMX and Dirt Bike Rider are going out of business which is complete poppycock by the way. It’s a rumour that surfaces pretty much every single year and seems to be spread mostly by the kind of people who don’t really get behind the sport much at all and just seem intent on bringing it down from the inside while feeding their own needs and egos.
I think parasitic is the word I’m looking for…
With BREXIT looming, British businesses – and to a degree off-road motorcycle motorsport as a whole – faces an unknown and potentially difficult future and that kind of BS just isn’t gonna help. Now is the time to stick together and support each other as best we can in whatever ways we can to make the future brighter for everyone involved…