Back in December 2021, the Woodcote Events team attended the NEC Motorcycle Show (which is approaching fast again), and caught up with some of our work colleagues and racing pals. We were keen to introduce ourselves to some of the manufacturers and to see their new models in the flesh (and, of course, to try some out).
It was a chance meeting at the show, with one of the BSA team from India, that eventually led us to having serious talks about their upcoming Gold Star launch. We knew this would make a great comeback story. Following years of dormancy for this British brand and having been bought by Classic Legends, it is now an iconic brand that has been given another lease of life.
Photo: BSA Gold Star line up (credit: Jo Artherton)
Photo: BSA close-up (credit: Gareth Harford)
Photo: Gary Johnson & Joe Akroyd during the planning process (credit: Stuart Collins)
Photo: Joe Akroyd riding the Alpine Course at Millbrook (credit: Stuart Collins)
Woodcote Events was tasked to create a one-day event for all the top UK motorcycle journalists, as well as key influencers such as Ruby Rides and Motobob. We were responsible for planning and delivering all aspects of the event including delegate invites, venue finding, accommodation sourcing, riding waves, catering, route planning, photography and video, AV, and staffing the live event, including providing lead and tail riders.
Photo: Ruby Rides and Jo (credit: Jo Artherton)
The bikes were pre-production, so riding on the UK roads was not an option. Based on BSA’s preferred geographical location for this event, we knew that the only venue to get the best out of the bike was Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
Millbrook is a testing facility for the automotive, transport, tyre, and defence industries. There are prototype vehicles being tested, which adds an extra layer of consideration when managing this event. Our photographers and videographers are chaperoned, and all delegates and event staff are briefed to not photograph or film anything themselves without prior permission. This is to protect the other users of the site as some activity is highly sensitive and top secret. It’s also known as the location for the James Bond stunt, featured in Casino Royale (2006), where an Aston Martin DBS was smashed up in spectacular style. But this day was certainly not about any stunts or smash ups!
The beauty of Millbrook as the venue for this event is that it offers a variety of roads and terrain so that the press could get a good feel for the bike in the right conditions, as if they were road riding.
Photo: Joe Akroyd during our route and photo stop planning, prior to the press turning up. (credit: Jo Artherton)
The day started off with a welcome presentation from the BSA team, introducing delegates to the story of BSA and the journey they have taken in bringing the brand back to life. Technical details of the bike were also discussed, along with the all-important price point.
Photo: BSA presentation to delegates (credit: Stuart Collins)
The day is mainly about giving the press riding time and content, so getting the riding waves right is one of the key factors in making the day a success for everyone involved. The riding waves are designed to manage the timing of activity throughout the day. This requires us to split the press into groups so they can have some time on the bike, we can get the photography and video footage they need, and they have time to create their own content and interview members of the BSA team.
Our highly skilled team of photographers and videographers were out on track all day (in that unbelievable heat!), ensuring that each delegate got their own passing shots, tracking shots, pieces to camera, and had time on the bike, utilising the City Course, Alpine Course, and the High-Speed Bowl. Delegates were being led by our two professional lead and tail riders who you might be familiar with if you’re an avid fan of the Isle of Man TT: Gary Johnson and Joe Akyrod. As well as accompanying the delegates, these two were photographed and filmed, so that we gained a bank of B-Roll footage and imagery for BSA to use. There was also a chance to meet the founders and team behind bringing the brand back.
Photo: Joe Akroyd riding for B-Roll content (credit: Gareth Harford)
The highlight of the day was a fist bump (to Gareth) from the two owners of BSA, after they completed a circuit for themselves on the bikes. Their faces, as they came off the bikes, said it all, and they were buzzing from the experience, which was fantastic to see.
Photo: Fist bump time! (credit: Jo Artherton)
Photo: The Woodcote Events team the night before the live event (credit: Gareth Harford)
As a result of this event, the coverage has been pouring through. It made it to the front cover of the MCN and Geoff Hill from The Mirror said of the bike “I think I’ve fallen in love”. The bike and brand continue to attract the media (Did you see it featured on The Bike Show with Henry Cole?), which is great to see. We are looking forward to seeing what comes next with BSA.
In the meantime, follow the links below to read some of the press reviews in full…