Bike of 2015

SA’s top rid­ing scribes judge 16 bikes to get one win­ner

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

JUDGES in the third an­nual Pirelli SA Bike of the Year (Boty) have voted the Kawasaki Ninja H2 as South Africa’s top bike.

This year’s win­ner was an­nounced last night at Red Star Race­way in Mpumalanga.

Co-or­gan­iser of the event, Harry Fisher, told Wheels the young Boty has gained of­fi­cial recog­ni­tion as well as the re­spect of the mo­tor­cy­cling public.

As with pre­vi­ous events, the judges were all rid­ing scribes, se­lected on the strength of their ex­pe­ri­ence not only as jour­nal­ists but also as mo­tor­cy­clists.

Their man­date was to rate each bike in each of the cat­e­gories on its own mer­its and vote for the bike that showed the great­est ad­van­tage/im­prove­ment against its di­rect ri­vals. The 16 fi­nal­ist mo­tor­cy­cles broadly fell in four cat­e­gories: naked, sport, long haul cruiser and full elec­tric.

The bikes were rid­den to and rated over the Long Tom Pass in Mpumalanga.

Fisher stressed that the 16 fi­nal­ist bikes were not judged against each other.

“It would be im­pos­si­ble to com­pare a su­per­bike with a cruiser, for ex­am­ple,” he said.

In­stead, the judges con­sid­ered ar­eas such as aes­thet­ics, in­no­va­tion/tech­nol­ogy, value for money, build qual­ity, ride­abil­ity, han­dling/ per­for­mance and suit­abil­ity for in­tended use.

“How­ever, emo­tion can­not be taken com­pletely out of the equa­tion and a per­cent­age of the vote will be ‘would I ac­tu­ally spend my own money on this bike?’” said Fisher.

Pirelli is the ti­tle spon­sor of the Bike of the Year, with TomTom and To­tal SA as as­so­ciate spon­sors. The latest spon­sors to have joined Boty, Liqui Moly look for­ward to many more Bo­tys.

“We are very much in­volved in the Mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try in South Africa and in­ter­na­tion­ally with our mas­sive range of two-wheel prod­ucts,” said Meli­cia Labuschagne, di­rec­tor Liqui Moly SA.

“So we are de­lighted to be on­board as a co-spon­sor for this great event and we look for­ward to the suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion go­ing for­ward,” Labuschagne said.

Votes for each fi­nal­ist

76 — Kawasaki Ninja H2 66 — Tri­umph Tiger 800 XCX 54 — Yamaha R1 42 — Aprilia RSV 4RR 26 — KTM 1290 Su­per Ad­ven­ture 20 — Yamaha Tracer MT-09 13 — Du­cati Scram­bler/Du­cati 1299 Pan­ni­gale S 10 — BMW S1000RR 08 — In­dian Scout 05 — Du­cati Mul­tistrada 1200 02 — Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally/ BMW RnineT 01 — Zero S 00 — Suzuki GSX-S1000/ Har­ley-David­son 750

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Bikes put through their paces along Long Tom Pass.

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