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And the 2014 SA Bike of the Year is...

2014-08-08 13:02

Dries van der Walt

SA BIKE OF THE YEAR: KTM’s 1290 Super Duke was crowned the 2014 SA Bike of the Year at the 2014 AMID Motorcycle Show held at Nasrec. Image: DRIES VAN DER WALT

JOHANNESBURG - KTM’s 1290 Super Duke took the honours in the 2014 Pirelli SA Bike of the Year awards, with BMW's S1000R and R1200 GS Adventure the runners-up.

The winners were announced on Friday (August 8) during the opening of the 2014 AMID Motorcycle Show held at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

As was the case in 2013, the competition was once again very close, with the S1000R actually being more judges’ first choice but the KTM winning on overall score.


The award was the culmination of a process facilitated by Harry Fisher and Mat Durrans, the presenters of DSTV’s The Bike Show. Motorcycle manufacturers and importers were asked to nominated new-for-2014 models, from which nine finalists were chosen by the panel of judges.

The nine finalist bikes were intensively assessed by judges during a two-day stint in the Sabie/Hazyview area of Mpumalanga. The trip included urban riding, highways, mountain passes and even an off-road track for the adventure bikes. The purpose of all this was to achieve the well-nigh impossible: to determine which of this crop of seriously good bikes will be named the best bike of 2014.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 SA Bike of the Year

From our home page voting booth, it is obvious that the R1200 GSA is hands-down the readers' favourite, and deservedly so, but I took a slightly different view.

The nine finalists were:
BMW R1200GS Adventure
BMW S1000R Ducati 899 Panigale
Ducati Monster 1200
KTM 1290 Super Duke
Suzuki V-Strom
Kawasaki Z1000
Yamaha MT-09
Yamaha MT-07


Wheels24 ran its own readers' poll which garnered 2425 votes.

Click here to find out which bike our readers felt deserved the title of 2014 SA Bike of the Year.


I agonised over my decision for two days before casting my vote like this:

•    My 1st place choice was the BMW S1000R

Quick, nimble and with all the trick bits, BMW has turned the S1000RR into an everyday bike with usable power and neutral ergonomics. With the addition of a bigger aftermarket screen, it could even be turned into an impromptu sport tourer. I loved the fact that it was fast and forgiving, but I hated the clunky gearbox.

•    In 2nd place I voted for BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

BMW’s go-anywhere-do-anything workhorse is even better in Adventure guise. If you are looking for one bike that excels in multiple roles, this is it. It would have been my first choice if the S1000R hadn’t excited me as much as it did, but I wouldn’t have cried had it won.

•    My 3rd place choice was the winner, the KTM 1290 Super Duke

Not quite the beast KTM had hyped it up to be, but still an insanely quick and competent bike. I loved the instrument cluster that has more functionality than a Cray Supercomputer, but I hated the complete lack of protection from the elements.

Turned out I got the top three right, but not in the right order. Be that as it may, our congratulations to the winner and runners-up – to come out on top among a group of such competent bikes is no mean feat.

To you, our readers, thanks for joining us on the journey to the award, and for your enthusiastic participation in our competition. We hope to make the experience even better for you in 2015!

Do you agree/disagree with KTM’s 1290 Super Duke winning the 2014 SA Bike of the Year? Email usand we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24!


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