Finalists for SA Bike of the Year

2015-07-08 06:01

THIS year is shaping up to be a treat for bike enthusiasts, with more than 30 new models announced.

Being spoilt for choice also means the number of finalists for the 2015 SA Bike of the Year has more than doubled.

As has become customary, a panel of 14 South African motorcycling journalists, drawn from a variety of publications, will have three days to test the cream of SA’s biking crop before casting their votes.

Finalists are (in no particular order):

• Kawasaki Ninja H2

• Yamaha R1

• BMW S1000RR

• Aprilia RSV 1000

• Ducati 1299 Panigale

• Ducati Multistrada

• KTM 1290 Super Adventure

• Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

• Aprilia Caponord Rally

• Ducati Scrambler

• Indian Scout

• Harley Davidson Street 750

• BMW RnineT

• Yamaha Tracer

• Suzuki GSX-S 1000F

• Zero S

Where the 2014 list was dominated by naked bikes, the 2015 competition is more evenly spread among the various categories (though with a slight bias towards sport bikes).

There are a number of interesting machines on the list but the two potentially game-changing machines likely to attract a lot of attention are the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 and the innovative Zero electric bike.

The bikes will be judged objectively (within their specific categories) against several set criteria to ensure that each bike stands an equal chance of winning. This will make up 70% of the score, with the remaining 30% reserved for the judges’ subjective impressions.

The greater portion of the testing will take place on the “Twenty-two”, the popular 22km strip of twisty road between Hazyview and Sabie in Mpumalanga. Most of the bikes will be ridden from Gauteng to Mpumalanga to allow the judges to assess their open-road performance (exceptions, such as the Zero with its limited range, will be trailered).

There will also be opportunities for off-road and track riding, depending on the category of bike.

In the interests of transparency Lachlan Harris, the national director of the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMID), will accompany the judges as an independent observer and the judges’ score sheets will be made available to the importers.

The date the winner will be announced has not been finalised but we will tell you as soon as we know.

Bike of the Year is now in its third year and the previous two years’ awards have led to considerable debate. - Wheels24

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