In 2013, the inaugural South African Bike of the Year competition was organised by Harry Fisher and Mat Durrans, producers of The Bike Show, the successful motorcycling programme broadcast on Ignition Channel.
The pair realised that the motorcycle industry deserved recognition for the hard work it was doing to get people onto two wheels; surely the most efficient form of transport available to the urban dweller? The idea behind the competition was to get people talking about motorcycling, whether they agreed with the final result or not, in order to stimulate interest in motorcycling in general.
Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturing company, shared the same vision; to bring motorcycling to as wide an audience as possible. The company came on board as title sponsor for the first edition and were happy to continue that partnership in 2014 and, now, in 2015. Also, for 2015, the competition has attracted TomTom, Liqui Moly and Total SA as associate sponsors.
In three short years, the competition has gained the trust and respect, not to mention the official recognition, of not only the motorcycle importers and media but also the motorcycling public.
This year’s judging event will take place at Red Star Raceway and in Mpumalanga on the 12/13/14th August and the winner will be revealed at an awards evening on Wednesday 19th August.
The 16 finalist motorcycles are (in no particular order);
The judges have been selected on the strength of their experience not only as journalists but also as motorcyclists. They will be tasked with deciding which of these incredible machines deserves to take the title of SA Bike of the Year. What is important to remember is that the finalist bikes will not be judged against each other: it would be impossible to compare a superbike with a cruiser, for example. Each bike will be judged against other bikes in its class and the bike that shows the greatest advantage/improvement against its direct rivals will be declared the winner.
In judging the bikes, the judges will be asked to consider 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?’
So, the bikes are waiting, the judges are getting into their riding gear and the road stretches ahead. Let the journey to crown the 2015 SA Bike of the Year begin.