By: Denis Droppa

Johannesburg - Nine finalists have been named for South Africa’s second annual Bike of the Year competition, following voting by a jury of 16 South African motoring journalists.

The Pirelli-sponsored competition will seek to find a worthy successor to the BMW R1200 GS which won last year’s inaugural contest, and BMW has another bite at the cherry with the new Adventure version of the GS as one of this year’s finalists.

The 16 judges were charged with choosing their top eight bikes from a list of 27 eligible entries, which were either brand-new models or significantly re-engineered and updated versions of existing bikes. A ninth finalist was added to the list after two bikes tied for votes.

The finalists are, in alphabetical order:

BMW R1200 GS Adventure

BMW S1000 R

Ducati 899 Panigale

Ducati 1200 Monster

Kawasaki Z1000

KTM Super Duke 1290

Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom

Yamaha MT-07

Yamaha MT-09

HIGH-PERFORMANCE SUPER-NAKEDS

This year’s line up is dominated by “naked” (or unfaired) motorcycles, which have their mechanical bits on display and little or no wind protection.

High-performance super-nakeds in the list include BMW’s S1000R, Ducati’s Monster 1200, Kawasaki’s Z1000 and KTM’s Super Duke 1290R; while the 689cc Yamaha MT-07 and 847cc MT-09 represent lesser-powered iterations of the same theme.

The only fully-faired superbike in the list is Ducati’s 899 Panigale.

The V-Strom is the all-new (and much better-looking) version of Suzuki’s touring motorcycle.

The next stage of the process will be a two-day judging event, held in the Sabie/Hazyview area, in which the judges will ride all the finalists over a variety of road and offroad (where appropriate) courses. The winner of the contest will be announced at this year’s AMID Motorcycle Expo, which takes place from 8-10 August at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec. - Star Motoring

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