2013 Bike of the Year finalists
ANOTHER BIKE, ANOTHER RIDE: Judges conduct track-testing at Midvaal for the 2013 Bike of the Year competition. Image: DAVE FALL
Awesome South Africa
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Author: DAVE FALL
Everybody's heard of the SA Car of the Year competition; not so many about the the annual Bike of the Year, but it's just as intense and a lot more fun for participants, writes DAVE FALL.
The Pirelli South African Bike of the Year Competition is an initiative by one of South Africa’s dedicated motorcycling portals, TheBikeShow.co.za (which also has a slot on Ignition TV).
The website felt it was the perfect opportunity to generate some real interest in bikes and motorcycling in general, particularly among the none-core motorcycling media.
Assembling 15 of the very best motorcycles available in South Africa during for the model year 2013 was never going to be an easy task – but they managed it and then some.
According to The Bike Show: "All the importers nominate 2013 model year bikes that they think should be included in the competition. The bikes have to be new-for-2013 models and cannot have been around for a few years and still available in 2013.
"All bikes must be road-legal, meaning no hard-core off-road bikes."
The winner will be announced later in July, so check back with Wheels24 to find out which bike will claim the 2013 crown.
The official results are not out yet, so spare a few minutes to go through the finalists and let us know your favourites – and why?
Here’s the list of the 15 entrants: All bikes can be viewed in our image gallery
Triumph Daytona 675
MV Agusta Brutale 800
Moto Guzzi California
Yamaha 600 Diversion
Suzuki Inazuma 250
Honda NC700X auto
Over a two-day evaluation in June 2013, taking in track time at the Midvaal Raceway near Meyerton along with public roads between Parys, Carletonville, Rustenburg and the Cradle of Mankind, the finalists were put through their paces.
Jury member and Wheels24 writer DAVE FALL offers some selected pointers to help you decide… do you agree with him?
The 1190 urban adventurer came to market with huge hype – and it’s largely justified. Can’t help thinking it also has a third string to its bow – it’s damn good on the track. Price: R152 999.
MOTO GUZZI CALIFORNIA
This V-twin touring machine remained ultra-smooth at all times during the evaluation; rode Gauteng potholes with aplomb, and has oodles of character. Sure, it won’t suit everybody but at the end of the day if you said: “Dave, will you ride one of the bikes back to Cape Town?" it would be my choice. Price: R195 995.
MV BRUTALE 800
I simply loved this particular naked bike! Get a crack on and it shakes its head at you as if to say “twist the damn throttle and let’s go!” You have to walk around the bike and gaze at this sculptured creation. This bike would have to be parked in my lounge – it’s a gorgeous "wolf in sheep’s clothing". Price R119 000.
This full-size pocket rocket is sure to have a distinct following – and for very good reason. Tried and tested and sold by bucketfuls in other countries, it has one compelling reason towards ownership: very fair value. Maybe it’s one of the smallest bikes in the competition but it was the one that gained huge respect from most scribblers over the two-day competition. Price R49 000.
HONDA NC700X automatic
I’m sure my choice of bike may well come as a surprise… but that’s the nature of being a judge, I suppose. It’s easy to get used to the quirky transmission, perfect for those larger towns where gridlock is painful in the extreme. Buzz the bike to 4000rpm in top and the speedometer indicates 130km/h. At 5000rpm it’s touching a thoroughly illegal 160, yet nowhere near the red line.
This half-a-Jazz motor is going to last a long time – and it’s ultra economical too. Price R74 000.
Which bike should claim the 2013 SA Bike of the Year crown? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.