MBE 20/20 Vision wins again for The World’s Largest Custom Motorcycle Show
Motor Bike Expo 2020 has crossed the finish line with pavilions teeming with visitors and the outdoor areas still buzzing from the spectacles and thrills offered over the last four days. Despite the Saturday morning rain, the event has re-confirmed its record attendance from 2019, a result which owes itself to the formula curated for enthusiasts: production models, the Custom universe, the world of racing, two-wheel touring, motorcycle riding schools, meetings between students and companies, and open-air shows all offered in perfect proportions.
“We are extremely satisfied with the work we’ve carried out, and the result justify it,” confirms Paola Somma, founder and organizer of the event along with Francesco Agnoletto. “We take exhibitors and industry operators fully into account, while the public was gifted with emotions and enthusiasm. We are also gratified by the benefit that the event generates both for the city as well as the region; for four days, Verona becomes the world motorcycling capital, and this contributes to its already noteworthy reputation.”
“Starting tomorrow works begins for the 2021 edition,” announces Agnoletto. “Motor Bike Expo is a highly successful Event but it can always be improved, and this it is precisely what we want to do in order to offer exhibitors and visitors content which is every year more captivating, capable of piquing their curiosity and serving their interests. We already have many ideas and we will table them immediately and then, as we have done for years, we will begin to travel in order to ‘meet’ motorcycling in every part of the world and in all of its forms. In September we will decide on the direction which we will follow, because Motor Bike Expo doesn’t simply follow trends, but nor does it intend to create them. It strives to always be in-step with motorcyclists.”
Maurizio Danese, president of Veronafiere, stated, “The closing numbers with which this edition of Motor Bike Expo confirms the success of the format which is able to unite business and spectacles. The event is one of a kind, created by motorcycle and custom enthusiasts to be shared with other enthusiasts. Here at Veronafiere, it has found the perfect space to develop itself and, in little more than ten years, we were able to double the number of visitors, increase the internationality, and go from three to four open days. A winning strategy shouldn’t get changed; this is why we are happy to have renewed our partnership with the head organizers, Francesco Agnoletto and Paola Somma, up to 2030.”
ALL NEW HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODELS AT MBE 2020
“Motor Bike Expo is the event of reference for the custom world, and not just in Italy, and Harley-Davidson is proud to confirm its participation. This event which opens up the season presents a very valuable showcase for our public, both current and future. Also the official dealerships believe this and many are present with a wide selection of apparel and personalized customs. Because before being a dealership, they are true bikers, and this is what makes the difference,” says Giacomo Marzoli, Marketing Manager of Harley-Davidson Italy.
At the 12th edition of MBE, the full line of new models from the Milwaukee-based manufacturer were on display for the public inside pavilion 4. Among others, visitors admired the brand new Low Rider S, the Touring line, CVO, and LiveWire fitted with the Reflex Defensive Rider System, a top-of-the-line rider safety system, and compatible with H-D Connect, the app which keeps rider and motorcycle connected, even at a distance.
“117 years of continuous activity testify to the fact that Harley-Davidson has always been forward-thinking, embracing a pioneering spirit and open to new challenges. Today we are faced with new opportunities and Harley-Davidson does not intend to stand idly by. We are shifting gears and challenging conventions. Through new paths and new ways of traveling, we always aim to raise the bar,” continues Giacomo Marzoli, Marketing Manager of Harley-Davidson Italy.
In the spotlight at the Harley-Davidson stand was the most adrenaline-fueled news in the Harley world, presented at EICMA 2019, and which will direct the public towards the future of the Brand: the Harley-Davidson Pan America ™ prototype, the brand new Adventure Touring, ready to tackle any type of journey. The Pan America ™ is a two-wheeler created to face every situation, designed to explore and face the unknown.
The new Harley-Davidson® Revolution® Max engine is also the beating heart of the brand new Harley-Davidson Bronx ™, with the prototype being presented at Motor Bike Exp. This Streetfighter offers a rebellious attitude and performance ready to be discovered.
THERE’S A HONDA FOR EVERYONE
Pavilion 5 was dominated by the largest single stand at Motor Bike Expo. From the off-road line set up by RedMoto to MotoGP and MXGP and even outboard boat motors, Honda is ready and able to win the attention of any enthusiast. Among the curiosities contained within the enormous exhibition area was the X-ADV 750 prepared for endure racing which Renato Zocchi, off-road racer and organizer of the Sardegna Rally, rode for two consecutive years for the challenging Gibraltar Race. Alongside Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow’s official winning RC213V, the NSF250RW, ridden by new Moto3 world champion, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, and decorated with the Leopard Racing Team colors, was heavily photographed throughout the entire event. For custom enthusiasts, 3 interesting exercises in “small” style were on display. These were the “Crazy Monkey” from HMR, the “Moncub” from Ma.Wi, and the “Supercub Urban”, a city scooter turned into a Flat Tracker by Greaser garage and Espressione Moto.
ITALIAN PREMIER OF THE BMW R18/2 AT MBE 2020
BMW Motorrad is one of the fixed presences in pavilion 4 where it often reserves surprises for fans in the form of special customs. This year the German company brought the entire R NineT range, the collection of special Option 719 customization parts (also designed for on / off road models, such as the sales champion R 1250 GS).
There was also the highly anticipated Italian premiere of the Concept custom R18/2 and the presence of other factory customs directly from Monaco.
KAWASAKI BRINGS THE “SUPERCHARGER” Z H2 AND ALL NEW MODELS AT MBE 2020
MBE 2020 saw all the new Kawasaki models on display, including the naked Z900 and Z650, the modern classic W800 and the sport tourer Ninja 1000 SX. One of the bikes that lit up smartphone cameras was undoubtedly the Kawasaki Z H2, the only maxinaked in the world equipped with a Supercharger. To fans who will visit its stand, Kawasaki offered other surprises; inside their area was the Lime Green shop, where the public could buy clothing and official merchandising.
YAMAHA – PREMIERS AT THE OFFICIAL STAND
Yamaha greeted crowds of motorcyclists and enthusiasts at pavilion 6, to see all the new releases from the 2020 range including the naked MT-03 and MT-125, the Tracer 700, the TMAX 560 and the Tricity 300.
Straight from the Faster Sons world, the presence of two special motorcycles based on XSR700: “Violante” built by Garage 221, and “Sette”, the Italian representative in the “Back to the Dirt” contest, created by D&G Motorsport and designed by Oscar Tasso by OCG.
The presence of Indian Motorcycle at VeronaFiere is impressive, exhibiting the full range of its twin-cylinder motorcycles in pavilion 2 and unveiling the latest of its power cruisers to the public. This was the brand new Challenger, a bagger characterized by a performance chassis and above all by the imposing fairing complete with LED headlight unit, specific equipment for long-distance rides. The Challenger boasts an infotainment system with navigator and 100W hi-fi system with Bluetooth technology, a sophisticated central locking system and keyless ignition that secures the tank cap and bags with a simple transponder. This super tourer is powered by the PowerPlus V-twin engine with the stock version reaching nearly 1,800 cc; liquid-cooled and capable of 122 hp. The Brembo braking system with radial calipers, combined with the upside-down fork, are all focused reining in this motorcycle’s power and maximum torque. The Challenger will be available from official dealerships starting in February.
PERSONALIZED LIVERIES FOR ROYAL ENFIELD
Valentino Motor Company, the Italian importer for Royal Enfield, has chosen Verona as a test track to see the reactions of the public to the new offerings proposed with the more than twenty Continental GT, Interceptor, Himalayan and Bullet models, together with accessories and dedicated clothing. “Our stand;” explains the External Relations Manager, Cesare Carola, “is divided into three themed areas. On the one hand, visitors will find the standard Royal Enfield range, divided into four families and equipped with special parts taken from the manufacturer’s spare parts catalog. We add the six Special versions built directly by us with never-before-seen liveries, some two-tone, made for MBE. If the public shows appreciation, they may become limited series proposals for the Italian market. In addition to the dedicated accessories, these specials are equipped with a dedicated Zard exhaust system. The third version of the Royal Enfield exhibition is the Nought Tea factory special, built by the British specialists of Harris Performance based on a Continental GT with a series of special parts that could end up in the catalog of original accessories.”
HEAD-TO-HEAD IN THE APRILIA eGAMES AREA
An unmissable experience for MotoGP and video game enthusiasts.
In collaboration with Aprilia, an area entirely dedicated to eSports was set up at Motor Bike Expo 2020 which gave all visitors the opportunity to virtually challenge each other for the “fastest lap of MBE”.
In the six seats installed, participants became real Aprilia Team virtual riders, carving out perfect trajectories while “riding” the Aprilia RS-GP.
Visitors could test themselves with the console and with the MotoGP 19 game every day of the event while a large screen let the public experience the emotions of the challenge so that even visitors who didn’t play were able to support their friends engaged in the challenge.
On the Saturday, world champion Max Biaggi was also be present at the stand in the Noale-based manufacturer.
Aprilia also participated with MBEducation in the involvement of high school students: Paolo Bonora, Head of the Aprilia MotoGP project, held a workshop for the students recalling his adventures at the highest levels of two-wheel racing, explaining to them the progress that has taken place in the development to get to today’s engine technologies and what the steps were that led him to play such an important role.
Crowds of visitors made a stop at the Mondial stand in pavilion 4. The production of this historic brand, which boasts five world titles for riders as well as manufacturers, is aimed towards young riders with smaller displacement models (125 and 300 cc), complete with modern lines and technological solutions. There is one exception: the latest addition to their product line. Dubbed the Pagani 1948, a retro tribute to the Milanese racer Nello Pagani, the first Italian to become the world champion in the 125 class on a F.B. Mondial. Also under the spotlights was the VentiVenti prototype, a factory custom prepared by the manufacturer itself, characterized by taut lines and a refined chassis, complete with spoked wheels and Öhlins suspension. This may eventually be available as a limited series model.
BIKE SHOW WINNERS
Sunday is, as per tradition, Bike Show day at Motor Bike Expo, the chance to have all of the best customs of the year together at a glance.Metzeler began by awarding the MBE 2020 Metzeler Award to the streetfighter “Labirinto Mentale” from Lazio-based garage ED Special, built based on a Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special.
Then we come to the Magazine Awards, awarded by international print and digital publications present at MBE. Pipeburn selected the NorVin built by Stile Italiano. Iron Trader News together with The Buffalo Chip awarded the BMW K100 from Bottega Bastarda. The psychedelic 1970’s digger from Hillside Classics was selected by Russian photographer Polina Krasnova from Bikers Insider. The chopper “Long Finger” built by Boccin Custom Cycles was selected by Dutch journalist Madness Photography. Yet another award for “Ad Maiora” by Andrea Radaelli of Radikal Chopper came from German magazine Custombike. The American magazine Easyriders, which celebrated its 50th anniversary at Verona, chose as its favorite motorcycle “Blue Godzilla” from Danny Schneider of Hardnine Choppers. Japanese publication Vibes selected a custom bike with clear oriental taste: “The Blizzard” built by Boman Kustom Bike based on a Harley-Davidson Shovelhead 1200.
As is tradition, it was up to Italian motorcycle magazine LowRide to conclude the rich Sunday lineup of award ceremonies. Vallese Garage had a very successful run with their “One4Three”, winning in the Club Style category, first place in the Bagger category, and Best Paint. Other winners included Boccin Custom Cycles with their build “Long Finger” (Chopper category), once again “Ad Maiora” from Radikal Chopper (Freestyle), Asso Special Bike with their V-Rod (Modified), and T4 Motorcycles in the Bobber class. The Sporty Award was given by blog Duecilindri to the Sportster RCK Roll Chop. Corboni e Metalli won in the Scrambler category with “Lunar”. For Café Racer, Stile Italiano won once again with their NorVin 1140 CR. Finally, Best of Show went to “The Blizzard” by BKB.
RADIKAL CHOPPER WINS THE 2020 MBE AWARD
On the Main Stage in Pavilion 1, in front of a sprawling public of bikers and custom enthusiasts, Motor Bike Expo crowned the best custom at the event with the prestigious 2020 MBE Award. The judge panel, composed of international industry “guest stars”, selected an eclectic line-up for the Top 10: from 100-year old vintage style and engineering to Chicano, from choppers from the 70’s to truly modern customs.
Thanks to the flowing lines and smooth, polished finish of “Ad Maiora”, built by Andrea Radaelli from Radikal Chopper, the judges had no doubts: this truly was the best bike at Motor Bike Expo.
The one-off created by the Milanese artisan had jaws dropping all around it. “I really started from a blank page,” recalls Radaelli during the ceremony, “with the intention of unveiling it here in Verona, for the first time bringing a special not using a Harley-Davidson as its base. So I got a BMW R 1100 S with the boxer motor and completely disassembled it so that I could change and tweak it down to the smallest details.”
The result is a sporty machine which clearly demonstrates the skill and creativity that went into bringing it to reality. But the honor of winning the title “King of Verona” wasn’t the only prize; Radaelli went home with a 1.500 euro voucher from Zodiac and a handmade, commemorative “MBE Award 2020” bracelet from Silverbone.
THE YEAR OF CLUB STYLE
Motor Bike Expo confirms yet again that it is the Italian motorcycle event from which the most popular trends in the custom and special scenes emerge. It’s enough to just take one pass through the pavilions filled with unique motorcycles to notice that a new style is beginning to take hold among customizers – who find themselves being called more and more often by clients to build higher-performing motorcycles, but also dynamic and fun to ride. This new custom esthetic which now is finding itself becoming more appreciated in Europe is called Club Style. Starting in the States, riding the wave of success brought along by the TV series “Sons of Anarchy”, getting its name from the particular way Harley-Davidsons – typically Dynas – are personalized by members of the Californian 1% Motorcycle Clubs.
In Verona this style – influenced by personalities such as Arlen Ness and Kirk Taylor, which favors performance upgrades and is esthetically characterized by round front fairings and high handlebars – enjoys two distinct bike shows. The one pioneered by the Italian-American brand Chopper Kings in pavilion 3 has gathered some of the best apparel and accessory producers geared towards Club Style, such as Fueling, Speed Merchant, Bassani Exhaust, and Kirk Taylor who has put together a collection of prizes worth an impressive 7.000 euros. The award ceremony, held on Saturday January 18 on the Main Stage in pavilion 1, wrapped up with Mario Kyprianides of Chopper Kulture taking the first place prize, the same result his Club Style bike enjoyed both in Barcelona and in the Netherlands.
FULL CUSTOMS FROM MS ARTRIX
Even MS Artrix, historic presence among the Motor Bike Expo pavilions, has accustomed the public to sight of imposing and aggressive “full customs”. Its founder Max Gullone respects this tradition by presenting the “69”. The 2020 edition of the show also sees him busy on other fronts. The specialist from Aosta had already distinguished himself with the “11” bobber, selected for the shortlist of the MBE Award finalists awarded on Friday by the international judge panel.
At his stand in pavilion 2 there is also a splendid Harley-Davidson sidecar complete bright green metal flake livery. Olympic fencing champion Aldo Montano was present on Sunday to visit MS Artrix. He is passionate about custom, as well as a friend and customer of the workshop.
THE HARLEY-SUPERIOR FROM PDF
Customizers PDF – Punto di Fuga from Bergamo borrowed the title for his latest special from “The Great Gatsby”, the famous novel by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. It is an elegant, very convincing historical fake, which at first glance deceived many visitors at MBE. The aesthetics of the bodywork are inspired by Brough Superiors – the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles” – of the roaring twenties, with the record speed fairing and the Art-Deco style tank, both in hand-beaten and polished aluminum.
Even if it is a V-twin, the engine does not belong to the venerable English brand, but to a 1981 Harley-Davidson Ironhead 1000 enclosed in the chassis, also of American origin. As always for professional customs, beauty is hidden in the details. This is what makes the PDF Harley-Superior one of the most photographed customs in pavilion 2.
70’S HELMETS SHINES
Fabrizio Caoduro, the face and creative soul of the 70’s Helmets brand, presents a preview of the 2020 collection of his vintage-style helmets in Verona. The presence of the Vicenza-based brand is increasingly welcoming and important. And yet, says Caoduro, “it is never enough: the public rewards us and many fans have come to visit us“. 70’s Helmets displayed over 700 hand-painted and hand-painted helmets, 24 tanks, 6 specials and issue number 1 of the “Seventies Journal”, their promotional magazine, in pavilion 2 of MBE.
THE “TERENCE HILL” BY WILD HOG
The leather motorcycle seat specialists Wild Hog presented the limited series custom “Terrance Hill”, created as tribute to the popular actor who is also a loyal client of the Italian company. This Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe, created in collaboration with dealership Harley-Davidson Motorfan Riccione, was redesigned by Wild Hog who adorned it with leather finishes such as the seat, saddlebags, and flask. Terrance Hill will personally autograph each of the motorcycles that carry his name. Number 01 of this Limited Edition was on display – and on sale – on the Wild Hog stand in pavilion 2.
MBE 2020 PARTNERS AND GUESTS ON STAGE AT “VERNICE & BENZINA”
The Motor Bike Expo gala evening saw special guests of the 26th edition parade on the stage of the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Piazza Bra. “Vernice & Benzina” closed out the opening day by meeting the partners of the event. The evening was presented by the comedian Omar Fantini alongside Eleonoire Casalegno. The organizers Paola Somma and Francesco Agnoletto welcomed Maurizio Danese, President of Veronafiere; the mayor of Verona, Federico Sboarina; the President of the Province, Manuel Scalzotto, in the presence of the local civil and military authorities. A video clip summarized the 26-year history of Motor Bike Expo in a few minutes: “MBE was born from the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. After learning about the world of bikers, I felt like organizing a winter gathering, an idea that later turned into a trade fair event. The secret? Believe in it,” said Agnoletto. Vernice & Benzina was both an institutional and convivial moment: invited on stage – among others – were the former Dakar racer Edi Orioli, Renzo Ruffo (son of the famous Veronese champion Bruno) and Radikal Chopper, who unveiled the winning bike of the MBE Award 2020 (appropriately named “Ad Gloriam”).
A powerful and emotional moment was shared by all when Cory Ness, son of the legendary Arlen, remembered one of the great fathers of the custom movement, passionate about Italy and a great friend of MBE. The company’s 50th anniversary was celebrated together with the half-century milestone reached by American magazine Easyriders, represented that evening by editor Pepper Foster and director Michael Paradise.