Post-Milan Motorcycle Show Impressions…

… While being caught in the UEFA Champions League fever, the Italian city of Milan was also the host of another major event, dedicated to the motorized two-wheeled market. As you might have seen during the last couple of days, the autoevolution team went there to attend the 2010 EICMA show, and witness the world’s biggest motorcycle-related event of the year. Now that we survived all the frenzy, we are back and ready to share a behind-the-scenes look of our experience with you.

We knew from the beginning this will be as exciting as it will be exhausting, so we got there ready to do our best in providing our news team from the autoevolution HQ with the most interesting photos and details of the event, so they can process them for you.

As soon as we got our feet in what is said to be a world fashion and design capital (far from it, ed), arriving a day early, we rushed to the EICMA media center to get our press accreditation. As first-timers, however, we had a lot of troubles finding the press room. After wandering an hour in heavy rain from one hall to another, with nobody on site willing to speak at least basic English, we finally reached the EICMA press center “Mecca”.

Should we mention that while entering a wrong hall to ask for directions in our extremely poor Italian (that, by the way, is reduced to about ten words), an MV Agusta F4 was waiting to be placed to stand… with the key in it? Needless to say, the first thing that crossed my mind was to start the engine. I would have gladly taken it for a tour around the premises and stop just for a cup of hot tea, but I was soon awakened from my wet (blame it on the rain, ed) dream, by one of the guys in charge of getting the bike to the booth.

Unfortunately for us, all this marathon was in vain, as we were informed that we could only get the accreditation the next morning. So all that was left to do was to grab something to eat while setting up a battle plan for the next day. After struggling to find a decent restaurant with a smoking area, and with more than 15 dishes on the menu, we gave up and settled with something far below what we thought the much appraised Lombardian city has to offer.

However, we didn’t have the time to properly ‘digest’ the city, as the morning came sooner than ever and we found ourselves already haunting the EICMA halls for the most coveted models on display. But first, we had to secure a place at the press room, where we managed to leave everybody in the dark for a few minutes, following an attempt of plugging in the laptop… so much for a fresh start…

While trying to get pass the ‘carabinieri’, who were there to secure the site for a visit from the Italian prime-minister Silvio Berlusconi, we couldn’t help ourselves from taking a few ‘paparazzi’ shots of the police-prepared Alfa Romeos. In fact, one of our photographers got so carried away that almost forgot he was there for a whole other purpose… a two-wheeled one.

Finally, we managed to get inside the first hall, where we started our quest of finding the best of the best at an event fully stuffed with world premieres. Only a few other press members were wandering the corridors, so it was basically empty. The Suzuki display was still being dusted off, as we adjusted our cameras to start the avalanche of DSLR flashes that continued the whole day. By the time we were done with the new Hayabusa (which was the first model snapped by our photographers), the site was full of trade visitors that got between the motorcycles and our lens. Sadly, what should have been a press-only day turned out to be flooded with trade visitors…

The next on our list was Harley-Davidson, which was also the first to bring the ladies to the stand. A beautiful display of curves, both from the machines, as from the girls used in the presentation. Between the Yamaha stand (where the 2010 MotoGP champ Jorge Lorenzo was sharing his emotions) and the poorly lighted Kawasaki display, we saw a glimpse of what appeared to be the official presentation of MV Agusta’s F3, so we made a short stop to take a few shots of the company’s new 675cc bike.

Before we had the time to take a deep breath after gazing at that beautifully styled GP-inspired exhaust, Aprilia was getting aided by the 2010 Superbike World Champion Max Biaggi to take the wraps off the new RSV4. So we left the crowd choosing between Lorenzo and Biaggi, and we hurried to Honda’s display, where no less than eight new models were waiting to be caressed with thousands of flashes.

Honda had, without a doubt, the most stunning display of the show, while also using a different approach to the classic motorcycle-girl presentation. The Japanese manufacturer was the only one to use boys instead of girls, with the masculine silhouettes perfectly matching the company’s latest contraptions.

After a coffee break and screaming for a foot massage, we returned to the hunt. Our next stops were KTM, Moto Guzzi, Ducati and BMW. If we managed to survive all those looking to take a closer look at the new 125 Duke or the new Diavel, the tight battle between BMW’s motorcycles vs. its show girls was too much for us.

Oh, and did we mention the bunch of visitors waiting in a chaotic line to get their hands on all those free gifts from the manufacturers? That is how a day that was meant to be for press only was flushed down the toilet… (pardon my French, ed). With all this disappointment in mind, we got back to our hotel and witnessed how Inter Milano got their asses kicked by Tottenham, right before dropping dead asleep.

Our third day in Milan (and second at the EICMA show) was all about the event’s various initiatives, such as Custom City, Green Planet, Tourism on Two Wheels and Motolive. While my colleagues were trying to take pictures of the crème-de-la-crème creations in the custom oasis (which, by the way, had some awesome four-wheeled rides included that will get the chance to be taken a look at in an upcoming coverstory), I rushed to check out the other three.

The Tourism on Two Wheels area was all about ideas and suggestions for the touring enthusiasts, while Green Planet was, as far as I could tell, a hybrid and electric vehicle show within the show itself. Finally, the most interactive part of the whole event was Motolive, an area dedicated to stunts, competitions, test rides, and genuine entertainment.

At the end of the day, all the energy left was enough to hear the crowd from San Siro going crazy at Inzaghi’s double feat from our hotel room.

This being said, with no less than 55 EICMA-related news in two days, all the sweat on our foreheads and that feet-destroying experience was somehow worth it. However, our first encounter with the international motorcycle show in Milan left us with a few other things in mind.

For example, that fact that many of us (journalists) have been hardly able to get a clear shot of the models due to the mass of visitors is an alarm signal for the organizers that press-only days should become mandatory.

Secondly, despite being the home of auto brands such as Alfa Romeo and Fiat, almost one in two taxis in Italy (or at least in the city of Milan) is a Toyota Prius. Which we figured out it's for tax-related benefits. Finally, to be able to get along with the EICMA staff in the future, I should really practice my Italian more often.

Oh, and by the way, from a conversation that one of our staff members had with a show girl at EICMA (who was probably impressed by his huge camera lens, ed), we found out the girls are willing to smile for the cameras only during the first days of the show. That’s so you don’t get your hopes up if you plan to visit the event later…
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