Selecting the bike of 2015
Judges spoilt for choice as number of finalists for 2015 Bike of the Year has more than doubled
CAPE TOWN — What a year! 2015 is shaping up to be a treat for bike enthusiasts, with more than 30 new models announced, including the likes of the Aprilia Tuono, Ducati Monster 1200S, and electric Zero DS.
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.
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 22 km 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. • The Bike of the Year is now in its third year and the previous two years’ awards have led to considerable debate. Tell us which bikes you think should have been on, or off, the list.
The electric 2015 Zero DS in action. Cayenne Group told ‘Wheels’ the Zeroes are selling as fast as the are unpacked, but such is the depth in the Bike of the Year, the DS is not on the list.