Whod have thought a caf� racer would win the Pirelli Bike of the Year? But a team of SAs top biking journalists gave Triumphs Thruxton R the top honour.

Johannesburg - The Triumph Thruxton R is the 2016 Pirelli South African Bike of the Year.

The retro-styled café racer beat 14 other finalist motorcycles to scoop the prestigious annual award, after voting by a panel of motorcycle journalists who tested all 15 over a three-day test in Gauteng and Mpumalanga last week.

The 1200cc Thruxton R scored 84 points to score a narrow victory over Honda’s Africa Twin DCT all-terrain bike (81 points), with another Triumph, the Explorer 1200 XCA, a distant third on 25 points.

Completing the top six were the BMW S1000 XR (24 points), Ducati XDiavel S (22) and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT (16).

This was the fourth running of the annual competition to select the country’s best two-wheeler, with the 2015 winner being the supercharged Kawasaki H2.

Denis Droppa of our sister print publication Star Motoring was one of the judges; look out for his road test of the Triumph Thruxton R.

Follow Denis Droppa on Twitter @DenisDroppa