Motorcycle awards controversies

The awards season is just starting and American magazine Motor Cyclist has already made some controversial decisions.
Their top award goes to the partially water-cooled BMW R 1200 GS adventure bike.
They say the “quintessential” sets a benchmark in technology.
“BMW took an enormous risk in revamping the GS from the ground up, a risk that really paid off,” the magazine says.
Yet it didn’t give the GS its award for best adventure bike.
That award went to the KTM 1190 Adventure. I could understand if they gave it to the R which is more of a dirt-oriented version like the coming GS Adventure.
But I suppose it’s their awards and they can make their own rules.
Another controversial move for an American magazine is to give the best cruiser award to an Italian manufacturer.
Not only did the beautiful Moto Guzzi California take the honours, but runner up was the Japanese Yamaha Bolt.
What about the new Indian? What about the partially water-cooled Harley-Davidson Ultra?
If it’s beauty and handling that won it for the California, then they must have decided that award before they rode the new Indian Chief Classic, Vintage or Chieftain. If it’s for technology then clearly they haven’t ridden the Ultra.

Indian motorcycle awards
Indian Chieftain
Harley-Davidson Ultra motorcycle awards
Harley-Davidson Ultra
BMW Concept Ninety motorcycle awards
BMW Concept Ninety

Third controversy is the award for best dream bike which went to the Indian Thunder Stroke Streamliner. Not sure how many people dream of riding on the Bonneville salt flats, but surely the BMW Concept nineT designed in Los Angeles by Roland Sands Designs deserves the gong. After allo, it is going into production largely in tact, we believe.
Consolation for BMW, though, scooping awards for best sports bike with the HP4, best touring bike with the K 1600 GT and best new technology with their adaptive suspension.
Final controversy is their award for best new product which went to bike-to-bike communications, but they didn’t say which was the best bluetooth system on the market.
However, no quibbles about the rest of their awards: Whether he wins the MotoGP championship or not, motorcyclist of the year has to go to Marc Marquez, best naked bike is still the Aprilia V4R APRC and best daul-sport the Honda CRF250L (no quibbles because I’m not familiar with this corner of the market).
How would you have awarded these and other best-of honours?


  1. I agree re the KTM. TOTALLY disagree with the Bolt even rating 2nd. Each to their own! That’s why I ride the mighty Triumph Explorer 1200 XC. Best of both worlds!

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