In something of a coup for Yamaha NZ and the Big Boys Toys organisers, the brand new R1 and R1M were both on Yamaha’s stand at the recent Auckland show. To put that in context, it meant Yamaha NZ took delivery at the same time as the Milwaukee Yamaha BSB team got theirs.

This year’s show was well attended, even if Yamaha, Suzuki and Victory/Indian were the only bike brands making an appearance. And the R1M was certainly attracting its share of attention.

Reports and photos from the bike’s global launch at Milan’s EICMA show earlier in the week didn't do the bike justice. Pictures somehow cannot capture the bike’s presence and sharp-edged modernity. The ‘M’ in particular has it in spades. We’ll let you know when we've got our hands on an example for review.

Nothing quite so dramatic on the Suzuki stand, but there was a rather fun version of the new V-Strom called the Desert Strom, Featuring knobblies, a Yoshi can  and, er, painted-on machine guns, it was priced the same as the standard bike. Interesting that knobblies should feature on a bike Suzuki say is more road bike than ‘dual sport’. But, as we found when testing, the Suzuki’s light weight gives it a head start off road.

There was plenty of traffic on both the Indian and Victory stands. Anecdotally, everyone seemed happy with how the show went and how sales are picking up. It could be a good summer…