Earlier this week, organizers of the UK’s Motorcycle Live show confirmed what everyone expected: This year’s event will be virtual-only.

Motorcycle Live doesn’t grab quite as much attention as the Intermot or EICMA shows, but it’s nevertheless a major event on the European moto calendar, with lots of foot traffic. The smaller Brit brands like to debut machines there, and there’s always lots of flash Nortons and CCMs on display, that sort of thing.

Of course, COVID-19 came along, and took the fun out of public gatherings. Back in June, the organizers had already postponed this year’s show, but it wasn’t clear what, or if, they were going to do instead. Now we know—the show is going virtual, with manufacturers presenting their products online instead of in-person.

Naturally, it won’t have the same sort of appeal as the show, but even if the UK’s pandemic restrictions weren’t constantly in flux, a lot of customers wouldn’t be excited about risking coronavirus exposure by attending. Thinking about it from the perspective of the exhibitors, would they want to expose their staff to that risk? Probably not. But everyone wants to keep the public hyped up, so we get the virtual show.

Germany’s Intermot show and the Italian EICMA show are doing more-or-less the same thing this year. However, we haven’t really heard too much of what the Canadian and American show organizers are doing. Right now, the IMS has show dates posted to its website with the advisory “Show dates are subject to change, as we closely monitor local government guidelines surrounding COVID-19.” IMS also launched a new website that seems aimed at providing a sort of virtual show experience. In Canada, the MMIC hasn’t posted any 2021 show schedule yet, and the other major Toronto shows haven’t announced any cancellations for the upcoming season.

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