Yesterday I decided to take up the kind invitation from the Eicma Press Office to come to visit the 77th edition of Italy’s most prestigious Motorbike and Cycle Trade shows at the international structure designed by the architect Massimiliano Fuksas: Rho Fiera Milano. I admit the last time I participated was in 2017, where I did not find it of general interest as it was virtually 100% dedicated to the motorbike sector which I had no interest in. This year was much different – hence this little write up.
Early morning rise at 6 am from my home in Brescia, a quick 20-minute walk to Brescia train and I hopped onto the 7.53 ‘Regionale’ train direction Milano Centrale. Probably ten years had passed since the last time I caught the train to Milan. Unfortunately, the trains are still the same: dirty, cramped and in urgent need of maintenance. Our train was 25 minutes for my next connection to the Rho Fiera Milano train station. At roughly 9.18 my train arrived at Milan and I needed to visit the toilet. I was absolutely appalled! 1 euro to access public toilets (daylight robbery). Thank god I managed to cross my legs till I reached my final destination which was only a 10-minute train trip away.
The Eicma Trade show actually is easier to reach by train and underground than by car. It’s approximately a 30-minute brisk walk to the entrance of the show from the train platform (so wear comfortable shoes or trainers; I clocked up roughly 11500 steps yesterday according to my smartwatch.) Parking at the show costs roughly 18 euros/day and if you add that to the 23 euros ticket entry and the overpriced food and drinks the day out could become rather expensive. Beware!
There were very stringent security checks at the entrance which were most welcome. Chaotic as usual as Italians do not know what an orderly queue means. It’s not in their DNA unfortunately. They have loads of positive points as a nationality but in some lack credibility.
Having passed security was another very long 15-minute walk to the furthest halls of the complex to collect my tickets from the very kind staff at the media & pr staff. My feet were starting to feel very sore and the day had not yet started. (BTW I am not unfit and like to keep in shape).
I gradually worked my way from hall 14 in an anticlockwise fashion to hall 9. Obviously my main focus was on the E-Bike sector which is confirming itself as the leading cycle transport in Europe. There is a close link now between e-bikes and motorbike brands now, and this was very obvious at the EICMA trade show. Many big-name brands are producing their own E-bikes to cater for their every demanding clientele. The demo e-bike area was a really good idea and very well organized and it bought a sense of change to the format of the trade show.
We advise you to pop round to the following stands:
VENT MOTO – HALL 24 (STAND G68)
They have on show their first patented Muscular (full suspension) e-bike Name LDV 500 ( LDV= LEONARDO DA VINCI). The design is radical especially considering the position of the rear suspension incorporated in the carbon frame structure. Production apparently will start next year. Ask for Simone and he will be able to tell you about the project. Very exciting times for this brand.
GALFER BIKE – HALL 22 (STAND 41)http://galfer.eu/GALFER is a leading manufacturer of friction materials and components for braking systems for the motorcycling, and bicycle sectors. Ask for Antonio Rullo who will be delighted to explain the Unique Selling Points of their Brake Pads and Discs for the E-bike sector.Other special mentions worthwhile visiting: KTM Bikes, Fantic, Polini, Bottecchia, Whistle, Bafang, Andreani group …Conclusions
All in all the trade show is an experience crammed full of motorbikes and objects of motoring desire. Obviously motorbikes in Italy are accompanied by an embarrassing amount of very pretty ladies straddling the bikes on show. I don’t totally agree with this as it lowers the standards as a whole.
The halls are not perfectly organized and I feel that the direction signs need to be improved a lot. I have visited many shows now, and I have never found myself so lost visiting the halls as yesterday at the Eicma show. The layout also of the exhibitors seemed to be very mixed up as well and could have been made a lot more orderly.
Probably the worrying aspect is the actual cost for a normal visitor. Which I feel really needs to be made more accessible is the final cost for a days visit:
Parking: 18 eurosEntry: 23 eurosFood: Slice of Margherita pizza 6 euros
All in all, it’s a worthwhile experience if your budget permits it. Improvements need to be made and the general format should evolve more to a user experience format (there were demo bikes and interactive motorbike booths, but not enough as a whole.) Pretty ladies straddling motorbikes is enticing for the first hour then to be honest, you get sick of it and find it very boring. It’s very sad to see overexciting, frisky Italian men taking selfies with their smartphones with the female hostesses perched on the motorbikes in skin-tight shirts showing off their curves and assets (similar to the ones Hooter girls wear) as a prized trophy to post on social media or to show to his mates at the bar afterward.
Hopefully, we will be invited again to visit next year, and we will be able to report an improved EICMA show.
Below you can see a selection of the photographs we took yesterday at the show. We hope you enjoy them!
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