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SA Bike of the Year: 2017 finalists announced

2017-07-24 08:52

BIKE OF THE YEAR : Triumph's Thruxton R (pictured) was the 2016 BoTY winner. Which bike do you think should grab the 2017 title? Image: Triumphmotorcycles.co.za

Dries van der Walt

Cape Town - It is that time of the year again, the finalists for the 2017 Pirelli Bike of the Year Award have just been announced.

As in the past, it is made up of a good spread across the various bike categories. This year sees three sport bikes, four adventure tourers, three nakeds, two sport tourers, two cruisers, and two sub-500 cm³ machines.

The finalists

After receiving the manufacturers’ nominations, the panel of judges were asked to vote for the bikes they felt should make it into the competition.

The 16 bikes that received the highest number of votes overall were selected as finalists.

Honda Fireblade

 • Suzuki GSX R

The long-awaited new Suzuki GSX-R1000. #sabikefestival #kyalami #suzuki #gsxr1000 @wheels24_sa

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 • BMW G310R

• Yamaha R6

 • KTM 1290R



 • Kawasaki Z900

 • Ducati Supersport

Another day, another Ducati: the 2017 Supersport is my ride for the week. #ducati #supersport @wheels24_sa

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 • Ducati Multistrada

 • Kawasaki Z1000SX

 •   Suzuki SV650

 • Kawasaki Versys 300

 • BMW GS Rallye 

 • Indian Scout 60

 • Harley-Davidson 750 Street Rod

 • Triumph Street Scrambler


Which motorcycle do you think should claim the 2017 SA Bike of the Year title? Vote here



The criteria

As with previous years, the judges’ brief is not to pitch these bike directly against each other (unless they fall into the same category), but rather judge them against other bikes in that category.

The organisers supplied the judges with some guiding questions to help ensure that bikes are judged consistently:

 • How has the bike moved its category forward? 
 • Is it introducing new technology to the category? 
 • Is it a new departure for the manufacturer? 
 • Is it competitively priced? 
 • How good is it dynamically? 
 • Is it accessible for everyday riders or is it just for experts? 
 • Can it be serviced anywhere or must it be taken to selected dealerships? 
 • Does it fulfill the requirements of the class? 
 • And, last but not least, does it have the ‘wow’ factor; which one would you buy with your own money and take home?

Enter our poll

The intention is that overall winner not be one that has one single outstanding feature (such as speed, comfort or handling), but rather the bike that demonstrates the biggest advance over other bikes in its category. 

I am representing Wheels24 on the panel of judges again this year, so feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get my on-the-fly insights on the various bikes during the judging phase on 4 and 5 August. And as we’ve done in the past, we are giving you the opportunity to vote for  your choice, so please use our poll to let us know which bike you think should be named the 2017 Pirelli Bike of the Year.

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