News had a stand at the recent Motorbike and Scooter Show 2013 at the RDS.

It was our first time at this very well attended show and we got to speak to a lot of bikers and others in the industry.

A few stands in particular caught our eye. Helite from the UK were exhibiting their airbag jackets which rapidly inflate in the case of an accident. They protect the neck, back and chest. The airbag is triggered by a lead connected to the bike which requires 30kg of force which avoids accidental inflation.

Niall Farrell of tried the jacket and you can see from our video how it works. The Kevlar jacket certainly felt like it would provide protection and while it does require the rider to come away from his bike and may not inflate in all accidents, it will surely add to a rider’s protection.

Cotter Motorcycles had a large display and appeared to be doing brisk trade. Of particular interest to us was their range of helmets and we plan to explore the difference in helmet protection and cost on the website shortly.

The Triumph stand was impressive and the Thunderbird caught a lot of people’s attention. On the BMW stand, we particularly liked the F800 GT and the tourer1200RT. Honda had a comprehensive display (other than the Pan European!) and the starting of their championship winning race bike every so often caused a lot of very nice noise!

There were many riding schools at the show and we had interesting conversations with people like Tony Agnew of and Noel Guinan of the CBT group in Clonmel. It was interesting that most schools have women making up 40% of their intake. Many riders are interested in progressing to ROSPA standard which has to be a good thing.

We spoke to Phil Burrell of the Christian Motorcyle Association whose group try to bring the Lord to bikers by attending shows and rallies and generally making themselves useful!