Gear and kit

Save money at the big motorcycle shows

If you’ve haven’t been to one of the big motorcycle shows like the NEC or London events, here’s the worst-kept secret in biking: Show-only deals are the best way to save money on expensive gear, like helmets, leathers and waterproofs.

Cheaper even than online.

The London February show is arguably the place to pick up an even better deal than Birmingham. Although the NEC show is at the end of the season and the retailers want to offload the last of the year’s stock, in London, they’ll be even keener not to be lumbered with it for the forthcoming year.

So if you aren’t bothered by having to have the latest graphics on a helmet or one-piece racing leathers, the savings are serious.

This year, we were offered the superb Shoei NXR helmet by the Infinity Motorcycles stand, in a decent colour, for £280. That lid should be £420. Helmet City were offering plain white for just £265.

We tweeted early in the day that we found a Shoei GT Air for £300 (£499 new) but Helmet City were doing them for only £279.

Now you can find deals as cheap as that on eBay. But at the show, A) You can try the lid on, B) You know the lid is genuine and C) You know the helmet is brand new and not a second or a return. Buying off eBay, for example, guarantees none of these.

Motorcycle Mega Store had some cracking one-piece leather from £150 but the real deal was a Richa textile jack that was reduced from £199 down to £70. I know!

Even the smaller, specialised stands make their gear cheaper. After a long and lovely chat with the people at EDZ Layering (we’ll be covering layering in an article soon as a result) they told us nearly everything they were selling over the weekend had 20% off, including the hugely popular one-piece inner layer for race suits, down to just £40.

Likewise, the retro Hedon brand were offering a free visor on their beautiful Hedonista models, over on the Urban Rider stand.

Harpers on Stand R1320 were being a bit coy at first when we asked for, ‘the deal you’d give your best mate.’ Then they happily decided that they did want you to know that they are doing handmade Wolf leather jackets, bespoke to your design and size for a show only prices starting at £199. That is an absolute bargain.

Get yourself sorted:

For the best possible deals, Sunday is the day. The traders really don’t want to have to load their vans again and there is a sweet spot after lunch when you can get a final £20-30 off those helmet prices. Don’t leave it too late though as after 3pm their minds turn to hitting the road themselves and after three days on their feet you’re better off leaving them to it.

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